My Bohol Adventure was an off the beaten path exploration of an island so diverse that I found something unexpected around each corner. The first thing you will need to do is to rent a moped or motorbike for a few dollars and book it in for your entire stay.
There are so many beautiful Bohol destinations and activities to enjoy that you can spend an entire week, packed with crazy adventures. In no particular order these were the best spots I visited during a week-long stay in the Bohol province.
TWIN FALLS BOHOL
Twin Falls is in Dimiao about an hour drive from Alona Beach, which is the main tourist hub on Bohol. The scenic drive takes you through several small coastal towns and is a great way to see some daily scenes on the island. You will have to abandon the moped about 1km from the falls and trek through a local village and down a steep flight of steps.
Two powerful streams of water flood into an idyllic emerald pool, the surface was scattered with coconuts. There are many ledges and crevasses to explore at Twin Falls and it is a magical place to spend the afternoon. Bring a lunch and relax in the huts to the side of the pools.
One of the best parts about Twin Falls was exploring the stream that flows away from the waterfalls. Trees have become bridges and this natural playground is just asking to be explored. This is one of the more popular Bohol waterfalls so expect a few friends to also be enjoying the natural amphitheater.
Chocolate Hills wasn’t quite as impressive as I had imagined and we were a little underwhelmed after such a long day of driving, it was still an interesting landscape. Maybe my expectations were so high because of how many people had recommended it. The sunset wasn’t prolific, but that’s the luck of the draw. It was a beautiful view and a type of landscape I had never laid eyes on before. The drive home in the dark was a crazy experience, which I also don’t suggest if you aren’t up for a challenge.
Hinagdanan Cave is on the route to most of the waterfalls, Chocolate Hills. Often full of tourists we got lucky to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the cave to ourselves. A crystal clear pool of water reflects beautifully the stalactites hanging from the roof above. This was definitely a bohol adventure we hadn’t planned on at all.
While I was expecting a scene a little more magnificent the drive through the man-made forest is worth the journey if you are heading north from Alona Beach. Gigantic trees create a natural tunnel. Crickets and birds seemed to chirp louder than normal, which had Jorden convinced the sounds were also man-made and coming from hidden speakers.
Balicasag Island is a small island with amazing water clarity and coral gardens for snorkeling. There were plenty of turtles swimming amongst the coral and swarms of colorful fish. One of the turtles we swam with was enormous. Use my friend Jorden as a scale. Even having lived in Hawaii for two years I never saw a turtle quite that big. A huge wall drops off about fifty meters from the shore, which was a fun spot to do some free-diving exploration.
When I arrived at Virgin Island I trudged through the sludgy sand trying not to lose my flip-flops and was greeted by many vendors selling pearls, fresh seafood jewelry.
I was more interested in the barren sand-flats and the boats that were seemingly waiting for the tide to rescue them from the midday drought. We also found a couple of stranded starfish/sea stars, which made for a great subject but we did feel a little bad leaving them there to potentially dry out. Not sure if you are meant to touch sea-stars or not but I usually try and avoid touching animals.
There are so many Bohol waterfalls to explore, but we got lucky enough to be shown one of the best by a local. I promised not to post the location. Sorry guys. But with about of asking around you will be able to find numerous beautiful waterfalls on Bohol.
At this waterfall we spent six hours that felt like only a few minutes. It was an adventurer’s playground which I could have hung out at for days. Swinging on the ropes and jumping from the trees filled me with good vibes and was exactly what I had expected during my month in the Philippines.
EXPLORE THE ISLAND ON A MOPED
While it is not a destination as such, exploring the island at your own will will lead you to many unexpected spots on Bohol. It will depend on your route but here are a few examples.
After hours of driving and getting lost we ended up at a market in the middle of who knows where. Fish heads seemed to be the delicacy, which I didn’t dare to try but we found the best friend banana ever. When we asked the lady serving us how much we owed her for this mouthgasm she told us it would be the equivalent to 20 US cents. I almost choked on the last bit of sweetness left in my mouth and ordered another four.
Near Dimiao we stopped by the side of the road to watch the tour river boats float by and noticed a rope swing hanging from a tree. I convinced Jorden that the river water probably wasn’t that dirty and being the adventurous soul he is it didn’t take more encouragement than that. He took one for the team and waited for a riverboat to pass by. In one of the funniest moments of our trip he began to swing. About thirty people from the tour boat had now leaned over the side rail of the boat to see why a topless, white guy was climbing a tree. Jorden swung and at the perfect moment the wooden handle on the rope swing snapped and he face planted in the water to the amusement of the entire boat. I just sat on the banks so glad I was dry and it was him and not me.
These are a few snippets of many, many crazy little situations we got ourselves into while journeying around Bohol and I am sure you will have your own stories to tell when you get off the beaten path.
SUNSET ON BOHOL
While there are many spots on Bohol to catch the sunset, we headed north of Alona Beach for about ten minutes looking for a good location. On the way we found a soccer game going on and I told Jorden that sunset wasn’t as important as a soccer game and we played barefoot with people from all over the world.
At half-time the sky was starting to look too good to miss out on so we jumped on the moped and went to the nearest shore. It worked out perfectly as we stumbled upon an old pier, home to a handful of wooden fishing boats. A local fisherman laid in his boat, listening to Bob Marley as the sky turned orange and faded into purple. It was our last night on Bohol and this was the perfect end to an amazing Bohol Adventure.