For my birthday trip this year, I finally decided to visit the beautiful Island of Bohol. I’ve been eyeing to visit this island for quite sometime and I am truly happy that I was able to catch a discounted ticket during Cebu Pacific’s promo fare. Bohol is the 10th largest island of the Philippines located in Central Visayas across the province of Cebu. For this trip, I spent a total of 4 days and 3 nights in Bohol and a 2 days and 1 night side trip to Cebu since it’s just a 2 hour boat ride from Tagbilaran. Let me show you the beauty of Bohol that will make you want to visit anytime soon.
Since childhood, I would always see Bohol in our Sibika’t Kultura books, as its very own Chocolate Hills and Tarsiers are two of the most known attraction in the Philippines. Since it’s printed in our grade school books, I bet that almost every Filipino child knows about it. That’s when I started to wish of visiting it someday. Bohol is a dream island, you can see beautiful landscapes and heritage churches on its main island and at the same time, you can visit and dive in its pristine beaches in the nearby Panglao Island. Read this blog or see it yourself when you visit the island province, to know why it’s being dubbed as the “Jewel of the Philippines”. A place that will bring you bliss and happiness.
Countryside tour is a tour that visits Bohol’s main attractions on its main island. From Tagbilaran up to Carmen, you’ll find yourself in awe visiting its known sites. This tour usually takes 6-8 hours depending on how you wish to complete your itinerary. For this trip, how much I wanted to make it a DIY/commute trip, we opted to book a tricycle/tuktuk tour for our country side trip for a less hassle trip. There are bus trips in the province but it will be hard for you to visit many attractions in 1 day. Don’t worry as many people offers affordable tour packages once you arrived in the island. You can choose from SUVs or tricycle, depends on what your group needs.
In our case, we book our tuktuk tour in Panglao Tricycle Online Booking. (Just click the link to visit their fb page) Here’s how much their countryside tour costs:
- Tricycle/Tuktuk – Php 1,600
- Car – Php 2,500
- SUV – Php 2,800
Additional cost will be added if you wish to visit Mirror of the World in Sikatuna:
- Tricycle – 300
- Car – Php 500
They also offer Panglao tour and island-hopping tours.
*note that prices may change without prior notice
Just in case you were not able to book a tour in advance, don’t worry as there’s a lot of people offering tours once you arrived in the province. All tricycle drivers we talked and ride with, offers tour packages just look for the best deals and what fits for you.
Places to Visit in Bohol (Countryside Tour):
- Chocolate Hills ATV Rental
First on my list are the ATV rentals around Chocolate Hills as this was one of my favorite activity during this trip. There are few ATV rental place in Carmen, Bohol that offers guided tour using ATV or Buggy car. On this experience, you’ll get a chance to ride an ATV or a Buggy up until the foot of a chocolate hill and even climb on one of its view deck. It’s such an experience to see the hill up close and ride through a bumpy road.
ATV costs us Php 1000/pax for an hour of ride. Buggy car on the other hand costs Php 2000/2 pax for 1 hour
- Chocolate Hills
After riding an ATV going into the foot of the chocolate hills, of course you can’t miss the chance of seeing this iconic Bohol destination from its observation view deck. Chocolate Hills are geological formation in the province of Bohol composed of as many as 1,776 hills roll out on its vast area of 50 square kilometer. Hills are covered with green grass during the wet season and turns brown during dry season resembling chocolates as its name suggests.
Entrance fee is Php 100/pax
- Bilar Man-made Forest
Bilar Man-made forest is a 2 kilometer stretch of Mahogany trees along the road between the towns of Bilar and Loboc. These trees were planted as part of a reforestation project in the province many years ago. It’s refreshing to the eyes to see these green trees standing side by side along the road and you’ll also feel the sudden change in temperature once entering this 2 kilometer stretch as the road is merely covered from the heat of the sun. it’s a popular stop over among tourists and requires caution in taking photos along its road as vehicles pass through from time to time.
No entrance fee
- Tarsier Conservation Area
What’s a Bohol trip without seeing the tarsiers? Of course, you have to see them up close! It was my first time seeing this primate with my bare eyes that I only saw them when I used to browse my Sibika’t Kultura books way back grade school. The name “tarsier” was taken from its extremely long tarsus bone. They are considered as the world’s second smallest primate but feared to be endangered as their numbers are declining, that’s why it is being protected here in our country. Tarsier Conservation area is a woodland where few tarsiers are available for viewing. Please be reminded that tarsiers tend to be suicidal when they get stressed out so if you are inside the conservatory, please observe silence and take off the flash of your cameras when taking photos.
Entrance fee is Php 100/pax for regular adult, Php 90 for students, Php 80 for senior citizens and free of charge for 5 years old and below
- Loboc River Cruise
Another personal favorite adventure on this trip is experiencing the Loboc River Cruise. Basically, you’ll be roving around the Loboc river while riding a huge floating restaurant while enjoying their buffet. You’ll definitely enjoy their good local food while being serenaded by their in-house singer as you float around the majestic jade green colored river and be mesmerized by its allure. Towards the end of the river, the vast boat will stop by a performance area where you’ll be welcomed and entertained by the local community with their sing and dance performance. It’s so engaging that they will allow guests to join them on their festivity of dance. Honestly, I really enjoyed their performance and you can see how talented the Boholanos are. It’s such a unique encounter that I’ll definitely recommend to everyone not to miss out.
Entrance fee is Php 850/pax (this already includes the buffet meal)
- Xzootic Animal Park
Located in Agape, Loay, Bohol is this animal park that showcases a butterfly garden and python snakes. Probably the highlight of this place is their pythons that happens to be the biggest I seen my entire life. What surprised me the most is that these pythons were just all over the place without a cage! I even thought they were just a display structure then eventually realized they were real. You are free to touch them and you’ll literally just passed by the snakes. You’ll be accompanied by a guide which is already included in your entrance fee. As per him, the snakes in this park are all harmless as they took care of them ever since but I still didn’t dare to touch them or even came near them as I have fear of snakes.
Entrance fee is Php 100/pax
- Baclayon Church
Baclayon Church is one of the oldest and known church in the country declared as National Cultural Treasure and National Historic Landmark. It was initially constructed year 1717 and completed in the year 1727 made of coral stones and egg white. It came to the limelight when it was hugely devasted by a strong earthquake that hit Central Visayas way back 2013 and was then restored and finally opened to the public again last 2018.
Entrance fee is free
- Sikatuna Mirror of the World
Sikatuna Mirror of the World is one of the newest attraction that can be found in Bohol. Located in Sikatuna, Bohol you’ll get a chance to see the world’s famous landmarks in one place! No need for a passport, visa, plane tickets and immigration approval. You’ll see here scaled-down forms of world’s attractions such as Merlion of Singapore, Golden gate bridge of USA, Christ the Redeemer of Brazil, Eiffel Tower of France, Leaning tower of Pisa and many more! It’s an optional trip that requires additional fee during the tour. Since we are already in Bohol, we opt to avail this additional itinerary just for the experience of seeing it.
Entrance fee is Php 150/pax
- Aproniana Gift Shop
A souvenir shop located in Baclayon, Bohol considered to be a one stop shop of Bohol’s known pasalubongs. From t-shirts, bags, keychains, ref magnets and Bohol’s famous delicacies such as peanut kisses and kalamay. Don’t forget to buy souvenirs for your friends, loved ones and even for yourself.
Other places you can visit during countryside tour are Blood Compact, Ship House and Loboc Zipline. You may customized your tour by skipping other attractions you’re not interested with or if your time won’t permit.
Overall, Bohol is such a paradise with its unusual attractions that one would truly admire. This countryside tour is definitely something that should be added on your travel bucket list.