The island of Bohol is a tropical paradise known for its fine white sand beaches, hills that look like chocolate over the summer, and the smallest primate in the world, the Tarsier.
Bohol is one of the top tourist destinations in the Visayas region and in the whole country. It is the tenth-largest island in the Philippines and a hotspot for eco-tourism.
It is known for its lush jungles because even when the province has progressed, its people continue to look after its natural resources. That’s why when you fly over to the island, you’ll see much greenery even from above. Also, the ocean surrounding the island makes for a perfect diving spot because of the various marine life that is well-protected.
Bohol is also a favorite honeymoon destination for newlyweds and a go-to for couples with its many beach resorts that will surely make you feel loved as you sip some drinks at the beach or listen to some music played by the live bands.
Bohol as an Aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark
According to the University of the Philippines- School of Urban Planning, Bohol has the best qualities to be a UNESCO Global Geopark because of its breathtaking landscape.
The island province’s breathtaking landscape is a testament to its geologic history as evidenced from its varied landforms and structural features. Covered mostly by limestone, majestic karst landforms like the world-famous Chocolate Hills and the Hinagdanan Cave are some of the main prides of the province. It also boasts of highly diverse flora and fauna due to its dynamic geologic and tectonic history. Its traditions and culture are also proof of how Boholanos adapted to its natural environment as seen from its only living intangible heritage, the Eskaya Tribe in Taytay, Duero.Home – Bohol Island Geopark
In 2019, Global Geoparks Bureau evaluators, Kristin Rangnes and Alessia Amorfini, came to the island to assess the readiness of Bohol to become a Global Geopark. Unfortunately, in 2020 the Committee decided to defer the inscription, but hope is not at all lost as the Boholanos are determined to work harder to achieve the goal.
Surely, in no time, the Island of Bohol will become a UNESCO Global Geopark!
With that being said, here are 11 of the best tourist spots on the island of Bohol!
1. Chocolate Hills
There are two things that would pop up whenever Bohol becomes the topic. One of those two things is the Chocolate Hills and the other is the Tarsier. But to start our list, let’s talk about the most popular tourist spot on the island which is the Chocolate Hills!
In the municipalities of Carmen, Sagbayan, and Butuan lie over 1,700 hills made up of limestones, corals, and many other elements. No, these hills are not really made of chocolate despite the name. The reason why it is called Chocolate Hills is due to the wilting of the grasses that cover the hills during the summer season.
These hills are visible as soon as you enter the towns of Sagbayan and Carmen but the most popular site in this area is the Sagbayan Peak which has whimsical sculptures of animals and cartoon characters that are quite funny, a flower garden that just looks so beautiful, and a butterfly dome that houses colorful butterflies. However, the most important part of this is the view of the Chocolate Hills which will really leave you in awe.
There’s also another spot where you can get a good view of the Chocolate Hills which is the Chocolate Hills Complex Viewpoint located in Carmen. This does not have the theme park vibe but it is on top of one of the highest hills in the area so you’ll really see the iconic land formations. There is a well on the viewing deck which is known to have granted wishes so, you can try making a wish while you’re there too!
Tourists are often brought to the Chocolate Hills Complex Viewpoint because the Sagbayan Peak is only open on Saturdays and Sundays.
|Chocolate Hills Complex Viewpoint
|Location: W3GF+3P8, Bacani Road, Carmen, Sagbayan, Bohol
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours only on Sunday and Saturday.
Entrance Fee: Php50 or $1 per person.
|Location: Q5X9+C3V, Carmen, Bohol
Opening Hours: 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, daily.
Entrance Fee: Php50 or $1 per person.
2. Tarsier Conservation Area
The Philippines Tarsier, which is the second smallest primate in the world, can be found in Bohol! These small monkeys have big round eyes that are useful for hunting at night but they only grow up to 15 centimeters long. They are nocturnal animals and eat only bugs and smaller insects.
The Tarsier can be found in other places like Leyte and other Mindanao provinces but Bohol is known for its extensive conservation efforts that aim to help rebuild the population of these endangered creatures. There are two conservation areas which are in Loboc and Corella. You’ll be able to see some of the tarsiers there.
Some foreign tourists often feel underwhelmed when they come to visit the sanctuaries because they only see a few of these cutie pies. But there is a reason why only a few of them are brought out.
These monkeys are known to be easily anxious and depressed. There have been many accounts where Tarsiers would commit suicide by violently hitting their head on a tree or climbing up the highest point only to jump off of it and die. These have been known to have contributed to the decline of their population.
It was for these reasons that they stopped allowing tourists to touch the Tarsiers. So, don’t be surprised to only see a few of them. Also, flash photography is not allowed because it could damage the tarsier’s sensitive eyes.
|Loboc Tarsier Conservation Area
|Corella Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary
|Location: M3GR+FFM, Loay Interior Road, Loboc, Bohol
Opening Hours: 8 AM to 5 PM, daily.
Entrance Fee: Php80 or $1.50 per person.
|Location: Tarsier Sanctuary Rd, Corella, Bohol
Opening Hours: 9 AM to 4 PM, daily.
Entrance Fee: Php80 or $1.50 per person.
3. Loboc River Cruise
One of our personal favorites is the Loboc River Cruise in the municipality of Loboc in Bohol!
The Loboc River stretches out over 520 kilometers toward the Bohol Sea. It is one of the most popular tourist spots and an important part of the itinerary. It features a cruise along the beautiful river that is surrounded by lush trees and quaint houses that have been built along the riverside.
As you cruise along the Loboc River, you’ll find children jumping from hanging ropes and the bridges to the waters which is actually quite fun to watch. You’ll be stopping by some local Rondalla performers who will also dance the tinikling (Philippine bamboo dance) to which you can join in and learn. And at the end of the river, you’ll get to see the small Busay Waterfalls.
The cruise is quite relaxing and is usually done during lunchtime because the river cruise also serves an all-you-can-eat buffet-style lunch. And while you eat your food, the live band that comes along with the trip will serenade you with songs.
The experience is a must since it is a refreshing way to get to know nature on the island. You’ll also get to see the 289-year-old Loboc Church!
Location: J2MH+WW8, Loboc, Bohol
Opening Hours: 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM, daily.
Entrance Fee: Php850 or $15 per person (includes the buffet).
4. Bilar Man-Made Forest
Every trip around Bohol requires you to visit the man-made forest in Bilar. This forest was planted as a way to combat the deforestation around the Loboc watershed that was caused by the slash-and-burn farming system, locally called ‘kaingin’, during the height of World War II.
The reforestation effort happened around 1968 to the 1970s when locals, students, government and private employees, laborers, and many more planted mahogany trees around the 20,000-hectare stretch of land.
Today, it is one of the most visited tourist spots on the island because of its beautiful greenery and the story behind it that truly symbolizes the essence of ‘bayanihan’ or the Filipino way of working together.
Aside from the tall trees, the forest area is known to be cooler compared to the outside area. There is a designated spot where tourist guides would let you get out of the vehicle to take some pictures. You do have to be mindful since other buses and vans pass by from time to time.
The Bilar Man-Made Forest may seem like a very simple site to some but it’s a great example of how much we can do for mother Earth if only we worked together.
Location: M37H+M9X, Loay Interior Road, Bilar, Bohol
Opening Hours: Always open.
Entrance Fee: FREE
5. Tigbao Twin Bamboo Hanging Bridge
Bamboo bridges are common all over Asia but what sets the Tigbao Bamboo Bridge is that it is suspended 83 feet up in the air over the flowing Loboc river!
The Tigbao Bamboo Hanging Bridge is not one for the faint-hearted. Yes, it looks quite simple and the locals that walk on it make it look easy but it’s not! The bridge sways from side to side and if you or somebody has heavy steps, it will cause the bridge to wave up and down! The experience is even worse if you have a fear of heights because looking down at the flowing river will really induce that anxiety!
The description above sounds a bit intimidating but there’s no reason for you to not visit this site. Even when you don’t walk the bridge completely, you’ll still be able to take incredible pictures and say that you’ve conquered your fear!
Unfortunately, Super Typhoon Rai a.k.a Typhoon Odette completely destroyed the bridges last December 2021. Although repairs are being made, the bridges are still not functional. So, you can skip this tourist attraction for now and we’ll update this as soon as everything is fine.
Location: M2GX+457, Loboc, Bohol
Opening Hours: Permanently Closed.
Entrance Fee: Php35 or $0.60 per person (before the typhoon).
6. Hinagdanan Cave
If you were going to look for the fountain of youth, you’ll probably find it in a cave like the Hinagdanan Cave in Dauis, Bohol.
The Hinagdanan Cave became a popular tourist spot on the island of Panglao because of its beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, and the clear pool of water that can be found inside the cave.
Going inside, you’ll be entering through a small entrance and steep stairs going down. Below, there is a pool of water in which you can swim in. It’s quite cold but due to the weather in the Philippines, it’s really refreshing. There’s a hole in the roof of the cave that beautifully filters out the light that gets in and it makes the cave look so majestic that it feels like you’re being drawn in by an enchanting force.
Historically, it was used as a hiding spot during the second world war, so you might hear some ghost stories here and there too.
Location: JRG2+496, Bingag, Dauis, Bohol
Opening Hours: 7:30 AM to 4 PM.
Entrance Fee: Php25 or $0.50 per person.
7. Blood Compact Monument
Just like Cebu, Bohol was one of the first islands to be colonized by the Spaniards back in the 1500s. So, it’s quite common to find centuries-old churches and ancestral houses. However, one of the most significant historical sites on the island is the Blood Compact Monument.
The Blood Compact Monument is believed to have been the site where Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and Boholano tribal leader Datu Sikatuna held the Sanduguan or the blood compact, a ritual where two parties would cut their hands so that blood would pour into a cup of liquid as a sign of friendship.
The sculpture featured on the site was made by the Boholano National Artist, Napoleon Abueva. It shows what the Sanduguan would have looked like with Sikatuna and Legazpi at the center.
There are other towns in Bohol that claim the blood compact site, but the one in Bool is the original and the most well-known.
Location: JVGH+XMM, J.P, EK Inting St, Tagbilaran City, 6300, Bohol
Opening Hours: Always Open.
Entrance Fee: FREE
8. Panglao Island
Panglao Island is a popular tourist destination in Bohol because of its beautiful coastline that features some of the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines.
It is located just a few minutes away from the mainland and is connected by two bridges. It holds two municipalities, Dauis and Panglao. Both of these municipalities are known for their beaches but Panglao is where most of the beach resorts are found. It is also where a lot of the diving spots are located and where island-hopping tours start.
The 34-mile stretch of white sand beaches is the perfect destination for island lovers and honeymooners who want to spend their time relaxing, sunbathing, or swimming in cool blue waters.
The best time to come here is around May or the summer season in the Philippines as there are fewer typhoons that would push seaweed to the coast. You can enjoy Panglao by checking in to beautiful resorts or simply visiting the beach during the day for a picnic!
Anywhere in Panglao is great for a day on the beach but the most popular area of this small island is Alona Beach. Alona is where most foreigners decide to live because it is where most of the beach resorts are situated. From inexpensive ones to luxury 5-star resorts, Alona has them all.
Some popular things to do in Alona Beach are watersports like parasailing, riding on banana boats, jet skiing, and many more. Island-hopping tours are always available here but it would be best if you book one at the resort you’ll be staying in because you can make sure that you won’t be scammed.
In addition to the beach in Alona, the area has a lot of restaurants that accommodate foreigners’ tastes. You will be able to find European, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Korean restaurants here!
The fun at Alona Beach does not die down when the sun sets because at night, clubs open, restaurants serve fresh seafood while you get serenaded by live bands playing Bossa Novas or Reggae songs, and fire dancers twirl their fireballs at the beach!
Location: Panglao Island, Bohol
Opening Hours: Always Open.
Entrance Fee: FREE
9. Baclayon Church
The La Purisima Concepcion de la Virgen Maria Parish Church or popularly known as the Baclayon Church is a 296-year-old Catholic church that opened in 1727.
Baclayon Church was built using coral stones and egg whites as plaster and was designed after Baroque and Neoclassical architectural styles. The watch tower that stands in front of the church looks over to the Bohol Sea and was believed to have been used to spot boats and ships heading towards the town.
It is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines and is considered a National Cultural Treasure. Unfortunately, major parts of the church as the watch tower got destroyed during the 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Bohol last 2013 but extreme efforts to repair the church using the original coral stones have been placed.
This is one of the sites you’ll get to visit when you take a Round-Bohol tour and you can actually book one on our favorite websites for booking tours and attractions all over the world!
Location: JWF6+4XW, Baclayon, Bohol
Opening Hours: 1:30 AM to 4:30 PM, daily except Tuesday.
Entrance Fee: FREE
10. Dimiao Twin Waterfalls
If you want to take a break from beach life, you can head on to Dimiao Twin Waterfalls in the municipality of Dimiao!
There are actually three waterfalls in this area despite the name. The clear blue pool of water at the bottom of the waterfalls is perfect for a cold swim! It does take a while to get there because you have to ride a motorbike and do a 1-kilometer trek but all of it is worth it because the waterfalls are stunning.
There’s really nothing much to do here for thrill-seekers and extreme adventurers but you’ll find that spending your time here and just being one with nature is the perfect way to have a relaxing day. Plus, this tourist spot is not a very popular one and not many tourists or locals come here so, there is a high chance that you’ll get to spend the time almost on your own!
Location: J5W5+4JV, Dimiao, Bohol
Opening Hours: 7 AM to 5 PM, daily.
Entrance Fee: Php20 per person.
11. Sikatuna Mirror of The World and Botanical Garden
The Sikatuna Mirror of the World is a theme park that features different sculptures and replicas of iconic symbols and landmarks from around the world!
It’s a relatively new tourist attraction in the municipality of Sikatuna but it’s one that you should not miss out on especially if you’re traveling with your kids. You’ll find sculptures like the Merlion, the Statue of Liberty, and Christ the Redeemer as well as replicas of buildings like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Eiffel tower, and the Golden Gate Bridge.
The area here is quite big and it is said that there are actually 6 phases to this attraction but only two have been completed so far. The area is basically like a very big garden because there are plants and colorful flowers everywhere. Though, the number of flowers here are not as many as in Singapore Botanic Gardens. There’s a restaurant located at the top of the highest hill where you could eat lunch and they feature beloved Boholano dishes like the humba!
The Mirror of the World is a great place to hang out with your friends or family during the day, but it is also quite a sight in the evening as the lights illuminate the gardens and the sculpture!
Location: MXCG+76J, Sikatuna, Bohol
Opening Hours: 7 AM to 6 PM, daily.
Entrance Fee: Php120 or $2.18 (daytime) and Php150 or $3 (nighttime) for adults. Php50 or $1 for children.
Where to stay in Bohol?
The answer to this question really depends on which part of Bohol you want to stay in. There are a lot of hostels and backpacker’s inns in Panglao for travelers who are looking for cheaper accommodations. That is where most luxury resorts are located too, so if you’re looking to stay in a fancier place, you probably want to head to Panglao.
Do note that Panglao is not the only place in Bohol that has white sand beaches. You could head north towards the municipality of Anda and you’ll find pristine white sand beaches there too! With that being said, there are resorts, inns, and hostels around that area, so you have plenty of options to choose from.
Once you have decided where to stay, you can check out deals on discounts on these booking websites for accommodations.
Is Bohol worth visiting?
There is so much to discover in the Island of Bohol that this list is just the tip of the iceberg. We’d say that Bohol is in fact a destination worth visiting because you can relax, have fun, and go on adventures. The choice is yours!
Plus, Boholanos are some of the people who are known to be very friendly and accommodating and spending your time here means that you’ll not just enjoy the place, but you’ll also enjoy knowing the people!