Top 18 Best Tourist Spots in Bohol for First-time Visitors

Top Things to Do in Bohol Province

Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge by Andrewhaimerl via Wikimedia cc

Top 18 Best Bohol Tourist Spots 

The island of Bohol, officially the Province of Bohol, is world-famous for its Chocolate Hills. But the scenic vacation destination has more to offer with its eco-tourism sites, white sand beaches, and prime spots for swimming, diving, and snorkeling. The diverse attractions and countryside charms of the province continue to draw crowds of tourists, both local and international. It can be quite confusing where to travel in Bohol as the province consists of several smaller islands apart from Bohol itself, and this travel guide aims to highlight the best tourist spots in Bohol for first-time visitors.

Explore Tagbilaran City

Cathedral of St. Joseph the Worker
Cathedral of St. Joseph the Worker

As the capital city of the Province of Bohol, Tagbilaran City has some of the biggest malls, parks and amusement centers, historic heritage sites, and museums that showcase the uniqueness of Bohol. The capital city used to be a trading partner with other South East Asian countries and now serves as a jump-off point to the natural and man-made attractions in the province, such as the iconic Chocolate Hills and the stunning beaches of Panglao Island. Some of the capital city’s most notable attractions include the National Museum of Bohol, which exhibit the history of the province, the St. Joseph The Worker Cathedral Parish with its beautifully preserved façade and ornately-designed interiors, and the Carlos P. Garcia Heritage House, which was formerly occupied by the eighth president of the Philippines.

Visit the Chocolate Hills

Chocolate Hills - Bohol Online Sale photo via Depositphotos
Chocolate Hills – Bohol Online Sale photo via Depositphotos

The unique geological formation and rich vegetation of the Chocolate Hills is a natural landmark to marvel at. One of the country’s most iconic and well-known natural landmarks, the panoramic views of the Chocolate Hills can be seen from the viewing decks at the Chocolate Hills Complex in Carmen, Bohol, and Sagbayan Peak Resort in the neighboring town of Sagbayan, Bohol. Other means of viewing Chocolate Hills is by riding an all-terrain vehicle, riding a hot air balloon or taking a zip line ride from the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park. It’s best to visit the hills during the dry season, around January to May, to see its iconic chocolate brown look.

Explore Hinagdanan Cave

Hinagdanan Cave
Hinagdanan Cave

The historic Hinagdanan Cave is known for its naturally lit limestone cave, spectacular stalagmite, and stalactite formations, and a turquoise pool of water at least 3 meters deep. Decades ago, Hinagdanan Cave was used by locals to hide from the Japanese Imperial Army. Visitors can take a tricycle to reach the Hinagdanan Cave and take the staircase entrance downwards to the cave.

  • Entrance Rates: PHP25
  • Location: Bingag, Dauis, Bohol
  • Operating Hours: 7:30AM to 5PM, Daily
  • *Rates may change without prior notice

Visit Alona Beach

Alona Beach by Eduardo Casajus Gorostiaga via Unsplash
Alona Beach by Eduardo Casajus Gorostiaga via Unsplash

This 1.5-kilometer stretch of white sand beach is perhaps the most popular beach among all the beaches on Panglao Island. Alona Beach is considered one of the province’s best destinations for diving, snorkeling, dolphin watching, and island hopping. The quiet beach also has a mellow nightlife, more relaxed and peaceful than other beach destinations in the province.

The name of the beach, Alona, is attributed to actress Alona Alegre, loved by locals due to her sincere kindness and magnetic charm. In the 1970s, Alona Alegre shot a movie at this beach, referred to as the place where Alona filmed her movie.

See Cabagnow Cave Pool

Cabagnow Cave Pool via Instagram @laagan007
Cabagnow Cave Pool via Instagram @laagan007

Cave pools found in the southeastern part of the Province of Bohol are slowly gaining popularity. These are limestones filled with spring water collected for millions of years from seawater seeping through the soft limestone rocks around the area. Cabagnow Cave Pool is the deepest and biggest cave pool in the area, the deepest parts around 25 feet deep and the shallow parts at 12 feet deep. Other notable cave pools include Combento Cave Pool, Kaligoon Cave Pool, East Coast Cave Pool, and Kalorenzo Cave Pool.

Paddleboarding in Loboc River

SUP at Loboc River
SUP at Loboc River

Paddleboarding tours along Loboc River are slowly gaining traction, with tour agencies and nearby resorts offering such services. Guests and visitors can cruise the river at their own pace, enveloping themselves in the quietness of the river and the surrounding forest. Paddleboarding is relatively easy to learn, and the paddleboarding tours offered in the area always start with an introductory course for its guests.

Lunch and River Cruise in Loboc River

Lunch at Loboc River Cruise
Lunch at Loboc River Cruise

Enjoy cruising along the Loboc River while having a generous lunch from any of the Loboc Floating Restaurants. This river cruise is the highlight of every Bohol countryside tour. The restaurant staff serves popular Filipino dishes, and the local community stage a short cultural performance in traditional Filipino clothing.

  • Cruise and Buffet Rates (inclusive of the short cultural performance): PHP850
  • Location: Poblacion Sawang, Loboc, Bohol
  • Contact: 0948 407 6476 | 0917 306 0010 | 0999 582 4655 | (038) 537 9460 | [email protected]
  • Website: lobocriverwatch.com
  • *Rates may change without prior notice. Booking is necessary. Guests are requested to be at the complex 30 minutes before the scheduled time.

Visit the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary

Philippine tarsier - one of the smallest primates in the world photo via Depositphotos
Philippine tarsier – one of the smallest primates in the world photo via Depositphotos

The Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary is a refuge devoted to protecting the smallest primates found in Southeast Asia. The sanctuary is run by the Philippine Tarsier Foundation, a non-stock, non-profit organization that ensures the safety and fragile population of endangered species. Before establishing the sanctuary and the foundation, tarsiers were sold and kept as private pets, away from their natural habitat. Visitors can expect to see several tarsiers take photos during the tours offered by the foundation. Remember to minimize noise and to turn off the camera flash as the tarsiers might get stressed.

  • Entrance Rates: PHP150; FREE for children 7 years and below
  • Location: Tarsier Sanctuary Road, Corella, Bohol
  • Operating Hours: 9AM to 4PM, Daily
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • Socials: instagram.com/philippinetarsierfoundation/
  • *Rates may change without prior notice

See the beautiful Anda Beach.

Anda Bohol Travel Guide
Anda Bohol Travel Guide

Anda, Bohol has some of the trimmest and best-kept beaches in the province, with the powder soft and white sand Anda Beach slowly becoming a favorite among tourists and locals. The beach stretches for 3 kilometers, its pristine waters are home to rich marine life, and the charming shore is perfect for scenic beach walks.

Dive at Balicasag Island

A turtle of Balicasag Island (not part of tour) - Gabrielle M
A turtle of Balicasag Island (not part of tour) – Gabrielle M

Balicasag Island is one of the most exciting destinations in Bohol because it is one of the premier diving and snorkeling sites in the Philippines. These remarkable diving sites include Balicasag Island Marine Sanctuary, Black Forest, Cathedral Wall, Divers Haven, Royal Garden, and Turtle Point. Divers can expect to swim with large schools of fish, such as moray eels, frogfish, and parrotfish, find underwater sea caves and marvel at colonies of corals on its drop-off walls. Non-divers can choose to snorkel and swim in the shallow parts of the island or watch the dolphins from above the waters.

  • Entrance Rates (Marine Sanctuary): PHP150
  • Environmental Fee: PHP100
  • Snorkeling Fee: PHP300
  • *Rates may change without prior notice

Dolphin Watching at Pamilacan Island

Dolphin Watching in Pamilacan Island
Dolphin Watching in Pamilacan Island

Pamilacan Island is a popular tourist destination for dolphin and whale sightseeing. The coral island is part of the Bohol Marine Triangle, where dolphins and whales travel in small and large groups. Some of the most common whales are Bryde’s whales, sperm whales, short-finned pilot whales, melon-headed whales, and the pygmy killer whale. At the same time, the commonly seen dolphins are Risso’s dolphin, spinner dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, spotted dolphin, and Fraser’s dolphin.

The island’s name stems from the word “pamilac,” meaning harpoon, a fishing tool used by the islanders to catch dolphins and whales. This practice of harpooning had since diminished when the provincial government banned the fishing of endangered species. Locals now focus on eco-tourism and protecting the marine life on the island.

Visit Virgin Island

Virgin Island in Panglao Bohol
Virgin Island in Panglao Bohol

Pungtud Island, commonly known to tourists as Virgin Island, is a shallow islet in the middle of Balicasag Island and Panglao Island. The breathtaking views around the island and its peaceful atmosphere make it a scenic and relaxing destination, often the quieter part of island hopping tours in the Province of Bohol. Despite the lack of exhilarating activities, Virgin Island remains one of the most visited destinations in the province, best visited before high noon, so the sand won’t be too hot for meditative walks.

Explore Chocolate Hills Adventure Park

Bike Zipline at Chocolate Hills Adventure Park
Bike Zipline at Chocolate Hills Adventure Park

The Chocolate Hills Adventure Park is an eco-tourism destination with several park attractions to offer. These include the bike zip line, surf zip line, tree top rope challenges, rope courses, chicken and fish feeding, mountain biking, horseback riding, wall climbing, Tarzan swing, sumo wrestling, hiking, and camping. The zip line rides in the adventure park have some of the best-unobstructed views of the iconic Chocolate Hills. The park also has a butterfly garden and a serpentarium for visitors.

  • Entrance Rates: PHP80 per head
  • Location: Camanayon, Barangay Buenos Aires, Carmen, Bohol
  • Operating Hours: 8:30AM to 5:30PM, Daily
  • Contact: 0946 341 4796 | 0921 770 3226
  • Socials: facebook.com/Chocolate-Hills-Adventure-Park
  • *Rates may change without prior notice

Dine at Bohol Bee Farm

Bohol Bee Farm
Bohol Bee Farm

Bohol Bee Farm is a farm and restaurant producing and selling pure organic honey and honey jams. The open-air dining space of the restaurant has amazing views of the sea and serves organic-based meals produced by their farm. Bohol Bee Farm sells honeyed shampoo and conditioner, honeyed body soap, honeyed salve, honeyed salabat, honeyed hot sauce, and honeyed tableya. It offers walking tours of the farm and presents how their bee products are made.

Cross a Bamboo Hanging Bridge

Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge by Andrewhaimerl via Wikimedia cc
Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge By Andrewhaimerl – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

Crossing the Bamboo Hanging Bridge will be a delightful experience for adventure seekers. Bridging over the Sipatan River, the bridge was originally constructed with bamboo and ropes before steel cables were added for bridge stability. The Bamboo Hanging Bridge is surrounded by dense forests and has become a popular day tour destination.

Stop over at Bilar Man-Made Forest

A favorite stop-over for tourists in Bohol, the Bilar Man-made Forest.
A favorite stop-over for tourists in Bohol, the Bilar Man-made Forest.

Drive by and stop over at the Bilar Man-Made Forest, a 2-kilometer stretch of mahogany trees along the border of Loboc and Bilar planted by the local government and volunteers as part of a reforestation project decades ago. Besides driving to the Man-Made Forest, visitors can bike and hike in the woods, use the forest as a backdrop for photos, or take shelter under the shade of the trees during summer.

Visit the Blood Compact Shrine

The Blood Compact Shrine, also known as Blood Pact Shrine, Blood Compact Monument, and Sandugo Shrine, is a life-sized landmark created by Napoleon Abueva, the Father of Modern Philippine Sculpture and a native Boholano. The monument is where Rajah Sikatuna formed a blood compact and alliance with Miguel Lopez de Legaspi on March 16, 1565, a significant gesture of peace and friendship and was considered the first friendship treaty between the Filipinos and Spaniards.

Spend an afternoon at Sikatuna Mirror of The World

Sikatuna’s Mirror of the World and Botanical Garden
Sikatuna’s Mirror of the World and Botanical Garden

Explore the world in just one park and see some of the world’s most iconic landmarks at Sikatuna’s Mirror of the World. Mirror of the World exhibits scaled-down versions of the likes of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Golden Gate Bridge of California. One of the best times to visit the park is in the late afternoon when the climate is milder and to take advantage of the nighttime views of the park. Stroll around the park, check out the botanical garden and take photos of the park’s wonders.

  • Entrance Rates (Daytime): PHP150, Adults; PHP50, Children below 3 feet; PHP120, Senior Citizens and PWDs
  • Entrance Rates (Nighttime): PHP170, Adults; PHP50, Children below 3 feet; PHP135, Senior Citizens and PWDs
  • Environmental Fee: PHP20
  • Location: Barangay Libjo, Sikatuna, Bohol
  • Operating Hours: 7AM to 6PM, Daytime; 6PM to 9PM, Nighttime
  • Contact: 0917 706 9682 | [email protected] | [email protected]
  • Socials: facebook.com/SikatunasMOTW | sikatunasmirroroftheworld.com
  • *Rates may change without prior notice

How to get there

Bohol is just one of the best vacation destinations in the Philippines, where one of the country’s most iconic natural landmarks can be found. But the province is more than just the chocolate-colored hillsides. As a prime tourist destination, Bohol is accessible from several major cities around the country and connects to Bohol-Panglao International Airport, a new airport that services the whole province.

AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, and Philippine Airlines have daily flights from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Clark International Airport, and Davao International Airport. Visitors outside the country can arrive at NAIA and fly to Bohol-Panglao International Airport.

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