Basking in the Glory of Bohol: A Luscious Experience in the Philippines
As you may have observed, majority of my entries usually pertain to tourist spots in provinces with wider landscapes. Previously, we got the chance to do island hopping and find ourselves diving into heart of marine ecosystems such as in Panay Group of Islands. We also did some hiking to reach the peak of famous mountains in Coron and Puerto Princesa.You can be sure to find gems in these wide spaces as they offer many places to visit be it a historical landmark or a tourist hotspot. But do you know that it’s more than possible to find the same amount of thrill and excitement without the logistical hassle. Take pleasure in proximity, Bohol is just right in the corner.
I often hear from my other foreign travel buddies how much they want to visit Bohol along with the provinces of Palawan and Cebu. But my attention was immediately turned into answering what’s in it for us in Bohol. That is why I am taking you into a tour of how you can stay in one place and enjoy yourselves to the fullest!
Directions on How to Get There
Unlike isolated islands in the country, Bohol is more accessible for travelers. Now that I think about it, this is probably why it is one of primary locations to visit for local and foreign travelers. Tagbilaran Airport would be your last stop coming from Manila City. It feels great that Air Asia, Cebu Pacific, and Philippine Airlines extend their services to bridge us to this paradise.
Budget Tip: Cebu Pacific usually offer discounted flights going to Bohol. But it is a battleground when it comes to securing seats, so, make sure to turn on your notifications!
Accommodations? No Problem.
Despite the being a small island, I was surprised of how Bohol holds many extravagant and budget friendly hotels in each corner. If you wish to experience a full-blown leisure with swimming pools and spas in between, luxury hotels like Henann Resort Alona Beach or Alono Vida Beach Resorts are top choices. But the accommodation prices can drop as much as $30 to $50 per night. So, travelers who want to go solo like me still have tons of choices to consider.
The Brilliance of Bohol
Let me put it into two words: countryside tour. You will experience a mixed of green fields, wildlife, different bodies of water, and marine ecosystems. And spice up this experience even more with the chance to live like a local in this popular island.
Kick off your unique rural activities in exploring the Bilar Manmade Forest for free! It is quite normal to see travelers enjoy their meals while being surrounded with Mahogany trees.
However, the amazing and relaxing view is not what really caught my attention. I was awed and hopeful when I learned that the 42-kilometer forest was built by hard work and cooperation of university students years ago. The original one was turned into ashes when it caught in a slash-and-burn farming. Looking at these high towering trees made me think of how much we can do in saving and reviving our nature if only we would have the heart to cultivate one goal together.
Our next stop is Chocolate Hills. Growing up in this Asian country, it wasn’t surprising that Chocolate Hills eventually look like the last name of Bohol. It would be difficult, especially for Filipino travelers, not to think about the popular brown highlands when talking about Bohol. From the name itself, this place is composed of hills that stand closely together. It is really unusual to see land forms that look like neighbors. The good thing is your two dollars are enough to pay the entrance fee.
To further your countryside experience, it would not be as amazing without paying a visit to the Butterfly Conservation Center. The fee costs around $1 for adults and $0.20 for children. This place is near Loboc River. It is a lunch cruise and you get to enjoy buffet meal in a huge riverboat with just $9 for adults and $6 for children.
You have seen the green fields and a brief of wildlife tour. Let us take it to the next level by experiencing the main attraction of Bohol – tarsiers. It is a specie that can only be found in Southeast Asian countries. My home country was really lucky to find mamag, in local terms, just within our reach. Corella Tarsier Sanctuary specializes in research and preserving this specie. So, this is only the place where you can observe the tiny primates. You just have to pay around $1 to $2 at the door entrance to witness tarsiers in their natural habitat.
The best way to conclude your Bohol tour is to explore the marine life. Balicasag Island can wake you up early to watch the dolphins and go for snorkeling. If you wish to catch up with the dolphins, you to leave your hotel as early as five in the morning.
The boat rental would usually cost around $30 to $40 and this is exclusive of the $5 environmental fee. Once your boat is off, in just a matter minutes, you will become a dolphin spotter! These aquatic mammals do not present themselves at once, so, you really have to patient and take your job as a spotter seriously. Some tourists might be lucky enough to see a horde of them but some may just locate about 4 – 6 dolphins. No matter what the number is, I still find it magical to see them swim and catch up with the boat. Snorkeling in Balicasag Island would let you enjoy as much as gliding with sea turtles and finding protected area of giant clams.
In my travel experience, I just know for a fact that every place has a special treat for me. I get to know this by trying to talk to the locals because they know their place better than I can ever do. For newbie travelers, make sure not to underestimate small islands like Bohol and don’t leave an area untouched or unraveled. If you are curious about exploring a certain place, go for it. There is no harm in answering your calling as an adventurer!
Keep on travelling!