BOHOL TRAVEL GUIDE: 9 AWESOME THINGS TO DO

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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 adventurous activities to enjoy that you can spend an entire week, packed with crazy adventures. In no particular order, these were my favorite things to do on Bohol!

 

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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.

While there are many waterfalls on Bohol, they are not all easy to find or easy to get to. Dimiao Twin Falls is one of the easiest waterfalls to visit as it is on Google Maps, all locals know about it and it is sign-posted. The walk down is by stairs and it is generally one of the more accessible things to do on Bohol while still ticking off the ‘adventurous’ box.

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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.

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CHOCOLATE HILLS

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. It is constantly rated as one of the best things to do on Bohol and even one of the best places to visit in the Philippines. 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.

I think the key here is that in the rainy season the hills are a little less chocolate and a little more green. It was still an amazing landscape and any adventure on Bohol is fun. I had just seen a few photos online where the brown of the hills was very distinct and as you can see it wasn’t quite like that in reality when I visited. It’s a long drive from Alona Beach, so if you are staying there, make sure you plan a few other spots along the way like Twin Falls in Dimi Ao or the Tarsier sanctuary to make the journey worth it.

One of the best ways to visit Chocolate Hills is with a Bohol Countryside Tour. This tour is great because you get to do a lot just in one day for under $30! In just one day your countryside tour will take you to the following places.

  • Visit the historical Blood Compact Shrine, and learn about the story behind its name
  • Marvel at the Neoclassical architecture of the Baclayon Church, which was completed in 1727
  • See the world-famous Chocolate Hills with its 1,268 cone-shaped hills that turn brown in the summer
  • Stroll through the beautiful Bilar Manmade Forest, a mahogany forest stretching in 2 kilometers long
  • Enjoy a delicious local buffet lunch on a floating restaurant that cruises through the Loboc River
  • Meet the tarsiers at the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary, which was built to protect the world’s smallest primates

To book your countryside tour, (I think it is the best value tour you will find on Bohol!) you can Click Here to book online.

 Read the full blog post: CHOCOLATE HILLS – WAS THE JOURNEY WORTH IT?

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HINAGDANAN CAVES

Hinagdanan Cave is on the route to most of the waterfalls and 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.

The entrance is super touristy and I have visited my fair share of underwhelming caves in Asia, but this one was a gem. As you can see it is more than just dodging bat poop and a smelly cave. You have this magnificent swimming pool inside, which was honestly as clear as can be. Super cool experience and in the end one of the most memorable things to do on Bohol.

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MAN-MADE FOREST

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. It is only a short stretch of road and we were a bit puzzled as to why on an island full of forests you would need a man-made one. Nevertheless, you will see lots of people out of their cars taking photos of this stretch of road. It’s a good stop to rest the butt from the moped but I wouldn’t plan your day around it.

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BALICASAG ISLAND

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.

The Day trip begins with dolphin watching near Bohol and then heads to Balicasag for snorkeling before finishing at Virgin Island, which is a sandbar.  If you want to book this tour online in advance you can check the rates and availability of the top-rated tour by Clicking Here.

Read the full blog post: VIRGIN ISLAND BOHOL & BALICASAG ISLAND DAYTRIP

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VIRGIN ISLAND

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.

The Day trip begins with dolphin watching near Bohol and then heads to Balicasag for snorkeling before finishing at Virgin Island, which is a sandbar.  If you want to book this tour online in advance you can check the rates and availability of the top-rated tour by Clicking Here.

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HIDDEN WATERFALLS

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! (Normally I share and love that you all want to adventure, but I also respect spots that haven’t been shared to the masses yet.) But with about of asking around you will be able to find numerous beautiful waterfalls on Bohol.

Read the full blog post: CHASING WATERFALLS ON BOHOL ISLAND

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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.

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EXPLORE THE ISLAND ON A MOPED

While it is not a destination as such, exploring the island at your own 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.

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Near Dimiao we stopped by the side of the road to watch the tour riverboats 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.

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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.

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WHERE TO STAY ON BOHOL

Bohol Beach Club – Luxury: It’s everything you would expect from a luxury resort in a tropical location. It’s beachside with amazing pools, bars and chill-out areas. Right near the restaurants, bars and action of Alona Beach but hidden away so that you can relax after a day of island-hopping or adventures.

Venezia Suites – Value: The Venezia Suits present the best value on Bohol. If you are looking for luxury but only want to spend mid-range often you need to get lucky. Venezia will hook you up with a beautiful suite that comes with a pool and living space. It’s a damn good deal and located right near all the action of Panglao so you are in a good spot.

HM & B Backpackers Inn: As a backpacker generally you check price, location and cleanliness. HM & B ticks all those boxes as one of the cheapest hostels near Alona Beach but also maintains good reviews, cleanliness and is pretty cheap compared to everything else near Alona Beach.

If you want to have a look for yourself you can click here to jump over to Booking.com to check out all of the accommodation options for Bohol.

 

MORE BOHOL TRAVEL GUIDES

Chocolate Hills: CHOCOLATE HILLS – WAS THE JOURNEY WORTH IT?

Bohol Waterfalls: CHASING WATERFALLS ON BOHOL ISLAND

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Discussion to this post

  1. Grace says:

    Hi. Really love reading yours blogs! My fiancé and I are going to the Philippines for 2 weeks in May. We are the type to kind of make our own way around to explore. Our first option isn’t really to do a tour so we are looking into different options. We will be going to Cebu, Bohol,Palawan and Coron. Ive been reading in particular that the best way to get around Bohol is to rent a motorbike/ scooter. Do you need to have a motor cycle license for this? Or is it possible to hire a private driver? Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. Louise says:

    Hi!
    We Are visiting the Philippines in 3 weeks, so excited. We Are Even more excited after reading your blog. But I have one question, how did you Get from Cebu to Bohol? You wrote in another post that you can travel the local way via Sumilon, did you do that? We would like to travel directly from oslob (or nearby) to Bohol, not travel all the way up to cebu city again.
    Thank you!

    • Katarina says:

      Hi there is a boat going from Oslob in Cebu to Panglao in Bohol. It takes about 90 minutes, hustle free , check apekoptravel.com
      Enjoy!

  3. Jackson says:

    Hey mate,

    Like I said head north of Alona Beach. If you look at the map, pretty much everything is North of Alona beach. Ours wasn’t a tour we got on a motorbike and did indeed drive in a NORTH direction towards the middle of Bohol. Not sure what you are getting at?

  4. craig clemens says:

    the tours on bohol are not north of alona beach. just saying. alona beach is on panglao island, which is to the southwest side of Bohol proper

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