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9 Best Things to Do in Bohol

A woman looking out at the Bohol Chocolate hills

9 Best Things to Do in Bohol

The stunning island of Bohol in the Philippines is a tropical paradise that attracts tourists from all over the world. It’s famous for its natural attractions, adventure activities, and island hopping, so there’s always something to do in Bohol.

What’s more, Bohol boasts some of the best dive sites in the Philippines, allowing divers of all levels to explore a vibrant underwater kingdom.

Located in the heart of the Visayas archipelago, Bohol is rich in history and culture. Its picturesque beaches and lush jungles give the island a timeless beauty. Bohol’s history dates back to the 10th century and has been shaped by various cultural influences over the centuries, from Chinese merchants to Spanish colonizers.

A couple riding a motorbike scooter through a forest with the words "Best things to do in Bohol" superimposed

Things to Do in Bohol Island, Philippines

The island has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: the wet season (May – Nov) and the dry season (Dec – Apr). The best time to visit Bohol would be during the dry season, when the weather is generally warm and sunny. This does also make it the busiest time, but the start and end of the dry period (Dec or Apr) offer a good balance.

English is one of the two official languages recognized in the Philippines (along with the local Filipino), so we never had any problems communicating while there. The Filipino people are very friendly and welcoming, and they hold a surprising love for karaoke!

A woman walking towards the camera in the shallow sea with a sunset behind

9 Best Things to Do in Bohol

1. Chocolate Hills

The Chocolate Hills of Bohol are one of the region’s most iconic attractions. Nearly 2,000 domed hills blanket the landscape, and they get their name from the brown, leathery color of the grass and shrubs that cover the slopes in summer.

A woman looking out over the chocolate hills in Bohol - a series of brown pointed hills

These unusual formations are an unexpected treat on an otherwise tropical landscape and give the area an otherworldly feel.

The formation of the hills is believed to have been caused by the uplifting of coral deposits and the surface runoff of rainwater. They were declared a National Geological Monument by the Philippine government in 1988.

2. Tarsier Sanctuary

You absolutely cannot miss the Tarsier Sanctuary when visiting Bohol. And come prepared for a level of cuteness beyond your imagination!

The protected wildlife area is home to the world’s smallest primate, the tarsier. It’s fascinating and special to have the opportunity to view these unique creatures in their natural habitat.

A woman standing looking for small tarsiers in the jungle

Tarsier Fun Facts

  • Tarsiers are a nocturnal species.
  • Tarsiers can rotate their heads 180 degrees, giving them all around vision.
  • Tarsiers are typically less than 6 inches long.
  • Tarsiers have the largest eyes of any mammal relative to body size.
  • Tarsiers can live up to 20 years in the wild.
  • Tarsiers mainly eat insects, but can also prey on small birds, snakes, lizards, and bats.
  • Tarsiers are a critically endangered species.

3. Loboc River Cruise

The Loboc River looks like a scene straight out of Jurassic Park. The stunning waterway winds along through the dense jungle of palm and tropical trees.

A woman sat on an armchair at the bow of a large boat sailing down a jungle river

A river cruise runs twice daily, beginning near the Loboc Bridge in the town of Loboc. The morning cruise starts at 10:00am and the afternoon cruise starts at 2:00pm (or 2:30pm on Saturday and Sunday).

The cruise includes a buffet meal and live music from a guitarist or local group. There’s also a halfway stop at a local village where you can watch a traditional dance.

4. Cabagnow Pool Cave

Cabagnow Cave Pool is a natural wonder located in Anda. It is a stunning underground cave system with crystal-clear, emerald-green waters similar to the Mexican cenotes. The pool is nestled deep within a limestone cave and is illuminated by natural skylights and openings in the cave ceiling, creating a surreal and mesmerizing play of light and shadow.

A dark interior of a limestone cave with a clear blue pool

You can explore this underground oasis by swimming in its cool, freshwater pool. It’s a hidden gem in Anda, perfect for those seeking a tranquil and adventurous spot to cool off.

5. Bilar Man-Made Forest

The Bilar Man-Made Forest is a reforestation project that began in the 1980s and covers many acres of land. Today, it’s a dense mahogany forest that stretches over a mile along the road towards the Chocolate Hills.

This rainforest is a hiker’s paradise with a lush, dense canopy of trees and foliage to explore.

6. Hinagdanan Cave

The Hinagdanan Cave is an underground paradise in the municipality of Dauis. Here you can explore what lies beneath, discovering various rock formations, deep pools, and a beautiful natural environment.

7. Dauis Church

The Dauis Church is located in the quaint town of Dauis on Panglao Island.

Officially known as the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, it’s a gorgeous, well-preserved Spanish Colonial structure built in 1889. It showcases the architectural style of the period, complete with stained-glass windows and period furniture.

8. Relax at the Beach

Bohol has dozens of excellent beaches to choose from. We stayed on Panglao so two of the closest beaches were Alona Beach and Dumaluan Beach.

A close up of a coconut on a beach with a girl sat behind

They both have calm, shallow water which stays warm all year round. They’re surrounded by palm trees and some mangroves, perfect for hiding from the midday sun.

9. Danao Adventure Park

Finally, head to the Danao Adventure Park, one of the best tourist spots on the island. You’ll find tons of exciting activities at the adventure park, like zip-lining, ATV-riding, rock climbing, river tubing, kayaking, and more!

If adrenaline pursuits aren’t your thing there are also nice areas to walk and plenty of flora and fauna to enjoy.

Where to Stay in Bohol

The best and most convenient place to stay in Bohol is on Panglao Island as that’s where most of the beaches and restaurants are.

A traditional bamboo hut with banana leaf roof

Take a look at Pangloa accommodation to find something within your budget.

What is the Best Way to Get Around Bohol?

Renting a scooter or motorbike is the most popular and flexible option. It allows you to explore the island at your own pace.

If you don’t fancy riding a scooter, or you don’t have a license, then the next best option is to use the tricycles. They’re a common mode of transport for short distances and relatively cheap. They can usually accommodate 2 or 3 passengers and are often used for traveling between towns and tourist spots.

A couple riding a scooter through the perfect straight trees of the Bilal Man-Made Forest

For some of the smaller areas like Panglao Island, it’s perfectly possible to get around on foot.

What is the Best Way to Get to Bohol?

If you’re coming from Manila, the quickest way to get to Bohol is to fly. Bohol has a small airport – Tagbilaran Airport – which is located in the southwest. You can also fly from Cebu and other major cities in the Philippines.

A better and more eco friendly way is to go via ferry from Cebu City. There are several ferry companies running on this route, and they run very regularly (every 40 minutes to an hour during the day). The journey only takes 2 hours, so it’s actually quicker than flying from Cebu due to the time wasted checking-in and waiting at the airport.

A river in a jungle with a small waterfall

Bohol FAQs

What is the famous thing in Bohol?

The famous thing in Bohol is the Chocolate Hills, a natural wonder featuring over 1,000 cone-shaped hills that turn brown during the dry season, resembling chocolate mounds.

Is there much to do in Bohol?

There is plenty to do in Bohol, including exploring natural attractions, water activities, cultural sites, and adventure experiences.

How many days is enough in Bohol?

Spending 3 to 4 days in Bohol is typically enough to explore the major attractions and enjoy various activities on the island.

Is it worth visiting Bohol?

Yes, it is worth visiting Bohol for its stunning landscapes, unique geological formations, rich culture, and diverse activities that cater to nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Is Bohol safe?

Bohol is generally safe for tourists, with low crime rates. However, it’s advisable to take standard safety precautions and be mindful of your belongings.

What food do they eat in Bohol?

In Bohol, you can enjoy a variety of Filipino dishes, including seafood, adobo (marinated meat), sinigang (sour soup), and native delicacies like kakanin (rice cakes) and kinilaw (a raw seafood dish similar to the South American ceviche).

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