Going on a Bohol trip and want to know all the best things to do in Bohol? We have you covered! Below you will find our guide of exactly what to do in Bohol to plan your ultimate trip.
Bohol is the tenth largest island of the Philippines and offers a taste of almost everything the country has to offer, so you’re rarely left wondering what to do Bohol! Full of glorious beaches, coconut groves, stunning scenic vistas, centuries-old Spanish churches, limestone caves, protected marine reserves with colourful corals and an abundant sea life… if all that’s not enough, there’s also the unique Chocolate Hills and the world’s smallest monkeys, Tarsiers… Basically, you’re never far away from a tourist attraction in Bohol, Philippines!
However, this destination is still greatly undiscovered by a majority of non-diving foreign tourists, with most heading to more well-known locations such as Palawan or Cebu. Yet Bohol is popular with local tourists who enjoy long weekend breaks or spend their summer vacation here, well aware that the island has so much to offer, as there are many thrilling and exciting activities in Bohol.
With no high rise buildings, a myriad of postcard-perfect beaches, and more than half the island undeveloped and covered with rice paddies, lush jungle and coconut fields, this is a land waiting to be explored. With only a little effort – and getting there is usually half the fun – you can be hiking terraces with views that span across acres of fields, far off to the Cebu Strait.
Bohol is nicknamed “God’s Little Paradise”, due to the island’s offerings – both natural and man-made – supposedly being incomparable to what other Philippine tourist destinations offer. We’re going to run down all the top things to do in Bohol 2021, plus highlight all the beautiful places in Bohol, Philippines, and let you decide your favourite Bohol Philippines tourist attractions!
Below, you will find our Bohol things to do blog post with everything you need to know about the best places to visit in Bohol 2021, where to go for great Bohol activities as well as the best Bohol tourist attractions for your ultimate holiday in Bohol!! There is also a handy map of the best places in Bohol to visit.
- 1 Top 25 Best Things To Do In Bohol, Philippines
- 1.1 Check Out The Famous Chocolate Hills
- 1.2 Enjoy Scenic Views at Sagbayan Peak
- 1.3 Breathe Some Fresh Air At The Alicia Panoramic Park (TAPP)
- 1.4 Visit Our Tiny Tarsier Friends At The Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary
- 1.5 See Nature’s Beauty At The Bohol Habitat Conservation Center
- 1.6 Walk The Bamboo Hanging Bridge (Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridges)
- 1.7 Visit And Know The Story Behind The Blood Compact Monument
- 1.8 Explore Hinagdanan Cave
- 1.9 Take A Dip At Dimiao Twin Waterfalls
- 1.10 Take A Canter In The Green Hills Of Bohol
- 1.11 Have A Night Kayaking Experience
- 1.12 Enjoy The Loboc River Cruise
- 1.13 Check Out The Historic Baclayon Church
- 1.14 Visit A National Cultural Treasure: The Cathedral of St Joseph the Worker
- 1.15 See The Cambuyo Rice Terraces
- 1.16 Go River Paddle Boarding
- 1.17 Shop Your Heart Out At Bohol Quality Mall
- 1.18 Feel The Adrenaline Rush At Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park
- 1.19 Enjoy A Ride Along Mahogany Forest
- 1.20 Explore And Enjoy Great Food At Bohol Bee Farm
- 1.21 Relax In Panglao Island At Alona Beach
- 1.22 Go Firefly Watching At Night
- 1.23 Learn Town History At Bohol National Museum
- 1.24 Enjoy Quiet and Picturesque Anda
- 1.25 Take The Plunge At Cabagnow Cave Pool
- 2 Bohol Tourist Spots Itinerary
- 3 Best Things To Do Bohol, Philippines Map
- 4 Best Place To Stay In Bohol
- 5 How To Get To Bohol
- 6 Bohol With Kids
- 7 Final Words
Top 25 Best Things To Do In Bohol, Philippines
Here are the best Bohol attractions 2021. Read through and select the ones that fit your interests and timeframe.
Check Out The Famous Chocolate Hills
Philippine legends abound as to the formation of Bohol’s legendary Chocolate Hills. Feuding giants that hurled rock boulders and sand at each other is one idea, a second more romantic suggestion is of another giant who cried so much that when his mortal lover died his tears formed the hills.
And the third, amusingly, tells of a town plagued by a giant carabao (large bullock cow) that ate all the crops. The townsfolk were irate and decided to leave out all their spoiled food for the carabao. Thus, after eating that too, his stomach couldn’t handle things and… well, best you google the rest… but the carabao is blamed for having formed all the hills!
Named after the colour that the hills turn during Summer – when the lush greenery turns a chocolate (burnt) brown thanks to the hot weather, the hills – officially called “haycock hills” – are really thought to be relics of eroded formations of marine limestone that sit on top of hardened clay.
Enough with the science! These splendid hills – all 1800+ of them – are one of the best places to go in Bohol 2021, top of famous places in Bohol and an absolute Bohol must-do! In fact, visitors to the beautiful island of Bohol often refer to the Chocolate Hills as an “eighth wonder of the world” thanks to their scientific importance, uniqueness and highly scenic value.
Scattered across three towns – Carmen, Batuan and Sagbayam – the main Chocolate Hills Complex is at Carmen, 55 kilometers from Tagbilaran City. Thousands of cone-shaped hills spread out across a natural open plateau, resembling odd mystic mounds.
The largest hill has been developed into a resort with accommodation, restaurant and a gift shop. For a small entrance fee, 214 (extremely) steep steps lead visitors up to the top of the hill – usually at a slow crawl as this is a popular attraction and everyone’s exposed to the heat of the Philippine’s beating sun. Yet the view from the top observation deck is well worth the exercise.
Spread out in 360-degree panoramic is a unique scene of almost dinosaur-egg-like mounds that stretch as far as the eye can see. No wonder this is top of places to see in Bohol – there’s really nowhere else like it in the world!
Another fun place to visit in the area is the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park, also in Carmen. Full-on adrenalin activities here, with zip-lining, a unique bike-zip, treetop rope courses, horseback riding (though not available when we visited), and there’s a campsite if you’re up for a night under the awesome country sky. Full details here.
The Chocolate Hills should be top of your list when visiting Bohol as they are the most famous tourist attraction of Bohol – even featured in the provincial flag and seal to promote the natural attractions of the province. Though best known for the Summer brown-coloured grass, I’d recommend visiting in early summer before they turn – when they are healthy and green. March-April would be ideal.
Enjoy Scenic Views at Sagbayan Peak
Another spot where you can appreciate the Chocolate Hills is at Sagbayan Peak. This mountain resort and recreation centre is 46 kilometers northwest of Tagbilaran City and offers panoramic views of the famed hills, reaching to the blue sea of the Cebu Strait that separates Bohol from Cebu.
A little away from other tourist spots, Sagbayan Peak is less visited than the Complex but is ideal for nature lovers and those looking for a quieter experience of this natural attraction in Bohol. Reached via roads edged by rice fields, coconut and banana groves, this is a rural part of the island.
The resort sits on a five-hectare property on a mountain top, and has a minimal entrance fee (50php at time of writing). You’ll find a couple of tarsiers – the world’s smallest primate – inside an enclosure near to the entrance and, oddly, a life-sized T-rex at the top of a plateau.
The dinosaur sets the scene for what’s to follow… with cartoon characters and other dinosaurs scattered across the grounds. There’s Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Snow White with her dwarfs, plus many more. All together they make this a terrific place for families and those young at heart, definitely one of the more fun things to do in Bohol for children.
Head to Cafe Baudilio for a refreshing cool-down in the air-conditioned cafe, that has sliding glass doors that open to views out across the mountain, to the butterfly dome (home to 18 species) and a distant viewing deck. There’s also overnight accommodation here if you want to stay a night or two.
On the cafe’s deck, you’ll find a high powered telescope which offers views across to Cebu City’s skyline.
The rest of the property is made up of a grotto, some wishing-fountains and a grassy field with a flea market and picnic area. Nothing too exciting but it’s a relaxing spot, with healthy air and splendid views, and we found it one of the most relaxing Bohol places to visit.
Once you’ve had lunch, make your way to the viewing deck at the top of a nearby mound. The view here is truly spectacular, with the green of the hills complemented against the blue of the sea. But do remember to wear proper shoes for this walk, flip flops aren’t ideal.
In summary, there’s a little more to see here – with tarsiers, butterflies and the strange character models – compared to the Complex, but the view of the Chocolate Hills we thought was more spectacular at the Complex. Choose whichever works best for you and your family!
Address: Carmen – Sagbayan – Bacani Rd, Sagbayan, Bohol
Breathe Some Fresh Air At The Alicia Panoramic Park (TAPP)
One of the new attractions in Bohol and far off the main Bohol-tourist path, the Alicia Panoramic Park is a hiker’s paradise. Bohol, though famed for its beaches and small primates, has an interior that is perhaps most reminiscent of parts of lower Scotland – rolling green hills, empty of people or construction, and stunning panoramic scenery.
The Binabaje Hills, covering the eastern part of this large island, are a treat for nature lovers and trekkers. Mostly covered with cogon grasses and very few trees, they provide unobstructed vistas. The beautiful ridges and picture-perfect green scenery are ripe for a day’s hike or – if you’re up for a real adventure – a challenging motocross ride!
Not easy to reach, there are several ways to get here:
- Reach Alicia by bus from the bus terminal in Tagbilaran, with the trip taking around 3 hours. Next, take a habal-habal ride (motorbike back-ride) along an unpaved road – bumpy and dusty – to the Binabaje Hills’ registration centre at Cambaol. (You may, of course, choose to walk this too – taking approx 4 hours.)
- If travelling by your own car it is recommended to contact the Alicia tourism office and arrange with them where to pick up a guide for the trek (usually from the Municipal Hall). From the Alicia Municipal Hall, there is still another 24 kilometers to drive to the main trekking route. Alternatively park up in Alicia and take the habal-habal ride.
From the drop off at Cambaol the trek is approximately 2 hours to the peak.
Fees as of writing: 300php for a day trek with guide (5-7 people), 500php for overnight guide for 5 people. There is also a small environmental fee to pay and tents can be rented (good for 2-people) at 100php.
Note that this is not that easy a trek, with the constant sun beating down on hikers (with no tree shade), and the up-and-down trail through the hills challenging most first-time trekkers. Ensure you wear the right shoes and take along plenty of water and snacks as there is nowhere to purchase anything at the site in a bid to maintain the region’s natural appearance.
Take an umbrella for the unforgiving sun or sudden downpour, and time your visit well as the trails can often be rain-rutted and the area can feel desolate if the weather turns at this remote Bohol new attraction. If staying overnight at the free campsite, remember your torch and warm clothing. In other words, there is lots of pre-planning… but the best views in life don’t come easy!
Address: Cambaol, Alicia, Bohol
Visit Our Tiny Tarsier Friends At The Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary
Tarsiers are, fair to say, rather strange creatures. The world’s smallest primates, they cling to branches with long alien-like fingers and – if you’re lucky enough to catch one awake – stare out with unproportionately large eyes. Cute? Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder…
To add to their uniqueness, Tarsiers are delicate creatures. Emotional and sensitive to noise levels, when stressed they have been known to commit suicide by hitting their heads against tree trunks. Thus, needless to say, when wandering the paths of the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary, there’s a strong request for hushed voices and no flash photography.
Living only 2-12 years and growing to a maximum height of only 16 centimeters, the majority of Tarsier species are endangered or threatened. Habitat destruction and their shyness has led to dwindling numbers, thus the work carried out by the team at Corella, Bohol, is vital to their survival.
This spot to view Tarsiers within their ‘natural habitat’ offers around 100 of the shy animals, which you have to seek out amongst the branches and leaves. Local guides assist, as they are clever little monkeys that prefer to hide away from prying eyes. And as nocturnal animals, of course, spend most of the day asleep.
The centre is fairly well maintained but was not as interesting to visit as we’d hoped, and in consideration, viewing nocturnal animals whilst they’re asleep was never going to be the highlight of our Bohol things to see!
Add a side visit here into your Loboc or Chocolate Hills visit, avoiding the middle of the day as it’s extremely humid amongst the trees.
Address: Tarsier Sunctuary Rd, Corella, Bohol
See Nature’s Beauty At The Bohol Habitat Conservation Center
Discover all about the life cycle of butterflies at the Bohol Habitat Conservation Centre. A netted, leafy enclosure that is home to some of the country’s largest moth and butterfly species, the small centre is worth dropping by for a peek.
Located in Bilar, this is one of the quicker things to see in Bohol, a stop that can be added into your Loboc or Chocolate Hills day trip.
Address: Highway Poblacion Bilar, Bohol
Walk The Bamboo Hanging Bridge (Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridges)
We almost drove straight past this! But we are glad we stopped as it was the highlight for our children, one of their best things to do, Bohol. Plus the view here is pretty, with the water a deep green/blue that is picturesque against the greenery of the riverbanks.
Think back to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, with Harrison Ford running across a roped wooden bridge and you have the idea… 40 meters of rickety bridge with views straight down to the river 20 meters beneath. The crossing is not for the faint of heart!
Originally constructed just of bamboo and rope, today the rope has been replaced with steel cables so you’re safe-ish… As the deck of the bridge is still formed of woven bamboo slats which – appeared to us – to be broken in places.
But our kids ran up and down the bridges – one for each direction – just careful where to tread. And the adults, well we claimed to be too tired to bother but perhaps were quietly too scared as we watched the bridge bend slightly with the weight of all the people crossing at the same time!
Address: Sitio Sipatan, Brgy. Ewon, Sevilla Bohol
Visit And Know The Story Behind The Blood Compact Monument
This unique shrine is one of things to do in Tagbilaran, Bohol, just outside the town on the roadside next to the sea. You’ll spot a small viewing deck with an unusual “shrine” that seems to honour men drinking!
The Sandugo (blood compact) is something that’s taught in primary school and thus the shrine is very well known within the country. Literally meaning one-blood, the Sandugo is said to be a traditional pledge that marks the bond of friendship between two tribes.
And the most famous Sandugo was performed by the chieftain of Bohal Datu Sikatauna and Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, back in March 1565. Considered the first friendship treaty between the Filipinos and Spaniards, this is what in modern times we refer to as “blood brothers”.
Amusingly the shrine doesn’t mark the actual spot where the historic treaty took place but is the chosen spot to honour the pact. Built by national artist Napoleon Isabelo Veloso Abueva, a native of Bohol, the shrine is carved from alabaster and cast in bronze, and depicts 5 life-size people making the pact and raising a toast to cheer each other.
Unfortunately, there was little information at the site to explain the historical relevance of the shrine. Thus, it’s best to research before coming or more likely visit with a guide as it’s on route to the Chocolate Hills and Loboc.
Address: J.P, EK Inting St, Tagbilaran City
Explore Hinagdanan Cave
Meaning “laddered” in Cebuano, the Hinagdanan Cave is one of the best caves in the province of Bohol and always mentioned in “top 10 things to do in Bohol Island, Philippines” listings.
Accidentally discovered by a farmer, the cave is a karst limestone beauty with several stalactite and stalagmite formations parallel to each other. There’s also a fresh water lagoon that’s about 12 meters deep.
Located in Panglao, a small island attached to the tip of Bohol by a couple of bridges, the cave has a small entrance which can feel very claustrophobic for a few seconds… Before it opens into the vast internal cavern. The steps down are slimy and smooth, so remember to wear sensible footwear.
As it’s a popular stop there are many tourist stalls and roadside restaurants around the cave’s entrance so you can plan on a small break here for a snack before or after your cave exploration.
Open most days from 7.30am until 6pm, the cave is in Bingag, Dauis, Bohol, and can only be viewed with the service of a volunteer tour guide (available at the entrance). Approx 100 meters long, don’t forget your camera for some eerie shots inside as the sun’s rays filter through holes in the ceiling. A real must-do in Bohol, add in a trip to this gorgeous cave!
Address: Bingag, Dauis, Bohol
Take A Dip At Dimiao Twin Waterfalls
Time to get wet and have some fun, at one of the best waterfalls and must see places in Bohol. Dimiao Twin Falls or, as sometimes known, Pahangog Falls, is surrounded by jungle and flows into rock pools that are fabulous for a chilly dip!
Reaching here is part of the adventure and one that you’ll perhaps need to find on your own as there aren’t too many tours to the Falls. We rented scooters for the day (one of the cheapest things to do on Bohol) and it was quite easy to find, well worth the bother.
There’s a small entrance fee to pay of around 20 pesos, then follow the rocky trail that leads to a steep set of concrete stairs (with handrails) that take you down to the falls. A moderate hike of about 10 minutes and you’ll reach the bottom.
A stunning location with a far-from-everything feel, surrounded by lush vegetation and trees, this is what the Philippines is famed for. Rent inflatable tubes and set yourself up at one of the rented huts near to the twin falls.
The Falls flow down from a height of around 25 meters, filling into a large turquoise natural-made swimming pool. Deep enough in some areas for rock jumping – you’ll marvel at the local kids with their daring dives – there’s a rocky floor underneath so it’s best to keep shoes on whilst bathing. Chilly? Definitely! Especially when you glide out on your inflatable under the falls for a crazy head massage which is surely one of the most fun activities to do in Bohol and we all had a terrific time here.
Bring your own food and water and, if possible, time your visit during the week as it can get very busy with locals across the weekends. And just remember that what goes down must go up, as the walk back to the car park is a steep one!
Address: Guingoyoran, Dimiao, Bohol
Take A Canter In The Green Hills Of Bohol
If you’re an equine fan, check out Bohol Horse Riders Club for idyllic rides through the Alicia Panoramic Park. Not yet highly publicised, this could soon be one of the most popular Bohol adventure activities as excitement for the new tourist attraction in Bohol – the Alicia Panoramic Park – grows in popularity.
Cross streams, rice fields, grassy plains and country hills on beautiful, well-mainted horses. And in 2021, you could well be the only foreign guests enjoying a cantor with local riders!
Contact Bohol Horse Riders Club for further information.
Have A Night Kayaking Experience
After a short safety briefing, check of lifejackets and a kayak orientation, it’s time to head off up river with your guide in search of fireflies.
As the sun sets and dusk takes a hold, the calm river seems almost to change colour as you silently glide along the mangrove rivers of Bohol. Following your guide, you meander your way through the canals listening to the buzz of insects and chirp of crickets, glimpsing bats and birds before finally catching the twinkle of fireflies in the riverside trees.
This evening kayak experience along the Abatan River is a wonderful experience for any age. It’s incredibly safe as the waters are very calm and shallow, and the night sky is something special to see away from city lights.
And to finish off your evening, there’s a Filipino home cooked meal waiting for you upon your return to base!
This for us was one of the best Bohol top things to do, as the exhilaration of gliding through the quiet canals under the massive sky was a thrill for all our family. Just outside of Tagbilaran it’s ideal if you’re staying within the city or even if you’re heading on after the activity towards Tubigon – catching the evening ferry across to Cebu for further adventures around Moalboal or Oslob.
In fact, it’s the best of Tubigon Bohol tourist attractions.
Enjoy The Loboc River Cruise
Bohol top attractions don’t come much more enjoyable than this! A standout part of our Bohol trip, the Loboc River Cruise is an absolute must-do in Bohol. The Loboc jade-green river snakes gently along, passing banks heavy with lush jungle. And nature is everywhere, with birds tweeting, fish fins flicking patterns in the water, and insects humming.
It’s a quick drive to Loboc, approximately 40 minutes from Tagbilaran. Time it right to arrive around lunchtime, perhaps stopping off at some of the other attractions mentioned along the route.
We experienced quite a hot and lengthy wait to board our boat, but it’s all worth it once you’re gliding along with fresh river breezes cooling you down and sunshine twinkling on the gorgeous river. And your “cruise” is actually a floating restaurant, offering a basic but hearty buffet lunch and an enjoyable burst of live music.
One of the cleanest rivers in the country, this is perhaps the best place in Bohol Philippines that we visited, and (no surprise) it’s one of the most popular Bohol Philippines things to do. You don’t want to miss this!
Usually running for an hour or so, from the town of Loay or within Loboc town proper, the cruise returns you to your starting point. Sing-a-long to Beatles classics or a burst of American Pie, and enjoy the ride!
Check Out The Historic Baclayon Church
Renowned for the Chocolate Hills, Bohol is also popular for its many old churches, some dating back centuries and built during the Spanish colonial times. Baclayon Church, founded by the Jesuits in 1596, is the oldest of these. In fact, it’s one of the oldest in the Philippines.
In 1717, it was converted into a parish church and construction commenced on the existing building – said to have been built by more than 200 forced labourers using coral stone mixed with egg whites as cement!
The dramatic facade leads to a stunning interior which includes a gold-plated altar and an assortment of centuries-old religious images and artifacts. Some of the main features are the choir loft with a 19th-century pipe organ and several reddish paintings dating back to 1856-1859 that can still be seen on the church’s interior wooden panels. Unsurprisingly, the building is a national cultural treasure.
Sadly, the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol back in 2013 greatly damaged the church but major restorative work was carried out, meaning that by 2018 the Baclayon was fully restored and reopened to the public.
Drop by this majestic church on your way to the Chocolate Hills or Loboc River Cruise.
Visit A National Cultural Treasure: The Cathedral of St Joseph the Worker
The main seat of the Catholic faith in Bohol, the Cathedral of St Joseph the Worker opens out onto the main street in Tagbilaran City and the town’s city-plaza. Famed for flocks of doves and a quiet haven for those looking to relax or meditate, this is one of the more relaxing places to visit in Bohol, Philippines.
Dating back to 1767, this elegant church was burned to the ground in 1798 and rebuilt in 1855. Fairly ordinary to look at from the outside, the interior is a delight. Beautiful frescoes fill the walls and ceiling making it one of the most breathtaking places to see in Bohol.
Address: Bohol Circumferential Rd, Tagbilaran City, Bohol
See The Cambuyo Rice Terraces
If you don’t have time to visit the UNESCO Batad, Banaue Rice Terraces of the Philippines, why not drop by these in Cambuyo? Not on par with Banaue, the Cambuyo Rice Terraces still make for a great add-on to a Carmen Chocolate Hills visit.
It’s easily accessible as it’s located next to the main road. You can criss-cross sprawling vibrant green fields and enjoy a nice ramble while appreciating rural views.
Rice is the main sustenance for Filipinos and at almost anytime of the year you should find farmers at work in the fields – often whole families working together – and blankets on the roadside with rice laid out to dry, before being swept up and packed into sacks.
But don’t forget, rice fields are very muddy as farmers plant rows of rice seeds in wet soil, so come with the correct footwear if you decide to explore what is one of the more unusual Bohol places to go.
Address: Cambuyo, Garcia-Hernandez, Bohol
Go River Paddle Boarding
A fun add-on after your Loboc River Cruise, the Loboc River Stand Up Paddle Adventure is one of the newer activities in Bohol to do.
You’ll have a quick lesson from the professional instructor before climbing onto your own SUP and paddling along the river in convoy. As the SUPs are comfortably large and the river very calm, you quickly find yourself paddling along the river enjoying the sounds of nature and the river breeze.
There are tours offered with meals and all come inclusive of full gear rental. And, better still, stick around to enjoy this activity at dusk when you’ll have the chance to spot fireflies along the riverbank.
A top Bohol activity for all the family to enjoy together. Learn more here.
Address: SUP Tours Philippines StandUp Paddleboard Center, Loboc River, Baranggay Valladolid, Loboc, Bohol
Shop Your Heart Out At Bohol Quality Mall
There’s nothing quite like a local mall to really give you a feel for a country! Bohol Quality Mall in the heart of Tagbilaran, affectionately called BQ Mall, does just that.
Full of shops selling clothing and local produce, there’s also a cinema complex and local food hall on the top floor. Full details here.
Address: CPG Avenue,Tagbilaran City,Bohol,
Feel The Adrenaline Rush At Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park
Another of the must visit places in Bohol, it’s now time for some fun and to view Bohol from a different perspective… such as upside down from a zipline!
Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park’s most famed ride is the thrilling 500m zipline that runs at around 120 meters above ground. Riders are sent flying across a waterfall and the stunning Loboc River, and enjoy expansive Loboc valley views. Definitely not one for the faint-of-heart!
Luckily, there’s a steadier ride on a small cable car that follows the same route which travels at a less adrenaline-inducing pace.
3.5km north of Loboc, this is another great add-on to your day in Loboc, after your river cruise and SUP adventures. Enormously popular at weekends, it’s best to drop by during the week when it’s less crowded.
Enjoy A Ride Along Mahogany Forest
The man-made Mahogany Forest – on route to the Chocolate Hills – is an unusual 2 kilometer stretch of trees that seems to come out of nowhere!
You’re driving through farmlands and lush palm-tree-filled wild jungle forests when suddenly you’re surrounded by uniformly planted, thin-trunked and tall mahogany trees. The sunlight disappears as the soldier-like trees form a canopy across the road and you can’t help but look upwards, watching the branches curve overhead.
Everyone stops along this stretch of road to take photos of this reforestation programme, started over 50 years ago. Be careful as there’s a constant traffic of tour buses, public transport, motorbikes and more, but enjoy the abrupt cooler air, respite from the hot Philippines sun, and capture some Insta-worthy pics.
Located approximately 20 kilometers from Tagbilaran, at the border of Pilar and Loboc, on a road the locals call “tina-i sa manok”. This means chicken-intestines, in relation to how the road winds up the mountain!
Address: Loay Interior Road, Bilar, Bohol
Explore And Enjoy Great Food At Bohol Bee Farm
Found in the middle of Panglao Island, the idyllic “beach” island attached by a bridge to the tip of Bohol, the Bee Farm is a one-stop venue that offers accommodation, handicrafts, farm-tour and dining! One of the older establishments on the island, Bohol Bee Farm is a famous attraction that has expanded across the years with a visit here now one of the top things to do in Panglao, Bohol.
Enjoy a 30-minute walk around the farm where you’ll discover how this unique business came to start and the connection the owners have with the local islanders. Learn tips on turning home-grown herbs into sandwich spread or into an insect repellent spray, and how beeswax can be used as lip balm.
Next, drop by the cafe to taste some of their healthy ecological food, offered under the watchful eye of the naturalist owner. Ingredients are derived from pure natural flower juice and, of course, there’s lots of honey. Signature dishes include honey lemongrass tea, honey pumpkin cake, honey lasagna… you get the idea.
But the most famous item on the menu is their home-made ice-cream with unusual flavours including charcoal coconut and avocado. Give it a try!
The farm is built within a coconut grove and is next to the ocean, making it a pretty location.
Address: Purok 1, Dao, Dauis, Bohol
Relax In Panglao Island At Alona Beach
Perhaps the most famous Bohol province tourist spot – definitely amongst the locals – Alona Beach is the epitome of Philippine beaches. Perfect white sand, surrounded by rocky cliffs, with a superb house reef just off the shoreline full of colourful fish and corals. The best place to go in Bohol? We thought so!
At only 1 kilometer long, this small beach packs a punch with its beauty, pulling in foreign tourists in search of epic snorkelling and diving experiences. Tourism thrives at this busy beach, with pump boats constantly heading out to sea packed with divers, island-hoppers and – early morning – those in search of dolphins and whales.
The nearby islands of Pamilacan and Balicasag are inundated with visitors, looking to snorkel with turtles and reef fish at their protected marine reserves. This is top of any things to do in Bohol, Panglao list.
At night, the beach is lively and fun, with many hotels and restaurants opening directly onto the small strip of beach. And you’ll find some of the freshest seafood in the Philippines!
Visit for the day from Bohol – only 20 minutes from Tagbilaran – or make Panglao the base for your holiday, with a myriad of hotels, bars and restaurants packed into the small area of Alona.
Address: Panglao, Bohol
Go Firefly Watching At Night
I was 40 years old when I first saw fireflies in the rustic island of Malapascua. There were only a few that night but I was captivated and have since made it a habit to search out firefly trips whenever we travel to new islands. Attracted to high grasses and in particular wet habitats, fireflies light up after dark in order to attract mates.
Bohol has a couple of places where you can glimpse these sweet insects – along the Loay River or Abatan River- cruising in traditional wooden boats along the calm emerald-green waterways. Organised tours collect you from your accommodation and drop you to catch your boat to cruise along the silent rivers.
As the sunlight falls away there’s always this pause where you feel let down, disappointed that you weren’t successful… until suddenly there’s a shout as someone spots a pinprick of light from the trees protruding out from the riverbank. And after one, comes another and another, until large portions of the riverbank trees and shrubbery are covered in blinking yellow, green, and white – even orange – hues.
Add this wonderful cruise into your schedule – especially great for families – and enjoy this rare show of nature from animals that are sadly dwindling in numbers as their habitat disappears.
You’ll find various operators advertising tours including one with a gourmet organic dinner – ideal for a romantic Bohol activity!
Learn Town History At Bohol National Museum
Opened in 2018, this is the place to head to if you’re interested in learning a little of the history and heritage of Bohol.
Located opposite the Bohol Cathedral, in the centre of Tagbilaran, the museum is housed in an 1860 building that was originally the Provincial Capital Building. The beautiful interior exhibits details on the restoration of Bohol’s centuries-old churches that were almost all in need of repair after the 2013 earthquake. And other exhibits focus on works by local artists.
A small, extremely clean and beautiful museum that showcases a combination of Bohol’s natural history and culture, it also introduces a little of local folklore.
Add in 20 minutes to your schedule and make the Bohol National Museum one of the things to visit in Bohol.
Address: Tagbilaran North Road, Tagbilaran City, Bohol
Enjoy Quiet and Picturesque Anda
Not nearly as renowned as Alona Beach at Panglao, the beaches of Anda are quietly making heads turn as more tourists head out to this remote corner of Bohol.
Anda, roughly 110 kilometers from Tagbilaran, is on the eastern coast of the island and is utterly divine! White sand beaches, caves (some with pools), waterfalls and a rich marine life make this another gorgeous Bohol place to visit.
Things to do in Anda Bohol include a visit to Quinale Beach, just a short walk from Anda town. Possibly the best beach in Bohol, it’s a 3 kilometer long perfect white-sand beach that has breathtaking sunrise views. And as you make your way along the coast you’ll find other smaller beaches scattered along the shoreline, such as Talisay Beach, Cambilagan Beach and Bugnaw Beach.
There are at least six cave pools hidden around the town, including Combento, Kaligoon and the largest, Cabagnow.
Spend a day or longer in beautiful Anda. Off-tourist route, it’s a region ripe for anyone looking for a laid-back, lazy town atmosphere, surrounded by scenic beauty at every turn.
Take The Plunge At Cabagnow Cave Pool
The largest and most beautiful of Anda’s cave pools, Cabagnow is a standout natural attraction in Bohol. Largely unknown and far away from the main tourist routes, the limestone cave pool is just a five minute drive from Anda.
From Tagbilaran, hire a scooter and stock up on water, snacks, and gasoline before attempting the 2 hour drive to Anda. Ask any of the locals how to reach Cabagnow and pay – at time of writing – the small 20 peso entrance fee. Inside you’ll actually find there are two cave pools, so save some time to discover Tibaw too as you can also take a dip.
On reaching Cabagnow there’s a 5-meter drop into the sinkhole. You can choose to jump in (the cave reaches down to around 12 feet) but there’s also an iron ladder to help you in or out.
Whether you swim or not, it’s worth making the effort to visit here for the sight of the stunning blue (and occasionally bright green) water, that’s set deep within the sinkhole, all surrounded by jungle greenery… Quite a sight to behold.
Address: Bacong, Anda, Bohol
Bohol Tourist Spots Itinerary
If there is one thing that can definitely be hard about planning a trip to Bohol, it’s fitting everything in as there is no shortage of fun things to do.
If you are planning a Bohol itinerary 1 day tour, I recommend you stick to attractions on the main island of Bohol only including the Chocolate Hills, seeing tarsiers and some jungle activities. This is all you are going to fit into a Bohol 1 day itinerary.
If you are planning 3 days 2 nights Bohol itinerary, I recommend two days on Bohol seeing the attractions there and then the final day of the 3d2n Bohol itinerary on Panglao visiting Alona Beach and doing a sea excursion to nearby islands snorkeling or diving.
Best Things To Do Bohol, Philippines Map
Best Place To Stay In Bohol
The majority of visitors to Bohol decide to stay at pretty Panglao, choosing to be close to the beach and all the things to do in Panglao Island, Bohol, avoiding Tagbilaran which is a busy little town.
Panglao has more of a “holiday” feel to it and has a great selection of international dining options and fun bars for evening entertainment. However, the downside is you’ll find yourself repeatedly driving the 20-minutes from Panglao over to Bohol mainland whenever heading to most of our mentioned attractions.
Below I’ve listed a few different places to consider including a budget, mid-range and more expensive option, two of which are in Panglao and one in Tagbilaran.
If you splurge on a stay at the sprawling Henann Resort Alona Beach you won’t be disappointed. Taking a prime beachfront spot on beautiful Alona Beach, the hotel sits on 6.5 hectares of property. The largest of all the resorts along the strip, the hotel is a mini paradise and is close to all the activities in Panglao, Bohol.
Room interiors are designed with coastal elements, evoking a sense of peace and tranquility. An almost mediterranean vibe flows through the hotel, with light colours and a strong use of blue bringing all together. Rooms are spacious and the majority come with pool views, or even special direct pool-access.
Most guests spend their days lounging at the hotel’s private 120-meter beachfront, swimming in any one of the 3 pools and relaxing at the poolside bar, before taking dinner at the onsite cafe or restaurant.
Luxury is catered for at every turn, with an inhouse spa and private gym. Thus, if you don’t mind being some distance away from the Chocolate Hills and Anda, enjoy a pampered and relaxing stay at Henann Resort.
MID-RANGE – Bali Villas Panglao Bohol Review
Our second choice for a Panglao-based option, the Bali Villas are ideal if you’re seeking a little privacy during your Bohol stay.
The villas have two rooms, designed around an indoor-outdoor idea, reflecting the guest’s desire to spend most of their time outside in the glorious Philippine sunshine.
Each villa comes with its own private pool, large enough for some family fun or a relaxing dip. Room interiors are decorated with tropical decor, which helps to enhance what is an almost cabana-vibe throughout the accommodation.
Especially ideal for couples, adding a little romance into their vacation, Bali Villas are just a short distance from the crystal blue waters of Alona Beach and near to all the places to visit in Panglao, Bohol.
Our Bohol budget suggestion is slap bang in the middle of Tagbilaran, making it ideal for anyone looking to maximize their time on excursions and activities.
This cozy and elegant city-based hotel has classic interiors with rooms ranging from standard to – their version of – Presidential suite.
There’s a surprisingly large amount of recreational activities available, as the hotel has its own fitness centre, swimming pool, bar, restaurant, karaoke room and even a nightclub. Never a dull moment here!
Offering free transfer to Bohol’s airport – less than an hour’s drive – you’ll be well placed to reach most of Bohol’s tourist spots such as Loboc and the Chocolate Hills.
How To Get To Bohol
It’s easy to get to Bohol by ferry or plane.
There are daily flights from Manila or Cebu City to Bohol-Panglao International Airport. You can then get around Bohol via bus for most of the popular attractions.
If you are coming from Cebu, the best way to travel to Bohol is to head to Cebu Port where you can take a fast ferry to Tubigon or Tagbilaran in Bohol.
If you need to take a ferry, click here to see all the latest ferry ticket prices and schedules.
To see all the latest flights and prices, click here.
If you’re coming from Cebu, read exactly how to get to Bohol via ferry here.
Bohol With Kids
What’s not to enjoy in Bohol for children? Pristine beaches, ample outdoor fun activities, river cruises, monkeys, butterflies, dolphins and whales, old churches which resemble mini forts that bring to mind stories of Aladdin, fresh roadside coconut stalls, unusual ice-cream flavours, horse-riding, sinkholes, caves and more… Really, what’s not to enjoy!
Bohol is one of our top picks of Philipine destinations for families with so many attractions and activities squeezed into one island. A perfect family island.
Add in epic scenery and the majestic marine life of Panglao or Anda… You’re guaranteed a happy family stay. And the best part, it’s all pretty cheap on the pocket too!
Forget Cebu, Manila and even Palawan, and make Bohol your next Philippine destination of choice. Discover it soon, before more people realise just how good it is!
Sharon first fell in love with the Philippines back in 2013 when she spent her son’s first birthday on the beach in Boracay. Now she has visited many times and loves sharing her love of the Philippines here so others can enjoy it too