Bohol, Philippines is a beautiful island with so much to offer visitors. From its stunning beaches and crystal clear waters to its lush jungles and amazing wildlife, there’s something for everyone in Bohol.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing vacation or an action-packed adventure, these 21 things to do in Bohol will have you covered. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to Bohol today!
- 1 What to Know Before You Visit Bohol
- 2 Best Things to Do in Bohol
- 2.1 1. Visit the Chocolate Hills
- 2.2 2. Ride an ATV near the Chocolate Hills
- 2.3 3. Spot Tarsiers at the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary
- 2.4 4. Check Out the Hinagdanan Cave
- 2.5 5. Cruise the Loboc River
- 2.6 6. Learn History at the Blood Compact Shrine
- 2.7 7. Go Island Hopping
- 2.8 8. Have Fun at Danao Adventure Park
- 2.9 9. Take a Dip in Panglao Island’s Beaches
- 2.10 10. Visit the Historic Churches
- 2.11 11. Check Out Sikatuna Mirror of the World
- 2.12 12. Drive Through the Man-Made Forest
- 2.13 13. Chase Waterfalls
- 2.14 14. Snorkel
- 2.15 15. See the Cambuhat Oyster Farm
- 2.16 16. Visit Nova Shell Museum
- 2.17 17. Go on a Road Trip
- 2.18 18. Plunge into the Cabagnow Cave Pool
- 2.19 19. Scuba Dive
- 2.20 20. Check Out Bohol’s Rice Terraces
- 2.21 21. Go on a Food Trip
- 3 Where We Stayed
What to Know Before You Visit Bohol
- Best Way to Explore Around: Rent a motorcycle or a car to travel around Bohol. You can find one on Facebook or simply ask your accommodation. Our Airbnb host helped us find our rented motorcycle.
- Getting Around: If you can’t rent a car or motorcycle, you can ride public transportation. The primary ones on the island are tricycles, buses, and jeepneys.
- Best Time to Visit: January to May are the best times to visit Bohol. The rainy season usually starts from June to December.
- Because of the pandemic and the strong typhoon that hit the island in December 2021, most prices have increased. The twin hanging bridge has also been closed.
Best Things to Do in Bohol
1. Visit the Chocolate Hills
You can’t really have gone to Bohol if you didn’t get to see these cute hills. The Chocolate Hills is Bohol’s most popular tourist spot. The most popular viewpoint is the Chocolate Hills Complex in Carmen. Get to the top and see the infinite number of hills that will make you feel like you’re in Willy Wonka’s factory.
Depending on the season, the hills will either be green or brown. But no matter what color they are, they’re still chocolatey awesome!
2. Ride an ATV near the Chocolate Hills
This is probably the highlight of our trip. We highly recommend that you try this! You can ride an ATV around the Chocolate Hills. It’s a great way to see the hills up close and personal.
There are several ATV rentals around the area. The only difference is the trails. We decided to try Graham ATV Rental which was recommended by one of the locals we talked to.
The trails were a bit challenging but that’s what made it more fun! We highly recommend this activity if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush. Bring a change of clothes. There are muddy parts and expect that you’ll get splattered.
3. Spot Tarsiers at the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary
Another popular tourist spot in Bohol is the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary. This is where you can find the world’s smallest primates, the tarsiers.
These nocturnal animals are very sensitive to light so make sure to keep your voice down and avoid using flash photography. You wouldn’t want to startle them and cause them any stress.
The best time to see them is early in the morning or in the late afternoon. We went there early in the morning and saw three cute tarsiers. Super worth it!
They only charge P100 per person and the tour takes around 15 to 30 minutes depending on how many tarsiers you see.
4. Check Out the Hinagdanan Cave
The Hinagdanan Cave is a must-see if you’re in Bohol. It’s a huge cavern with a hole in the ceiling that lets natural light in. There’s a lagoon inside and you can go for a swim.
It’s near the famous Mithi Resort so it’s easily accessible. Expect lots of tourists though as it’s a popular spot so make sure to visit early.
5. Cruise the Loboc River
Paddle boarding is the best way to cruise along the river. Head over to Stand Up Paddleboard Sports Center along Loboc River and choose from their available tours. This is a great way to see Bohol’s nature up close.
The Loboc River Cruise may be the most popular way to do it but I wouldn’t recommend it. We tried the river cruise with a buffet but the food was meh for the price. We paid P850 per person.
On the cruise, you’ll be serenaded by a live band playing local music. It’s a nice touch but we ended up having a headache because of how loud the speakers were. It’s hard to even hold a conversation with your companions. And since it’s a buffet, you can’t really enjoy the view with all the people walking around.
6. Learn History at the Blood Compact Shrine
The Blood Compact Shrine commemorates the first treaty of friendship between Spaniards and Filipinos. It is said to have taken place in Bohol between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Rajah Sikatuna Sikatuna.
You’ll find a life-sized statue of the two men at the shrine. It’s a beautiful place to learn more about Philippine history.
7. Go Island Hopping
Island hopping is one of the best things to do in Bohol. You’ll get to see several beautiful islands and go snorkeling or swimming in their crystal clear waters.
There are a lot of tour companies that offer island hopping tours. We booked ours from one of the locals walking around Alona Beach. You can try haggling if the price is too high.
The joiner tours usually start at around 6:30 AM if you plan on going dolphin watching. If not, you can book a private boat so you can start at any time.
Balicasag Island is one of the most popular spots for snorkeling. You’ll find a lot of fish there. Don’t forget to bring your underwater camera!
You can even find pawikans eating near the beach. It’s best to observe them from afar. Make sure not to touch or disturb them as they are protected by law.
Virgin Island is a small sandbar with clear waters. Here, you’ll find several pop-up seafood stalls, making it the perfect spot for a picnic lunch. Eat in the middle of the sea!
The food is delicious. Make sure to try the abalone sisig! We visited during the high tide and it was the highlight of our island hopping trip. Ryk wouldn’t stop raving about the food. If our budget allowed, we would’ve gone back!
If you want to see the sandbar, make sure to check what time the low tide is.
Pamilacan Island is known for its whale and dolphin-watching tours. It’s not usually added in island hopping tours but you can book a separate tour for it.
Dolphin and whale watching is best done early in the morning. Make sure to bring your camera or binoculars so you can get a good view of the animals.
8. Have Fun at Danao Adventure Park
Danao Adventure Park is Bohol’s version of an adventure park. They have a lot of activities like the plunge, root climbing, giant swing, suislide, and more!
If you’re up for a challenge, try the plunge. It’s one of the most popular activities in the park.
9. Take a Dip in Panglao Island’s Beaches
Panglao Island is Bohol’s most popular beach destination. It’s famous for its white sand beaches and clear waters.
Alona Beach is the most popular beach on the island. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. Dumaluan Beach is also a great spot for swimming and relaxing. This is my favorite beach on the island. Compared to Alona Beach, this place is less commercialized.
There are a lot of other great beaches on the island. You can find a complete list of Bohol’s beaches here.
10. Visit the Historic Churches
Bohol is known for its beautiful churches. They’re spread out all over the island so you’ll have to do some driving to visit them all. But it’s worth it!
Each church has its own unique features. The most popular ones are the Baclayon Church, the Loboc Church, and the Dauis Church. Here’s a list of 10 historic heritage churches in Bohol that you should visit.
11. Check Out Sikatuna Mirror of the World
Sikatuna Mirror of the World is a new attraction in Bohol. It has replicas of some of the world’s most famous landmarks. It’s a great place to take photos and it’s also educational. You can learn more about the landmarks and their history.
12. Drive Through the Man-Made Forest
The Man-Made Forest is one of Bohol’s most popular attractions. It’s a stretch of road lined with mahogany trees.
The best time to visit is early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun isn’t too hot.
Make sure to bring your camera so you can take photos of the beautiful scenery. You’ll often find a line of tourists wanting to take a photo with the forest as a backdrop.
If you’re planning to stop here for a photo op, get ready to run. Vehicles passing by are quite fast. It was a challenge to even take a decent photo when we went there.
13. Chase Waterfalls
Bohol has several waterfalls that are perfect for swimming. The most popular ones are the Mag-Aso Falls and the Kawasan Falls. Some noteworthy waterfalls to visit include:
- Busay Falls
- Pahangog Falls
- Ingkumhan Falls
- Pangas Falls
- Kinahugan Falls
Bohol is surrounded by beautiful reefs and clear waters. This makes it a great place for snorkeling. There are several spots around the island where you can go snorkeling.
The most popular spot is the Balicasag Island Marine Sanctuary. It’s a 30-minute boat ride away from Panglao Island. The sanctuary is home to a lot of marine life. You’re sure to see plenty of colorful fish and corals when you go snorkeling here.
Napaling is another great spot for snorkeling. Here you’ll find a sardine run. This is where a large school of sardines swims by. It’s an amazing sight to see!
15. See the Cambuhat Oyster Farm
Cambuhat Oyster Farm is located in Buenavista. Here you get to see how oysters are grown. You can even eat the fresh oysters right from the farm! The tour is short but it’s interesting to see how oysters are grown.
16. Visit Nova Shell Museum
Nova Shell Museum is located in Panglao. It’s a small museum but it has a large collection of shells from all over the country. What amazed me the most were the big oyster shells that were apparently found in the mountains of Bohol.
17. Go on a Road Trip
Bohol has a lot of scenic routes that are perfect for a road trip. The most popular one is the Chocolate Hills Road Trip. This takes you to the Chocolate Hills, the Man-Made Forest, and the Tarsiers Sanctuary.
If you have more time, go drive around Sierra Bullones down to Jagna and enjoy the coastal view. Our Airbnb host was a big bike owner and loved going on road trips around the island suggested the route and it was one of the highlights of our trip!
Ryk and I started the trip in the morning from Panglao and headed to Loboc, Man-Made Forest, Chocolate Hills, then Sierra Bullones, and back to Panglao via the Jagna route. Don’t forget to stop in Dimiao for a burger at Woody’s Bar and Grill. It’s a must-try! They even have craft beers.
Here’s a short video of our Bohol trip featuring the road trip.
18. Plunge into the Cabagnow Cave Pool
Cabagnow Cave Pool, located in Anda, is a must-visit when you’re in Bohol. It’s a small pool but it’s refreshing and perfect for swimming. You can either jump into the water or descend using the ladder.
19. Scuba Dive
Bohol is a great place for scuba diving. There are several dive sites around the island. The most popular ones are Balicasag Island, Pamilacan Island, and Cabilao Island. If you’re a beginner, don’t worry. There are plenty of Dive Centers that offer scuba diving lessons for beginners.
20. Check Out Bohol’s Rice Terraces
The Cadapdapan Rice Terraces is Bohol’s version of the Banaue Rice Terraces. It’s not as big or as popular but it’s still worth a visit. You can add it to your road trip stopovers after you visit the Chocolate hills.
21. Go on a Food Trip
Bohol has a lot of delicious food to offer. Here are some we’d recommend you try.
- Bohol Bee Farm – Homemade ice cream! Need I say more?
- Footridge Food Park – Best to visit for dinner. You get live music and lots of food choices from several food stalls.
- Giuseppe Pizzeria & Sicilian Roast – Pizza here is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Also, try their truffle pasta (I’m craving this one every now and then – super delicious!) and their lava cake (must-try)!
- Myst – An insta-worthy restaurant but service can take a bit long. Avoid going during dinner. You’ll find yourself waiting in line for more than an hour.
- Woody’s Bar and Grill – Yummy burgers especially when paired with their craft beers.
And if you pass by the Panglao public market, be on the lookout for the local puto.
Where We Stayed
During our 6-day trip to Bohol, we stayed at Bil-isan Tower Residences. We booked Bungalow 2 on Airbnb. I highly recommend this place if you love staying away from the crowds and with a sea view. It’s only 17 minutes away from Alona Beach but so worth it.
The place has 4 friendly dogs and every now and then, they’ll dip in the pool with you or ask to play fetch. Honestly, the dogs were what pushed us to book.
If you love snorkeling, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a great snorkeling spot just a few meters away from the Airbnb. The hosts, Rowena and Peter, were also very accommodating. We loved every second of our stay.