Bohol - an island filled with natural beauty, where adventure awaits you at every turn both on and off the beaten path. The island of Bohol lies southeast from Cebu Island and is the tenth largest island of the Philippine archipelago. We, the Backpacking Boyfriends, were fortunate enough to have a day long tour of Bohol on behalf of the Philippines Department of Tourism during our Media Trip with Philippine Airlines.
Our travel day started bright and early by taking a 2-hr ferry journey from Cebu-Tagbilaran Port Authority to the Island of Bohol. The SuperCat by 2GO ferry costs 500 PHP (Philippine Pesos) which is equivalent too approximately $11 USD. Be mindful that there is a 25 PHP terminal fee that is NOT included in the ferry fare. Our experience with the SuperCat ferry was enjoyable to say the least; it was comfortable, cheap and efficient. Although the ferry staff brings around beverages and snacks for purchase, we would recommend bringing your own treats in order to save money. If you want additional information on ferry accommodations check out their website: http://www.supercat.com.ph/index.asp
Once we arrived to Bohol we were whisked away to experience some of the highlights the island has to offer.
The Tarsier Sanctuary www.tarsierfoundation.org
Located in the interior part of Bohol, the Tarsier Sanctuary, was our first stop on the island tour. This foundation is dedicated to the preservation and scientific studies of the threatened Philippine tarsier. Upon arrival we were given strict instructions not to touch them, shake branches or make loud noises because the tarsier is suicidal when scared and they are nocturnal. Luckily for us, during our visit, we were able to meet conservationist Carlito Pizarras, known as “The Tarsier Man" - his hard work and dedication to the conservation of tarsiers has been popularly recognized so much that there is a Philippine tarsier genus named after him, genus: Carlito syrichta. Shortly after hearing Carilto's story, we began our trek into the rainforest and within seconds we spotted our first tarsier. After taking a few more steps we came across another one - we were grateful to have a guide with us because otherwise we’d probably walk right past the tiny primates. Our entire trek was without a doubt an up close encounter with this primate - it was an exciting experience to see the tarsier in it’s natural habitat, rather than a zoo. If you’re into animal and environmental conservation, we recommend visiting the Tarsier Sanctuary, it was well worth the visit.
Loboc River Cruise
After our Tarsier trek we made our way to Loboc which is well known for having one of the cleanest rivers in the country, the Loboc River. This charming town is certainly a tourist spot you don’t want to miss during your time in Bohol. While visiting Loboc we were able to cruise down the river on board of a floating restaurant, “The Loboc River Lunch Cruise"; the cruise took about an hour or so from start to finish. During our meal we enjoyed an array of appetizing Filipino cuisine as well as live music, all while enjoying the picturesque river surrounding us. We highly recommend adding the river lunch cruise to your travel itinerary when visiting Bohol, it’s something you won’t want to miss. For additional information regarding pricing, check out this website here: http://www.infobohol.com/loboc-river-lunch-and-dinner-cruise/
The Chocolate Hills
You can’t visit Bohol without visiting the Chocolate Hills, it’s a beautiful sight unlike anything you’ve ever seen before! The Chocolate Hills are a geological formation made up of at least 1,260 hills but there may be as many as 1,776. The hills are covered in lush green grass which during the dry season, turns brown like chocolate, hence how it got it’s name. This geological formation has been declared the country’s 3rd National Geological Monument and we were very fortunate to experience it while on our tour. If you visit this geological monument, make sure you check out the 360° viewing deck at the top of a large staircase. We promise that the view is worth the trek, not to mention it’s a perfect photo opportunity.
For a more interactive experience of Bohol, check out our YouTube videos featuring the highlights of our tour. We hope that we are able to inspire you to one day visit not only the Philippines but the island of Bohol!