Traveling from Manila to Bohol by plane is the fastest and most convenient option to take. Local airlines like Philippines Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia offer direct flights on a daily basis. Travel time lasts for about an hour and 20 minutes. All flights to Bohol are mainly served at the Tagbilaran Airport in Tagbilaran City, the capital of Bohol.
Traveling by sea is also another option, but it will take a lot of time. A one way boat trip from Manila to Bohol takes about 29 hours via 2GO Travel. From Cagayan de Oro, travel time lasts for about 10 hours. If you’re coming from Cebu, however, travel time is only about 2 hours via shipping lines such as Oceanjet, Weesam, and Supercat 2GO. Sea travelers will dock either at the Port of Tubigon, Catagbacan Port, or Port of Jagna—all of which are found in Tagbilaran City.
How to Get Around
Riding the tricycle is the cheapest and most reliable option when going to the different places around Bohol, especially if they are not too far away. Tricycles are available around the commercial areas in the province.
By Jeep or Bus
You can take the bus or jeep if you wish to travel from one town to another. They are affordable, but the schedules tend to change every so often so make sure to plan your trip carefully. You can ask the bus lines themselves or your hotel for assistance.
By Private Car
Hiring a private car (either a sedan or a van) is the most convenient option to go around Bohol, but it is also the costliest. At PHP 1,500.00 to about PHP 2,500.00 a day, you can go to almost any place in Bohol any time you wish.
Bohol is blessed with a natural beauty that is beyond compare. It has white sand beaches, vast greeneries, fascinating flora and fauna, and a rich history, making it one of the best places in the Philippines for both local and international tourists to visit.
What to See
One of the defining moments in Philippine history was when Miguel Lopez de Legazpi of Spain and Datu Sikatuna sealed their friendly relations through the traditional blood compact. This significant occasion is depicted in the Blood Compact Shrine in Tagbilaran City. The shrine stands on the actual location where the historic event took place in 1565.
The Dagohoy Marker, which stands proudly in Danao, is a historical marker built by the Philippine Historical Commission in honor of the bravery and heroism of Francisco Dagohoy, a native of Danao. Dagohoy is remembered in Philippine history for leading the longest revolt against the Spanish colonial government, which lasted for about 85 years.
The President Carlos P. Garcia Memorial Park in Tagbilaran City is a landmark that honors Carlos P. Garcia, the fourth President of the Republic of the Philippines, and greatest Boholano of all time according to the Boholanos themselves. On this 11-hectare land, a bronze statue of the late President proudly stands to serve as an inspiration for the people of Bohol.
The Ermita Ruins in Dimiao, Bohol is also another landmark that leaves its visitors fascinated with its honeycomb tombs, which were built between 1800 and 1815.
The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, also known as the Baclayon Church, is one of the oldest churches in the country. It was founded in 1596 by Jesuit priests and was built using coral stones. This centuries-old church, however, suffered damages during the 2013 earthquake, but restoration works are ongoing.
The Loboc Church, also known as the Church of San Pedro, is a 17th century church that is considered as the second oldest in all of Bohol. This baroque church, with its coral stone façade and richly ornamented interiors, was declared as a National Historical Landmark and was also considered for the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Philippines. Unfortunately, like the Baclayon Church, the church also suffered severe damages during the 2013 earthquake.
Divers from all over the world have come to love Bohol for its wonderful dive spots and magnificent marine ecosystem. Alona Beach in Panglao Island is frequented by divers, but it has become even more famous because its one kilometer and a half stretch of fine white sand with clear beach waters—the perfect spot to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. Dumaluan, Bikini, Momo, and Doljo beaches are the other bodies of water found on Panglao Island, situated about 15 kilometers away from Tagbilaran City.
Balicasag Island is about six kilometers away from Panglao Island and one of the premier diving spots in Bohol. Pamilacan Island and Cabilao Island are also favorite diving spots that you can visit when in the province.
Aside from its world-class beaches and dive spots, Bohol is also referred to as “Cave Country,” being home to about 1,400 caves around the province, ideal for spelunkers and cave enthusiasts. Hinagdanan Cave in Panglao has striking stalactites and stalagmites that will leave you amazed. For the more experienced spelunkers, Inambacan Cave near the town of Antequera would be a challenging cave to explore.
Waterfalls abound in the province too, which provide an avenue for visitors to relax, enjoy scenic views, and cool down while soaking up the surrounding greeneries. Busay Falls in Sevilla, the Twin Falls in Dimiao, Mag-aso Falls in Antequera, and Kawasan Falls in Balilihan are just some of the many falls that you shouldn’t miss during your Bohol holiday.
But the most famous natural wonder of Bohol will have to be the Chocolate Hills. These dome-shaped hills are made of grass-covered limestones. They are usually in different shades of green but they become chocolate brown in color by the end of the dry season. There are estimated to be about 1,200 hills found in Bohol, specifically in the towns of Carmen, Batuan, and Sagbayan.
Bohol is also home to the smallest known primate ever to exist: the Philippine Tarsier. To get to know more about these cuddly nocturnal creatures, drop by the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary, located in Barangay Canapnapan in the town of Corella.
Lastly, a cruise along Loboc River should also be included in your itinerary. This body of water that spans from Loay Bridge to the Tontonan waterfalls is where you can enjoy a view of verdant greens while enjoying a sumptuous meal aboard its floating restaurant.
The Bohol Forest is a man-made mahogany forest found in between the towns of Loboc and Bilar. The forest stretches for about two kilometers and is one of the most picturesque attractions in the province. The forest was built as part of a reforestation plan in response to the alarming deforestation that happened in the Loboc watershed.
Events and Festivals
The province of Bohol has quite a number of events and festivals celebrated every year. There is the Chocolate Hills Festival, the Alimango Festival, and the Saulog Tagbilaran Festival just to name a few. The most anticipated event, however, is the Sandugo Festival held every July. This grand feast is celebrated to commemorate the friendly pact made between Datu Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565. The celebration is marked by parades, street dance competitions, and the Miss Bohol Sandugo Beauty Pageant.
Where to Eat
When dining in Bohol, Payag Restaurant, located in Tagblaran, is one of the island’s best. Their best seller is the chicken inato, the famous grilled dish of the province. Their sizzling pork sisig, kilawin, and chicken chicharon are also crowd favorites.
Gerarda’s, also located in Tagbilaran, feature Filipino cuisines with a modern twist. Their crispy tinadyang, Nilaw-oy soup, and pork belly with gata are just some of dishes that locals and travelers have come to love at this homey restaurant.
If you’re craving for seafood, then the Prawn Farm Restaurant inside Island City Mall is where you should go. With dishes such as prawn halabos, prawn spring rolls, Singaporean crab, and seafood bouillabaisse, you’ll surely have your seafood fix at this trendy dining spot in the heart of Tagbilaran City.
If you’re on Panglao Island, Bohol Bee Farm is highly recommended, especially for those who are conscious of what they eat: the restaurant serves dishes made from fresh organic ingredients. Some of their specialties to try are their herb pasta and honey-glazed chicken.
For Italian food lovers, check out Giuseppe Pizzeria and Sicilian Roast for some of their authentic offerings. Their ravioli spinaci e ricotta and their pizza gregorio come highly recommended. But if you’re craving for French or American dishes, there is also L’Elephant Bleu located right along Alona Beach.
Fare: PHP 3,000.00++
Air fare from Manila to Tagbilaran costs about PHP 3,500.00 for a roundtrip flight. Prices, however, can go up or down, depending on the season and airline promos. Get the best deals possible so you can save money.
If you’re traveling from Manila by sea, the boat fare costs about PHP 600.00. If you’re coming from Cebu, it’s only around PHP 210.00. But from Cagayan de Oro, the one way fare costs about PHP 700.00.
Going around Bohol by jeep costs PHP 7.00 at the minimum, while a 10-minute tricycle ride should be somewhere between PHP 8.00 and PHP 15.00. Bus trips to the different towns in Bohol start at PHP 60.00. If you have more money to spare, you can rent a car for PHP 2,000.00 a day or a van for PHP 3,000.00 a day.
Food: PHP 150.00++
On average, you can already enjoy a full meal with a budget of PHP 150.00 to PHP 250.00 per meal. If you feel like treating yourself to a feast, prepare to shell out PHP 500.00 to PHP 800.00 per meal.
Shopping: PHP 20.00 to PHP 300.00++
One of the most popular pasalubong items from Bohol are Peanut Kisses—bite-sized cookies made from peanuts and eggs. This popular delicacy ranges from PHP 20.00 to PHP 100.00, depending on the number of grams.
Key chains and ref magnets are also popular. They are sold at PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00 per piece. Souvenir shirts are also popular, starting at PHP 200.00.
Accommodations: PHP 500.00 to PHP 8,000.00
Bohol has quite a number of lodging facilities to cater to various requirements and budgets. For backpackers, you can find basic rooms that go for as low as PHP 500.00 a night. For those who are looking for full services and amenities, an average budget for a one night stay in a hotel is about PHP 2,000.00 to PHP 3,000.00.
Activities: PHP 50.00 to PHP 2,000.00
Museums require an entrance fee of PHP 50.00 per head, but the price varies from one museum to the other. Some don’t even charge for entrance fees at all. A river cruse with lunch at the Loboc River costs about PHP 400.00 per head. If you feel like touring the countryside or going scuba diving, a rate of PHP 1,500.00 to PHP 3,000.00 should be expected.
Other Fees and Taxes: PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00
When dining at restaurants, tipping is no longer expected since most restaurants already include a service charge. But if you feel like leaving tips, a PHP 20.00 or a PHP 50.00 note is already enough.
||Arrive in Tagbilaran City.
||Check in at the hotel if the option is available. Otherwise, leave your stuff at the front desk so you can proceed with the day’s activities.
||Have breakfast at The Buzzz Café located at the Island City Mall. Try their honey glazed ham sandwich, or their squash muffin.
||Visit the Blood Compact Monument.
||Visit the National Museum.
||Head over to Loboc for the Loboc River cruise, and have lunch at the floating restaurant.
||Visit the Loboc Church.
||Visit the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella.
||Visit the Baclayon Church.
||Return to Tagbilaran City and have early dinner at Payag Restaurant.
||Enjoy Tagbilaran City’s nightlife with live entertainment at Martin’s Music Restobar.
||Retire for the night.
||Leave Tagbilaran City for Panglao Island.
||Visit the Our Lady of Assumption Cathedral.
||Have breakfast at the Dauis Pilgrim & Heritage Center.
||Head over to Hinagdanan Cave for some thrilling spelunking.
||Head over to Alona Beach and enjoy lunch at either Giuseppe’s, L’Elephant Bleu, or at CU Biergarten if you’re up for some German fares.
||Enjoy swimming at the Alona Beach. Go island hopping or even scuba diving.
||Head back to Tagbilaran City.
||Enjoy sumptuous dinner at Gerarda’s in JS Torralba Street.
||Have breakfast at the Garden Café.
||Go to Bilar to visit the Bilar Forest.
||Go to the Chocolate Hills Main Viewpoint in Carmen.
||Head back to the hotel to prepare for check-out.
||Check out of the hotel and have lunch at The Prawn Farm.
||Go souvenir shopping.
||Head to the Tagbilaran Airport.
||Depart Tagbilaran for Manila.
||ETA in Manila
It is warm and dry in Bohol for the most part of the year, while the wet season happens from August to January. On average, the temperature at daytime is 28 degrees Celsius, while it is 25 degrees Celsius at night.
Make sure to bring light and breathable clothes when you visit the province. Don’t forget to pack a light jacket or scarf to keep you warm during the unusually cool nights.
Almost all municipalities in Bohol have their own hospitals and health care facilities, so seeking medical attention wouldn’t be a problem. The bigger and more advanced hospitals, however, are found in Tagbilaran City.
There are a number of pharmacies and drug stores around the province as well, so getting medication is hassle-free. But it’s best to bring your own medicine, especially if you have certain medical conditions.
Bohol is a safe and peaceful city, though that does not discount the possibility of small and petty crimes from happening. Always be alert and vigilant. Keep your valuables safe, especially in public and crowded places. Avoid wearing excessive jewelry in order to avoid attracting attention. Also, while Filipinos are friendly and hospitable, be suspicious if the situation gets too good to be true.