Is Bohol Worth Visiting? A Comprehensive Guide to Help You Decide

Bohol, a province in the Philippines, is a popular tourist destination that is known for its stunning beaches, diverse wildlife, and unique geological formations, such as the famous Chocolate Hills. However, some people may wonder if it is truly worth visiting. Believe me, before I visited the island, I was very skeptical too. I was thinking all we would see there were grass, trees, plants, more grass, and maybe the 75% of water inside me as it evaporates from my body due to the heat. Was I wrong! As someone who has visited the island multiple times, I feel like I can confidently answer the question:

Is Bohol Worth Visiting?

The short answer is Yes. It’s definitely worth visiting Bohol. Main reasons being the following:

  • Natural Beauty – One of the main reasons why Bohol is worth visiting is its natural beauty. The island is home to a variety of landscapes, including white sand beaches, lush forests, rolling hills, and waterfalls.
  • Rich Cultural Heritage – The island has a long and interesting history, with influences from Spanish, American, and Asian cultures. You can explore many historic sites which have been well preserved over the years.

In fact, in a survey result published in June of 2023, Bohol was named 7th most preferred tourist destination by the locals. You can read the article here.

Bohol’s Natural Wonders

beach at the bottom, chocolate hills on the upper left, waterfalls on the upper right which makes bohol worth visiting

The island of Bohol has become a popular tourist destination in recent years. It was not even in the top 10 of tourist destination in the Philippines around 20 years ago. But in the recent decade, it has picked up and gained considerable popularity both to local and international tourists alike. A big contributor to its popularity is it’s natural beauty. After visiting the island I can understand how it was able to captivate everyone’s attention.

Aside from the famous Chocolate hills in Bohol island, here are some other things that make us come to Bohol over and over again.

Beaches

Bohol is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines. When you see that clear blue sky and that turqoise green water, I think it’s one of the best things to see on this island.

Momo Beach and Alona Beach are two of the most popular beaches in Bohol. Momo Beach is a secluded beach that offers crystal clear waters and white sand. Alona Beach, on the other hand, is a long stretch of white sand that is commercialized with many nearby attractions.

Waterfalls

Bohol is also have some stunning waterfalls, including Camugao Falls and Kawasan Falls. Camugao Falls is a hidden gem that is located in the heart of the forest. The waterfall cascades down a series of rocks and into a clear pool, making it the perfect spot for a refreshing dip.

Kawasan Falls, on the other hand, is a three-tiered waterfall that is surrounded by lush greenery. The water is crystal clear, and the pool is perfect for swimming.

Caves

Bohol province is also home to some of the most mysterious caves in the Philippines. The caves are filled with stalactites and stalagmites that have been formed over millions of years. Some of the most popular caves in Bohol include Hinagdanan Cave and Balay Sa Agta Cave.

Hinagdanan Cave is a small but beautiful cave that is located in Dauis. It has a natural pool that is perfect for swimming. Balay Sa Agta Cave, on the other hand, is a more challenging cave to explore. It is home to some of the most impressive stalactites and stalagmites in the island. These should definitely be included in your Bohol itinerary if you love exploring caves.

Bohol’s natural wonders are truly breathtaking which makes them the most sought after tourist attractions on the island. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day at the beach, a refreshing swim in a waterfall, or an adventure exploring mysterious caves, Bohol has it all.

Bohol’s Unique Wildlife

philippines tarsier on the left and a turtle under water on the right

Bohol Philippines is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. The island is home to a unique mix of wildlife that can only be found in this part of the world.

Philippine Tarsier

One of the most famous residents of Bohol is the Philippine Tarsier. This tiny primate is one of the smallest primates in the world, measuring only 3-6 inches in length. The Philippine Tarsier is an endangered species and can only be found in a few places in the Philippines.

Visitors in Bohol can see the Philippine tarsier up close at the Tarsier Conservation Area. I think this is the only place where you can see tarsiers. The sanctuary is home to around 100 Philippine Tarsiers. Note that are usually hunched which makes them even smaller it’s a bit hard to see them. During our last visit I only saw 3 of them in the open.

Butterflies

Bohol is also known for its vibrant butterfly population. The island is home to around 300 species of butterflies, making it a paradise for butterfly enthusiasts.

One of the best places to see butterflies in Bohol is the Simply Butterflies Conservation Center. The center is home to a butterfly garden where visitors can see different species of butterflies in various stages of their life cycle. The staff will even take a nice picture of you with the butterfly as your foreground.

Dolphins and Whales

Bohol is also a great place to see dolphins and whales. The waters around Bohol are home to several species of them, including the Spinner Dolphin, the Bottlenose Dolphin, and the Short-finned Pilot Whale.

You can take a dolphin and whale watching tour to see these magnificent creatures up close. The tour usually lasts for a few hours and includes a stop at Balicasag Island, where you can snorkel and see the island’s beautiful coral reefs. Although you will have to leave early to see the dolphins, I think they are more visible during the early morning.

Bohol’s unique flora and fauna make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers. From the tiny Philippine Tarsier to the majestic dolphins and whales, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Bohol’s natural wonders.

Bohol’s Rich History and Culture

statues of two people drinking wine on the left, stone church on the right

Bohol is a melting pot of different cultures, with influences from the Spanish and American colonial periods as well as indigenous groups. As such, a lot of their influences still linger in the island.

Churches

Bohol has some of the oldest and most beautiful churches in the Philippines. One of the most notable is the Baclayon Church, which was built in 1595 and is considered one of the oldest stone churches in the country. The church features a museum that displays religious artifacts and antiques, including a centuries-old ivory statue of the crucified Christ.

We were not able to get inside during our last trip because the church was closed. I think there’s only a certain day and time that tourists are allowed inside. Maybe in the morning after the mass.

Blood Compact Shrine

The Blood Compact Shrine in Tagbilaran City is a monument that commemorates the first treaty of friendship between the Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and the Boholano chieftain Datu Sikatuna. The blood compact was a traditional ceremony in which the two leaders would exchange blood as a sign of their friendship and alliance. The shrine is a popular tourist destination and a symbol of the strong bond between the Philippines and Spain.

It’s a good place to take some nice pictures. And if I remember it correctly, the backdrop is a great view of a forest or something.

Dining Experience

Bohol is also known for its delicious cuisine, which is a fusion of Spanish, Chinese, and indigenous flavors. One of the best places to experience Boholano cuisine is at the Bohol Bee Farm, a restaurant that serves organic and healthy food made from locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant also offers a stunning view of the sea and the nearby islands.

Their ice cream tasted really good. I guess I was expecting it to taste like something else, being “organic” and all. But it was great. They even have small stalls all over the island selling their ice cream. I know there’s one near Alona beach, I bought another one from there.

The Mist is maybe one of the best restaurants in Bohol that you should definitely visit. Their menu’s a fusion of western and asian cuisine. There’s almost always a long line though, so better to go there early and beat the crowd.

Adventure Activities

hanging bridge on the left, fishes swimming in a turquoise green water on the upper right, atv riding in the sunset on the lower right

For those seeking adventure, Bohol has plenty to offer. You can go ziplining, kayaking, or even try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding. I tried it at South Palms beach resort, which was free of charge, but only along the shoreline. In my head I looked pretty cool but when I saw the video I looked pretty scared! It was my first time though.

The island also has several adventure parks, such as the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park, where visitors can go on a bike zipline and other adrenaline pumping activities. Seriously, there are a number of adventure parks in Bohol, I don’t think you’ll ever get bored.

Accessibility

Getting to Bohol is relatively easy, with daily flights from Manila and other major cities in the Philippines. Once on the island, there are plenty of transportation options, including tricycles(some people call it toktok), taxis, vans, and rental cars. The island is also small enough to explore in a few days, making it a great destination for a weekend getaway. And if you’re staying in Panglao island, most hotels are actually less than 20minutes away from the airport.

Panglao Island Philippines

This is a special mention which I think deserves it’s own section. Many of the things I mentioned above you can experience in Bohol by staying in Panglao. How does this help you ask? Well this makes it the perfect weekend getaway destination.

When you’re in Panglao, many of the Bohol attractions are just a 30, 20, or even 10-minute ride away. This includes caves, beaches and historical places.

Chocolate Hills

I also added a special section for since this is the most famous place in the Island. I placed it in the last section though so as not to overshadow all the other gorgeous features of the place. When you go to Bohol, you just have to see the chocolate hills. It’s absolutely breath taking to see all those hills just popping up from the earth. The best time to see the chocolate hills is during the dry season in the morning, so it’s not scorching hot.

Overall, Bohol has something to offer for everyone, whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or an adventure seeker. With its stunning natural attractions, rich culture, and accessibility, it’s definitely worth a visit when traveling to the Philippines. There’s just so many things to do here in Bohol you won’t regret visiting the place. I know my family enjoys traveling to this island. My wife loves adventure, I love nature, my daughter and her grannys love the beach. So yeah, Bohol is definitely worth visiting.

So what do you think, is Bohol worth visiting? If you’re still undecided and you need more information about traveling Bohol, read this article.

 

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