BOHOL TRAVEL GUIDE: 27 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. From island-hopping to waterfalls to cave pools to the famous Chocolate Hills, Bohol is one of the most adventurous islands in the Philippines. There are so many beautiful Bohol tourist spots, destinations and adventurous activities to enjoy that you can spend an entire week, packed with crazy adventures. In this blog post, I will share with you my favorite things to do on Bohol! I’ve visited twice and both times have used a motorbike to get around but a car or individual tours will work also.

 

What to pack for the Philippines?: After four trips to the Philippines, there are some items you NEED to pack. You can Click Here to view my recommended Philippines Packing List.

 

THE BEST TOURIST SPOTS IN BOHOL AND ADVENTUROUS  THINGS TO DO

Dimiao ‘Twin’ Falls (Pahangog Falls)

Dimiao Twin Falls was massive but also a little crowded. About 20 people were hanging out at the falls. Two different streams flow down from about 70 feet into a shallow pool. The pool does deepen in some parts making it safe enough to cliff jump into. Some parts were shallow so make sure you check the depth first! My favorite part about twin falls is actually the view in the opposite direction of the falls. It looks like a jungle wonderland, with makeshift tree bridges, floating coconuts and a backdrop of coconut trees and a setting sun.

The walk back up is pretty grueling with hundreds of stairs but well worth it. If you are on Bohol, I would meet a local, sell your soul or do whatever you have to do be shown some awesome waterfalls. There are lots of different falls all over the island but we only had time to visit two. Enjoy, be safe and always leave a place cleaner than when you arrived like we should all do for all of the tourist spots in Bohol that we visit!

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Can-Umantad Falls

After parking at the bottom of the crazy winding road we headed off and stopped at the number of different pools along the way to jump in and swim. The water is a very vibrant blue and very refreshing after the long drive to Candijay. Make sure you check the depth of the pools as the water isn’t quite transparent enough to see. My favorite pool was one that actually had Can-Umantad Falls in the backdrop.

From this pool, you can head on up to the main waterfall, which is apparently the tallest waterfall in the province. The main cascade is 60ft but hits a plateau before finally dropping down to the main pool. It is very impressive and it’s great to be able to hang out in the water below the falls although the water itself was very deep so it wasn’t the best swimming hole. There are a lot of great spots beneath the falls to make your own and hang out while reading a book or relaxing.

View full blog post: CAN-UMANTAD FALLS IN CANDIJAY, BOHOL

 

Sunset at Panglao Beach

My favorite beach for sunset is Panglao Beach as you can get some epic reflections with the right conditions. It’s pretty chill here with no bars or shops, just the beach, calm water, and palm trees on the beach. It is a recipe for a relaxed sunset session with your friends.

 

Camugao Waterfall

The walk down to the falls takes about 10-15 minutes and is really beautiful. Along the way, we passed some carabao and there were lots of birds playing in the thick forest. It is quite steep but very short so most people are capable of making it down to the base of the falls. You can get a good look of the falls if you stay at the top but only if you own a drone. Otherwise, there is no great vantage point from above that I know of due to the thick trees surrounding the canyon rim.

We set our belongings to the right of the waterfall where we found a group of young boys. They were a cheeky bunch sharing cigarettes, some rum and coke and taking turns to jump into the pool of water. I joined them and they loved when we sent a  few backflips into the pool. As a reward, they offered me some Tanduay rum in a half-cut soda bottle. Welcome to the Philippines. I always love when the locals are hanging out in the nature of their neighborhood and it isn’t just overrun by gawking tourists.

View full blog post: CAMUGAO FALLS IN BOHOL, PHILIPPINES

 

Mag-Aso Falls

I’d never heard of this waterfall so I was unsure what to expect, which is a great way to enter an adventure. We paid the $1 entrance fee and then began the walk down to the falls. The cement stairs wound through the beautiful dense forest of trees. Despite the man-made stairs it truly was a beautiful walk down to the falls. It set the tone for the adventure as we immersed in the jungle.

From the viewpoint we stood on, some of the kids actually cliff-jump into the water. To be honest it looked super shallow and I couldn’t believe they were doing it. Try that one at your own risk. There is another cliff jump across the pool, which isn’t incredibly safe but much, much safer than the viewpoint. I’ve placed a photo of the viewpoint where the boys where jumping below.

The waterfall itself comes from quite a beautiful little canyon. Depending on the rainfall,  it can be quite a powerful waterfall but on this day in February, it was a mid-strength. You could walk up onto the falls with ease.  I think this is one of the best waterfalls in Bohol if you want to actually swim!

In the past, I have seen videos of Mag-Aso where it is raging with force. That’s why you always have to approach a location with caution and appreciate that it can be more or less dangerous on different days. on our visit, Mag-Aso was very calm and everybody was swimming without worry. If you visit in the rainy season please explore with caution. The jump spot is on the right-hand side of the photo below although the locals jumped from where I took this photo and the viewpoint in the second photo.

View full blog post: MAG-ASO FALLS IN BOHOL, PHILIPPINES

 

Cadapdapan Rice Terraces

The Cadapdapan Rice Terraces are one of the most incredible things to do in Bohol. Tiered rice terraces cover most of the Candijay region and are an incredible sight both from land and sky. While you are visiting, there is also a waterfall and a  cold spring in Candijay, which make it a really fun day trip.

View full blog post hereINCREDIBLE CADAPDAPAN RICE TERRACES IN CANDIJAY, BOHOL

 

Panglao Beach

My favorite beach on Panglao Island is Panglao Beach. This stretch of beach is great for relaxing or doing a little bit of exploring. There is a very fancy resort called Mithi Resort, which eve has its own private, mini island. On this beach, you will find tranquility amongst the many palm trees that line the shore. 

 

Mayana Peak

Bohol isn’t really known for hiking but I always like to explore the peaks. I headed on a moped journey up to Mayana for the short trek up to Mayana Peak, which is the tallest peak on Bohol. Most of the climbing is done on the motorbike. I met the local guide in the town and then he jumped on my bike as we drove 10-minutes to the trailhead. From here we began the trek through the forest, which was very peaceful and covered in wildflowers.

The whole hike takes about 1.5 hours round-trip. At the summit, you get a nice view but it is mostly just rolling hills and nothing remarkable. I enjoyed the adventure a lot and my guide was really nice but it definitely isn’t the most impressive summit I’ve ever been to so don’t be expecting an amazing view and just enjoy the adventure for what it is.

 

Alexis Cliff Dive Resort/Molave  Cove

The first spot on the list is going to be the easiest to get to and probably the safest jump. Overall it is probably the best and most popular cliff jump in Bohol. It’s in Panglao which is a great star as 99% of tourists are staying in Panglao. There is a diving board set up at Alexis Cliff Dive Resort. There is an entry fee of about $1 but you get to enjoy quite a few attractions for the price of one entry fee. Firstly, you have the sardine balls waiting right here at the reef just like in Moalboal. Secondly, you can enjoy the use of the huts, benches, and stairs down to the ocean for a swim. Finally, you have the diving board for cliff jumping. I would say it is about 5-6 meters high and while you need to jump out a few meters for the deep water it seemed pretty safe all day. 

View full blog post: BEST CLIFF JUMPING SPOTS IN BOHOL, PHILIPPINES

 

Binanaje Hills Sunrise Trek in Alicia

Binabaje Hills sunrise trek is an awesome but steep trek in Alicia that is the top trek on Bohol in my opinion. The hike began with only a small incline before becoming very steep. We didn’t stop once and it took us less than half an hour to reach the summit from the bikes. I don’t think most people go up so quickly as my guide was pretty quick to tell one of the guys already at the top about how quickly we had come up. There was one group camping at the summit and their guide was there in the summit shed sleeping in a hammock.

I began to get quite excited by these colors but I think my guide was used to sunrises like these. He followed with me as I took photographs this way and that way. It was quite a relaxing morning as the two of us hung out at the summit and along the ridges chatting about his dirt bikes, Alicia and the surrounding hills, which are quite prone to fires. I sent the drone up, which he was quite impressed with although I wasn’t too impressed with my shots that morning. Nevertheless here is an aerial look of the Binabaje Hills in Alicia.

You need to book a guide for this trek at the municipal office of Alicia and I describe how to do that in the full blog post linked below.

View full blog post:BINABAJE HILLS SUNRISE HIKE IN ALICIA, BOHOL

 

Kinahugan Falls

After hiking up Mayana Peak, my guide told me to go drive down the hill and explore Kinahugan Falls. It was a local tip I knew would be worth pursuing so I headed off to find Kinahugan Falls. In a small little village amongst the rice fields, I found the entrance. I sat and talked with the local family there for a bit and asked them what the entrance fee should be and they said there isn’t one. That undiscovered theme continued as there was no-one at the falls the entire time I hung out down there. It is good for a little swim but not the most epic waterfall in Bohol. It’s more of a magical little area for exploring and hanging out than a huge, impressive waterfall. I loved this spot and encourage you to diverge from the regular spots to check it out.

 

Rice Fields near Mayana

Not everything has a name… or maybe it does. On the way back from Mayana Peak, I found this incredible rice fields and mountains that actually looked like they would be a great hike. It was the last light and I already had a 2-hour drive home in the dark as it was so I took some photos of this beautiful area but would love to go back and explore during the day.

 

Lonoy Cold Spring

After you visit Mayana Peak, there is also a cold spring nearby where the locals hang out. It isn’t the most impressive ‘natural’ attraction but it is a great spot to cool off and hung out with some locals in a chill spot. I met a group of guys here who were in the navy and we talked as best we could in English. I stopped here for about an hour and shared a beer with the boys before continuing on my motorbike journey.

 

Anda White Beach

If you have time to head up to Anda you will be in for a treat. Far away from the tourist mayhem of Panglao is this gem of a coastal town. A beautiful beach lined with palms and quiet waters receives a great sunset every night as you look out over the ocean and catch a glimpse of Camiguin Island in the distance. I shared the beach with just a few others from their resorts and it seemed the island dogs outnumbered the people. That’s how you judge if it’s a good beach or not!

 

Canawa Cold Spring

The Canawa Cold Spring is in the Candijay region (pronounced ‘Candee-high’). I drove my bike up here from Panglao (popular tourist area) and it took about two hours. I was continuing on to Anda after so I made it the stop on the way. If you plan to return to Panglao it will be a long journey of 2-hours driving each way.

The first part of the Canawa Cold Springs is very man-made and not particularly beautiful. It’s like a narrow quarry with benches and table on either side. It is set up for local families to come and swim on the weekends not to be some sort of natural, tropical oasis. However, at the end of the channel, there is a huge swimming hole, surrounded by beautiful trees. ‘Cawa’ means Pan in the local dialect, which perfectly describes the shape of this miniature amphitheater. In windy moments the wind would blow some of the leaves off the trees and they would swirl around in the sunlight, slowly floating down to rest on the surface of the water. As light crept in between the gaps in the foliage, this swimming hole section of the Canawa Cold Spring was beautiful!

On the far side of the natural pool, I spotted a rope. I checked the depth and then swam over to the rope and climbed it all the way up to a branch about 10-meters high. I was there by myself, so there was no-one to capture a photo, but it was a great cliff-jump and a really magical spot. I hope to see a photo from here in the future so let me know if any of you visit and jump. Don’t worry too much about the depth in the middle of the pool. Many of the locals have tried reaching into the depths but no-one has ever touched the bottom.

View the full blog post: CANAWA COLD SPRINGS IN CANDIJAY, BOHOL (CLIFF JUMP)

 

Can-Uba Beach

Just near Jagna is a great, white rock beach for something different. It is still lined with beautiful palm trees but instead of white sand like the other beautiful beaches on Bohol, it is covered in smooth rocks. I stopped by the beach on my drive back to Panglao from Mayana Peak and enjoyed the sunset from this uncrowded peaceful spot.

 

Join a Beach Cleanup

My friend runs Plastic Free Bohol and several times a month they do a beach clean-up and are actively working with local businesses and politicians to work on policy and change. When I was on Bohol the Adventure Bag Crew teamed up with Plastic Free Bohol at Libaong  Beach for a group cleanup where we collected over 200kg of trash.  Head to Plastic Free Bohol Instagram for latest updates on the next cleanup.

 

Tambuko Cave Pool

Hidden away from sight in a Barangay of 300 people deep in the mountains is this incredible cave pool. I arrived in the village and the boys led me down inside the caves and when we emerged at this pool I couldn’t believe my eyes. They had never swum in it but I convinced them to jump in with me and next minute we were sending backflips from the sides. They forgot to tell me to climb out it would be 15 meters of almost vertical rock climbing. Once we made it back to the village we shared a beer and before long, half the village had come to see who the guy with the beard was. We chatted in broken English as cheeky kids tapped my shoulder and hid wondering if I’d chase them down the street or laugh. As I drove off on my bike with 40 kids and locals waving goodbye, I knew that for me this is the Philippines. Beautiful nature but people that outshine even the most magical watering holes. 

 

Anda Cave Pools

In the north of Bohol, in a world away from Panglao is the beautiful town of Anda. Here the main attractions is the great sunset beaches and the peculiar cave pools. Anda has multiple cave pools, which are quite unique to the region. Seemingly in the middle of nowhere, pools of water are found in sinkholes all throughout Anda. The most popular cave pool is Cabagnow Cave Pool. When I visited they were having some ownership/tourism licensing issues so they had removed the ladder and fenced it off. However, normally they have a ladder inside so you can jump in and out. With no ladder, you will be stuck in the pool for eternity. Trust me, I considered it!

 

Chocolate Hills

Chocolate Hills is 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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The 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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Ingkumhan Falls

When we arrived, there was not a soul in sight. Just a large pool of remarkably still, turquoise water. Stalactites hung dramatically, blissfully dripping water into the warm water below. A huge waterfall pouring into the pool was the soundtrack of the day. I could tell this was going to be one of the best cliff jumping spots on Bohol.

We had entered our playground for the day. There was a raft we could use to paddle around the pool and a rope swing hanging from the tallest branch. Almost 12 feet deep, the pool was perfect for cliff jumping, even the waterfall could be climbed. We spent our time here non-stop exploring, jumping, swinging and just being huge kids.

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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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Explore the Island  Roads 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 on the Loboc River 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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Alona Beach/Panglao for Sunset

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

Save money in Bohol by staying at an Airbnb! Get a FREE $40 Airbnb Coupon by using my code when you book! I use Airbnb on about half of my travels and find you always get more value than a hotel.

Read my full blog post: BEST AREA TO STAY IN 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 the 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.

 

ARE YOU KEEPING UP WITH MY BOHOL SERIES

I’ve been to Bohol twice and both times I explored extensively on my motorbike to the popular tourist spots and to locations many people have never heard of. I document it all in my BOHOL TRAVEL GUIDE: 27 Awesome Things To Do

Are you a waterfall chaser? I’ve put together a list of My Favorite Waterfalls and Cave Pools on Bohol with detailed directions and photos.

Maybe you are an adrenaline junkie like me and want to find out the Best Cliff Jumping spots on Bohol.

The popular tourist area where most people stay is Panglao Island. I’ve put together a blog post guide about the Best Things to do on Panglao Island

If you aren’t quite sure whether you want to stay on Panglao Island or venture north to Anda, I’ve written a blog post about the Best Places to Stay on Bohol, which helps you decide what region is best for you depending on your preferences.

One of the best activities on Bohol is the island-hopping to Balicasag and Virgin Island. I’ve put together a guide with everything you need to know about the adventure here: Virgin Island and Balicasag Island Hopping Tour Review

 

 

 

 

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8 Discussion to this post

  1. This is such a great guide! Will definitely be using it when I plan my Philippines trip!

  2. Maureen says:

    Bohol has lot of awesome things to do. Bohol has lot fo tourist attraction and itsl is one of the pick tourist destination for travelers. This article really helps giving best travel guide to people. When people wants to visit people when don’t have enough budget there are ways and tips that still you can travel bohol. Giving them the option out also to join for a tour in Bohol. This article really helps.

  3. Eric Wilson says:

    You have mentioned Bohol things to do nicely.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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?

  7. 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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