Apart from Boracay, Cebu, and other top beach destinations in the Philippines, Bohol is another gateway for beach lovers. Bohol is an island province located in the Central Visayas region. Bohol is known for their Chocolate Hills which is their most popular attraction. The Philippine tarsier is indigenous to the island. Diving and swimming spots are also located on the Panglao Island which is located just southwest of Tagbilaran. These are just some of the places that anyone can visit when traveling to Bohol. This post will chronicle how we enjoyed this beautiful island.
The Tagbilaran Aiport is the fastest and easiest way to reach Bohol from Manila. Multiple flights from Manila to Tagbilaran City are offered by Cebu Pacific Air, Philippine Airlines, and AirAsia Zest. We were able to secure a promo ticket during one of Cebu Pac’s seat sale.
Months before our scheduled trip, we already secured a hotel and tour package from Billabong Resort. They have arranged our pickup from the airport. It’s practical for us since we don’t need to think of the details of our trip. We made sure that we don’t have any activity planned when we arrived so we’ll have time to rest.
It was past lunchtime when we finished unpacking so we’ve decided to take a stroll and find someplace to eat. Billabong is a bit far from the beach area. We walked for a few minutes before reaching the establishments. We saw this restaurant called Alona Hidden Dream which we liked because of the ambiance and affordability of the food. The food was great and so is the staff. They were courteous and friendly.
After our meal, we went to the beach area. Some blogs compare Bohol’s coastal area on par with Boracay. Upon reaching the place, what I could say is that it’s becoming more commercialized. A lot of establishments were put up ranging from restaurants, tattoo shops, and other amenities. The sand is white but not as powdery as Boracay. The beach is also riddled with seaweeds but the view is breathtaking nonetheless.
After our picture taking and stroll by the beach, we tried the famous Bohol Bee Farm’s organic ice cream. I must say, it’s unique and delicious! When visiting Bohol, one must try this one of a kind ice cream.
Our second day is the official start of our activities. We ate our breakfast provided by Billabong. It tastes great and has big servings.
Our activity for the day was the Bohol Countryside Tour. The good thing about Bohol is that it’s not limited to just beaches. It has a rich biodiversity that any tourist can appreciate.
The first spot was the man-made forest on Bilar, Bohol. The atmosphere is very serene. It’s a good feeling that this natural wonder is a creation of man. The area has this cool breeze. Just be careful about passing vehicles.
The next stop was the world-renowned Chocolate Hills. It’s a really amazing to see these hills. When I was a kid, I always wondered how they looked like. To appreciate its beauty, we availed of the ATV to get closer to the hills. There are some stops along our way. We took some pictures and the experience was beyond awesome. The trip took around an hour. It was our first time to ride an ATV so it was really one of a kind experience.
Kuya Doro, our tour guide, was gracious enough to bring us to the view deck area. This place is situated on top of one of the hills and from here, you can see the vast expense of the whole area. You have a 360-degree view of the hills themselves.
After our Chocolate Hills encounter, we went to the Tarsier Conservation Area. Like my Chocolate Hills experience, it was also my first time to see these cute little primates. It’s really mesmerizing to think that these are monkeys by nature. They are nocturnal so most of them sleep during the day. Be sure not to wake them up when taking photos.
The next stop was the Twin Bamboo Hanging Bridge in Sevilla, Bohol. The bridge is made of bamboo and supported by metal wires. We bought some souvenirs at the shops located on the other side.
It was past 2pm already when we reached our next destination, the Loboc River Cruise. We had our lunch while we were cruising the Loboc River. It was a really great site to behold. It rained the day before so the water was a bit muddy. There are some stops during the tour where we witnessed some performances. The food was good and the whole trip was relaxing.
The next stop was the Butterfly Garden in Bilar, Bohol. Our guide was helpful in explaining the stages of a butterfly’s life. The sanctuary was home to a couple of butterfly species.
The next destination was the Baclayon Church. It was one of the world-renowned churches in the Philippines. Too bad it was one of the churches that were destroyed during the earthquake last 2013. We visited the museum and the church. Good thing that the altar was still intact.
The last stop was the Blood Compact Monument. It’s a landmark at the site of the first international treaty of friendship between Spaniards and Filipinos. Behind the monument is a magnificent view of Bohol Sea.
After our tour, we went back to our hotel. We’ve decided to go swimming at the beach. The water was relaxing and the waves have calming sound. We also took the time to take some photos.
It was a brand new day and the best way to start it is with a hefty breakfast meal. Our day would focus on the beauty of the Panglao Island.
Our first destination was the Panglao Church. Like the Baclayon Church, the Panglao Church was also destroyed by the earthquake. Renovations are being done to restore it to its former glory.
Next on our trip was the Nova Shell Museum. The museum itself was the offspring of the owner’s passion for collecting shells. Our guide was kind enough to show us around and answer any question that we may have.
The next place to visit was the Hinagdanan Cave. It is a naturally lighted cavern with a deep lagoon and many large stalactites and stalagmites. The cave is lit by sunlight which filters through holes in the ceiling. The underground lake is a popular swimming spot.
The last place we visited was the Bohol Bee Farm. The place is a well-known destination on the Panglao Island due to its use of organic materials for its products. The place has also a great view of the sea and uses great color combinations for its decorations. The good thing about this place is that they provide livelihood projects for the people of Panglao. When visiting this place, don’t forget to try their famous organic ice cream!
The trip was just a half day event. We went back to our hotel. We freshened up and when to the town center to find someplace to eat.
After our lunch, we went to the beach area. It was a sunny day and perfect for picture taking.
This day was special since this is our anniversary. We went to Sea Breeze Cafe to celebrate our anniversary with a buffet dinner. The place is one of the premier buffet places in Panglao. It is owned and managed by Hennan Resort so you can associate it with quality food and exceptional service. The food was very good and the place has great ambiance.
It was the last day of our activities on the beautiful island of Panglao. We woke up early so we can watch the dolphins. Too bad due to the bad weather on previous days, the dolphins are not around. The boatmen roamed around the area but to no avail.
We went to Balicasag Island for our activities. Be sure to have enough money on hand since they charge tourists for an entrance fee. The activities have different fees as well.
On the Balicasag Island, you can either do snorkeling or turtle watching. We opted to do snorkeling. We were ferried into the marine sanctuary. The waves are high and the boat is small. It was challenging to reach the sanctuary. The sanctuary is situated on the edge of the breakwater. There were other people in the area doing free diving and snorkeling. It was a clear sunny day so we were able to enjoy feeding the fishes.
We went back to the island to rest. We took this opportunity to stroll on the beach area and take some photos.
Our next destination was the Virgin Island. It’s a mesmerizing view. Upon reaching the place, you can appreciate the beauty of the place. There’s a small store that caters to basic needs.
We went back to Panglao Island after our trip. Too bad that was our last activity on the island and we are going home the day after. We decided to go strolling at night and enjoy the place one last time.
This is our last day and we woke up early to enjoy the last moments we had. We had a sumptuous breakfast care of Billabong. We fixed our things before heading out.
We went to the beach area to take more pictures. We also had out last ice cream from a stall of Bohol Bee Farm.
Bohol is truly a one of a kind destination. We always enjoyed beach destinations and water activities but Bohol showed us that land based wonders are also enjoyable to visit. To sum up our Bohol #ryleventures, here’s a video compilation of our trip.