Dead explorers, chocolate hills & underwater cathedrals

Bohol Travel Blog

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Bohol - Tarsier monkey #3, both blue and brown eyes.

I took a flight to Cebu in the Visayas part of the Philippines and spent 1 day on nearby Mactan island, site of Magellans demise when he landed on the beach and he and his 50 odd conquistadores were cut to pieces by the local chieftain Lapu Lapu who wasn't too impressed by the Europeans hi tech arms (sounds familiar...).

Then on to Bohol, a 2 hour ferry ride away (here history took another turn as the explorer Legazpi entered in a blood compact with the local ruler). Bohol is famous for it's chocolate hills, a freakish natural fenomenon that caused an amazing series of small hills to jut out from the landscape.

Mactan - Statue of Lapu Lapu on the sight where his army ended Magellans ambitions
They're called chocolate hills because of the brownish color of the grass on its slopes in the dry season.

I spent a few days on Alona beach, a resorty area on Panglao island with a nice white sandy beach. It's a popular place and the prices there are even higher then in Boracay (which is supposed to be the Philippines' "riviera"). There's some good diving around the island of Balicasag off Panglao island (which is connected to Bohol island to make things complicated), specially the site called 'Cathedral'. It's a stunning wall with overhanging rock formations at the top and some beautiful marine life. It seems I'm getting a feel for finding turtles as this was the 3rd time I spotted one in places were divemasters kept telling me there weren't any. It was on the small side as all turtles I've seen in the Philippines but still, it's always a beautiful sight to see them swim. I had a trio of remoras following me for 30 minutes and skirting all over my legs, trying to suck on to my wetsuit in vain. Cool!! A great opportunity to see them up close and personal, they're really elegant fish with a rubbery spot on their back they use to suck on to sharks and whales.

 

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Bohol - Tarsier monkey #3, both bl…
Bohol - Tarsier monkey #3, both b…
Mactan - Statue of Lapu Lapu on th…
Mactan - Statue of Lapu Lapu on t…
Mactan - tip of the island
Mactan - tip of the island
Mactan - splurging a night at the …
Mactan - splurging a night at the…
Mactan - Hilton #2
Mactan - Hilton #2
Mactan - Hilton #3
Mactan - Hilton #3
Mactan - Lapu Lapu
Mactan - Lapu Lapu
Mactan - Artists impression of Ma…
Mactan - Artist's impression of M…
A cheerful message on the ferry to…
A cheerful message on the ferry t…
Bohol - big @ss gecko!
Bohol - big @ss gecko!
Bohol - Bohol Divers Resort
Bohol - Bohol Divers Resort
Bohol - the good life
Bohol - the good life
Bohol - chocolate hills #1
Bohol - chocolate hills #1
Bohol - chocolate hills #2
Bohol - chocolate hills #2
Bohol - river lunch cruise
Bohol - river lunch cruise
Bohol - entertainment during the l…
Bohol - entertainment during the …
Bohol - Weng Weng sleeping in his …
Bohol - Weng Weng sleeping in his…
Bohol - Tarsier monkey, Yodas cou…
Bohol - Tarsier monkey, Yoda's co…
Bohol - Tarsier monkeys #2
Bohol - Tarsier monkeys #2
Bohol - Sloth
Bohol - Sloth
Bohol - the oldest church #1
Bohol - the oldest church #1
Bohol - the oldest church #2
Bohol - the oldest church #2
Bohol - site of the blood compact …
Bohol - site of the blood compact…
Bohol - site of the blood compact …
Bohol - site of the blood compact…
Bohol - dive boats at Balicasag is…
Bohol - dive boats at Balicasag i…
Bohol - kids hanging on to the out…
Bohol - kids hanging on to the ou…
Bohol
photo by: ted332