Bohol is a sweet, gorgeous and fabulous tropical haven
From its pristine powdery white-sand beaches to its lush chocolate-like mole hills and exotic wildlife, this haven of natural beauty has a wide array of blissful offerings, diversions and delights that never ceases to amaze me and could keep me entertained for days or even a month. While it’s not as internationally famous as Palawan or Boracay, I still think it’s a magnificent destination that you should visit at least once during your trip to the Philippines.
Despite being rocked by a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake, Bohol has surprisingly retained its majestic natural beauty as well as some of its elegant heritage sites. And as far as I’m concerned, Bohol has so many interesting treasures and wonders that it would be impossible to explore all of them in a week. But, if you are a super busy person like me, you can still experience a wondrous and unforgettable getaway in Bohol in 48 hours or less. Trust me, a two-day break in Bohol is enough for anyone to fall in love with this magical and heavenly place.
Planning on visiting Bohol? Here are a few fun and cool things you can do on this beautiful island. Before we start, there's a piece of advice that I'd like to share to you. When traveling to Bohol, make sure to use a Vega Backpack for your trip. With its innovative features and design, the bag will surely make your Bohol trip a breeze.
1. See the iconic Chocolate Hills in Carmen
Want to start your Bohol trip on a high note? Then, make sure to kick off your Bohol trip with a visit to the iconic Chocolate Hills – a series of splendid grassy hills that far span into the horizon. One of Bohol’s premier and most romanticized tourist attractions, the Chocolate Hills in Carmen are a mesmerizing sight that will literally take your breath away. Though you can catch sight of these natural wonders in Sagbayan Peak, these lovely ridges are by far best seen in the Chocolate Hills viewing deck in Carmen.
2. Cross the hanging bridge in Chocolate Hills Adventure Park
All visitors of the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park are all entitled to take a stroll up a 52-meter hanging bridge for free. I know the bridge doesn’t look much, intriguing and cool. But guess what? It really is shaky and challenging, and it also gives you a bird’s eye view of the park’s verdant and gorgeous landscape. You can skip this walk if you want, but I highly recommend that you take it, especially if you’re planning to try some of the park’s exciting diversion. In its own way, it will keep you warm and ready for your next adventures.
3. Experience an unforgettable one-of-a-kind bike ride
Now, for the fun part! Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or someone who’s up for an extraordinary challenge, taking a bike zipline ride in this park is an absolute must during your trip to Bohol. With this unique zipline ride, you’ll get to ride a bike on a 550-meter long cable that’s suspended above the treetops. Not only will this bike ride give you a thrill and an adrenaline rush, but it will also offer magnificent 360-degree views of the beautiful Chocolate hills. Plus, it lets you feel the relaxing breeze in Bohol as you pedal your way on a cable over a hundred feet above the ground.
4. Try the other attractions in the park
There’s more to the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park than its well-known bike zipline ride. From zorb balls to tree top rope courses, there are a lot of obstacles and exciting things to do in this awesome adventure park.
5. Swing by the Mahogany man-made forest
The Mahogany man-made forest is definitely a worthy stopover during your trip to Bohol. With towering slender trees, lush vegetation and incredible scenery, Mahogany man-made forest will give you an irresistible urge to snap a ton of selfies and photos.
6. Visit the Tarsier Conservation Area
I didn’t get to see much of the world’s cutest and smallest primate at the Tarsier Conservation Area. As far as I know, only six tarsiers are available for public viewing. And, these quirky and cutesy wide-eyed primates are pretty hard to spot as well, especially when it’s raining. Still, it is a worthy stopover when you’re taking a countryside tour in Bohol. After all, you are going to see one of Bohol’s icons up close, and at the same time, you’re helping – through your donation and entrance fee– preserve these endangered creatures.
7. Cross the Bamboo Hanging Bridge Sevilla
The Bamboo Hanging Bridge isn’t an engineering marvel, but it’s very exotic and quite an interesting attraction in Bohol. Although crossing it may seem easy and simple, it can get a bit scary, especially to those who are afraid of heights. Spanning around 40 meters, this bridge also offers an incredible view of the scenic emerald Sipatan River below. On the other side of the bridge, there are small stores selling souvenirs as well as local delicacies, cheap eats and fresh coconut juice. In addition, a sojourn here offers you an opportunity to meet the nationally renowned Buko King, who can strip a coconut using his teeth only in 15 seconds or less.
8. Take the Loay River Cruise
The Loay River Cruise is, in my book, a better alternative to the more famous Loboc River Cruise. The Loay River Cruise is a little longer, and a lot less crowded than its highly touted Loboc counterpart. Plus, there are plenty of striking sights of tall mangroves, palm trees and landscapes in this Bohol river cruise. As far as the food, the cruise has a mouthwatering buffet made of up of salads, rice, soup, a vegetable dish, roasted chicken, fresh seafood, fruits and so much more.
9. Meet the Ati Tribe
The Ati Tribe is an enjoyable surprise to an already fabulous river cruise. You’ll surely enjoy seeing as well as interacting with both children and grown-ups of the tribe. As soon as you set foot on their territory, you’ll be greeted by a bunch of charming tribesmen who will be holding snakes and reptiles. There will be a cool tribal music as well, to make the mood even more festive and fun. Top to it all off, there are tons of unique crafts, houses, and structures in this part of Bohol.
10. Visit Baclayon Church
Baclayon Church – declared as a National Landmark and a National Culture Treasure – is historic stone church with religious relics that date back to the early 16 century. Even though it may sound boring to some folks, a visit here can be a rather beautifully nostalgic experience that will give you a glimpse of the history of the Philippines.
11. Relax in Alona Beach
A perfect way to end a perfect day in Bohol is relax and unwind on the pristine powdery sands of Alona beach. Here, you can unwind and soak up its beautiful setting, or you can treat yourself to a soothing massage on the beach. Likewise, you can chill, and hang out with the other travelers in any of Panglao’s bars. With shaking live music, seafood buffet, fire dance performances and waterside drinks, Alona at night will somehow you remind you of Boracay’s nightlife. But make no mistake about – Alona is far more laid-back than Boracay. In spite of its slightly bohemian feel, Alona is nevertheless a quiet and relaxing place to spend your evening.
12. Go for a night swim
Alternatively, you may take a night swim, and enjoy the superbly cool and refreshing waters of Panglao. By the way, before you head to bed, make sure to ask your tour operator or resort to set up an island hopping tour for the next day.
13. Dolphin watching
Wake up early, hop aboard a motorized boat, and get a chance to see a group of charming dolphins showcase their skills and talents on the azure waters of Panglao Island.
14. Wander around the Balicasag Island
After spotting dolphins in the natural habitat, the captain of the motorized boat will take you to Balicasag Island. Once there, you can take a stroll around the island or better yet, take a dip at its beautiful waters. What’s more, you may treat you taste buds with the fresh seafood served on the island.
You can’t leave Balicasag Island without going on a snorkeling adventure. With its colorful corals and abundance of fish, snorkeling in Balicasag is certainly something you should include to your travel itinerary in Bohol. From barracudas to clown fish, there are a lot of different kinds of fish you can find in this reef. By the way, here’s a of my snorkeling trip in Balicasag.
16. Explore Virgin Island
After a relaxing morning swim or snorkeling adventure in Balicasag, you will then cruise to “Virgin Island” – a supremely gorgeous sand bar. Spectacular, peaceful and immaculately clean, Virgin Island will wow you with its crystal clear waters and powdery white sands. For me, it is the perfect the place to do a beach photoshoot. As an added bonus, there are also a few eye-catching statues on this island in Bohol.
17. Eat Bee Farm’s Ice cream
Last, but not the least, don’t forget to sample the toothsome and nutritious ice-cream of Bee Farm. It’s cheap, and it’s a lot more delicious than some of the ice-cream varieties sold at the mall.
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