Bohol Travel Blog› entry 3 of 33 › view all entries
Voted many times by the Phil Tourism Board as top tourist destination in the Philippines.
White sand beaches, caves, coral reefs,dolphin and whale watching, THE CHOCOLATE HILLS, mangrove forests, the tarsier sanctuary, waterfalls, island hopping, centuries-old Spanish churches, are among the numerous sites that can be seen and explored in this tropical paradise located in the central island group of the Philippine archipelago.
When I toured Bohol island province, I stayed at a hotel in the capital city of Tagbilaran. (Bohol Tropics Hotel) My friends and I traveled from Cebu City which is just an hour by ferry. There are fastcraft ferry boats that leave Cebu port to Bohol and back from 6 am to 7 pm. From Manila, there are direct flights daily to Tagbilaran City. Upon reaching the wharf at Tagbilaran, cars and vans for rent are waiting at the parking area adjacent to the port exit. from there you can hire a car or van that would take you to all the tourist spots in Bohol: Chocolate Hills, Baclayon(church and museum), Loboc River & tarsier sanctuary, Chocolate Hills, Panglao Island beach, etc.
We spent one day touring the island, then stayed at Tagbilaran for the night. The next day, we went to Panglao island at Bohol Beach Club and spent the whole day snorkeling and swimming. We had lunch at the Beach Club Restaurant. The P500.00 per head that we paid as entrance fee included lunch. There are various hotels in Panglao Island where you can stay overnight. I can say that I prefer the beaches at Panglao compared to Boracay but I miss the beach party vibe in Boracay specially when night comes. One of my best diving and snorkeling spots in the Philippines is Bohol.
I've been to Bohol around five time already because I love the beaches at Panglao. The whole Island province is clean, laidback, very relaxing, not crowded, very friendly people, very low crime rate municipalities, and lots of fresh seafood. I'm going back there again... anytime soon.
AN ARTICLE FEATURE ON BOHOL FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES:
In the Philippines, Chocolate Hills, Tiny Primates
NOBODY is certain why the explorer Magellan went out of his way to visit the Philippines. Before he could record his memoirs, he was killed on the tiny island of Mactan in 1521
But that may not last. Over the last five years, this lush island — reachable by ferry from Cebu City (about 90 minutes) and domestic flights — has been grooming itself as a major ecotourism destination, with several new resorts that are beginning to attract snorkelers, divers and nature lovers.
The new resorts are clustered along Alona Beach, a spit of sparkling white sand surrounded by crystal-blue waters and a colorful coral shelf.
For those who don't need satellite television, there are still plenty of simple beachfront lodges like Isis Bungalows (Alona Beach, 63-38-502-9292, www.isisbungalows.com). Each room has its own terrace facing the sea, and a modestly priced restaurant serves Filipino dishes like spicy beef caldereta right on the beach. Rooms start at $38.
But even when the new resorts are filled to capacity, the beaches never feel crowded. Maybe that's because everyone is in the water. A spectacular coral shelf, which plunges 250 feet in some spots, is about 45 minutes by boat from Alona Beach. Snorkelers can view clown fish, barracudas and other species at the shelf's shallower plateaus.
Diving gear and classes are available all over Alona Beach. One outfitter is Philippine Islands Divers (Alona Beach, Danao, 63-918-335-0842, www.phildivers.com), which offers diving trips starting at $22 for a descent. Snorkel equipment, on the other hand, can be rented from locals, who paddle out to your boat (about 200 pesos, or $3.80, at 55 pesos to the dollar). But tread carefully: the reef is recovering from decades of destructive fishing practices.
Bohol is also excellent for watching dolphins. Some resorts offer their own guided tours, but you can also hire a captain on the beach for as little as 450 pesos.
After exploring the coastline, head inland for the thick jungles, home to the tarsier, a tiny, rare and endangered primate. Nuts Huts Resort (63-920-846-9162, www.groove-events.be/nutshuts), an affordable ecolodge, is located upriver from Loboc City. Even if you don't spend the night, stop by for the fresh food and stunning view from its dining terrace.
No trip to Bohol, however, is complete without visiting the Chocolate Hills. One glimpse is enough to see why: It's a landscape as distinctive as the Grand Canyon or the Cliffs of Moher.
Go during the late afternoon and watch the sun set over more than 1,200 gumdrop-shaped hills, each formed by eons of coral buildup and erosion. Squint your eyes when the wind rustles their brown, grassy surfaces. You'll swear they are floating.