The Top 7 Things To Do in Bohol (Day 2)
This is a list of the top 7 things to do in Bohol, Philippines. I did all of them in one day and you can too. My best advice is to grab a local taxi, turn the meter on and spend all day exploring. The meter price at the end of the day should be between 1,000 and 1,500 pesos ($20 to $30 USD). Compare that to the 2,500+ pesos ($55 USD) it would cost you through a travel agency.
1. Feast your eyes on the Chocolate Hills – Bohol’s “main attraction”, the unique Chocolate Hills is a rolling terrain of haycock hills – mounds with a dome shape which are conical and almost symmetrical. After you ascend 225 steps to the top of the visitors center, where you can bask in a 365 degree view of the hills.
There are at least 1,200 individual mounds and they are actually made of grass-covered limestone. The domes vary in sizes but average 40 metres (~130 ft) high with the largest being 120 meters (390 ft) in height. During the dry season, the precipitation is inadequate such that the grass-covered hills dry up and they turn a chocolate brown color. This transforms the area into seemingly endless rows of “chocolate kisses”.
2. Loboc River Cruise – The Loboc river that flows through Bohol is lined with exceptionally thick and lush, deep green jungle vegetation. Best of all, you can hop on a floating restaurant for a buffet lunch and jungle cruise! Total price is 300 pesos ($6.50 USD) but the value, as I believe you’ll agree, is worth far more. The buffet lunch served aboard is better than average and the serene and tranquil ride coupled with a live band playing American and Filipino music makes for a truly rewarding afternoon!
Halfway through the Loboc River cruise, you stop at a floating platform where you are serenaded by an acoustic band with women in costume performing native dance to the tunes. If you’re adventurous, you and your friends can even go down the platform and join in the dancing!
3. Relax at Alona Beach on Pangloa Island – For more info, see Bohol Island, Philippines Day 1.
4. Blood Compact Monument – In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan became the first person from Europe to reach Asia by sailing west, a voyage during which he met an untimely death in the islands of the Philippines. Later explorers from Spain also selected the Philippines as a staging place for Asian trade. The monument, in Bohol, commemorates the blood compact between Spain’s Legazpi and Bohol’s Sikatuna for the purpose of insuring friendly relations between the Spaniards and Filipinos. This mutual act of friendship earned Bohol the title of “city of friendship” and it is celebrated every June with the “Sandugo” festival. It’s worth a 10 minute stopover if nothing more than to see the lush jungle and light blue sea in the background.
5. Explore a few of the old churches:
- Baclayon Church or the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Concepcion is considered to be one of the oldest church in the Philippines. It is still very well preserved. There is a small monument beside the church with centuries old relics, artifacts, etc. It’s honestly not recommend staying more than 10 minutes unless you’re really into artifacts, etc.
- Alburquerque Church - Boholanos call the this place “Albur.” The Albur parish was established in 1869 after being separated from Baclayon. The church interior has been renovated although I didn’t go inside to see. The large convento to the side of the church is connected by a bridge to the church. The whole complex is harmonized by a series of arches that link church, bridge and convento. It’s certainly worth a 5 minute stop as you’re driving back from Chocolate Hills.
6. Take a trek across the Sipatan Hanging Bridges – Across the upper part of the Loboc River in Bohol are two hanging bridges lined with a floor made of bamboo that are a fun 20 minute tourist attraction. These bridges hang approximately 20 meters above the Loboc River and sway back and forth as you walk across. For 10 pesos (20 cents US) per person, it’s certainly worth more than the money spent.
7. Go see the worlds smallest primate, the Tarsier – This animal is the size of your fist and is one of the cutest, furry and adorable pet-like creatures around. The huge, slow moving, yellow tinted eyes of the Philippine Tarsiers coupled with their tiny fury bodies instantly brings out the “ooohs and aaahs” of the ladies seeing this adorable primate for the first time. During the day, they are quite timid and slow because they are naturally nocturnal. Constantly being awoken by noisy tourists using bright flash photography doesn’t suit them for captivity and are quickly becoming an endangered species.
Well, I certainly hope you enjoyed Bohol like I did. Two action packed days of your time goes a long way on this diverse island. Now it’s time to drop 500 pesos ($11 USD) on a return ticket on OceanJet’s “fast ferry” for a two hour ride back to Cebu.
Soon I’m going to Boracay and I also hope to hit Palawan for some scuba diving.
I think my photography is slowing improving…
What do you think?