Bohol in itself is a natural wonder. An island province known as the friendly heart of the Visayas, it is replete with fascinating geological formations (really now, who hasn’t heard about the Chocolate Hills?). It is also a place where you can see the adorable big-eyed tarsiers as well as the cerulean blue waters that avid scuba divers will always find inviting.
If it’s your first time visiting, it’s only right to plan your trip ahead, so you can cover all the best spots that the island can offer. Need some help? Here are some places and activities you should definitely see and try in Bohol:
Bohol Bee Farm
After your flight, grab a quick and healthy bite at Bohol Bee Farm, a scenic farm with a lovely view of the sea. Aside from their top-quality honey and honey-derived products, they take pride in their organic, farm-fresh and sumptuous dishes. For dessert, don’t forget to try their special ice cream made with all-natural ingredients. The malunggay flavor is a crowd favorite!
Fronting the Bohol Sea, Baclayon Church is a picturesque Roman Catholic Church built with coral stones. Completed in 1727, it saw its first destruction during the 2013 earthquake in Bohol. It has since been restored and was reopened to the public in 2018. Considered as one of the country’s most historic churches, it is recognized by the National Museum of the Philippines as a National Cultural Treasure.
In case you don’t know yet, Bohol’s most popular attraction is not exactly made out of chocolate—sorry to burst your bubble, friends! The magnificent hill-like formations are actually limestone blanketed with vegetation that turn brown during the dry season, thus the name “Chocolate Hills.” There are over a thousand hills spread across an area of more than 50 square kilometers. To catch a good view of this majestic geological phenomenon, you can head on over to the main viewpoint, ride a rush bike zipline at the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park, or take flight aboard a hot air balloon for a bird’s-eye view of the area.
Next to the Chocolate Hills, the tarsier is arguably Bohol’s most iconic feature. Known as the smallest monkey on earth, this endangered cute saucer-eyed creature measures up to 160 millimeters in height—a size that could be smaller than your hand! You can visit them at the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary in Barangay Canapnapan. Don’t be too eager to touch them, though. They are very sensitive and have a tendency to take their own lives. Guides will be present to brief you about how to properly approach tarsiers. Make sure to abide by their rules.
Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a newbie, Bohol offers scuba diving opportunities aplenty. Join fellow divers under the guidance of experienced instructors and have a closer look at the island’s marine treasures. Be stunned by colorful reefs and schools of fish, or, if you get lucky, spot a friendly sea turtle swim by.
The island of Bohol is surrounded by other smaller islands that can be reached by boat. Top islands include Pamilacan Island, Balicasag Island, and Isola di Francesco. While cruising on the waters, keep your eyes peeled for pod of dolphins swimming and leaping.
When was the last time you saw dainty little fireflies dancing in the dark? If you miss that sight, Bohol can help you relive childhood memories. Loay River and Abatan River are specked with these curious bioluminescent bugs at night, and you can view them whilst drifting aboard a boat. The romantic vibe of the ride also makes it a perfect activity for touring couples!