The Philippines is known for its many islands, so it can get very hard to choose the right one for you. While Palawan is the most popular one, Bohol island is more quiet, but not less boring. Here are the top 10 things to do in Bohol.
10 Things to Do on Bohol island
The most popular tourist attraction on Bohol island is the Chocolate Hills. There are more than 1000 little hills covered in green grass as far as your eyes can see. During the dry season the grass turns brown, which is why they got the name chocolate hills.
While you can book a tour with a driver, you can also just rent a motorbike for a day and drive there yourself. This is the cheaper option. It’s a very easy drive, but it can take up to 2 hours depending on where your accommodation is. As we took some breaks in between to see other things on the way, we didn’t even notice the time.
Tarsiers are very small creatures and an endangered species. Your visit to the Tarsiers Conservatory will help to keep them alive as they are a “dependent” species, meaning they cannot develop in the wild on their own.
The tour only lasts around 20 minutes in order not to stress out the animals. However, it is worth seeing them on the trees staring at you with their big eyes or sleeping underneath leaves.
When on Bohol island, make sure to drive through the man-made forest – a 2 km stretch of mahogany trees. This forest stands out because of its high trees and designs of leaves. When you enter, you will notice a sudden drop in temperature and a cool breeze.
Just like the name says, it was made by human hands. A reforestation project initiated by the local government has brought students here to plant trees over the duration of 30 years. This project was necessary because of the increasing slash-and-burn-farming which threatened the environment.
Even though the intentions were good, it has backfired as well. You will notice how quiet this forest is, which is due to the fact that no animals are living there. As the planted mahogany tree is not a native tree in the Philippines, animals such as birds, insects, mammals and so on are unable to live there and reproduce themselves.
There are certainly loads of waterfalls to discover on Bohol island, such as Pahangog (also known as twin waterfall), Kinahugan and Ingkumhan being the most famous ones. On your way to the man-made-forest and chocolate hills, you can certainly stop at one or two, especially if it is a hot day.
If you belong to the brave kind of people, then you should visit the Hinagdanan Cave and swim in the deep, dark waters. The good news is that there are no animals inside the water. However, the atmosphere is rather creepy with bats flying around and hanging from the ceiling.
Loboc River Cruise
Loboc River Cruise is another fun thing to do on Bohol island. Just imagine yourself on a floating festival themed boat surrounded by loads of green plants while you cruise along the river.
When it comes to Loboc River cruises, you have multiple options, such as a day or night cruise. The day cruise is around 10€ per person, will take you along the Loboc River for a few hours and includes a meal.
You will most likely experience locals in their natural habit and will see them swimming in the river, jumping from trees, washing clothes, etc. There are a few stops involved where you can enjoy local Filipino performances in dancing and singing. You will notice the Filipino hospitality, happy attitude and sense of community throughout the whole trip.
The other option is to go on a night cruise which is more romantic. From tree hanging lanterns and glowing fireflies create a very cozy atmosphere.
Bamboo Hanging Bridge
For more adventure on Bohol island, cross the Bamboo hanging bridge over the river. This shaky bridge is weaved out of bamboo and each step you take will make you wince. Nothing to worry though, the bridge won’t break!
On the other side of the bridge, you will find some souvenirs and refreshments. We had a delicious cold coconut drink before heading back.
Diving on Bohol Island
Bohol is the perfect island to get started with diving in case you were thinking about getting your license. First of all, it is affordable, the sea is rather calm and perfect for beginners, and there are loads of dive shops to choose from.
You can choose between getting SSI or PADI certified. We decided to go with SSI as it was cheaper and came with more flexibility. We didn’t have to do the theory in the room for 4 hours watching videos but could do it by ourselves on the phone at home whenever it suited us.
The dive shop where we did it is called Go Scuba Bohol and is the first shop on the right when you walk down to the beach. It cost around 300€, took 2-3 days, and included 4 dives in total.
Enjoy the Sunset at Danao Beach
It is no secret that Southeast Asia has one of the most beautiful sunsets, especially the Philippines. Take a motorbike or taxi to Linaw Resort (at Danao beach) and enjoy the sunset there at the beach. You can either enjoy a drink at the beach bars or bring your own drinks and just hang out there. Up to you!
Cathedral of San Jose & Baclayon Church
San Jose is the largest cathedral and Baclayon the oldest church in Bohol. Both buildings are made from grey coral stone which gives them their mysterious look. Both buildings have survived typhoons and earthquakes and are worth a quick visit.
I hope you got to know Bohol a bit better and take it into consideration when planning a trip to the Philippines. It is definitely worth visiting.
If you travel to El Nido island as well, check out these top 7 things to do in El Nido.