Bohol is one of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines and it has lots of fun and interesting places to visit. The island is most famous for the Chocolate Hills, coral reefs and the tiny tarsier primate. Additional popular Bohol tourist spots include white sand beaches with crystal clear water, hidden waterfalls, a butterfly garden, and one of the oldest churches in the Philippines.
In this guide, I’ve included all the best things to do in Bohol plus some handy tips such as how to get to Bohol with a Manila airport transfer or from Cebu, the best time to visit, where to stay, how to get around, and the best tour packages.
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If you’re looking for a vacation spot that has something for everyone, Bohol is definitely worth considering. When I visited the Philippines I traveled solo and felt safe the entire time. The people were friendly, the food was delicious and the history and culture were fascinating to me.
Here are 10 of the best tourist spots in Bohol that I visited during my trip, that you won’t want to miss!
Useful Info for Visiting Bohol
Bohol is a province of the Visayas region of the Philippines. It includes Bohol Island and numerous smaller nearby islands.
Bohol is one of the top Visayas vacation locations and it’s one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines. If you want to get a bit more off the beaten path of Boracay and Palawan, Bohol is a perfect choice.
Before we jump into all the best tourist spots in Bohol, let’s go over some practical information for visiting this beautiful island.
How to get to Bohol
How to get to Bohol from Manila by Air
It’s about 400 miles (644 kilometers) from Manila to Bohol. They are separated by a series of islands, straits, and patches of sea.
But, getting between the two cities is pretty quick if you fly to the Bohol-Panglao Airport (TAG).
Philippines AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, Cebgo all have nonstop flights that take about 1.5 hours and range from $40-$80 USD.
How to get to Bohol from Manila by Ferry
You can catch a ferry from Manila’s North Harbor to Cebu and another from Cebu to Tubigon, a seaport in Bohol. This takes about four hours.
How to get to Bohol from Cebu City
The easiest option to get from Cebu to Bohol is taking a ferry (and cheaper than flying from Manila).
The fast Cebu to Bohol ferry travel time is about 1.5-2 hours depending on where you are traveling in Bohol. It is comfortable and the best option, especially for tourists.
Bohol has three ferry ports; Ubay, Tubigon and Tagbilaran. Tagbilaran is located on the southwest side of the island and it’s the capital of the island with many hotels, shopping malls, and restaurants.
The best ferry company options for the fast option are SuperCat and OceanJet.
They depart from Cebu Pier 1, a tourist class ticket costs around 600-700 PHP (12-14 USD).
How Much Time Do You Need on Bohol
Bohol is the 10th largest island in the Philippines and it has a lot of things to to do. I was in Bohol for two days and was able to see most of the best tourist spots, but I didn’t have enough time to visit the beautiful beaches or snokel. I suggest at least 3 days in Bohol and if you want to do a bit of island hopping you’ll want even more time.
The 10 Best Tourist Spots in Bohol, Philippines
And now let’s get to the fun stuff! This Bohol travel guide shares the best tourist spots in Bohol, foods you should try, hotel options and more!
Let’s explore the best things to do in Bohol:
1. Visit the Chocolate Hills
The world-famous Chocolate Hills are located in the middle of the island, near the town of Carmen. There are about 1,200 or so symmetrical hills that turn cocoa-brown in the dry season. During the rainy season, the hills are bright green.
They are the Philippines’ 3rd most important National Geological Monument and have been called the Eight Wonder of the World.
The Chocolate Hills are the most popular tourist spot in Bohol and worth a visit.
There are 214 steps to get to the observation deck. This attraction is really more of a lookout. In fact, you can’t climb the hills. So, this is really about taking a few photos and admiring the unusual Chocolate Hills formations.
The entrance fee is 50 PHP (1 USD) per person.
2. Tarsier Conservation Area
Bohol is very famous for the Tarsier Conservation Area. The wide-eyed Philippine Tarsier is the world’s second-smallest primate — about the size of an adult palm and one of the top things to do in Bohol.
Tarsiers are officially recognized as endangered species. Tarsier are shy and nervous animals. Camera flashes, noise, being touched, and being kept in an enclosure can stress them out. Sadly, the stress leads to the tarsier hitting its head against trees, thus killing it because of its thin skull.
So, while they are fun to see in person and in the wild, it’s very important to stay quiet and not use flash photography.
You can take photos without the flash but touching them is strictly prohibited.
The entrance fee is 60 PHP (1.2 USD). A local guide will lead you through the jungle in a small group and he will help you spot the tarsiers. They are really small, like half the size of your hand so without the guide it would be really hard to see where they are.
Address: M3GR+FFM, Loay Interior Road, Loboc, Bohol, Philippines
3. Loboc River Jungle Cruise
The Loboc River Jungle Cruise includes a buffet lunch or dinner, music performed by a live guitarist, and performances from dancers. It’s a fun way to see some beautiful river views and experience some traditional Filippino entertainment.
Towards the end of the river cruise, your boat will stop at a location with of Filipina women and children dressed in traditional clothing who sing, play instruments and dance for the group.
There is even a small waterfall at the end of the cruise.
4. Visit The Beaches in Bohol
Alona Beach is the most famous beach in Bohol and located on Panglao Island. It has beautiful white sand and the water is clear turquoise. It’s a great swim beach.
Aside from the breathtaking views, there are lots of fun water activities that you can do in Alona Beach including snorkeling or diving.
Additional beautiful beaches in Bohol worth a visit are Doljo Beach, Momo Beach and Bolod Beach on Pangloa Island as well as Balicasag Beach on Balicasag Island.
5. Visit a Waterfall
Bohol has many beautiful waterfalls including The Secret Waterfall, Dimiao Twin Falls (Pahangog Falls) and Ingkumhan Falls.
Secret Falls involves a trek into the jungle to the waterfall and swimming hole. This is not on any tours that I know of and is more a local favorite. The falls are about 40′ feet and the water clear and warm. There are a few places where you can jump off and into the pool of water as well as some smooth rocks to slide down.
The twin falls near Dimiao also known as Pahangog Falls are another local favorite, but do take a bit of effort to access.
Once you arrive, there is about a 1/2 mile walk to the falls. The fee to enter the waterfall area is 20 PHP (0.4 USD) per person.
Ingkumhan Falls is a another favorite hidden gem on the island. Unlike the Twin Falls, the road to get there is not so challenging and the water is warm and beautiful.
Ingkumhan Falls is in a jungle, just a short ride inland from Bohol’s South Coast.
The falls are famous because you can swing yourself over the water on a huge rope and jump in. There are two men who work at the falls and help everyone who wants to try.
Getting to Ingkumhan Falls is pretty similar to the twin falls as you need to hike down on a super steep road as well.
The fee to enter the waterfall area is 20 PHP (0.4 USD) per person.
The most common way of exploring Bohol’s waterfalls and other tourist spots is to rent a scooter. This way you can cruise around freely and plan out your day at your own pace. Another option is to hire a local guide. I love this option because you have the chance to chat with a local and learn about more fun ‘hidden spots’ to explore.
6. Habitat Butterflies Conservation Center
The Habitat Butterflies Conservation Center is located in Bilar. If you like butterflies and other insects, it’s a fun, but quick stop to or from the Chocolate Hills.
A guide will walk you through the area and will point out butterflies, spiders, centipedes, caterpillars, birds, and flowers and fauna indigenous to the island.
The walk is short but if you like photography you can easily spend 20-30 minutes there.
This is one of the best Bohol tourist spots for nature lovers and is a must-see when visiting Bohol. It also includes a pretty awesome photo experience!
The entrance fee is 60 PHP (1.2 USD)
Address: M4X2+444, Bilar, Bohol, Philippines
This Conservation Center is split in two sections; the butterflies and snakes. Their most famous snake are the pythons. While they are huge, they seem to be pretty tame and they invite anyone who would like to take a photo in with the python. As you can see, I was trying to keep my eye on the snake!
This has been said to the biggest python in captivity, When I visited I was told it was 23 feet (7 meters) and 660 lbs (300 kg).
This was really fun and scary! Don’t worry, the pythons are tamed so they’ll just lie there while you take a picture.
7. Check Out Tropical Plants
I came across this Torch Ginger (Etlingera elatior) during a hike. This large plant has beautiful colorful blooms. It’s a tropic perennial that can grow 20 feet tall.
Other beautiful botanical and tropical plants that are found in the Philippines are Ylang-ylang tree, vivid blue double-blossom Clitoria ternatea, Stargazer Lilly, Oleander and so many more!
Keep an eye out for gorgeous tropical plants at luxury hotels, on hikes, and in gardens.
8. Baclayon Church
Baclayon Church, also known as “The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary Parish Church”, is the oldest Christian settlement in Bohol.
The Ave Maria Alter in the Baclayon Church is quite ornate and has a place for six statues. Baclayon was founded by the Jesuit priest Juan de Torres and Gabriel Sánchez in 1596.
This Roman Catholic Church has been officially declared a ‘National Cultural Treasure’ and is a National Historic Landmark.
It is one of the Philippines’ oldest Catholic churches.
9. Blood Compact Monument
It will only take a few minutes to stop and learn the story of this bronze structure. Set with the sea as the backdrop, the Blood Compact Monument features 5 soldiers gathered around a table making a toast.
In 1565, with a few drops of blood, a pact was made between Spanish General Miguez Lopez de Legazpi and the Native Filipino people who vowed to work together.
The gesture also signifies peace and friendship between the Spanish foreigners and the natives of Bohol.
There’s a short ut more thorough historical explanation near the monument to give you more information.
10. Eat Filippino Foods
One of my favorite reasons to travel is food! Filipino cuisine is a mix of different cultures; mostly Spanish, Chinese and American foods. It is considered by many as the original fusion cuisine.
In general, Filipino food is not spicy. But to me, it was very fresh and flavorful.
The national dish of the Philippines is adobo. Its name comes from the Spanish word “adobar,” meaning “marinade”.
Adobo is a meat, seafood, or vegetable marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns,
Humba is a braised pork dish that is similar to adobo. The difference is that humba is sweeter because fermented black beans are added to the sauce.
Fish soup called Tinola, was one of my favorite foods from the entire trip.
Below are a few photos of some of my favorites foods from my trip to the Philippines.
Best Time to Visit Bohol
The wet season starts late May and it lasts until the beginning of March, with June to November being the rainiest months . During these months you can expect 15 rainy days per month on average.
In Bohol, the dry season typically is between March and May, but you can still expect a little rain in this period too.
The temperature is always hot and humid in Bohol. The humidity is around 80% all year long, while the hottest months are April, May, and June.
Late December and Holy Week are peak seasons for locals so I’d say the best time to go would be from January to around Mid-March.
Bohol Hotels and Resorts
There is a wide range of accommodation available in Bohol, from cheap hostels to luxury resorts. If you are visiting Bohol as a tourist the best places to stay are either in the capital city, Tagbilaran, or on Panglao Island.
Panglao Island is perfect if you want to stay close to the best beaches in Bohol. This small island is connected to the main island by a bridge and it is very easy to get there.
The best resorts are located in the southern part of the island, near the white sands of Alona beach and Bolod Beach.
10 Best Things to Do in Bohol (the Philippines):
- Visit the Chocolate Hills
- Tarsier Sanctuary
- Loboc River Cruise
- Beaches in Bohol (Alona Beach, Doljo Beach, Momo Beach, Bolod Beach, Balicasag Beach)
- Visit a Waterfall (Secret Falls, Dimiao Twin Waterfalls (Pahangog Falls), Ingkumhan Falls)
- Habitat Butterflies Conservation Center
- Check Out Tropical Plants
- Baclayon Church
- Blood Compact Monument
- Eat Filippino Foods
Hope you guys liked this post about the best tourist spots in Bohol and it will help you plan your trip to the Philippines!
More Tourist Spots in the Philippines
- Fun things to do in Puerto Princesa
- Island Hopping in El Nido
- Swimming with Whale Sharks and Basket Weaving in Cebu