Are you wondering what are the best things to do in Bohol? Bohol has been widely associated with the Chocolate Hills – all 1700+ of them – and we couldn’t blame the world. How can these seemingly small lumps of nature not be man-made, and how do they strikingly turn brown when summer ends? Fascinating, indeed! However, there is more to Bohol than this famous tourist destination.
By area, Bohol is the 10th largest in the Philippines. If your idea of a fun adventure consists of vast nature, traditional food, and ancestral houses, this province has a lot to offer you.
You can mix in a little of everything in your Bohol itinerary and have a taste of each aspect that makes this place popular with foreigners and locals alike. Wake up early in the morning, hop on a small boat, and head towards one of the islands that is home to pristine beaches and tranquil spots. Enjoy a meal of fresh seafood, fruits in season, and staple delicacies. Finish the day with the sun setting over a glorious landscape, with a drink on hand because… why not?
In 2018, the Bohol-Panglao International Airport is aimed to get you to this piece of paradise with more convenience and comfort than in the past. It is also good to know that the airport, dubbed as the Green Gateway to the World, is the first green airport in the country.
With the help of the Japanese government, the Philippines constructed an eco-airport that makes use of solar energy and natural ventilation. That’s a big step to making Mother Nature proud! Ready to see what we’re talking about?
Read more: 10 Best Places to Visit in the Philippines
Here are the Best Things to Do in Bohol, Philippines:
RECOMMENDED TOUR IN BOHOL, PHILIPPINES
✅ Admission to attractions
✅ Round-trip transfers to and from your hotel
✅ Insurance provided by the operator
✅ Hotel pick up and drop off within Panglao are Tagbilaran
✅ Private transportation and shared Loboc River Cruise
✅ Bottled water
✅ Local driver guide
✅ Entrance fees to Corella Tarsier Sanctuary, Loboc River, and Chocolate Hills
CHECK RATES AND AVAILABILITY HERE
1. Loboc River
📍Address: Loboc, Bohol, Philippines
🎟️Find Tickets – Book in Advance: Chocolate Hills tour with Tarsier & Loboc River Buffet Lunch (half-day tour)
🌟 Ratings: 5 / 5
The Loboc River Cruise should definitely be on your list when visiting Bohol. Picture yourself on a floating restaurant, cruising along the serene waters of the Loboc River, surrounded by the greenery and the sounds of the flowing water. This peaceful experience usually lasts for an hour, giving you plenty of time to absorb the breathtaking views and savor a delicious buffet of local dishes.
As you leisurely glide down the Loboc River, you’ll witness an amazing display of genuine Boholano culture. Talented local performers, adorned in traditional costumes, will captivate you with their melodious songs and lively dances. In some cruise, there is a spirited performance of “Tinikling,” a well-known Filipino folk dance. The dancers’ energy and smiles will create lasting memories of Bohol’s vibrant cultural heritage.
If you’re up for a more hands-on adventure, the Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) tour is a fantastic alternative to the traditional river cruise. Paddle along the Loboc River and pass by the local villages, historical churches, and awe-inspiring waterfalls, all while getting in a great workout. The SUP tour welcomes beginners and seasoned paddlers alike, and the friendly guides make sure you have a safe and enjoyable time on the water.
2. Chocolate Hills
📍Address: Chocolate Hills Complex, Loay Interior Road, Carmen, Bohol, Philippines
🎟️Find Tickets – Book in Advance: Bohol Highlights Tour: Chocolate Hills, Tarsier Spotting, and Loboc River Cruise
🌟 Ratings: 5 / 5
The Chocolate Hills, named for their cocoa-brown hue during the dry season, are a sight to behold. Over 1,200 unique, cone-shaped hills stretch across 50 square kilometers, creating a surreal, almost otherworldly landscape. What’s fascinating is that these hills are not man-made! They’re natural formations of grass-covered limestone that have been shaped by centuries of erosion. No kidding, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a dream as you gaze upon this stunning natural wonder.
The Chocolate Hills are shrouded in mystery and local legends. One popular tale tells the story of two feuding giants who hurled rocks and sand at each other for days. They eventually made peace when they got tired, leaving behind the scattered mounds that now known as the Chocolate Hills. Another legend claims that the hills were formed from the tears of a heartbroken giant who fell in love with a mortal woman.
To truly appreciate the beauty of the Chocolate Hills, you’ll want to visit the designated viewing decks. The most popular spot is the Chocolate Hills Complex in Carmen, which offers a panoramic vista of the hills from a 360-degree viewing deck. Here, you can also see some locals offering an authentic Boholano massage. Alternatively, you can visit Sagbayan Peak. It also provides a stunning view of the hills.
3. Tarsier Conservation Area
📍Address: Bohol Tarsier Conservation Area, Bilar, 6317 Bohol, Philippines
🎟️Find Tickets – Book in Advance: Bohol Highlights Tour: Chocolate Hills, Tarsier Spotting, and Loboc River Cruise
🌟 Ratings: 5 / 5
The Tarsier Conservation Area is dedicated to protecting and preserving the Philippine tarsier, a unique and adorable creature that has captured the hearts of both locals and tourists. With their big, round eyes and tiny bodies, these little primates can easily fit in the palm of your hand. But don’t let their size fool you; they’re skilled jumpers and can leap up to 3 meters in a single bound!
The Tarsier Conservation Area was established to provide a safe and protected environment for these endangered animals. The sanctuary covers an area of 8.4 hectares and is managed by the Philippine Tarsier Foundation. It serves not only as a refuge for the tarsiers but also as a research and education center to help ensure their survival.
When visiting the Tarsier Conservation Area, it’s important to be a responsible tourist. Tarsiers are sensitive creatures that can become stressed by loud noises and human contact. To ensure their well-being, make sure to follow the sanctuary’s guidelines, which include keeping a respectful distance, speaking softly, and not using flash photography.
4. Bilar Man-Made Forest
The Bilar Man-Made Forest is a 2-kilometer stretch of densely planted mahogany trees that form a vibrant green canopy over the road. The moment you enter the forest, you’ll notice a refreshing drop in temperature, as the thick foliage provides a natural shade from the tropical sun. The atmosphere is cool, quiet, and peaceful, making it an ideal place for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing break from your sightseeing.
What makes the Bilar Man-Made Forest truly remarkable is that it’s a successful reforestation project initiated by the locals in the 1950s. The aim was to address the problem of deforestation in the area and provide a sustainable source of lumber. Today, the forest stands as a testament to the power of community-driven environmental initiatives, demonstrating how human efforts can create a positive impact on nature.
The Bilar Man-Made Forest is a haven for photographers, as its stunning green tunnel provides a unique and breathtaking backdrop for pictures. Just be prepared to exercise a bit of patience, as the road can get busy with other travelers looking to snap their perfect shot.
5. Baclayon Church
Built in 1596, Baclayon Church, also known as the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, is one of the oldest and best-preserved churches in the Philippines. This stunning stone church is a testament to the island’s rich Spanish colonial history and offers a fascinating insight into the lives of the people who once worshiped here.
The architecture of Baclayon Church is a sight to behold, as it features a unique blend of Spanish, native Filipino, and even Chinese influences. The church is made from coral stones and egg whites, which were used as mortar to hold the stones together – a remarkable construction technique that has withstood the test of time. The façade of the church showcases intricate carvings and details, while the interior boasts beautiful ceiling paintings and religious statues, making it a must-visit for architecture enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
Located within the church complex, the Baclayon Museum is home to an impressive collection of religious artifacts, antique furniture, and historical documents dating back to the 16th century. Here, you’ll find priceless treasures, such as the oldest Filipino-made ivory statue of the Crucified Christ and an ancient hymnal written in Latin on sheepskin.
In 2013, Baclayon Church was severely damaged by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. However, the church’s restoration and reopening in 2017 serve as a symbol of the resilience and faith of the Boholano people. Today, you can once again admire the church’s restored beauty, bearing witness to the incredible efforts made to preserve this precious piece of history for future generations.
6. Hinagdanan Cave
Hinagdanan Cave is a hidden gem that invites you to step into an enchanting underground realm. The cave, formed by centuries of water erosion, boasts stalactite and stalagmite formations that will leave you in awe of nature’s artistic prowess. As you descend the limestone steps into the cave, you’ll be greeted by a sense of wonder and curiosity.
At the heart of Hinagdanan Cave lies a clear, freshwater pool that tempt you to take a refreshing dip. The pool, fed by natural springs, maintains a comfortable temperature, making it perfect for a leisurely swim or a quick escape from the tropical heat. As you float in the pool, take a moment to appreciate ambiance and wonder at the beauty of the cave’s impressive rock formations.
One of Hinagdanan Cave’s most loved feature is the natural skylights that allow rays of sunlight to filter through, casting an ethereal glow on the cave walls and water below. These openings create a magical atmosphere and provide just enough light for you to navigate the cave safely.
When visiting Hinagdanan Cave, it’s essential to wear sturdy, non-slip footwear, as the steps and cave floor can be slippery. Don’t forget your swimsuit if you plan on taking a dip in the cave pool, and consider bringing a waterproof bag to keep your belongings safe and dry. There is a small entrance fee to access the cave, and it’s open daily from 7:30 am to 5 pm.
7. Enjoy the Beaches of Bohol and Panglao islands
No trip to Bohol would be complete without spending some quality time on its stunning beaches.
Located on Panglao Island, Alona Beach is famous for its vibrant atmosphere and crystal-clear waters. This 1.5-kilometer stretch of powdery white sand is lined with lively bars, restaurants, and beachfront resorts, making it the perfect destination for those seeking fun and excitement. Whether you want to try your hand at water sports, indulge in a beachside massage, or simply soak up the sun, Alona Beach offers endless opportunities for enjoyment.
White Sand Bar of Pungtud Island
For a more tranquil and secluded beach experience, head to the White Sand Bar of Pungtud Island, also known as Virgin Island. This crescent-shaped sandbar is surrounded by turquoise waters and offers a serene escape from the crowds. With its pristine sand, crystal-clear waters, and abundant marine life, the White Sand Bar is a dream come true for beach lovers, snorkelers, and those seeking a little slice of heaven.
If you’re traveling with family or looking for a more laid-back beach experience, Dumaluan Beach is the perfect spot. This wide, sandy beach boasts calmer waters, making it ideal for swimming and paddling with the little ones. The beach is also lined with coconut trees, providing much-needed shade during the hottest parts of the day. With its peaceful ambiance, Dumaluan Beach is the perfect place to relax, unwind, and enjoy the simple pleasures of beach life.
8. Blood Compact Shrine
Immerse yourself in the rich history of Bohol by paying a visit to the Blood Compact Shrine, a
The Blood Compact Shrine commemorates the historic “Sandugo” or blood compact ceremony that took place between the Spanish explorer, Miguel López de Legazpi, and Datu Sikatuna, a native chieftain of Bohol.
This significant event, which occurred on March 16, 1565, symbolized the first treaty of friendship and alliance between the Spaniards and the Filipinos. The blood compact involved both leaders drinking a mixture of their own blood and wine, solidifying their bond and paving the way for centuries of Spanish influence in the Philippines.
Standing proudly on a raised platform, the Blood Compact Shrine features a captivating bronze sculpture created by renowned Filipino artist, Napoleon Abueva. The life-sized statue depicts Legazpi, Sikatuna, and several witnesses participating in the historic ceremony. As you admire the intricate details of the sculpture, take a moment to appreciate the skill and craftsmanship that went into its creation.
Aside from its historical significance, the Blood Compact Shrine also boasts a stunning location overlooking the azure waters of Bohol Sea. The panoramic views of the coastline and the lush, rolling hills in the distance provide a picturesque backdrop for the monument, making it an excellent spot for capturing memorable photos.
9. Lamanok Island
Nestled along the Anda coastline on Bohol’s eastern side, Lamanok Island is home to a series of fascinating caves that hold the secrets of the island’s ancient past. As you venture into these mysterious caverns, you’ll come across remarkable fossils, including the remains of giant clams and other prehistoric marine life. These remnants of a bygone era offer a tantalizing glimpse into the rich natural history of Bohol.
Ancient Artwork on the Walls
One of the most captivating features of Lamanok Island is the prehistoric artwork that adorns the walls of its caves. These intriguing red-hued drawings, believed to have been created by early settlers thousands of years ago, depict various animals, human figures, and geometric patterns. As you marvel at these ancient masterpieces, you’ll be transported back in time, connecting with the island’s first inhabitants and their way of life.
Exploring Lamanok Island
To fully appreciate the wonders of Lamanok Island, it’s best to join a guided tour. Knowledgeable local guides will lead you through the island’s caves, sharing fascinating insights into the history, culture, and folklore of the area. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn about the island’s unique ecosystem and the efforts being made to preserve and protect its natural beauty.
10. Enjoy the waterfalls
Nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike will delight in the spectacular waterfalls that Bohol has to offer.
Nestled deep within the lush forests of Dimiao, Pahangog Falls is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered. This enchanting two-tiered waterfall features crystal-clear waters that cascade down 20 meters into a refreshing natural pool. A short hike through the jungle rewards you with this serene oasis where you can swim, picnic, or simply bask in the tranquility of your surroundings.
Ingkumhan Falls, located in the town of Dimiao, offers a relaxing retreat from the bustling tourist hotspots. This charming waterfall boasts a gentle cascade that flows into a shallow pool, creating the perfect spot for a leisurely dip. The unique feature of Ingkumhan Falls is its natural slide, where visitors can glide down smooth rocks into the refreshing waters below. It’s an experience that’s both fun and invigorating!
For a more adrenaline-pumping experience, head to Kawasan Falls in the municipality of Candijay. This spectacular waterfall features a powerful cascade that plummets 20 meters into a deep turquoise pool. Surrounded by verdant cliffs, Kawasan Falls offers an exhilarating adventure for those who dare to jump from the rocks into the inviting waters below. Just be sure to exercise caution and follow any safety guidelines provided by local guides.
11. Danao Adventure Park
If you’re craving an adrenaline rush amidst the natural beauty of Bohol, look no further than Danao Adventure Park.
One of the park’s most popular attractions is the zipline, which sends you soaring across a 400-meter-long cable above the stunning Wahig River. As you zip through the air, you’ll be treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the river, lush forests, and dramatic cliffs below. This exhilarating experience is perfect for thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike.
For those who prefer their adrenaline rush on the ground, the park’s plunge attraction is a must-try. This 75-meter-high canyon swing sends you hurtling through the air in a heart-pounding freefall before you’re caught by the harness and gently swing back and forth above the canyon floor.
Danao Adventure Park also offers guided river trekking and cliff jumping excursions for those looking to immerse themselves in the park’s natural beauty. You’ll hike along the scenic Wahig River, taking in the lush vegetation and stunning rock formations. For an extra dose of excitement, you can leap off cliffs into the crystal-clear waters below. Just be sure to follow your guide’s instructions and always prioritize safety.
12. National Museum of Bohol
For history buffs and curious travelers alike, the National Museum of Bohol is a must-visit destination that offers a fascinating glimpse into the island’s rich past.
The National Museum of Bohol takes visitors on a journey through the island’s storied past, from prehistoric times to the present day. As you wander through the museum’s halls, you’ll encounter exhibits on the island’s geology, archeology, and ethnography, as well as displays showcasing local art, textiles, and pottery. Highlights include ancient burial jars, intricately carved wooden sculptures, and a stunning collection of Boholano paintings.
In addition to its cultural exhibits, the National Museum of Bohol also features displays dedicated to the island’s natural wonders. Here, you can learn about the fascinating geological formations of the famous Chocolate Hills, the unique flora and fauna of the region, and the importance of conservation efforts to protect Bohol’s diverse ecosystems.
The National Museum of Bohol is housed in a beautifully restored neoclassical building that once served as the Old Provincial Capitol. The structure itself is a testament to the island’s colonial past, showcasing elements of Spanish and American architectural styles. As you explore the museum, take a moment to appreciate the building’s historical significance and the painstaking efforts that went into its preservation.
13. Balicasag Marine Sanctuary
The Balicasag Marine Sanctuary is renowned for its pristine coral reefs and abundance of marine life, making it a top destination for snorkelers and divers of all skill levels. As you explore the underwater wonderland, you’ll be mesmerized by the vibrant corals and the countless species of fish, turtles, and other marine creatures that call the sanctuary home. Keep an eye out for schools of colorful clownfish, graceful sea turtles, and even the elusive blacktip reef shark!
To make the most of your visit to the Balicasag Marine Sanctuary, consider joining a guided tour or boat trip from Panglao Island. These tours typically include snorkeling or diving gear, as well as knowledgeable guides who can help you identify the various marine species you’ll encounter. Plus, a boat trip to the sanctuary offers a fantastic opportunity to soak up the stunning coastal views of Bohol and its neighboring islands.
As a protected marine reserve, the Balicasag Marine Sanctuary is committed to preserving its delicate ecosystems and promoting responsible tourism practices. When visiting the sanctuary, be sure to follow all guidelines, such as not touching or stepping on the coral reefs and not feeding the marine life. By doing so, you’ll be helping to ensure that this underwater paradise remains pristine for future generations to enjoy.
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