My first ever out of Cebu adventure was a tragedy. It was way back 2013 when a killer quake happened in Bohol causing a massive impact on the lives of the people living in the province. Through a random invitation, I eagerly joined a relief operation spearheaded by runners, mountaineers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Back then, I never had a hint that I would become one of them – addicted with nature and adrenaline. For me, it was mostly for travel experience. But seeing before me the ruins of the devastation – broken homes and families, hungry and thirsty individuals staying near the roads waiting for daily rations, and stories of survival stirred various emotions within me. I know it was more than just for the pleasure of going to places.
Several years after, the province of Bohol has again gained local and international attention; this time, to show the world of their resilience – that amidst crisis, one can and must still keep going. Launching its new motto, “Behold Bohol”, the province has declared that it has fully recovered from the 2013 tragedy with the help of the local government and as supported by the United States Agency for International Development. With the partnership of the different stakeholders, Bohol didn’t only bring back the glory it once had, but has advanced further in terms of sustainability and tourism.
Here’s my top 20 places to visit in Bohol!
- Chocolate Hills (Carmen, Bohol)
Formerly known as the Carmen Hills, these geological formation has spread to as many as 1,700+ hills across the province. Such beauty is covered with green grass that turns brown, hence the term chocolate, during dry season. This can be viewed from Chocolate Hills Complex in Carmen, Bohol or from Sagbayan Peak.
- Tarsier Conservation Sanctuary (Loboc, Bohol)
Learning from the mistakes of yesterday when tarsiers are fondly poked and harassed, this conservation site has become the home of these endangered species where they are duly taken careof by the locals.
- Can-umantad Falls (Candijay, Bohol)
Standing 60 feet tall, this waterfalls has been said to be the highest in Bohol. Because of its location, it is a good venue for sightseeing, picnic, and gathering.
- Cadapdapan Rice Terraces (Candijay, Bohol)
Comparably at par with Banaue’s famous rice terraces, these beautiful paddies are located several kilometers away from Can-umantad Falls.
- Binabaje Hills (Alicia, Bohol)
Also known as the Alicia Panoramic Park is a beautifully laiden rolling hills found in Camba-ol, Alicia, Bohol. For one to see the beauty of these hills, one must hike an hour or two to the peak. There are at least three trails in going to the peak.
- Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge (Loboc, Bohol)
Spanning around 40 meters, these hanging bridges will surely test the courage you have in you. While it’s safe and sturdy, many still find it difficult to cross the bridge given that it would often sway and shake upon motion.
- Hinagdanan Cave (Dauis, Bohol)
A cave located in the municipality of Dauis on the island of Panglao, this cave pool offers a spelunking adventure with a refreshing twist inside.
- Bohol Bee Farm (Dauis, Bohol)
One of the most visited tourist destination in Panglao, Bohol Bee Farm offers an environmental, educational, and economic drive for its visitors. It is a great place to unwind with its chalet-styled home where guests can stay. In addition, it promotes the practice of organic farming that gives livelihood to the locals. And of course, one must taste their delicious moringga flavored icecream!
- Panglao Island
An island located north of Bohol Sea, Panglao is a great place for inland and marine adventure.
- Bohol Beach Club (Panglao)
- Balicasag Island (Panglao)
A small island located near Panglao that is a home to an abundant marine sanctuary, white sand beach, and underwater adventure. It is a heaven for snorkelers, divers, and beach bums alike.
- Virgin Island (Panglao)
One of the most iconic island destinations in Bohol with its lengthy sandbar that curls and fades during high tide.
- Puntod Island (Isola de Francesco)
Unlike its neighboring island, Virgin Island, Isola de Francesco is a place of meditation and reflection. It has been solely dedicated in honor of Padre Pio which was believed to have cured the owner of the island. This has remained public to guests where they can enjoy as well the sandbar and interact with doves after praying over and meditating with the serene place.
- Pilar Glowing Garden (Pilar, Bohol)
Jardin Necitas is the newest tourist attraction in Bohol. Akin to Cebu’s 10,000 roses, it is a garden illuminated with LED synthetic flowers of various colors and type. It is perfect for photo ops and Instagram features!
- Pilar Dam (Pilar, Bohol)
Used for irrigation purposes, Pilar Dam can be considered as one of the tourist destination for its scenic view and wide range picnic area.
- Loboc River Cruise (Loboc, Bohol)
Also known as Loay River, this river is one of the major tourist destinations in the province. The place boasts for its floating restaurant where guests can enjoy a 1.5km river cruise while feasting over local delicacies. Guests are also serenaded by onboard singers and dancers.
- Baclayon Church (Baclayon)
La Purisima Concepcion dela Virgen Maria Parish Church is a Roman Catholic Church founded on 1597 during the Spanish Settlement. It is considered as the oldest Christian settlement in Bohol.
- Anda de Boracay (Anda)
Likened to Boracay’s white and fine sand beaches, Anda de Boracay many resorts but can still be accessed through many public beaches for a minimal fee.
- Kaw-asan Falls (Danao, Bohol)
Located several kilometers from Danao’s Sea of Clouds, this waterfalls cascades from a height of several meters that would surely entice adventurers.
- Danao Sea of Clouds (Danao, Bohol)
An enchanting place to experience what mountaineers call as the “sea of clouds”. Located on the top of Laguna Hill in Barangay Concepcion, Danao, Bohol, this spellbinding spot can be a perfect camping and hiking destination for both beginners and outdoor enthusiasts.
On the Filipino folklore “Mango and Bamboo Tree”, the Filipinos have been likened to bamboos – not so strong but can withstand any uneventful circumstances. For this long, the Filipinos have survived several conquerors and dictators (both foreign and locals) which then enriched the experiences and culture of the country. Just like the Boholanos, may we come strong and show resilience with all the adversities that would come along our way. The purpose of life has never been for perfection, but for the total development of oneself for the good of other people and of the country. Mabuhi ka, Pilipino!