Bohol is one of the nicest and most well rounded tourist destinations to visit in the Philippines. The island of Bohol is one of the bigger islands in the Visayas, the Philippine’s central group of Islands, and it is the tenth largest island in the Philippines. There are 72 smaller islands that surround the main island and all together, the Bohol island province makes up 4117 square kilometers. Tourism and Agriculture are the islands primary economic sources.
The oval shaped island of Bohol has everything one could want in a tropical island paradise. Thanks to its natural resources, Bohol has been referred to as the “Jewel of the Philippines”.
Bohol’s coast is dotted with pristine white sandy beaches. The quality of sand in Bohol is such that it has been imported to beaches around the world.
Whether one wants to dolphin watch, dive, lay out on a white sandy beach, visit the world’s tiniest monkeys or take in breathtaking sites, Bohol has it all.
Main Tourist Attractions of Bohol
The Chocolate Hills – Along with the Tarsier conservatory and “Man Made Forests”, this is a must see on your vacation to Bohol. It is certainly one of the Philippines most spectacular landscapes in the Philippines. There are 1268 hills, most of which reach 40 meters high or taller. It is said they were formed during the ice ages when the island was submerged and coral formed. While they are green a large part of the year, during the dry season, the grass becomes brown, thus giving them the name, Chocolate Hills.
Tarsier Conservatory – As one of the world’s smallest monkeys, the Philippines tarsiers (known locally as kupals) are another big tourist draw for Bohol. These little guys are super cute and at the conservatory, tourists are guided through a nature path where guides will point out the different tarsiers in the trees and you can typically get a picture (no flash of course) at the end of the tour.
The Tropical Rain Forest/Man Made Forest – The ‘man-made’ forest was so named because decades ago, residents of Bohol meticulously planted mahogany trees on over 800 hectares of land. It runs along a two mile stretch of highway where tourists often stop to take photographs.
The Beaches of Bohol – As mentioned earlier, Bohol is home to some of the most pristine, white sand beaches in the world. Alona is one of the most popular areas where many tourists stay in nice hotels.
Island Hopping – As with most Philippine’s cities and tourist spots, the activity of “island hopping” means going around in a boat (most hotels usually have several to many) visiting the different Islands. The main island of Bohol is surrounded by 72 different smaller islands. Many popular island hopping that starts in the popular Alona Beach area will take visitors to the nearby Balicasag Island, a small almost circular, flat island approximately 25 hectares in area where one can swim, snorkel and relax. You will be able to eat there and typically you will then cruise over to “ Virgin Island “, which is literally a tropical oasis that at low tide reveals a beautiful white powdery sand bar leading to the Island itself.
Dolphin Watching – Most hotels will tell you about this in your possible island hopping adventures. You can get up early in the morning and take a boat out to watch the dolphins of Bohol.
Spelunking/Cave Exploration – While Bohol may get a lot of its praise for its pristine beaches, limestone formations and its interesting flora and fauna, it is also a huge draw for cave exploration enthusiasts. Bohol, which literally translates to “the hole” has more than a thousand caves, the biggest of which can be found in the eastern part of the island. There is much beauty to be found in caves and the formations under the earth. When in Bohol, if you have time, this should not be missed off of your list!
Night Life – Of you’re staying near Alona, there is a long area of restaurants where you can eat great food and listen to live music. Since it caters to a lot of foreigners, you’re sure to find just about any cuisine you seek.
Transportation and Hotels
Getting to Bohol from Cebu (or nearby large islands with airports) is fairly easy and the most convenient way is by taking a fast ferry. These quick boats offer a high speed passenger service, in these large catamaran type motorboats which are typically built in Denmark or Singapore or. Usually, you can make it to Bohol in under two hours and food and refreshments are served on the boat. It’s quite like an airplane cabin or perhaps a train cabin. Once you arrive, taxis and car rentals are available to take you to your destination.
One can either rent a car or motorbike for exploring the attractions yourself or you can also hire a car and driver for the day relatively inexpensively.