Bohol Travel Guide: Things To Do If You Only Have A Weekend To Spare

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Bohol is a province teeming with natural wonders as well as incredible heritage spots such as old churches and Spanish-era houses.

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Bohol is a province teeming with natural wonders as well as incredible heritage spots such as old churches and Spanish-era houses. While the province is most famous for the Chocolate Hills and tarsiers, it is also known for its stunning beaches and sandbars that are considered as some of the best in the Philippines.

Chairs in Dumaluan beach in Bohol
Beach chairs in Dumaluan Beach

Bohol Travel Guide: Things To Do If You Only Have A Weekend To Spare




    In 2013, Bohol suffered a setback when a massive earthquake hit the province which reduced its beautiful historical churches to crumbles. It was good to know that Bohol was able to quickly recover from this ordeal.

    Through years of restoration, the local government was able to rebuild the churches to their former glory. Nowadays, Bohol continues to thrive as a bustling tourist destination that is frequented by both Filipino and foreign travelers.

    Our experience in Bohol


    We were originally planning a four-day trip to Bohol. However, due to the circumstances at the office, we had to cut it down to only a full weekend. We were a bit disheartened at first, after all, what can we do with just two days in Bohol?

    Loboc Church in Bohol being restored
    Loboc Church being restored

    We wanted to see so much of the province and explore the many places that we only see in photographs. Thankfully, we were able to adjust our itinerary and fit in all the places that we wanted to visit in Bohol. Read on to find out the things that you can do in Bohol if you have a weekend to spare.

    How to go to Bohol


    The most convenient way to go to Bohol is via air travel. All major airlines have domestic flights to Bohol via the Tagbilaran City Airport.

    Arrival at Tagbilaran City Airport in Bohol
    Arrival at Tagbilaran City Airport

    We booked an early morning flight via AirAsia. It was our first time to use this carrier, so we were quite anxious and praying hard for an on-schedule and hassle-free flight. Thankfully, we did enjoy a smooth flight with no delay, notwithstanding the cramped legroom of the seats.

    We left NAIA Terminal 4 at exactly 7:25 AM on a Saturday morning and arrived at Tagbilaran City Airport at 8:15 AM. The hotel driver from Ocean Suites, our hotel in Bohol, was already at the airport waiting to fetch us.

    You may hire a van to get around Bohol’s famous tourist spots. Another alternative and most convenient method of exploring Bohol are to book group tours so that you would not have to worry about putting together your itinerary anymore.

    Bohol on a weekend


    If you are going to Bohol but if you only have limited time to explore the province, here are the top things that you can do to make the visit worthwhile.

    Day 1: Bohol Countryside Tour


    1. Visit the Blood Compact Shrine

    Location: Barangay Bool, Tagbilaran City

    Blood Compact Shrine in Bohol
    Blood Compact Shrine

    The blood compact (Sandugo) shrine depicts the ritual of sealing camaraderie between Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna, Bohol’s chieftain. In this location stand life-size bronze statues of the two leaders.

    2. Marvel at the beauty of Chocolate Hills

    Location: Carmen, Bohol

    Chocolate Hills in Bohol
    Chocolate Hills

    The Chocolate Hills in Carmen town is probably Bohol's most iconic natural landmark. When we went here two years ago, we had to pay a Php50 admission fee.

    The Chocolate Hills is truly a magnificent and astonishing sight to behold. In total, the Chocolate Hills is composed of 1773 mounds but the actual hills seen from the deck (those overgrown with grass instead of trees) are about 1200 plus.

    Composed of limestones, these hills were formed below sea level eons ago. Tectonics and the elements carved the landscape into what it is today.


    3. Learn about the lifecycle of butterflies at Habitat Bohol

    Location: Bilar, Bohol

    A caterpillar at Habitat butterfly sanctuary in Bohol
    A caterpillar

    A quick drive from the Chocolate Hills is Bohol Habitat (admission fee: Php45), which is a butterfly sanctuary. It is primarily a breeding complex for different varieties of butterflies.

    At Bohol Habitat, a guide will show you around while discussing the breeding habits of butterflies. There are preserved butterflies as well as insects that are on display.

    4. Have a stopover at the Bohol Man-made Forest

    Location: Loay Interior Road, Loboc, Bohol

    Inside the man-made forest in Bohol
    Man-made forest in Bohol

    The man-made mahogany forest is a popular stopover included in most Bohol tours. This is a reforestation project that began in the late 1940s.

    Many years ago, the area was deforested because of indiscriminate slash-and-burn farming that was widely-practiced by the locals.

    The slopes of the mountains were planted with mahogany trees to deter erosion and flooding, both common problems before the area was reforested.

    5. Experience the Loboc River Cruise


    Loboc River cruise in Bohol
    Loboc River cruise

    The Loboc River Cruise with buffet lunch is one of the unique activities in Bohol that travelers may try.

    The package includes a one-and-a-half-hour ride through the scenic Loboc River onboard a floating restaurant. The admission fee is Php450 for adults and is inclusive of a buffet lunch.

    Loboc River in Bohol
    Loboc River

    Loboc River is probably one of the cleanest bodies of water in the country. The water is of a blue-green hue, definitely a breathtaking sight.

    Combined with the cool and fresh air and the lush foliage along the riverbanks, the Loboc River Cruise is one soothing adventure.

    Other activities available in Loboc River:


    Loboc River Stand Up Paddle Adventure - paddle around Loboc River for a one-of-a-kind experience. 

    Stand Up Paddle Yoga Class on Loboc River - you might want to try yoga exercises with a unique twist.

    6. Pay a visit to the Baclayon Church

    Location: Baclayon, Bohol

    One of the heritage churches that was badly hit by the 2013 earthquake was the neo-classical Baclayon Church or the Parish of the Immaculate Conception Church.

    Baclayon Church in Bohol being restored
    Baclayon Church under restoration

    It was a disheartening site but it was good that the local government of Bohol was able to restore it to its old splendor. Near the church is a museum, located inside the old convent.

    The newly-restored Baclayon Church in Bohol
    The newly restored Baclayon Church (this image was taken from the Bohol Tourism website)



    Day 2: Bohol Beach Club and Bohol Bee Farm


    A lazy day at Bohol Beach Club and a quick visit to the Bohol Bee Farm comprised our itinerary for our second day.

    1. Enjoy the beach at Bohol Beach Club

    Location: Bo. Bolod, Panglao, Bohol

    Bohol Beach Club
    Fine, white sand at Bohol Beach Club

    Bohol Beach Club is one of the more well-known beach resorts in Bohol. Bohol Beach Club is a lovely resort with well-manicured lawns and gardens.

    The view of the aquamarine water was stunning. There were sunbathing benches, hammocks, and tables available for those who are on a day tour.

    For those who would like an extended stay in the resort, accommodations are available. The admission fee for a day tour at Bohol Beach Club is Php600 per head (Php450 is consumable).

    We did not get to see any of the rooms but the beach view suites looked really comfortable and first-rate.

    Sand is white and very fine but not as powdery fine as the Boracay sand. Be sure to wear aqua shoes because there is a rocky segment with broken corals near the shore so it can get painful when walking barefoot.

    Beyond this rocky stretch though, sand is already as fine as talc. The crystal clear water was so inviting, it seemed like a mortal sin to refuse the invitation.

    If one is not so keen on taking a dip in the beach, there are swimming pools available in Bohol Beach Club.

    Aside from beach activities, you may also opt to get a full body massage to relax your aching muscles (Php600 for 1 hour).

    Cooking inside the resort is not allowed though, and you have to pay a corkage fee if you want to bring food inside. But don't worry because food and drinks (including cocktails) in the resort are reasonably-priced and good for sharing.



    2. Shop for food and souvenirs at Bohol Bee Farm

    Location: Dao, Panglao Island, Bohol

    Bohol Bee Farm
    Bohol Bee Farm

    Bohol Beach Club is known for its organic produce, restaurant, and hotel. They sell different products made with honey, from spreads to ice cream, to beauty and personal care products.

    Bohol Bee Farm is also famous for its artisanal ice cream made with real fruit (durian, guyabano, avocado), malunggay leaves (yes, that's vegetable ice cream), and honey (salted honey).

    Aside from honey-based products, Bohol Bee Farm also offers farm tours and accommodation. There are also swimming pools inside for those who want to cool down, as well as a restaurant.


    If you are looking for a place to stay in the province, you might want to consider booking a Bohol villa for a completely unforgettable experience.

    Optional Activity for Day 2: Go on a Bohol Island Hopping Tour


    As an option, you might want to go on an island-hopping tour instead of a tour at the Bohol Beach Club and the Bohol Bee Farm.

    This island-hopping activity is an opportunity to explore Bohol’s stunning Balicasag and the Virgin Islands.

    The waters around these islands are some of the best snorkeling sites around the country. As such, I suggest investing in a good snorkeling mask for you to enjoy the underwater view without any interruption.

    Balicasag Island’s waters are also the favorite playground of dolphins. They usually frolic around the area early in the morning.


    Bohol Travel Guide: Sample Itinerary


    Here is a sample itinerary that summarizes things that you can do on a weekend in Bohol. These are just suggested activities, so please feel free to tailor fit it based on what you want to do.

    Day 1: Bohol Countryside Tour


    • 8:30 AM - breakfast
    • 9:30 AM – depart
    • Blood Compact Shrine
    • Chocolate Hills
    • Habitat Bohol
    • Bohol Man-made forest
    • 12:00 NN - Lunch and Loboc River Cruise
    • Baclayon Church

    Day 2: Bohol Beach Club & Bohol Bee Farm


    • 8:30 AM - breakfast
    • 9:30 AM – depart
    • Bohol Beach Club
    • Bohol Bee Farm

    Option for Day 2: Bohol Island-Hopping Tour


    • 6:30 AM - breakfast
    • 7:30 AM – depart
    • Island Hopping Tour

    Where to stay in Bohol


    You will never out of accommodation options in Bohol, thanks to its popularity as a top tourist destination in the country.

    Here are some of the best hotels where you can stay in Bohol:

    1. Ocean Suites Bohol Boutique Hotel

    Location: Blood Compact Monument, Tagbilaran City

    Ocean Suites is one of the best hotels in Bohol in terms of its quality and affordability. We stayed here during our first trip to Bohol and we completely enjoyed the amenities. What's even better is that it does not get crowded because it is a small hotel.

    For our full review of Ocean Suites, please read this article: Ocean Suites: comfortable accommodation with a stunning view of the sea. CLICK HERE TO BOOK

    2. Bohol Coco Farm Hostel

    Location: Panglao Island

    Bohol Coco Farm Hotel is one of the best-rated hotels in the province. It offers a unique experience to guests who would want to get a feel of how it is to live on a rustic farm. CLICK HERE TO BOOK

    3. Dumaluan Beach Resort

    Location: Panglao Island

    Dumaluan Beach Resort is one of the well-known hotels in Bohol because of its beautiful beachfront location. CLICK HERE TO BOOK 

    4. Henann Resort Alona Beach

    Location: Panglao Island

    Henann Resort Alona Beach is one of your best choices if you are looking for a luxurious place to stay in Bohol. It is beautiful and has all the amenities of a five-star hotel to ensure that your holiday is an unforgettable one. CLICK HERE TO BOOK

    5. Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort

    Location: Panglao Island

    If you are looking for a resort with a nice swimming pool, delicious food, and first-rate amenities, then you can never go wrong with Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort. It also has a favorable location because it is near popular tourist spots in Bohol. CLICK HERE TO BOOK 

    Epilogue


    Beautiful Chocolate Hills in Bohol
    Chocolate Hills

    Bohol is an unforgettable destination. I consider it as one of my favorite places in the Philippines because it offers many interesting and unforgettable sights such as beautiful heritage churches, breathtaking beaches, stunning sandbars, and amazing eco-tourism sites. 


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    4 comments

    1. Amazing, indeed! I would always love to go back and see it.

      ReplyDelete
    2. Very cool! I had never heard of Bohol before but it looks like a fun place to visit :)

      ReplyDelete
    3. Yes, it is! You should visit Bohol!

      ReplyDelete

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