After You’ve Seen A Tarsier, Here’s What Else You Should Do In Bohol

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There are a few more long weekends to look forward to before we say goodbye to 2015. And if you’re like most travel enthusiasts, always eager to carpe that diem, chances are you’ve been searching online for a plane ticket to book! Just like #Aldub, you also go by “tamang panahon” for traveling except in your case… it’s when there’s “tamang” promo fare.

But if you’re still not sure where you’re headed for the next holiday, here’s a suggestion: fly out to Bohol!

Bohol Sightseeing

Known as “God’s Little Paradise,” it’s got all the makings of a perfect getaway. It abounds with natural beauty and serves as a sanctuary for all kinds of wildlife.

Whether you’re traveling with your family, your friends, or your bae, we got questions like “What do we do there?” and “Where do we stay?” covered!

Here’s our travel guide to Bohol that’ll help you maximize your long weekend trip.

THINGS TO DO IN BOHOL

Swim in Mag-Aso Falls
Duration of activity: 30 to 60 minutes

It doesn’t matter whether you consider yourself an INFP, INFJ or maybe even an ambivert – if you’re the type who actively stays away from the throngs of selfie-taking tourists and would rather hear birds chirping instead of noisy human chatter, you’re going to love Mag-Aso Falls in Antequera, Bohol.

Mag-Aso Falls by Matoy Elipe

Mag-Aso Falls taken by Matoy Elipe

You won’t spot this secluded destination on most Bohol tour packages because it’s out of the usual Panglao-Loboc-Chocolate Hills way, (hint: there are higher chances of having this place all to yourself)! It’s off the beaten path, making it the perfect haven for the hipster and/or lone wolf travelers.

Antequera is roughly nineteen kilometers away from Tagbilaran, a short thirty-minute journey if you’re riding the bus or jeepney. Once at the Antequera bus terminal, you can then take a habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) straight to Mag-Aso Falls. But before you get to wade in it, first conquer the 197 steps that lead down to its base. The view waiting for you at the bottom is worth the wobbly legs!

The twin falls stand at 25 feet tall, its water cascading to join the turquoise pool underneath it. If you’re in the mood for adventure, you can climb the rocks beside the falls and plunge into the depths of the basin! But for a more chill experience, simply wade in the warm waters of the shallower areas.

A word of caution: Check the weather forecast before your trip to Mag-Aso Falls. Heavy rains can cause flash floods in the area.

Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) down Loboc River
Duration of activity 1 to 4 hours (depends on package)

At some point, we’ve all indulged in the daydream of walking on water. But this fanciful musing isn’t so far-fetched anymore. SUP Tours Philippines has come up with the brilliantly clever idea of traveling around the country atop a paddleboard, allowing you to marvel at the wonders of nature as you glide seamlessly along the water! Stand up paddle boarding is a sneaky way to get to remote places too, which would otherwise be inaccessible via the usual routes on land.

If you’re worried about faceplanting in the water, your tour guide will make sure you’ve got the basics of the sport down before you embark on your Loboc SUP journey. The 1-hour package (₱800/person) gives you a scenic tour down the river, while the half-day package (₱2,500/person) brings you all the way to Busay Falls where you can take a break from all the paddling and cool off in the water. You get a relaxing lunch by the river also!

Not only is SUP a great whole-body workout (it’s guaranteed to give you cheese-grater abs a la Channing Tatum!) but it has low impact on the environment too which is always the best way to travel.

Stand Up Paddle Tour Bohol

Stand Up Paddle Tour in Bohol | Photo from SUP Tours Philippines

Stand up paddle boarding is a sneaky way to get to remote places too, which would otherwise be inaccessible via the usual routes on land. If you’re worried about faceplanting in the water, your tour guide will make sure you’ve got the basics of the sport down before you embark on your Loboc SUP journey.

The 1-hour package (₱800/person) gives you a scenic tour down the river where you may come across local entertainers dancing in a balsa! The half-day package (₱2,500/person) on the other hand, brings you all the way to Busay Falls where you can take a break from all the paddling and cool off in the water. You get a relaxing lunch by the river, too!

Not only is SUP a great whole-body workout (it’s guaranteed to give you cheese-grater abs a la Channing Tatum!) but it has low impact on the environment too which is always the best way to travel.

Take pictures at the Mahogany Man-Made Forest
Duration of activity: 30 minutes

This man-made forest located between the towns of Loboc and Bilar is a spectacular sight to behold, especially for the neat-freaks out there. Walk through this 2-kilometer stretch of lush greenery to find yourself amidst the most orderly set of trees you’ll ever see!

Mahogany Man-Made Forest in Bohol by Mond Reymond

Mahogany Man-Made Forest | Photo by Mond Reymond on flickr

They’re all uniform in height with branches and leaves of identical pattern, laid out in equal distances from each other. Feel the instant drop in temperature as you take shelter under this canopy of overhanging foliage where the rays of the sun barely get to peek through.

Of course, the most obvious thing to do when you’re surrounded by such fine-looking trees is to take pictures. And lots of them. You might want to step up your photo-taking game though because people like to get creative with their shots here!

Dive or snorkel at Balicasag Island Dive Resort
Duration of activity: 2 hours (including 1-hour boat ride)

A trip to Bohol wouldn’t be complete if you can’t go back home and tell your friends you’ve seen dolphins up close. For sightings of these (cute) aquatic mammals, take a trip to Balicasag, an island located off the south-western end of Panglao, accessible via motorboat from Alona Beach. Keep your eyes peeled and your GoPros ready during the 1-hour boat ride because you’re bound to see groups of them bobbing up and down, and sometimes even jumping out the water!

Jackfish in Balicasag Island, Bohol

School of Jackfish from beneath. Taken in Balicasag Island, Bohol.

But aside from dolphins, this famous diving and snorkeling destination is teeming with so many other forms of marine life. The Black Forest, one of the four dive sites in Balicasag, is considered the best area to spot green sea turtles, schools of barracuda, and garden eels! But if you’re at the Balicasag Cathedral, you’re more likely to see pufferfish and triggerfish swimming among colorful corals.

If hatchlings and young species intrigue you, immerse yourself at the Balicasag Sanctuary, but if you’re looking for adventure, wall dive into the depths of the Diver’s Heaven.

Challenge yourself at the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP)
Duration of activity: 2 hours

If you’ve always fantasized about joining American Ninja Warrior or you just like the feeling of your heart pumping out of your chest, a couple of hours at Chocolate Hills Adventure Park will quench your thirst for the bold and the exciting. An hour and fifteen minutes away from Tagbilaran, it’s worth squeezing this eco tourism adventure park into your Bohol itinerary for a different kind of high. There are over 20 kinds of activities to choose from so getting bored is not even an option!

Chocolate Hills Adventure Park, Bohol

Bike Zipping at Chocolate Hills Adventure Park, Bohol | Photo from chocolatehillsadventurepark.com

The newest (and possibly the scariest) adventure at CHAP is called “The Rush” for a reason. Biking sounds simple enough, right? But when you’re suspended 150 feet in the air with the wind blowing against your face, chickening out will seem like a rational option.

Take note that the windier and rainier it is, the wilder the ride gets! But really, there’s no need to fear because the bike zip line is secured with state-of-the-art safety equipment. Be sure to keep your eyes open throughout the 550-meter (1,800 feet) traverse for the breathtaking 360-degree view of the Chocolate Hills!

Chocolate Hills Adventure Park, Bohol

Tree Top Rope Course at Chocolate Hills Adventure Park, Bohol | Photo from chocolatehillsadventurepark.com

Other adrenaline-inducing attractions here are the Earthquake, a perpetually-swinging obstacle course in the air designed to test your speed and agility, and the Vine Walk which requires you to balance across a 12-meter long rope with just the help of dangling vines!

Eat at Bohol Bee Farm
Duration of activity: 1 hour

Checking every activity off your Bohol itinerary is a surefire way of working up a big appetite, so don’t forget to set aside time for a nice, hot meal! At Bohol Bee Farm, not only do you get to feast on local Boholano fare, but you can be sure your taste buds are treated to only the freshest and healthiest ingredients, all grown and harvested in their farm!

Bohol Bee Farm

Photo from boholbeefarm.com

For a refreshing way to whet your palate, order up a plate of their organic garden salad, topped with edible flowers, and flavored with honey mustard dressing. Their pumpkin bread, slathered with mango spread and basil pesto butter, also gets customers raving. For your main course, fill your belly up with their big, shareable servings of spare ribs, grilled blue marlin, honey glazed chicken, and seafood lasagna.

Bohol Bee Farm Salad

Photo from boholbeefarm.com

But the real star of the show here is the homemade Malunggay Ice Cream! It may sound weird (and also a little gross) but you’d better believe it’s good when looloo reviewers describe it as “the most heavenly ice cream I’ve ever tasted!” According to Meg Y. in her looloo review, the malunggay bits definitely exist but with a flavor so subtle you’d never think you were eating vegetables. All their ice cream flavors are sweetened with their all-natural honey!

Kick back at Alona Beach
Duration of activity How long do you want to chill?

Alona is like Boracay’s smaller, quieter, but equally stunning sister. They’ve got the same alluring looks, but if partying it up til the wee hours of the morning ain’t your thang, then you know which beach to go to. Alona’s 1.5-kilometer stretch of white, chalky sand, paired with the immaculate view of its crystal clear waters, can make even the most stressed-out Manileno temporarily forget about impending deadlines, demanding bosses, and the city’s crazy traffic jams (which we could all definitely use a break from!)

Alona Beach, Bohol

Alona Beach, Bohol

It’s not difficult to channel your inner zen here. Along the shore, you can unwind with a body massage as you get lulled by the sound of waves. Or you can grab a cold bottle of beer, plop yourself down on the sand, and marvel at Alona’s amazing sunsets.

WHERE TO STAY IN BOHOL

Eskaya Beach Resort and Spa

For the most extravagant Bohol trip, splurge on a villa at Eskaya, a sprawling 16-hectare resort covering 600 meters of Panglao’s 5-kilometer stretch of white, powdery sand.

Eskaya Beach Resort and Spa

Eskaya Beach Resort and Spa, Bohol | Photo from eskayaresort.com

The Balai Datu, their most impressive villa, gives you an unobstructed view of the sea and your own infinity pool to soak in as you admire the scenery.

And it only gets fancier! You get daily breakfast and cocktails as well as access to the resort’s golf cart, kayak, and pedal boat. Plus butler service!

Bluewater Panglao Resort

If you still want to live it up in Bohol but without blowing as much dough, Bluewater Panglao Resort is your best bet, a luxurious escape with a friendlier price tag.

Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort

Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort | Photo from Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort’s Facebook Page

Their family loft and premium deluxe rooms come with a private veranda, giving you a view of the resort’s pool. But a stay in their Family or Honeymoon Villa means you get to cool off in your own private dipping pool!

If life is stressing you out, visit their Amuma Spa and loosen up your tense muscles with their signature hilot massages.

Alona Northland Resort

Alona Northland is the perfect balance of comfort and practicality. Here, you get to enjoy simple pleasures without overspending.

Alona Northland Resort Bohol

Alona Northland Resort Bohol | Photo from Alona Northland Resort’s Facebook Page

Rates start at ₱2,500 per night for which you get a Double Deluxe room with a balcony, free wi-fi, and TV. The resort’s amenities include a pool, a bar, a sunbed area, and a ping pong table.

Alona Grove Tourist Inn

If you’re the type of traveler who’s always out during the day and only comes back to the hotel to sleep, a budget resort like Alona Grove is for you.

Alona Grove Tourist Inn, Bohol

Alona Grove Tourist Inn, Bohol | Photo by Alexander Möslinger-Neundlinger

For just ₱1,200 a night, you get a room for two with air conditioning. But if you’re traveling on your own, you get to save even more with a ₱800-per-night standard room.

HOW TO GET TO BOHOL

Fly to Bohol via AirAsia Philippines

For a fast and affordable way to get to Bohol, book a plane ticket to Tagbilaran (TAG) via AirAsia’s website or mobile app. You can also follow AirAsia on Facebook for updates on their latest promo fares (sometimes, tickets can even go as low as ₱1,198)!

Just 1 hour and 25 minutes away from the Metro, you can start checking items off your things-to-do-in-Bohol list in no time!

Be a savvy traveler and take advantage of AirAsia’s self check-in service that lets you take care of your luggage through their website, kiosks in the airport, or even just via your mobile phone.

AirAsia Philippines Crew

Now that there’s really nothing stopping you from hopping on that plane to Bohol, all that’s left to do is to sit back, enjoy the quality in-flight service, and have a safe trip!

ITINERARY

Day 1
10:00 AM Arrive at hotel.
10:00 – 10:30 AM Rest.
10:30 – 11:00 AM Travel to Mag-Aso Falls.
11:00 – 12:00 PM Mag-Aso Falls
12:00 – 12:30 PM Travel back to Panglao.
12:30 – 1:30 PM Lunch at Bohol Bee Farm.
1:30 – 3:00 PM Travel to CHAP.
3:00 – 5:30 PM Bike zip line at CHAP.
5:30 – 7:00 PM Travel back to Panglao.
7:00 PM Onwards Eat dinner and relax at Alona Beach.
Day 2
10:30 – 11:10 AM Travel to Loboc for SUP Tours.
11:30 – 4:30 PM Half-day Loboc River SUP Tour (inclusive of lunch).
4:30 – 5:00 PM Visit Mahogany Man-Made Forest.
5:00 – 5:40 PM Travel back to Panglao.
6:00 PM Onwards Dinner at Alona Beach.
Day 3
8:00 – 8:30 AM Travel to Balicasag Dive Resort.
8:30 – 10:30 AM Snorkel and see dolphins.
10:30 – 11:00 AM Travel back to Panglao.
11:00 – 12:00 PM Lunch at Alona Beach.
12:00 PM Depart hotel.
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  • Ignacio Illenberger

    While at Loboc town center, have lunch at the tourism stalls across the river rom the town church. While there, you will see the “The Bridge to Nowhere”. Indulge in tsismis and ask the locals why the bridge became the unspoken tourist attraction of Loboc!

  • Niel Paolo Tarona

    Mag-aso falls isn’t just the only falls that is a beauty in Bohol. Why not come here? Well, this is located in our place in Bohol, and it’s one heck of an adventure.

  • The ones featured here and on other publications are just really a fraction of what Bohol has to offer. Even myself haven’t really been to the whole of Bohol. There are yet still a lot of unrecognized and non-commercialized spots. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eczBC4GTv_A