Last updated on March 25th, 2020 at 12:36 pm
Bohol is located in the Central Visayas Region in the Philippines. If you want to visit Bohol, you should know that is a popular destination with lots of natural beauty, beautiful beaches and resorts. One of the most popular places to visit in Bohol is The Chocolate Hills. Bohol is also popular for the breathtaking Panglao Island and the one-of-a-kind Philippine tarsier, the world’s smallest primate.
As you can see there are many places to visit in Bohol and we will tell you about this in our Bohol travel guide.
Bohol Travel Guide
How to get to Bohol
Getting to Bohol by Ferry
There are daily ferries going to Bohol from Dumaguete and weekly ones coming from Siquijor. Cebu has a fast ferry to Bohol that lasts 2 hours and costs 400 PHP per ride. If you’re coming from Cagayan de Oro, you can come aboard the night ferry for 570 PHP and with a travel time of 8-9 hours. There are direct flights from Manila and Cebu to Bohol, as well. The arrival point in Bohol is the capital, Tagbilaran City. If you get to Tagbilaran by ferry, you can walk a bit for 15-20 minutes or you can take a tricycle from the port to reach the city’s downtown area.
Getting to Panglao from Tagbilaran Port
Panglao Island is around 45 minutes jeepney ride from Tagbilaran Port. From the port you can walk for about 15 minutes to the downtown area where jeepneys leave for Panglao. The ride costs 25 PHP. It’s a great experience to travel by jeepney. During the 20-kilometer ride from Tagbilaran to Panglao. You will see children going to school and locals leaving for work. Everyone just goes on with their lives in their daily commute on the jeepney. Panglao is filled with cheerful people and it is such a beautiful island where there are many plans to do!
Getting to Bohol by Plane
The Bohol-Panglao International Airport opened on November 2018 replacing Tagbilaran International Airport. There are only domestic flights going to Bohol-Panglao International Airport. Flight companies like Philippines Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Asia and AIr Juan. There are daily direct flights from Clark, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Manila. From Cebu there are only direct flights with Air Juan otherwise you have to flight to Manila and from there you will flight to Panglao.
There are flight companies like Philippines Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Asia and AIr Juan. There are daily direct flights from Clark, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Manila. From Cebu there are only direct flights with Air Juan otherwise you have to flight to Manila and from there you will flight to Panglao.
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Best time to visit Bohol
A destination like Bohol is very easy to predict. By that, we mean you can easily plan your trip based on the weather as there are certain months that are the best choice for traveling the province. For the coolest weather, the best time to visit Bohol is from November to April. You may experience some short and scattered rains during the months of November to February but the other months are sure to be sunny and bright.
On the other hand, May to July are the hottest months and is perfect for those who love the dry season and don’t mind being exposed to the sun’s heat. Finally, for those who came to Bohol to see the dolphins, its best to visit the province from March to June.
ATM’s and Currency in Panglao
The country uses the Philippine Peso as its currency, where $1 USD = 53.55 PHP. Your dollars and euros will go along way in the Philippines and the island of Panglao. For those wondering about ATMs in the area, worry not. There are plenty of banks in Bohol Island. You can also get your foreign money exchanged from these banks.
Daily Budget in Bohol
The cost of living in Bohol is similar to other province in the Philippines. You can get a decent meal in Bohol for as low as 60-120 PHP, which is less than $1-3 USD! Beer also comes cheap at 60-70 PHP. You can have eat and drink as much as you want in this island paradise!
You can get dorms for only 400 PHP. That’s just around $4-8 USD a night! Pension houses are also available all over Panglao with rooms that go for as low as 800-1000 PHP. While mid-range accommodations come at 1200-3000 PHP ($22-56 USD). Finally, luxury stays can be afforded at $75-355 USD, depending on the place’s location, size and privacy.
Places to visit in Bohol
1. Day Tour to Balicasag Island
One of the most popular places to visit in Bohol is Balicasag Island. Panglao is full of daily boats going to Balicasag from Alona Beach. People go to Balicasag to visit the popular fish sanctuary and turtle areas, either for snorkeling or diving. Rates start from 700-1000 PHP, depending on the activities you want to do and how well you negotiate with the tourist companies since prices aren’t fixed. Boats leave for Balicasag in Panglao at around 6 AM and they go back to Alona Beach at around 1 PM. The first part of the tour involves dolphin watching while on the way to Balicasag. It will include a visit to Virgin Island.
Upon reaching the island, you are free to go swimming, snorkeling and watching fishes and turtles. Unfortunately for us, we weren’t able to go snorkeling due to the warning issued by the coast guard. I’m sure you guys will get the chance, though, since this rarely happens. We are still hopeful for the experience in the future!
2. Visit The Chocolate Hills
The Chocolate Hills is one of the most popular places to visit in Bohol and in the Philippines. It’s certainly a must-see if you visit Bohol. How to get to The Chocolate Hills? At the beginning we planned to go from Tagbilaran by jeepney to reach Chocolate Hills. But when we found out that there were tours in Panglao we decided to join the tour for the whole day instead. The experience was really nice since we got to see different places.
The fee covers the transportation and it’s up to you to pay for the entrance fees in every destination you visit. The tour starts at around 9 AM from Panglao and finishes back to the island at 5 PM. Your transport is taken care of by the tour companies with vehicles picking you up early in the morning and dropping you off your hotel in the afternoon. Going to The Chocolate Hills only costs 50 PHP per person, so you should definitely stop by.
3. See The Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary
Apart from The Chocolate Hills, seeing the tarsiers is another activity you shouldn’t miss when you visit Bohol. There are around 100 tarsiers in the sanctuary and it will be easy to see some of them and take a picture. Tarsiers are very quiet mammals, and they are also greatly endangered. They quietly stay in trees, are the size of the palm of your hand, and have big ball-like eyes.
If you see them hanging on the tree, they don´t usually move and just creepily stare at you. Haha! The entrance fee for the Tarsier Sanctuary is only 50 PHP per person. Tarsiers are actually super cute, you would love to take pictures of them, for sure! Just don’t get over-enthusiastic as they are known to be sensitive creatures and you might scare them away. Try always to be respectful with the animals don’t be noisy and keep distance to take the pictures. So you will not disturb the tarsiers when visiting the sanctuary.
4. Zipline in Bohol
For only 350 PHP! You can enjoy an amazing bird’s eye view of the Loboc River and the surrounding palm trees and greenery. If you love adventure, are not afraid of heights, and are looking to discover Bohol in another way, you definitely have to try this!
5. Baclayon Church
The Baclayon Church is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. It was founded in 1296 by the Jesuit priests Juand de Torres and Gabriel Sánchez. It suffered some damages during the earthquake in 2013 but still remains a beautiful site to visit in Bohol. There is an entrance fee 50 PHP for your visit. If you love heritage sites and buildings from ancient times, you will enjoy seeing this church.
6. Loboc River
There are boats sailing around the river for those who’re not up for ziplining above it. Loboc River offers a great scenery for all boat passengers who go through it. It is beautiful to watch and take pictures of this river. For 450 PHP, you can try the most popular activity promoted in the area: Having lunch while cruising the river. As seen in the photo above, we actually passed up on the chance to join the river cruise since we wanted to just go around and eat in other local places. We just took a photo of the cruise from the bridge.
7. Luxury Resorts in Bohol
You can have an easy day swimming, reading and sunbathing while in Bohol. We really loved this infinity pool in Bluewater Panglao with direct views to the sea! The water is very beautiful, and the place is very relaxing. Whether you are enjoying a swim in the infinity pool, or in the privacy of your own villas, you will definitely be full of natural good vibes!
We had our first Filipino massage called hilot, and it was super relaxing. We REALLY loved the place where we had our Amuma Massage inside the garden with a really beautiful set up, just right in the middle of nature. It was actually very surprising, as we didn’t think that Filipino massage was that popular, compared to Thai, Swedish and Balinese massage. However, we are so glad that we were able to try it. It’s even one of the best massages we’ve ever had to date.
8. Having Dinner with a Filipino Traditional Dance
For the first time in the Philippines, we were able to experience a traditional dance together. In the Aplaya Restaurant, they served themed dinners, and Friday is the Barrio Fiesta, where you get to experience the traditional food in a Filipino Fiesta setup. Fiestas are festivals often celebrated in the name of the patron saint of a particular city. Much of these fiestas are from the influence of the Spanish regime. During our stay, we were able to enjoy watching the folk dances like Tinikling. Great thing to do in Bohol, for sure!
9. Visit Alona Beach
Alona Beach is very busy during the day with people sunbathing, swimming, and boats conducting tours and activities. It’s not really a bad thing, because it makes the place come alive especially with various restaurants catering every tourist’s needs by serving all kinds of cuisine. The beach is big enough to find a quiet place for you, in case that’s the vibe that you are looking for. There are cliffs you can climb, which we did a lot, to see the complete sea view in a different light. We climb the cliffs to start and end our day in Panglao.
10. Sunrise in Panglao
If you are an early bird, you will have the opportunity to catch the sunrise from Alona Beach. After that, you can enjoy the day in the beach, have a daytrip to Balicasag and other neighboring islands, spend the day in Panglao or visit The Chocolate Hills.
11. Sunset in Panglao
It’s not much of a secret anymore that we are so addicted to watching sunsets. In Panglao, we watched sunsets while kayaking and paddling. The colors were absolutely breathtaking, and it’s just the perfect time to enjoy the water. A must-do, definitely. These small moments can easily make your stay in Bohol (or really, any other beach for that matter) extra memorable.
More Places to visit in Bohol
12. Hinagdanan Cave
Hinagdanan Cave is an amazing Bohol tourist spot to visit. Not only you’ll love the majestic structure and magical view of sunlight getting into the holes of the caves, but you’ll also love the adventure and thrill of it. This beautiful limestone cave is located in Bingag, Dauis, Bohol and is open to the public from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM. From Tagbilaran, you can ride a tricycle or rent a motorcycle to go to location. Entrance fee to get inside is 20 PHP.
13. Mahogany Man-Made Forest
This 2-kilometer stretch of mahogany trees forest is one of the famous destinations tourists don’t miss when they go to Chocolate Hills. It is actually part of a highway, so if you’re driving, just stop the vehicle for a short time and enjoy the fresh air these trees bring. This man-made forest can be found at Loay Interior Road, Bilar, Bohol.
14. Virgin Island
Virgin Island is probably one of your stops if you’re traveling with a tour. You’ll be so mesmerized with the clear waters that make an illusion that you’re floating on air. Tourists love the sandbar here and the sea creatures they can observe at while exploring the place. If you’re not coming with a tour, you can rent a boat to get to Virgin Island from PHP 1500 to 2500, good for 8-10 persons.
15. Bohol Bee Farm
This is a unique Bohol tourist spot that you wouldn’t want to miss! Bohol Bee Farm is a private farm and resort known for their organic farm and restaurant. Guests love the food they serve because of the freshness and taste of the ingredients, and the overall dining experience itself. Bohol Bee Farm is located at Dao, Panglao Island in Bohol. To get here from the airport, you can ride a habal-habal or motorcycle, and fare costs around PHP 200 for a roundtrip ride. If you’re coming with a tour, you can ask the driver to stop by Bohol Bee Farm for a quick lunch.
16. Cadapdapan Rice Terraces in Candijay
Candijay is a laid-back town 92 kilometers away from Bohol’s capital, and one of Bohol tourist spots can be found here- the Cadapdapan Rice Terraces. This may be not as grandeur as the Banaue Rice Terraces, but it has its own way to amaze your eyes. To get here, you may ride a habal-habal or motorcycle again from Lungsod-Daan in Candijay for 25 to 30 minutes.
17. Sagbayan Peak
Sagbayan Peak is one of Bohol tourist spots that you shouldn’t miss to visit! It’s a mountain resort and recreational center, located in Sagbayan, that is loved by many because of the activities you can do here. Also, from this peak, you’ll be able to see a 360-degree view of the famous and iconic Chocolate Hills. To get here, you can ride a “For Hire” van that can bring you not just to this place but also to other Bohol tourist spots. Just negotiate the price with the driver. Entrance fee in Sagbayan Peak is PHP 20 per head.
18. Bamboo Hanging Bridge
Another iconic tourist spot in Bohol is this 40-meter bridge. The Bamboo Hanging Bridge is a bridge crossing the Sipatan River in Sevilla, Bohol. Once you get to the other side of the bridge, you’ll see a lot of shops selling a variety of items- from food, souvenirs, drinks, etc. If you’re lucky, you might witness the “Buko King” or “Coconut King” who can strip a coconut in around 10 seconds using only his teeth!
19. Loboc Church
Located in San Pedro, Loboc Church is one of Bohol tourist spots that you should visit if you are a religious tourist or just want to see this very old church. In fact, it’s the second oldest church in Bohol. There are naive paintings inside that will amaze you, and what’s cool about this church is that it has already survived numerous disasters since its construction in year 1602. To get here you can ride a bus going to Loboc or going to Carmen. Just ask the driver or conductor of the bus to drop you off at Loboc Church.
20. Blood Compact Shrine
Also called the Bohol Blood Compact Site, this is a very historic place for the FIlipinos because it’s the place where the blood compact rite or “sandugo” between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi of Spain and Rajah Sikatuna of Bohol took place. You can see it in the statue standing in the site. It’s located in Barangay Bool in Tagbilaran City. To get here, you can ride a tricycle from any point in Tagbilaran City proper. The fare will depend on where you will be coming from.
21. Anda Beaches
If you love beaches, then you must not miss visiting Anda! It is a great place to visit if you can’t get enough of Bohol’s beauty. One of its beautiful beaches is Quinale Beach. It’s a very peaceful fine white-sand beach in Anda, which can be found on the eastern coast of the island. You’ll fall in love with the clear waters and sand bars! You can ride a bus to get here or even a tricycle coming from Tagbilaran.
22. Cabagnow Cave Pool
Do caves fascinate you? If yes, then visit Cabagnow Cave Pool! It’s another tourist spot boasted by Anda, Bohol. It is a majestic deep blue cave pool and is actually a private property so there’s an entrance fee of PHP 50. To get here from Anda proper, you can ride a habal-habal or motorcycle for around PHP 100. Just add more for the fare if you want a roundtrip since it’s a bit difficult to get a ride coming back to Anda proper.
23. Can-umantad Falls
Located in Barangay Cadapdapan, Candijay, this waterfall is surely one of Bohol tourist spots that you shouldn’t miss. It’s a perfect place for picnics, trekking, and swimming with your loved ones and family. Entrance fee is PHP 20 for adults and PHP 10 for kids.
24. Canawa Cold Spring
Canawa Cold Spring got its name from the term “cawa” or large pan, because the shape of this beautiful cold spring is pan-shape. You’ll surely love to swim in the clean turquoise-green water of this spring, making you want to dip for hours! Canawa Cold Spring is located in Brgy. Canawa, Candijay.
Entrance fee is PHP 20 for adults and PHP 10 for kids.
25. Combento Cave Pool
If you can’t get enough of Anda, try adding Combento Cave to your bucket list. Unlike the first cave pool in Anda that we’ve talked about, Combento Cave Pool is not that deep. The crystal clear water here is only 4 to 5 feet deep and when you soak yourself in its water, you’ll definitely feel relaxed and it’s like you’re in your own private nature pool.
Entrance fee is PHP 20.
26. Isla Lamanoc
Still can’t get enough how nature blessed Anda so much? Well, Isla Lamanoc is another proof of how blessed the municipality of Anda is! It’s located in Sitio Dapanas, Barangay Badiang in Anda and one of the most popular Bohol tourist spots. To reach the island, you have to walk (during low-tide) or ride a paddle boat (during high-tide). According to locals, it’s called the “mystic island” due to many reasons. It’s popular to limestone cliffs and rich wildlife. You’ll learn a lot about the prehistoric era of Bohol when you visit this island.
To get here from Tagbilaran City, get a taxi or van ride to go to the Municipality of Anda. Ride a motorcycle to Lamanoc Information Center so you can avail the island tour which costs PHP 300 each person to visit the Isla Lamanoc.
27. Mag-aso Falls
Mag-aso Falls is probably the most accessible waterfall from Tagbilaran City. To get here, just ride a jeep from Cogon Market going to Antequera for PHP 25. From there, ride a habal-habal or motorcycle for PHP25 or PHP50 for a tricycle for a one-way trip to Mag-aso Falls. Walk towards the entrance and pay PHP 20 to enter this enchanted waterfalls with turquoise water during the dry season.
Mag-aso Falls is located at Barangay Can-omay, Antequera in Bohol.
28. Camugao Falls
The Camugao Falls in San Isidro, Balilihan is another Bohol tourist spot that will give you a great experience of nature. The water from the falls is cold, giving you a break from the Philippine heat especially during summer. It’s dark green in color but it’s clean! There are also spots where you can take a rest and relax. To get here from Panglao, you can get to Camugao Falls either by motorcycle or car only. It will take around 1 hour. From where the driver will drop you off, you have to walk for 10-15 minutes to reach the falls itself. You’ll enjoy the walk with nature!
Entrance fee to Camugao Falls is PHP 50.
29. Busay Falls
Busay Falls is where your Loboc River Cruise ends. It’s a popular bathing spot in Loboc River past Sevilla town. You can have a picnic here and do sightseeing. You’ll love the green scenery!
30. Tontonan Falls
Another waterfall in Loboc is Tontonan Falls. It is a very useful body of water in Bohol because it generates the NPC Hydroelectric Plant, the supplier of electricity to 6 municipalities.
31. Ianambacan Falls
Located at Villa Aurora, Antequera in Bohol is a public place where locals love to take a bath- the Ianambacan Falls. You’ll love the experience here if you are not that picky as it is not that developed, but there are some cottages to rest on. There is no entrance fee.
32. Badiang Spring
And the last but not the least is the Badiang Spring. It’s actually a spring resort located along the coast of Valencia town in Bohol, specifically at Barrio Anas. Because of the natural spring, they’re able to fill their two swimming pools with water from the spring. The natural spring has icy cold water which flows to the nearby beach, which has crystal blue waters ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
To get here from Tagbilaran, as the most common way of traveling in Bohol, you have to hire a van and tell the driver you’re coming to Badiang Spring. They know the place already and the fare will be around PHP 50 to 100, depending on the discount and your place of origin.
Entrance fee is PHP 20 per head, plus you have to rent a cottage or hut where you will be staying at.
What to eat in Bohol
We tried local dishes in Panglao like adobo with fried rice and lechon (one of the most famous dishes in the Philippines), and the most popular dish in Panglao and Bohol: Ube. If you love sweet things, you definitely shouldn’t miss the Philippines’ ube halaya!
Where to stay in Bohol
Twin Tides Panglao was a great option when traveling on a budget. Twin Tides Panglao is a quaint yet stylish hotel with a great location – just a few minutes walk from Alona Beach. We enjoyed their breakfast choices, and the time flexibility was actually really good. You can either choose to have them prepare you a very early breakfast or have a late breakfast at around 12 noon, after your day trip to the islands.
The hotel has a quiet and calm atmosphere, the decor was very simple but it’s a really good place for a cheap price. It’s pretty much incomparable to hostels since it’s really just a small hotel with all the amenities you will need. We enjoyed the great breakfasts in Twin Tides Panglao. Western choices and even Asian soups like ramen are available here.
We spent a few days in Bluewater Panglao where you will enjoy the best luxury in Bohol, for a reasonable price. You can enjoy your own villa with a private pool, perfect for intimate moments, or just enjoying a private and exclusive time with friends or family. You can also have your own private beach where you can enjoy your day, whether its activities on the island itself, or getting your own boat and touring the neighboring islands, like Balicasag. The staff is very friendly and will treat you like family, and don’t even get us started with the food. Filipino food at its best! Check the next section for more of their amazing food choices.
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Festivals in Bohol
Bolibong Kingking Festival
As most festivals do, one of the famous celebrations in Bohol honor the province’s history, traditions, folklore and culture. Bolibong Kingking is dedicated to the Loboc people of Bohol and is filled with dances and music events. The festival also celebrates Our Lady of Guadalupe. In fact, one of the festivity’s highlights is the dance ritual in front of the Lady’s statue. Bolibong Kingking is celebrated in May.
Another important festival in Bohol is Ubi Festival, an event that celebrates the Ubi (or Ube) plant. It is one of Bohol’s many natural treasures, with its distinct purple color and delicious taste. This crop is often used in native Filipino delicacies like halo-halo and can also be created into candy and jam. Ubi Festival is celebrated in January and is a time for contests, exhibits and educational talks about the wonder of the Ubi plant.
As you can see, there are many places to visit in Bohol and Panglao. That’s why it is one of the most popular destinations in the Philippines. Planning to visit Bohol in your next trip to the Philippines? Tell us what you are most excited about! Or if you’ve been here and you feel we missed anything in our Bohol travel guide.
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