Travel guide to the Philippine island of Bohol and how to visit

The Philippine island of Bohol is a unique island, characterized by its exotic landscapes such as the “Chocolate Hills” and the wild tarsiers, which are the smallest primates in the world. Bohol may not be as popular as the islands Coron or El Nido PalawanBut it’s still worth a visit.

There are a lot of good things to see and do on Bohol Island. You can go island hopping to enjoy some white-sand beaches, snorkeling, and diving, or you can take a drive into the countryside to see waterfalls, rice terraces, churches, and of course, Philippine tarsiers.

It’s relatively easy to get to Bohol Island from Cebu or Manila, and you can even visit Bohol on a day trip from Cebu and return the same day, although there are enough activities on the island to keep you busy for at least a few days. days if you have time to stay longer.

This travel guide to Bohol Philippines will explain how to get there, where to stay, what to do on the island, and everything else you need to know before you go!

Where is Bohol Island located?

Bohol Island is located in Central Visayas, Philippines, just south of Cebu City. It is about 30 kilometers from Cebu City.

How to get to Bohol Philippines

• From Manila to Bohol

Bohol International Airport is located in Panglao (code: TAG), which is also the best area for tourists to stay. There is a range of flights on this route every day, and prices are very reasonable – sometimes as low as 1,700 pesos (US$30) for a one-way ticket!

If you have a choice, I would choose Philippine Airlines because they have the best service, but other airlines are good too.

• From Cebu to Bohol

From Cebu, you can reach Bohol by fast ferry Oceangate or Super Cat. The boats are relatively safe and comfortable, and the trip takes about two hours. Keep in mind that ferries may be canceled if the weather is inclement.

The Cebu Ferry Terminal is located a short distance from downtown Cebu City and is easy to reach by taxi. There are plenty of ferry crossings every day, so you can choose the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Prices are very reasonable at 900 pesos (US$16) for a one-way ticket, and there is a small station fee to pay as well. It’s a good idea to book your ticket in advance, so you can save time at the ferry terminal and guarantee your place on the boat.

There are even Day Tours to Bohol from Cebu Which include transportation from the hotel, ferry tickets, and visiting many tourist attractions on Bohol Island. This can be a good option if you are short on time and want an easy way to see some of Bohol’s main landmarks.

• From other places

You can also reach Bohol by ferry from other nearby islands in the Philippines such as Siquijor, Dumaguete or Camiguin.

Last but not least, there are direct flights to Bohol from Davao (DVO) or Nest (ENI) in the Philippines, or from Seoul-Incheon (ICN) in South Korea.

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How to get to Bohol Island

The best way to get around Bohol Island is by car, motorbike, or tuk-tuk (motorized tricycle).

Motorcycle is the cheapest means of transportation, and you can easily rent a bike from your home Hotel in Bohol Or one of the motorcycle rental shops on the island.

Tricycles are an intermediate option. They are a little safer and more comfortable than motorcycles, but still very cheap. You can hail a tricycle taxi on the road, or ask the hotel to call you.

A car is the most expensive way to get around Bohol, but it is still very economical if you share it with a group of friends. It is also the safest and most comfortable way to explore the island. For long trips, this is the way to go.

Klok has a Private car charter For Bohol, you can hire a local driver with a car or minivan for up to 8 hours of driving around the island. They have it too Airport transfers Drive to Panglao and other areas of Bohol.

Last but not least, another way to get around Bohol is to join a group tour. Kluk did Bohol countryside tours And Island hopping tours Very affordable, especially if you are a solo traveler.

One thing to keep in mind is that although the tours are fun, you don’t see the real countryside of Bohol, just the more popular sights.

I still think the tours are worth doing, but if you want to see the beauty of Bohol, you should rent a motorbike or Hire a private driver And go further afield like the Kadabdapan Rice Terraces and Can Omantad Falls. Even the drive there is incredibly scenic and worthwhile!

Best things to do in Bohol Philippines

• Chocolate Hills

The Chocolate Hills are one of the most famous tourist attractions in Bohol, Philippines! There are more than 1,000 of these cone-shaped hills dotting the interior of the island, and they must be one of the most unusual landscapes in Southeast Asia.

You can see the brown color of the hills in the dry season (January to May), but I prefer the green color during the rainy season months (June to December). Either way, this is one of the best things to do on Bohol Island.

There is a platform you can climb to enjoy panoramic views of the hills, and it also offers some tourist activities such as ATVs and zip lines. Chocolate Hills is located in downtown Bohol, about an hour and a half drive from Panglao City.

• Philippine Tarsiers

Bohol is famous for being the home of Filipino tarsiers. These little insect-eyed animals are the smallest primates in the world.

There are two main places to see tarsiers in Bohol: the Philippine Tarsier Reserve Or the Bohol Tarsier Conservation Area.

In the protected area, it was disappointing to see crowds of noisy tourists acting disrespectfully and ignoring signs to keep the peace.

• Lobbock River

The Lubbock River is another popular place to visit along the way Bohol countryside tour. For this trip, you’ll hop on a scenic boat cruise along the river, and enjoy a buffet meal and a Filipino cultural dance.

When I saw the crowds and long lines to get into the boats, I was worried that this might turn into a pointless tourist trap, but the boat ride was really fun. The meal was a little pricey, at 850 pesos, but all the food was fresh and good, and I came back for seconds and thirds.

The tropical views along the river get better as you go, where steep mountains and palm trees line the banks. Overall, it was a beautiful experience and a fun memory from my trip to Bohol, Philippines!

• Alona Beach

Alona Beach is the main tourist beach in Bohol and has many beaches HotelsBars, restaurants, massage places, and souvenir shops.

You can relax on the beach or practice water sports, and it is also a beautiful beach to watch the sunrise or sunset. Street vendors can be a bit annoying, but if you ignore them they will disappear.

I wouldn’t say Alona is a very special beach compared to some other great beaches in the Philippines, but it’s worth a visit!

• Visit the beach

Dumaluan Beach is a nicer and quieter alternative to Alona. It’s cleaner, and less sophisticated, and not many people know about it. There is also an entrance fee to go to the beach, which keeps some of the crowds away.

For nice places to stay in Dumaloan, check out South Palms Resort or Bohol Beach Club. They are nice hotels, despite their high prices.

• Balikasag Island

There are many places you can visit on Balikasag Island and Bohol island hopping tours. It is a circle-shaped island located not far southwest of Bohol.

We spent two and a half hours walking around the island, soaking up the sun on the beach, and snorkeling in the coral reef, where you can swim with sea turtles. This is a fun island that you can visit on a day trip from Bohol, Philippines!

Balikasag is a busy island with a lot of boats on the beach, but you can find quiet areas if you look around. There are also restaurants, bathrooms, and other basic accommodations. It’s a one-hour boat ride to Balicasag from Alona Beach.

• A land where no human beings have set foot

Virgin Island is a natural sandbar and is usually the second place you stop for Bohol island hopping tours. It’s only a 30-minute boat ride from Alona Beach or Balikasag Island, so it’s easy to get to, although you have to go at low tide to see the sandbar.

This isn’t a “virgin” island as there are boats over it every day, and I’ve seen much nicer sandbars in the Philippines. This also has a lot of seaweed which tends to spoil the beach view a bit.

Despite these things, Virgin Island is still worth a visit in my opinion, but don’t expect anything too spectacular. We stayed there for 30 minutes, and that was enough. If you’re lucky, you might see some starfish lurking in the shallow water here.

• Pahangog Falls

Pahangog Falls is a beautiful turquoise waterfall located in the southern part of Bohol Island, about an hour and a half drive from the Panglao tourist area.

Also known as Dimiao Twin Falls, this spot probably wins the award for the most beautiful waterfall in Bohol, in my opinion. The water is a bright turquoise color and is good for swimming if you want to relax.

No guide is needed for Pahangog, but it may be helpful. From the parking area, the walk to the falls takes about 15-30 minutes depending on your pace, although the return is a little slower as it is uphill.

If you feel overwhelmed, there are friendly drink vendors up and down the hill. We saw a little litter, but not much. Overall, this waterfall is a nice hidden gem that the main Bohol tours don’t visit!

• Kadabdaban rice terraces

There are rice terraces all over the island of Bohol, but probably the most stunning terraces to see are the terraces at Cadabdaban. These are almost as beautiful as some of the rice terraces in the Bali!

The only drawback is the distance. From Panglao, the Kadabdapan Rice Terraces are at least a 2.5-hour drive away, and there are no group tours that arrive here yet, so you’ll have to drive yourself or Hire a private driver (Additional fees will apply due to distance).

• Can Omantad Falls

Can Umantad Waterfall is the tallest waterfall in Bohol and is located just a short distance from the Cadaptaban Rice Terraces.

You can reach it via a path that leads down from the terraces. The best place to park your car or bike is Eleuterio Restaurant. From here, you can see the rice terraces and then go down to the waterfall in about 15 minutes.

Kan-Umantad Falls is a beautiful two-step waterfall with a turquoise pool where you can swim down the waterfall. There are also small beverage kiosks where you can buy fresh coconut juice and other refreshments. It is one of the best waterfalls in Bohol!

• Pamilkan Island

Pamilacan is another beautiful little island south of Bohol. This beach has a white sand beach and a circular shape like Balicasag Island, but Pamilakan is quieter and less crowded.

Compared to Balikasag, Pamilakan Island is not very often visited by tourists, so it can be a little difficult to find a boat to share. but, GetYourGuide has a highly rated Pamilacan tour that Includes dolphin watching, lunch, and snorkeling with sea turtles.

I have used this tour myself and it was a good experience. The boat ride to Pamilacan takes only about one hour from Panglao or mainland Bohol.

Map of things to do in Bohol Philippines

Here’s a map of some of the best things to do in Bohol Philippines, which you can use to plan your island trip.

You can click on the icons to get more information about each place, but keep in mind that some locations may be approximate.

The best beaches in Bohol

There are a bunch of beautiful white sand beaches in Bohol. The most popular is Alona Beach, which is a good beach, but also very crowded and commercialized, with a lot of touristy hotels and restaurants.

For a slightly less crowded alternative with beautiful scenery, visit Dumaluan Beach, located just a 15-minute drive from Alona. There is an entrance fee to the beach, but it is clean and nice.

Another good place is Anda White Beach, which is located on the far eastern side of Bohol, about 3 hours from Panglao and Tagbilaran. It’s a less touristy area, but you can get there by truck or bus from Dau Station in Tagbilaran.

How long to stay in Bohol Philippines

You can see the highlights of Bohol in just two or three days, although you can easily stay longer.

My first impression of Bohol was that there might not be much to do, but after expanding and seeing more of the countryside, I realized that this island is really beautiful.

If you enjoy the Philippines, you could spend weeks exploring Bohol. There are so many things to see and do when you get off the beaten track.

Bohol itinerary

If you spent three days in Bohol, here’s what your itinerary could look like:

  • Day 1. A tour of the countryside. You can spend a full day seeing the most famous places in Bohol Philippines, such as the Chocolate Hills and the Tarsiers, then take a boat cruise and buffet dinner on the Loboc River.
  • the second day. Dream Island. Visit Balikasag Island, see the beach, and do some snorkeling, then visit the sandbar on Virgin Island.
  • Day 3. Spend the day relaxing at Alona Beach or Dumaluan Beach, or go see some of Bohol’s more remote sights, like the Cadadaban Rice Terraces and Can Umantad Falls.

Best time to visit Bohol Philippines

In terms of weather, the best time to visit Bohol is during the dry season (January to May), when it is less rainy and more sunny. However, these months are also busier with tourists, so there is a bit of a trade-off.

During the rainy season (June to December), Bohol experiences more rain and clouds, but the bulk of the rain often falls in the evening or at night. I traveled to Bohol in the rainy season and it did not affect my trip at all.

Of course, there are no guarantees that the weather will be nice in either season, but Bohol seems to be blessed with good weather more often than not! In conclusion, there is no bad time to visit Bohol in my opinion.

Best Bohol Tour Deals

For day tours in Bohol, I used Klook. They have high grades Bohol countryside tours And Island hopping tours at Very affordable prices, as they offer Private car charters, ferriesAnd Airport transfers In Bohol.

We’ve used the Klook on a lot of tours and activities around the world, and it’s great. Highly recommended!

Other tips for Bohol Island

  • Where to stay. If you want an upscale beachfront hotel, check out South Palms Resort. For the medium term, there is the Northern resort On Alona Beach. For something budget-friendly, check out Green Area.
  • Where do you eat? Many good restaurants in Bohol cater to different tastes. Some recommendations will be Swallow Restaurant (Asian), Red Pepper (beachfront), and Mahalo Restaurant On the Table.
  • Mosquitoes. I saw a few mosquitoes in Panglao and Bohol, but overall it wasn’t a big problem. According to the Philippine Department of HealthBohol is a malaria-free province, and preventive treatment is not recommended here. However, there is some risk of contracting dengue fever, so it is still a good idea to wear mosquito repellent when outside.
  • Cell service. I had good reception and data speeds with Globe in most parts of the island.
  • Wifi. The Internet situation in Bohol is improving rapidly, and nowadays you can find fast WiFi even in many cheap hotels and hostels.

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