For someone who had been to my home island paradise in Bohol, it can’t be denied that being so close to nature is its prime charmer. Yes, Bohol is still somewhat laidback in many ways but its natural grandeur can’t be kept hidden away from prying eyes.
Bohol is full of surprises. As you wander around the province, be ready to be in awe. Amidst the fishing villages, mountain ranges and rice fields, you will then find nature at its best: almost perfectly coned-shape hills scattered through few inland towns, wide-eyed primates which can sit comfortably in your palm, mysterious islands and caves yet to be explored, and of course, world-famous white sand beaches that never failed to dazzle both tourists and locals.
To get you started, here is a bucket list of to-do’s and to-see when visiting Bohol:
Sweet escape to the famous Chocolate Hills
An hour drive from Tagbilaran City is the town of Carmen, Bohol, wherein more than 1, 200 giant mounds of limestone are sprawled in majesty. The hills are scattered through nearby towns as well, but the viewing deck is located in Carmen. During summer, the grasses covering the hills dry up and turn brown in color, giving the impression of chocolate-coated hills, thus, the name Chocolate Hills.
EAT Danao (Eco Adventure Tour)
If you are looking for real adventure, this one is cut out for you. An adrenaline-packed package awaits in Danao, Bohol. To better enjoy the thrill, you get to choose from a wide array of fun activities and rides, such as Root Climb, Plunge, Sky Ride, Hard Caving, Suislide, Cliff Rappel, Ziplet, River Tubing, River Kayaking, Moderate Caving, Wall Climbing, Off Road Buggy, and River Trekking.
Visit Danao and get ready to be thrilled!
3) Go dive and bask in the sun on the white sand of Panglao Island
Bohol’s natural wonders are not only seen or found on land but underwater as well. Few minutes away from the city is the island of Panglao, a renowned haven for breath-taking sea creatures and white-sand beaches. Here, one can see a sanctuary of anemone, nudibranches and small fishes just five minutes boat ride from the Alona Beach Resort. Also, an islet named Balicasag, presents a marine sanctuary with a magnificent variation of sea life. These and more are among the wondrous offers the island town has to offer, making it one of the country’s best diving spots and resort choices.
4) Get close to the Tarsiers
Bohol is also known for its inhabitant, the tarsiers. These giant-eyed yet tiny primates are smaller than a fist. Tarsiers are interesting animals. Their huge eyes can see clearly in the dark, and their large ears swivel for them to clearly hear their preys. They are nocturnal mammals and as you visit their sanctuary, you will understand why there are signs telling visitors to maintain peace and quiet since these primates are asleep throughout the day.
Well visited tarsier sanctuaries are located in Loay and Corella towns.
5) Explore Lamanoc Island
A fifth class municipality of Bohol, Anda is a quiet and distant town where the mysterious Lamanoc Island can be mystically explored. “Mysterious” as it is referred to by the locals since the island is rumoured to be frequented by spirits.
To get to the island, one has to ride a canoe or an engine-powered fishing boat. And to get through the tour trail, you’ll have to trek through slippery limestone and steep stairs, but going there is definitely worth your time. A local will serve as your guide and he will tell you everything there is to know about the place, its caves and the pre-historic relics found in them, shamanistic rites which were said to be performed by witch doctors and of course, the legends of the town.
6) Cruise along Loboc River
For a relaxing experience, venture out and cruise along the clean and calm river of Loboc in your choice of floating restaurant. Sumptuous buffet and live entertainment will dazzle you as you sail through picturesque countryside.
Besides the Loboc River, another cruising adventure can be experienced along Abatan River in Maribojoc town. This cruise brings you to the towns of Antequera, Catigbian, and Balilihan, as the tour guide explains the river’s history and cultural structures you will see along the way.
Bohol may be a small island province but it certainly has huge offering for anyone who wishes to experience relaxation and adventure at the same time.