If planned right, Bohol is an outstanding island that can be reached by ferry from neighboring islands like Cebu. The OceanJet ferry fare for regular seating was $10 from Cebu to Tagbilaran Port, and $20 for Business Class seating with check-in luggage included. The journey was approximately 4 hours long, so I definitely opted for Business Class, which was a fantastic experience to finally catch my breath and unwind in their reclining chair from all my travels. Bohol can be explored in roughly a full day. Although I was scammed by my AirBnB host, I made the best of the situation and still managed to check off the attractions I wanted to see — Chocolate Hills and the tiny little Tasiers.
Fun Fact: The origins of Bohol's fun geological formations, known as the Chocolate Hills, are still inconclusive.
When to go: All year long — However, Summer would be considered the dry season where the hills turn characteristically chocolatey brown.
Modes of Transportation:
Hired private driver
How Many Days to Spend: 1 day
Safety: I felt completely safe on this rural island, although I really did not see too many locals or tourists at all.
What to Wear: The weather is a little unpredictable with rain and sunshine all in the same day. I would recommend breathable clothing, as it gets really humid here.
Tip: Bring a sturdy umbrella to protect you from the elements!
Suggested 1-Day sightseeing Itinerary
- Start at the Chocolate Hills and climb to the top of the deck to witness over 1200 hills. If you are lucky, they will be brown.
- Stop by the Tasier Sanctuary in Corella. This is a true sanctuary and allow for the tasiers to roam free, so be sure to visit this one, and not the Loboc Tasier Conservation Area.
- Have lunch at the Bohol Bee Farm – Amazing organic food that is absolutely scrumptious.
- Take a Panglao Island Tour – This tour generally covers the Hinagdarian Cave, Balicasag Island, and the Virgin Island.
Who put all these boobies here?
Legend has it that these Chocolate Hills were formed from two giants throwing rocks at each other over a feud. These hills were said to be the mess left behind by them. Even to this day, scientists are baffled by these formations, and cannot agree on the actual origins of these hills.
The world's smallest primate!
These little buggers are the size of a fist. When visiting these mystical creatures, it’s our responsibility to exercise ethical tourism by supporting official sanctuaries like the Tasier Research and Development Center in Corella instead of non-official sanctuaries. Tasiers are an endangered species, and are easily stressed and hit their heads on hard objects until they kill themselves, which is pretty brutal. Stress factors are unfortunately mainly caused by humans when held in captivity. Observing tasiers are much harder in their natural habitat, so it’s difficult to take photographs with them, but it’s better than the alternative of them no longer existing.
Bee-licious meal and a view
This resort and restaurant serves amazing organic food that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was such a great find, and the food was delicious. The honey spreads and honey pesto spreads were amazing, and you can purchase all things honey in their gift shop. I bought little jars of honey pesto spread, and they are perfect little souvenirs to bring back. They also have dried fruits, and the dried guava cubes are a delight.
Island Days and Sunny Rays
In the Panglao Island Tour, I opted to focus on swimming with sea turtles, and watched them munch on seagrass. They swam freely in the ocean, but generally stayed at the bottom of the ocean. One came rather close to me, and I was able to observe the sand that remained on the shell of the turtle. I also noticed a couple fishes that swam under the turtle’s shell, as if attached to the turtle. The bottom of the ocean is about 10 feet deep, with water as clear as day, so visibility was not a problem. At the end of my trip, I opted to walk around Virgin Island. It is surrounded by shallow waters that are about ankle high, and have starfish laying around about the waters of the island.
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