Tarsiers, chocolate hills, and mystical waters are just some of the things Bohol is famous for. Hailed as the best ecotourism destination in the Philippines, Bohol seldom gets the love and attention it deserves on travel blogs and social media sites. During our recent trip, I was in awe of all the landmarks and formations I’ve never even heard of before! So I’m here to entice you to experience this beautiful island the way we did!
How to Get There
- Take a plane from NAIA heading to Tagbilaran City, the capital of Bohol. Travel time usually takes around hour and 15 minutes.
- Proceed to your accomodations.
- Ride a Ceres bus heading for Dumaguete City at the South Ceres Terminal. Your best bet is to take the first trip in the morning (around 6AM) to avoid any delays and to maximize your time. Travel time is approximately 6 hours.
- Take a ferry from Dumaguete to Tagbilaran for P900 (regular) or P1,245 (tourist class)
- Proceed to your accommodations.
- Take a ferry heading to Tubigon Port (2.5 hour trip). Prices can range from P200 for a regular seat or P230 for tourist class seats.
- From Tubigon Port, ride a van heading for Tagbilaran for P90. Travel time will take around an hour.
- Proceed to your accommodations.
Things to Bring
- Loose, comfortable clothing for getting around the island
- Swimwear and swim gear
- Sun and sea essentials like sunblock, shades, wide-rimmed hats, and sarongs
- Powerbank and charger
- Reusable utensils and tumblers
- Pocket money
(Good for 4 days and for 2 People)
Trying to sort out your itinerary and worried about your budget? No worries because we did the math for you!
1 meal = 200 php x 3 meals = 600 per day
600 x 4 = 2400 php – *200 (*1 meal on the 4th day assuming you leave Bohol before night time)
Total: 2200 php
ACCOMMODATIONS GOOD FOR 2
Budget Hostel: 600 php
Mid range: 1500-2000 php
Get the average 600+1500+2000 = 4100 php/ 3 = 1367 php
1367 php / 2 persons = 683 php (round up to 700 php each)
700 php x 4 days = 2,800 php each person
Accommodation Total: 2,800 php
TRANSPORTATION FOR 2 PERSONS
Tricycle around Tagbilaran/Panglao area: 1200 php per day
1200 x 3 days ( since the 4th day is a travel day back ) = 3600 php for 3 days
3600/2 persons = 1800 php each person for 3 days
Motorbike/scooter: 500 php per day
500x 3 days = 1500
1500/ 2 persons= 750 each person for 3 days
Car 4 seater: 1300 php per day
1300 x 3 days = 3900
3900/2 persons = 1950 php per person
Note: On the 4th day, you need transfers from Panglao/Tagbilaran to Airport or Seaport Price ranges from 300-800 php per person depending on the distance. Get the average = 300=800/2 = 550 php
Total for Tricycle: 1800 + 550 airport transfer = 2350 php
Total for Motorbike: 750 + 550 airport transfer = 1300 php
Total for 4 seater Car: 1950 + 550 airport transfer = 2,500 php
Get the average for Transport: 2350+1300+2500/3 = 2050 php
Grand Total = Food total + Accomodation total + Transport Total
Grand Total = 2200 + 2800 + 2050
Grand Total = 7050 php
Note: Entrance fees, Boat rentals/ tours are not included
How to Get Around
Like anywhere else in the Philippines, public transportation is the law of the land in Bohol, however, it can be unreliable and will only leave once full. If you do decide to take the bus for your commute, you can head to the Integrated Bus Terminal in Dao. I recommend chartering a tricycle or a van for P250-500/day or even renting an automatic motorcycle for P450-500 a day!
Where to Stay
Moon Fools Hostel (Tawala, Panglao Island) – less than P1,000/night
Dormitels.ph (Alona Beach, Panglao Island) – less than P600/night
Bananaland Cottages (Panglao Island) – around P1,500/night
Alona42 Resort (Panglao Island) – around P2,000/night
Natura Vista (Panglao Island) – around P2,000/night
Hennan Resort (Alona Beach) – P16,000/night
The Bellevue Resort (Panglao Island) – less than P7,000/night
Amorita Resort (Brgy. Tawala, Panglao) – around P10,000/night
Where to Eat
I’m gonna be honest with you guys. I usually rush through this part of my blog posts because I get really excited about discussing the itinerary. But not this time!
Prepare yourselves for the most extensive restaurant list based off of the reviews of real-life Bohol tourists!
- JASZ Restaurant, Alona Beach – For a seafood fiesta, dining by the sea is the way to go! JASZ Restaurant offers a wide array of fresh and affordable seafood served inside a nipa and bamboo hut for an authentic island life dining experience. (Price range: 150-200PHP)
- The Pyramid, Alona Beach – ~They built this on a white sand beach, it feels just like it’s heaven’s touch~ For a mixture of local and western dishes at reasonable prices, The Pyramid is the place to be! (Price range: 250-1,000+PHP)
- Trudi’s Place, Alona Beach – For a filling meal under $10, you and your travel buddies definitely have to try the food at Trudi’s. (Price range: 180-500PHP)
- Loboc River Cruise Lunch, Loboc – Have you ever had lunch while cruising down a river and being serenaded by a live guitarist and singer? The Loboc River Cruise offers you just that and more! They offer a great selection of grilled seafood, chicken and pork barbeque, sautéed vegetables, and fresh fruits. Just thinking about it is making my mouth water so you’ll have to take my word for it and add this place to your itinerary! (Price: 550/person)
- Giuseppe Pizzeria and Sicilian Roast – I’m sure we all know and love pizzas but if you want to know what a Sicilian roast is, you’ll have to drop by Giuseppe’s and experience it for yourself! (Price range: 400-1,200PHP)
Sounds like a lot, right? But hold on to your cutlery because there’s more where that came from!
- Gerarda’s Place – For an authentic Filipino experience with a gourmet flourish, there’s no othe rplace to go but Gerarda’s. You’ll be dining in a historic family house, served the finest Filipino cuisine, and lulled by the ambient jazz music. (Price range: 700-1,000PHP)
- Tablea de Maria Clara – Tablea de Maria Clara sources its ingredients from local farmers from Guindalman and Sierra Bulliones in Bohol who growcacao beans made into Sicuate. (Price range: 130-400PHP)
- Osang’s Broas – a must-try while you’re in Bohol, this famous and delicious delicacy is baked using old-fashioned charcoal. The home-based business is located near Baclayon Church and a bag of broas only costs P100! Super worth it!
- Payag Restaurant – this is the best place for authentic grilled delicacies (anything from fish, squid, pork, or chicken!) (Price range: 125-300PHP)
- Sisa Bistro – fusion gourmet delicacies served in a stylishly decorated restaurant in Alona: Sisa Bistro is a must-visit while you’re in Bohol! (Price range: 300-400PHP)
DAY 1: Go on a Countryside Tour
8AM: Baclayon Church – aka La Purisima Concepcion de la Virgen Maria Parish Church is a stunning site with an entrance fee of only P25/head. It’s considered to be one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines dating back to 1717 when obras pias or forced laborers dragged coral blocks from the sea and used bamboo to move and hold the stones in place.
8:45 AM Bilar Man-made Forest – this forest is a man-made mahogany forest stretching for 2 kilometers. You’ll be able to drive by here and take a few photos on your way to the Chocolate Hills.
9:30 AM Tarsier Encounter – Bohol is the only place that has 134-hectare sanctuary for the world’s smallest primates, tarsiers. These cute little furballs can fit in the palm of a hand and definitely make any trip to Bohol worthwhile! They won’t charge you a specific price, but donations are encouraged.
10:30 AM Chocolate Hills – For only P50, you’ll get to see these world famous cone-shaped hills which, although sadly not made out of real chocolate, are some of the most beautiful geological formations you’ll ever get to see in Bohol.
*Note though that if you want to fly a drone, you can interchange one destination or leave very early since drones are only allowed before 8:30 AM here.
12:45 NN Loboc River Cruise – This is the best place and the best way to have lunch in Bohol while you’re there! It’s super worth it at 550/head!
3:00PM Sevilla Hanging Bridge – this Bamboo Hanging Bridge crossing the Sipatan River makes for a fun part of your Bohol trip. Entrance Fee is at P10/head. From here, you can also try their famous chichaworms; that is, cultured organic worms just for the experience. *wink* if you are brave enough!
5:30PM Bohol Bee Farm – It’s a hotel resort, but is most famous for its restaurant and bee farm. Depending on your schedule, I highly recommend going to Bohol Bee Farm for an afternoon snack or early dinner. You definitely have to try their famous The Buzzz ice cream in ALL the flavors: malunggay, spicy ginger, mango, and tomato?? the BEST!!!).
DAY 2: Visit all the Beautiful Beaches
Bohol is home to several stunning white sand beaches that you’ll want to visit them all! I suggest devoting a day of your itinerary to unwind on different coasts: the perfect way to relax after all the commutes yesterday!
8:00 AM Balicasag Island – a marine sanctuary with white sand beach and beautiful corals in shallow and deep waters. Balicasag island is a haven for snorkelers and divers and also for those who simply love to swim and go island hopping.
10:00AM Isola di Francesco – this whole site exudes serenity the moment you step on it, literally, because you’ll be greeted by a statue of St. Pio of Pietrelcina. This is the perfect place to relax, pray, meditate, and just feel one with the earth. You can request your boatman to either take you here or to Virgin Island after the Balicasag tour. Virgin Island was submerged when we went here so we chose to check out Isola di Fransesco instead.
1:00 PM Lunch and Stroll along Alona Beach – another picturesque white sand beach dotted with seafood restaurants a la Boracay. This by far the best place to dine by the sea. Note that there are a lot of fishing boats that may disrupt the view, but with the right touch-up, make for cute photos. You can enjoy lunch by the beach here as well.
3:00 PM Bohol Beach Divers Resort and Snacks and Sunset at Hennan– a powder white beach next to the crystal clear sea, These two resorts are for beach lovers everywhere! It’s also located along Alona Beach but both deserve a special mention of its own for it’s chill vibes and views.
7:00 PM Dinner and Stroll around Alona Beach– If you haven’t yet, definitely go to either Sisa Bistro or Giuseppe’s (or both, I won’t judge) which are pretty nearby! No matter how beautiful the places are, you will be tired and hungry and you definitely deserve to give yourself a treat!
Day 3: Visit Underrated Bohol Spots
9:00AM Cabagnow Cave – The square-shaped cave mouth of the beautiful Cabagnow Cave is fringed by jagged cliffs while three and a half meters below lies a turquoise blue well of spring water, approximately 20 ft. deep, that makes you want to dive right in!
Note: Since this is a privately owned cave pool, you are no longer allowed to jump in but it’s right next to…
9:30AM Tibaw Cave Pool – After taking photos at Cabagnow, this beautiful limestone cavern should be your next stop since they’re basically beside each other. It holds fresh spring water which is only a few inches from the rim. Here, you can definitely dive into the crystal blue waters to your heart’s content.
For a more detailed spelunking guide on Bohol, check out this blogpost!
2:00PM Wait for the sunset at Quinale Beach – as soon as the sun stops bearing down on you, head on down to Quinale Beach in Anda. Dubbed as the one of the best beaches in Bohol, it will not disappoint with its fine white sand and crystal waters!
DAY 4: For when you can’t get enough of Bohol!
7:30 AM Blood Compact Site – the site was made in honor of a historic moment in Philippine history between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi of Spain and Rajah Sikatuna of Bohol. After everything you’ve seen in Bohol the past few days, it’s always a great idea to look into the island’s rich history. The shrine is open 24 hours but I suggest coming by early in the morning (or as early as you can lol) to avoid the crowd and heat
8:15AM Hinagdanan Cave – Next up, Hinagdanan is actually one of the more popular caves in Bohol, and definitely the easiest to access. Rumor has it that it got its name from the stair-like entrance towards the pool.
9:45AM Can-umantad Falls and Cadapdapan Rice Terraces – Head on down to Candijay to visit the best two places to wrap up your trip. Cadapdapan Rice Terraces offers you a stunning view of a vivid green field. The field is irrigated by a river which flows down to Can-umantad Falls (a 20-or-so-minute walk away). I have to be real with you guys, I did not expect to be that awestruck by the waterfalls but there’s always something about waterfalls in general that leave a powerful impact on you! Definitely worth the trip!
12:00NN Lunch – Get some more of Bohol’s delicious food in your belly and start heading back home after lunch!
Countryside Tour-go on a day tour and visit Baclayon Church, Chocolate Hills, the Bilar Manmade forest,Have lunch at Loboc River Cruise and visit the Tarsier Sanctuary
Anda Beach and Candijay Private Tour in Bohol– See the beautiful eastern side of Bohol and get to explore Cadapdapan Rice Terraces, Can-umantad Falls and relax by Anda Beach
If you plan to create your own itinerary for the Day, another option is booking a private car for you and your friends.