Bohol was our last stop in the Philippines and undoubtedly our favourite, and it’s probably one of my favourite places in the world so far. It’s got everything a traveler could ever wish for, swimming underground, the worlds smallest primates, pristine beaches, rolling hills and warm welcoming locals, what more could you ask for?
Things To Do:
There are so many things to do in Bohol, I’d be here forever, I’ve just listed my absolute favourite and the things that guarantee Bohol a spot in my top places ever list:
1. Tarsiers, these tiny little primates were the main reason for me wanting to visit Bohol, I’d seen a photo on Pinterest and instantly fell in love with these adorable little things.
The fact that they could be extinct by 2020 because of humans makes me so sad. The work that the various conservation centres do, in Bohol is essential for the Tarsiers to survive.
Entrance to the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary costs 60 pesos per person and includes a guided tour.
2. Hinagdanan Cave and underground lake is not widely known about in Pranglao, the cave is only 20 minutes drive from Alona Beach which is why we were surprised that more people hadn’t heard of it.
The water is completely clear and there are even a few fish that call the underground lake, home. Swimming is optional but really it’s the only reason to visit. When we visited we were lucky enough to be the only people in the water, a hand full of people came and left within a few minutes, there were times we were completely alone in the cave. (Except for the life guard.)
Entrance costs 50 Pesos each plus and extra 75 pesos if you want to swim.
3. Chocolate Hills, probably the first thing you think of when you think of Bohol, these iconic hills are completely unique to anything we’ve ever seen.
The hills are almost perfectly round and there is an estimated 2,000 in the area, they are completely naturally occurring even though their shape makes them look man made.
Entrance costs 50 pesos per person which allows you to walk to the top of one hill where they have an observation deck.
4. Alona Beach, we’ve all been to beautiful beaches and declared that “this is the most beautiful beach in the world” without really thinking it through. In this case I really think that Alona Beach is the most beautiful Beach we have ever been lucky enough to visit.
The sand is bright white and the sea is completely clear and the most perfect turquoise I’ve ever seen. It’s not crowded and there is currently almost no litter (however I imagine that will soon change, I spotted one family of tourists ditch their takeaway wrappers which made me mad).
If you choose not to hire a motorbike, then organised tours start at 400 pesos and run every day, there are travel agents all the way along the main road to Alona beach, alternatively a taxi for the whole day is 2000 pesos per vehicle.
Where To Stay:
Alona Beach is the central tourist hub in Bohol, it’s actually on the island of Panglao which is connected to Bohol by bridge.
By staying close to Alona Beach you will have plenty of choice when it comes to hotel, restaurant and bar selection. It’s also one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
We found a lovely little Airbnb bungalow for £15 per night, it was about 20 minutes walk from the beach. Click HERE for details.
Where To Eat:
Breakfast – Shaka, we ate here almost every single morning, the breakfast bowls are absolutely amazing, not a budget option at 250 pesos per bowl but totally worth it.
Bakery – OurDeliBread, on the other end of the budget scale, everything in the bakery is 5 pesos or less. The perfect snack or packed lunch for day trips.
Mexican – Sunset Grill, cheap and cheerful, although be warned, your given three options, mild, medium and spicy. The spicy option is mega spicy!
Thai – Isis, right on the seafront and with reasonable prices, couldn’t wish for more.
Budget – Hidden Dream, the combo meal deals are fantastic, couldn’t fault them especially for the price.
Bohol is about 1 hour and 10 minutes from Manila, there are about 3 flights per day.
From Tagbilaran Airport, Alona Beach is about 25 minutes by car, the roads don’t have names on the island of Pranglao so it’s a good idea to ask your hotel or guesthouse to meet you at the airport. Taxi drivers will probably get lost looking for the smaller places.