Metro Manila · Natural Wonders of Bohol (Chocolate Hills, Tarsiers)
Chocolate Hills, cute Tarsiers, colonial Spanish churches, white sandy beaches and a prime diving spot in one destination. Is this impossible? No. You can find all of that in Bohol.
Bohol certainly has a lot of natural wonders to offer and is a well-developed area at the same time. While it certainly lacks the nightlife that places like Boracay has, it makes up by offering a range of activities for travelers to do.
Bohol is famous for its Chocolate Hills. These perfectly-formed hills look brownish during the dry season and green during the rainy season. To experience the 'real' Chocolate Hills, you should see them during dry season or at the beginning of the rainy season (December - June). Apart from these wonders of nature, colonial Spanish churches, the famous Sandugo monument and the tarsiers invite for a visit. Tarsiers are small, very cute animals with huge eyes. When they get too nervous they might commit suicide, so please obey the rules that will be mentioned to you by your guide (e.g. no pictures with flash). A trip covering all those destinations costs around 5000 PHP or a bit higher and includes a guide and mini van, good for up to 8 people.
If you decide to go to the beach, Panglao Island is the prime destination in the area. Alona Beach, for example, offers a beautiful white and sandy shoreline that boasts a busy boardwalk lined with shops and restaurants.The entry to the beach is free. At the boardwalk and the beach itself you will see several vendors and tour guides, some will be offering anything from massages to diving trips, island hopping, and other activities.
If you have time and love hopping from one island to the next, you should definitely go. 'Virgin Island', a truly white beach with pristine waters surrounding it, is among the most sought-after destinations in this part of the Philippines. Panglao is also a well-known destination for diving and snorkeling.
To get to Bohol, you can take the plane to Tagbilaran. From there it is a quick ride by Cab or Van to your hotel in the city or an hourly ride to the hotels on Panglao. Should you decide to stay in the city, which also offers a mall and a cinema, you can get on a tricycle to go to Panglao Island (takes roughly an hour). Consider combining your trip to Bohol with a visit to Cebu, as the island is only a two-hour ferry ride away. In Cebu, you can rent a van for a complete tour. Things to see there would be the Magellan's Cross, Lapu Lapu and the Magellan Shrine as well as the Philippine Taoist Temple in Beverly Hills. Your Cebu trip should also lead you to CnT Lechon restaurant where they serve the 'best Lechon in the Philippines'. Take a look at our Cebu guide here.