When you want to spend your summer at a less crowded place but still get stunning views and unusual adventures, head up to the province of Bohol located in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines. Below is our detailed itinerary for 3 days to give you an idea how to get the best of Bohol when you are short on time.
Here’s the summary of our Itinerary:
Day 1: Loboc River Cruise, Zoocolate Thrills, Hanging Bridge
Day 2: Mag-aso Falls, Inambacan Spring, Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary, Man-made Forest, Chocolate Hills, Quinale Beach
Day 3: Dolphin Watching, Balicasag Island, Virgin Island, Dumaluan Beach
We booked our flight through Cebu Pacific Air, taking advantage of their seat sale promos. We arrived past lunchtime at Tagbilaran, dubbed as the City of Friendship. True enough, we have proven that their people are so friendly, hospitable, kind, and helpful.
ACCOMMODATION – Harbour Gardens Tourist Inn
We booked our lodging through the Traveloka app using their promo for first-time users. We were able to get a 3-Night Stay in a family room for 4 with free breakfast for 4 for just P705.00 per person. What a deal!
LOBOC RIVER CRUISE
From Harbour Gardens, we rode a tricycle to Island City Mall where the Jeepneys going to Loboc are located. The cruise is just until 3:00 PM and thankfully, we made it just in time for the last batch. If you have a budget you might want to book a tour getting there. But since we want adventure, we made a D.I.Y. trip.
The River Cruise lasts for about an hour. As soon as we stepped on the boat, we head to the buffet table. But because of the view, we were not able to eat much as we wanted to enjoy the sceneries and take pictures.
A live band is entertaining us for the duration of the trip and just before the boat makes a U-turn, we made a stopover to a performing group at no additional cost, just a tip will do. They even allowed the guests to join in their performance.
Okay, so this was not part of our original plan. But since we were headed nearby, we decided to give it a try. We hired two motorcycles at a very cheap price and head on the Zoocolate Thrills. The zoo is only open until 5 PM. We arrived at around 4:40 PM and we ended up having a private tour!
On the other side of this hanging bridge is where you’ll find the cheapest souvenirs you can find (based on our experience). Basically, they close at 5 PM but still chose to accommodate us even if we arrived past 5 already.
The hanging bridge was fun for me but may be scary for some. It is safe, nonetheless. There’s an official photographer who took our pictures and if you want to have your pictures printed, they charge you P400.00 for 4 pictures and will give you a soft copy as well.
We shopped for souvenirs varying from key chains to t-shirts to peanut kisses and a lot of other options. The vendors were kind enough to let us take our time in choosing even if it took us until 6 PM.
On our second day, we made a continuous trip to make sure we get the best of Bohol even in the short period of time that we have. This time, we rented a multicab for the whole day.
Our first stop was the Mag-Aso Falls. The water is so clear it made us want to swim but we still have a long day ahead so we just took pictures.
PHILIPPINE TARSIER SANCTUARY
One of the things that come to mind when you think of Bohol is the tarsier. But because we don’t want to support organizations that commercialize the tarsiers, we chose to go to Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary where they protect the tarsiers by not caging them, allowing them to live in their natural habitat. They strictly do not allow visitors to touch them nor take a photo too close to them as it might cause trauma to the animal. Making noise is also not allowed as it can disturb the tarsiers.
Please support this foundation by not tolerating other tourist spots that harm this endangered species. They are open from 9 AM to 4 PM.
On our way to the famous Chocolate Hills, we passed by the man-made forest and of course, we did not miss taking a photo here.
This one is a must-not-miss attraction when you’re in Bohol. The Chocolate Hills are cone-shaped hills that turn to color brown during the dry season, thus its name. There are about a thousand hills spread over an area of 50 square kilometers.
A number of viewing decks are available but our driver chose to go to the one in Carmen. Expect the mineral water to be so expensive up here. Good thing we brought our own that we bought at a supermarket.
Fine white sand beach for free?
Yes, you’ve read it correctly. Located at Anda, you can enjoy a super fine white sand beach for free at Quinale Beach. Don’t worry, clean changing rooms are provided. We brought our picnic mat and spread it over the sand under a huge umbrella (which is also for free), and enjoyed the beach.
Of course, we didn’t miss the very beautiful island of Panglao on our third day. We have a family friend who owns a boat and offered us a private tour at a very affordable price. We were picked up at our lodging at around 5 AM and arrived at Alona Beach by 6 AM where the boat was waiting for us.
The boat ride was long but it was worth it when we finally witness the dolphins in the middle of the ocean. It’s just hard to capture photos of them since they are fast and we can’t predict where they will appear.
We then headed to the Balicasag Island – a snorkeling site. Sadly, we weren’t able to bring snorkeling gears so we just swam around the area. So make sure you bring your own when you visit here to get the most of this beautiful island.
As much as we want to swim further to where the corals are (which is actually very near), we were not allowed unless we pay for a small boat that will bring us to the area.
This one’s my favorite. I was stunned by the lengthy beautiful white sand. Here, you will find vendors of fresh sea urchins, abalones and pearls as well. The waters are shallow so we were not able to swim and instead just took a lot of photos as we bask in the goodness of this island.
After our island hopping, we went back to Panglao and searched for a resort nearby where we can have our lunch and spend the rest of our afternoon. Our driver suggested Dumaluan Beach because it’s cheap.
The only downside here is that there were too many people but then we were still able to enjoy the beach since it’s beautiful as the rest of Panglao.