Island-Hopping, Hiking, and More: Bohol Travel Guide

Jay Pagkatotohan

Jay Pagkatotohan

Last updated July 02, 2024

Bohol offers a perfect mix of relaxing and adventurous experiences. On one side of the island, you can lounge in the fine sand and enjoy the cool beach waters. But if you want to satisfy your inner sportsman, grab your bike and explore the countryside. 

Regardless of your type of holiday, the island presents a tropical escape from the urban noise and life’s pressures. Planning a vacay here? Check out this Bohol travel guide. 

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Bohol Travel Guide: Getting to Know the Island 

bohol travel guide - getting to know the island

Officially known as the Province of Bohol, Bohol is an island found in Central Visayas. It sits between the islands of Cebu and Leyte. Below it are the islands of Camiguin and Siquijor. 

For its beautiful geological wonders, Bohol was hailed as a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2023, the first in the country.[1] 

Bohol enjoys a tropical climate, just like the rest of the archipelago. The best time to visit the island is from late December to early May when it’s dry and not rainy. Visit from April to May if you want to maximize the sunshine and enjoy the beaches. 


How to Go to Bohol 

How to go to Bohol from Manila? Three major airlines in the Philippines operate flights bound for Bohol: Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Philippines AirAsia. Time your booking during a promo to get the cheapest flight to Bohol. 

The travel time from Manila to Bohol takes around 1.5 hours. 

Planning to go to Bohol from Manila via ferry? Book with 2GO for a more affordable trip. However, the travel time takes around two days.  

How to Get Around Bohol 

Here are your options for exploring Bohol: 

  • Tricycle - Staying on Panglao Island? You’ll mainly use the tricycle. It can get you to other towns within Panglao like Dauis and even to places on the main island like Baclayon. 
  • Car or motorcycle rental -  If you prefer exploring the province at your own pace, rent a car or a motorcycle. 
  • Van rental - A lot of tour operators in the province offer travel packages that can take you to various key tourist spots. 
  • Boat rental - Some travel agencies offer boat rentals that can take you to Virgin Island and Balicasag Island.

How Much to Budget for a Bohol Trip

Your budget for your Bohol trip will depend on your destinations and activities. But generally, it’s relatively affordable. 

For a four-day, three-night vacation, prepare between ₱5,000 and ₱7,000 if you’re traveling with at least three persons. This budget already includes accommodation, transportation, and meals. Excluded are the flights and pasalubong

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Where to Stay in Bohol 

bohol travel guide - where to stay

Photo: Loboc River Resort (Facebook)

Bohol offers a wide range of stays, from humble hostels to high-end resorts. Here are your options: 

🏝️ Bohol Accommodation Options for Budget Travelers

Traveling on a shoestring budget? Check out the following affordable accommodations: 

  • Boholala Hostel
  • Riu del Mar Hostel
  • Bohol Hammock Hostel
  • Natura Vista 
  • Panglao Grande Resort 
  • Hayahay Resort 
  • On Board Panglao Beach Hostel & Resort
  • Alona Bohol Backpackers Hostel 
  • Dayview Tourist Home 
  • Spinning Cat Hostel

🏝️ Bohol Accommodation Options for Luxury Travelers

Explore Bohol’s brand of luxury hospitality at these accommodations:  

  • Loboc River Resort
  • Bluewater Panglao
  • Donatela Resort Panglao
  • The Bellevue Resort
  • Henann Resort Alona Beach  
  • Amorita Resort
  • Modala Beach Resort 
  • Oceanica Resort Panglao
  • Bohol Beach Club
  • Amun Ini Beach Resort & Spa 

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Where to Go in Bohol: Top Places to Visit 

The island boasts both relaxing and exotic destinations. Here’s what to include in your Bohol tourist spots itinerary:

📍 Chocolate Hills 

This Bohol travel guide won’t be complete without the legendary Chocolate Hills—it’s usually part of every Bohol countryside tour itinerary. Scattered within an area of a little over 50 square kilometers, these geological formations are conical karst topography or leftover limestone deposits from an era when rivers and streams were higher than the sea level.[2] 

During the dry season, the hills turn brown, giving them a chocolate-like appearance. To admire the endless chocolate panorama, tourists have to climb a viewing deck.

📍 Panglao Island  

bohol travel guide - panglao

The island of Panglao is one of Bohol’s most popular destinations for many reasons—white-sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and beautiful diving sites. 

If your Panglao tour itinerary is beach-centric, there are lots of spots for you on the island. Visit Alona Beach for a quick beach stop just five minutes from the airport; Bagobo Beach if you want a smaller crowd; and Doljo Beach if you prefer shallow waters. 

Read more: 8 Best White Sand Beaches in the Philippines for Your Getaway

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📍 Balicasag and Virgin Islands

bohol travel guide - balicasag

It is mandatory to include these two in your Bohol island-hopping itinerary. Not too far from Panglao Island, these destinations offer both relaxation and adventure. 

If you prefer sunbathing and leisurely dips, Virgin Island is a must-visit. This pristine sandbar fades into the water, so make sure to time your visit well. Divers, on the other hand, will love Balicasag Island since it’s surrounded by diving spots home to colorful fish, reefs, and turtles. 

📍 Hinagdanan Cave

Located in the quaint town of Dauis on Panglao Island, Hinagdanan Cave is one of the best places to go to in Bohol. During World War II, locals used the cave as a hideout from the Japanese army. 

Made of limestones, Hinagdanan Cave features stalactites, stalagmites, and a lagoon. Take a dip in the cave’s cold waters for a fee. While in Dauis, visit other popular tourist spots like Bikini Beach and Dauis Church.[3]

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📍 Loboc River 

bohol travel guide - loboc river

With its emerald-green waters and surrounding lush foliage, the Loboc River has always been one of the most popular places in Bohol for nature lovers. Book a river cruise tour to enjoy the majestic views as you indulge in Filipino dishes. 

As the currents take you away, you’ll witness the local life, from kids swimming in the river to boatmen fishing for a catch. Don’t miss the Loboc Church, which stands on one of the riverbanks. 

📍 Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary   

bohol travel guide - philippine tarsier sanctuary

This Bohol travel guide also features one of the island’s most recognizable icons—the tarsier! If you want to see the second smallest primate in the world, visit the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella, Bohol. 

Run by the Philippine Tarsier Foundation, the sanctuary is located in a portion of a natural forest where tarsiers live. Learn more about these little critters through the sanctuary’s guides. 

📍 Anda  

The coastal town of Anda boasts a stretch of pristine white-sand beach. Overshadowed by the beaches of Panglao, it’s one of the attractions in Bohol that aren’t filled with tourists and commercial areas. This makes it a great place for relaxation and contemplation. 

The most popular beach areas in town are Quinale Beach and Talisay Beach. If you’re looking for a different kind of water adventure, visit the town’s cave pools, which are limestones filled with water. Perhaps the most famous are the Cabagnow and Combento pools. 

Related: The Waves Beckon: 12 Best Surf Spots in the Philippines

📍 Bilar Man-Made Forest  

As you make your way to Chocolate Hills, you’ll pass through a road lined with towering mahogany trees. That’s when you know you’re inside the Bilar Man-Made Forest. The area is reminiscent of the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto, Japan, albeit in a tropical setting. 

This forest is part of a reforestation project initiated over 50 years ago. 

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📍 Bohol Bee Farm  

Nestled within Panglao, Bohol Bee Farm is one of the best places to go to in Bohol for farming aficionados and food lovers. The estate is dedicated not only to organic farming but also to healthy eating.

Inside the property, you’ll find herb and vegetable gardens. There’s also a restaurant where you can sample fresh-tasting dishes. 

Bohol Bee Farm has a hotel where you can commune with nature, enjoy the views of the Bohol Sea, and take part in exciting water activities like diving. 

📍 Alicia Panoramic Park  

bohol travel guide - alicia panoramic park

Photo: Bohol Island Geopark website

Bohol isn’t just about relaxing beaches and beautiful marine life. Its topography offers stunning landscape views too. The Alicia Panoramic Park is proof of that. 

When you reach Binabaje Hills, the park’s peak, you’ll be rewarded with an endless panorama of green terrains, curvatures, and hills. The scenery will remind you of Batanes or New Zealand. 

Bohol Sample Itinerary 

bohol travel guide - sample itinerary

How long to stay in Bohol? Many vacationers understandably have a limited number of vacation leaves. Fortunately, four full days should give you enough time to rest and explore the island. 

Take a look at this sample Bohol 4-day itinerary, which assumes you arrive the night before:

👉 Day 1 - Bohol Countryside

  • Baclayon Church 
  • Loboc River Cruise
  • Bilar Man-Made Forest
  • Tarsier Sanctuary
  • Chocolate Hills 
  • Alona Beach 

👉 Day 2 - Anda 

  • Combento Cave Pool
  • Anda Beach 

👉 Day 3 - Panglao Island 

  • Panglao Church 
  • Dauis Church
  • Hinagdanan Cave
  • Bohol Bee Farm 

👉 Day 4 - Island Hopping

  • Balicasag Island (including dolphin-watching)
  • Virgin Island
  • Alona Beach 

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Bohol Travel Guide: Top Things to Do on the Island

Make your Bohol trip one for the books with these exciting activities:  

  • Enjoy water activities - Expect your Bohol island-hopping itinerary to be jampacked. Swim, snorkel, and dive in the province’s crystal-clear waters, from Panglao Island to Anda. 
  • Go hiking and camping - Head to the Alicia Panoramic Park for an exciting hike and unforgettable nature views. You can even set up camp and witness the sunrise. 
  • Bike the countryside - Bohol is bike-friendly. Cycle through the countryside and visit popular destinations like Chocolate Hills, Bilar Man-Made Forest, and Loboc River. 
  • Go on a road trip - Bohol is quite a large island, so there are plenty of places to discover when you go on a road trip. If you rent a car, you can head to popular tourist destinations and explore more along the way. 
  • Organize a food trip - Eating with friends and exploring new cuisines are some of the best things to do in Bohol. Try these top restaurants in the province: 
    • The Prawn Farm - Located at Island City Mall in Tagbilaran City, this restaurant specializes in Pinoy buffet.
    • Bohol Bee Farm - If organic and healthy eating is what you’re after, visit this restaurant in Dauis. 
    • Quinale Beach Bar - Those visiting Anda can chill in this casual bar that serves fresh seafood and various silogs
    • Barwoo - Love fusion cuisine? Head to this restaurant in Panglao and try Korean dishes with a creative twist. 
    • Shaka Bohol - Vegans and those who want to try plant-based meals will love this restaurant’s burgers. 
    • Bougainvillea - Craving Spanish dishes? This restaurant in Panglao serves paella, sangria, and tapas.
    • Gerarda’s Place - This family restaurant is popular for its Pinoy dishes like dinakdakan, kare-kare, bulalo, hinalang, tinola, and more. 

Read more: Beaches, Parks, and More: Outdoor Activities for ₱3,000 or Less

Bohol Travel Guide: Tips for a More Convenient Tropical Holiday 

bohol travel guide - tips

Make your Bohol island tour more comfortable with the following pointers:  

  • Don’t forget your sunscreen. You’ll need it not only for beach trips but also for hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities. 
  • Listen to your tour guide. If you join a guided tour, listen to your guide to avoid getting into an accident or committing social blunders. 
  • Bring a waterproof bag. Keep your electronics, extra shirt, and money dry during a boat tour. 
  • Visit Chocolate Hills early in the morning. The viewing deck can get crowded really fast.
  • Wear light clothes. Sleeveless shirts, linen pieces, and shorts will ensure comfort, especially when you visit during the summer season. 
  • Book your tours in advance. Visit websites like Klook to see bundled tours. This will save you some money and spare you from the stress of last-minute booking. 
  • Use your credit card. Major hotels, restaurants, and hospitality establishments accept credit card payments. Use your card to earn points and rewards. 
  • But don’t forget to bring some cash. Planning to book a tour on the island or eat at a small restaurant? Such establishments usually accept cash only.  

Final Thoughts 

Bohol is one of the must-explore islands in the Philippines. You’ll fall in love not only with stunning natural resources but also with its warm and friendly people.  Make your trip to the island the best one yet with this comprehensive Bohol travel guide. 

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Jay is a marketing communications professional who specializes in short-form and long-form content. He has written ads for TV, radio, print, and digital. He has also produced corporate blogs, magazine features, white papers, product listings, reviews, and press releases for clients here and abroad. When he’s not writing, Jay plays the piano or takes pictures for his visual diary. Follow Jay on LinkedIn.


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