White sand beaches, waterfalls, river cruising, cave exploring, ziplining, cliff diving, nature tripping, mountain climbing, historical adventure and a lot more. Name it and Bohol island would definitely indulge your adventure cravings. Located in the Central Visayas Region, Bohol is the 10th largest island in the Philippines. Famous for its Chocolate Hills, heritage sites, beaches and home for the world smallest primates which is the tarsiers. I shared my Bohol experienced in my last blog which I posted here. And now I will share some of the best tourist destinations that shouldn’t be missed as you plan to travel in this wonderful island.
Chocolate Hills. Located in the town of Carmen, these hills form a rolling terrain of haycock-shaped hills, mounds of generally conical and almost symmetrical shape. Consisting of more than a thousand cone-shaped hills, it is called Chocolate Hills not because its made of chocolates but because of its color. The hills are blanketed with green grass during rainy seasons and these grass dry up and turn chocolate brown hue in summer. If you want to experience the real Chocolate Hills with its kisses chocolate like appearance, summer is the best time to visit here.
Tarsier Conservation Area. This area which is located in the town of Loboc is the home for the smallest primates. Tarsiers or locally known as “Mamag” are endangered species and they are considered as dependent so they cannot thrive on their own in the wild. When you visit this sanctuary, you will see several tarsiers hanging out in the trees and sleeping under the leaves. Being a nocturnal, they spend their days sleeping. Some of them are awake staring at you with their big eyes. Cameras with flash are prohibited in the area because tarsiers are noise and light sensitive and can cause them to be stress. When tarsiers get stressed, they commit suicide by banging their head.
Loboc River Cruise. This tour is perfect for those who love to satisfy their cravings for Filipino cuisines while in the boat floating along the iconic Loboc river with a perfect scenery. The boat resembles a large floating house offering a large buffet style lunch, live music and dancing.
Bilar Man-Made Forest. One of the favorite stop for tourists in Bohol is the two-kilometer dense forest made up of red and white mahogany trees. This man-made forest stretched along the border of Loboc and Bilar town. This place is perfect for nature lover because of its shady and green ambience.
Panglao Island. This is one of most popular tourist destination in Bohol. With its white sand beaches with crystal-clear water, hundreds of resorts and restaurants, you’ll definitely enjoy a lot of activities this island has to offer. From swimming, snorkeling, diving, island hopping and cliff diving, surely anyone who loves to explore the water will be satisfied. Panglao is located in the southernmost part of Bohol which is only 18 kilometers from the capital city of Tagbilaran.
Virgin Island. Also known as Pungtud Island or Isola di Franceso, is a 20 minute boat ride from the center of Panglao. This is famous from its C-shaped sand bar surrounded by blue crystal-clear water. The sandy runway of the sandbar is perfect for a postcard backdrop. The surrounding areas of the island are mostly grassy and white powdered sand. You can spend the day in this island walking along the sandbar, swimming and sightseeing. Unfortunately, there is no accommodation available in Virgin Island, so you can only spend exploring during the day.
Hinagdanan Cave. This cave is located in the municipality of Dauis in Panglao Island. Hinagdanan cave is made of limestone, naturally lighted cavern with a deep lagoon. The cave is about 100 meters long with a lot of stalagmites and stalactites rock formation inside. It is slightly slippery in the cave but there’s a rope railing to hold onto.
Bamboo Hanging Bridge. It may be one of the less attractive destination in Bohol but to experience crossing this bridge would make your tour more exciting. This hanging foot bridge is made up of bamboos and hardened steels. Located in the upper area of Loboc River, this bridge hangs about 25 meters above the Sipatan River and spans around 40 meters. At the other side of the bridge, there’s a lot of small shops selling souvenir items, snacks and refreshments.
Sandugo Shrine. Also known as Blood Compact Monument. Located in the capital city of Tagbilaran, this monument was built to honor the very important event in the Philippine history – the blood compact between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi of Spain and Rajah Sikatuna of Bohol. This blood compact is considered as the First Treaty of Friendship between two races, cultures, religions and civilizations. This event is also known as “Sandugo”. This compact site was made by the famous National Artist, Napoleon Abueva. This site is easily accessible because it is along the national road.