It’s been 7 years since I last visited Bohol and I’d have to say that I am still impressed by its simplicity and its beauty. I was with my sister back then, but this time, I traveled with friends. We booked our flights with Cebu Pacific Air with Php988 as base fare. It’s not as cheap as we’d like it to be, but we were pressed with time because Kat only has a month’s stay in the Philippines before she flies back to Prague. She loves going to the beach whenever she comes here for a vacation, and I always make time for her because we only see each other every eighteen months or so.
Our flight was scheduled at 8:20am, and I was very pleased that we boarded on time. We booked our accommodations at Cherry’s Home Too, and they picked us up from the airport. It was like an amazing race, because once we got on the car, we started to do our land tour. Our plan was to do two tours for two days, and our third day will be spent relaxing by the beach.
Day 1 : Land Tour
Loboc River Cruise
It is priced at Php450 (approx. $10USD), which includes a lunch buffet and a post card. Since I’ve experienced this before, I knew what to expect, but I was still impressed by the beauty of nature. The Ati Tribe was still there to perform for the tourists, and some of the passengers went to their floating stage to dance with them. All four of us were too shy to join them, so we just watched them and took some photos.
Having done it before, I was quite disappointed with the food. Even my friends had something to say. The food weren’t too good. The vegetables were dry, the fish fillet was too salty, and even the crab were dry, too. The desserts were so-so. If we had another choice, we would ride another boat. I think the food varies from the boat you ride on.
The Loboc River Cruise is something that you should experience once. If you love sight-seeing, this is a good choice.
Loboc Tarsier Sanctuary
The entrance fee to see these cute endangered species is Php60 (approx $1.33USD). It comes with a post card, too. Seeing them in a sanctuary is quite different from what I’ve experienced before. Before, I was able to be up close and personal with them. I even had a selfie with one. Now, they are out of reach, perched on their own tree, which is better, because it allows them to live longer.
Tarsier Facts, according to our guide :
- Tarsiers are nocturnal creatures. Some of them that we saw were sleeping.
- They are very territorial, so they stick to their own trees.
- When tarsiers mate, the female leaves the male right after. The males tend to eat the offspring because of jealousy. Tarsiers carry their offspring for six months before they give birth. They have one offspring per year.
- Tarsiers are ’emo’. They actually get depressed. When they do, they become suicidal and jump on water to die. That’s just so sad.
If not for the entertaining guide, this would have been a boring place to go to. At Php40 (approx. 0.80cents), it was an okay place to stop by. Our guide explained the different stages of the butterfly life cycle, and had little stories to tell. There weren’t a lot of live butterflies to see, but what I really found cool was the golden chrysalis or pupa. They looked like something that you can wear as jewelry.
Bilar Man-made Forest
I think this is my favorite out of all the places that we visited during our land tour. The air was just so nice and fresh. Even though it’s in the middle of summer, it felt colder somehow. Some people just got out of their cars to take a few photos, however, we stayed for at least 30 minutes to take in the autumn-like atmosphere of this man-made forest.
Tip : walk up towards the forest and imagine being transported to another place. Also, your photos would look better!
The famous chocolate hills of Bohol is a sight to see. It was devastating that half of the viewing deck collapsed during the Bohol earthquake in 2013. We had to climb more than a hundred steps to get to the top, whereas before, it was climbing on a flat surface to go up the viewing deck. I think my knees almost gave out because of exhaustion. When we got to the top, the view was still beautiful. When we took our photos, the backdrop seemed unreal. As if we just pasted ourselves on the frame. Tip : Bring a bottle of water with you. The Php50 litre of water that I bought before I climbed up was so worth it!
Day 2 : Island Tour
So far, this is one of the most beautiful islands that I have ever been to. The island is so tropical with a lot of trees, the sand is so fine, and the water is so clear. There are two paid activities that you can choose from. First, snorkeling with loads of fishes, like literally a whole bunch of them – big and small, you name it! The second one is snorkeling and swimming with the pawikan (tortoise). I prefer the latter.
Snorkeling above the deepest depths of the ocean felt out of this world. I can’t even see the ocean floor. All I saw were blue water and a lot of pawikan. The feeling of swimming with them, along with schools of fish, was magical. If there was a counterpart of floating in space, this must be it! The sad thing about this experience was my underwater camera broke during the first snorkeling. I was not able to document swimming with the tortoises. However, it allowed me to enjoy the moment. Being unplugged and swimming with sea creatures is wonderful feeling. Everyone should try it!
And before we left the island, this lovely pawikan showed itself!
The local calls it the Virgin Islands because nobody lives there. They even consider the island as a hidden oasis. Outrigger boats can’t dock in the island, so we had to walk on shallow water to get to there. We just spent about an hour and a half swimming in the clear waters. Starfish are plentiful in this area. You can’t walk three steps without stepping into one. The starfish were white, so it was hard to see them below.
Day 3 : Dumaluan Beach
We decided to spend our last full day with relaxation. No island hopping, just purely hanging out by the beach. When we travel, we usually have no time to relax. We are always on the go – going from one island to another – which is fine, but there are times when you just want to sit and soak in what’s in front of you, so that’s what we did.
Entrance to Dumaluan Beach is only Php20 (less than a dollar), but the kind of beach that you’re going to see is beyond amazing. The stand is so beautiful, the water so clear, and the marine life is plentiful. I think this is where I got sun burnt the most. To be honest, until now, I still have tan lines, but it was worth it!
Don’t forget to drink fruit shakes!