4 Days Bohol Itinerary: Chocolate Hills, Island Hopping, Loboc River Cruise

4 Days Bohol Itinerary: Chocolate Hills, Island Hopping, Loboc River Cruise

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Chocolate Hills and Pamilacan IslandThe island of Bohol is one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines and the most beautiful islands in the Philippines, thanks to its natural attractions, which include pristine beaches, stunning islands, mesmerizing caves, relaxing river cruises, adorable tarsiers, and of course, one of the top Visayas tourist spots, the unique geological formations called Chocolate Hills

Bohol is also home to historical and cultural sites, including old churches, museums, and ancestral houses. With endless places to visit in Bohol, the province is an ideal vacation spot for all kinds of travelers, including families with kids, couples, solo travelers, and nature lovers especially.

There are also many hotels and resorts in the province, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to where to stay in Bohol, regardless if you want to stay in Bohol beachfront resorts or cheap resorts in Bohol.

To make the most out of your trip, we’ve created this 4-day, 3-night Bohol itinerary that will bring you to well-loved Bohol attractions near the best Bohol resorts, as well as new tourist spots in Bohol

When is the best time to go to Bohol?

Tourist photographs Chocolate HillsBohol activities more often than not are enjoyed outdoors, so it’s best to visit Bohol during the dry months of December to May, when there’s less chance of rainfall. If you want to witness and experience a festival, visit in July, when the Sandugo Festival is celebrated in Tagbilaran City.

Day 1: Travel to Bohol 

Aerial view of Bohol IslandDepending on where you are coming from in the Philippines, there are many ways to get to Bohol. You can either get on a flight to the Bohol-Panglao International Airport or board a ferry bound for either the Tubigon or Tagbilaran ports.

If you are traveling from Manila to Bohol, your best option is to book a flight from Manila Airport to Bohol. If you’re going the Boracay to Bohol route, you can board a flight from Caticlan Airport to Bohol Airport. You can also get a flight to Bohol from other Philippine Airports, including Davao International Airport.

If you’re planning a Cebu to Bohol itinerary, you can go from Cebu to Bohol via a ferry. There are daily scheduled trips from Cebu City. You can also get a ferry to Bohol from Dumaguete or Siquijor.

After arriving in Bohol, head to your hotel aboard your Panglao Airport transportation and check in to your room. You can use your first day to explore the nearby areas on your own and try the local delicacies at some of the top Bohol restaurants.

Day 2: Bohol Countryside Tour 

Rice fields next to Chocolate HillsThe most popular tourist spot in Bohol is the Chocolate Hills, and if it’s your first time on the island, you should definitely visit this natural wonder. One of the best ways to explore the Chocolate Hills is by booking a Bohol countryside tour. This will allow you to visit other inland Bohol attractions like the Loboc River, the Bilar Man-Made Forest, and the Tarsier Sanctuary. 

Bohol countryside tours are some of the most popular Bohol tours. While Bohol Countryside Tours vary, here are some of the stops that could be included during your trip:

Chocolate Hills

The Chocolate Hills on Bohol IslandMade up of over 1,000 conical hills, the Chocolate Hills cover over 50 square kilometers in the towns of Carmen, Batuan, and Sagbayan. They are named so because during the dry months from December to May, the hills turn brown, making them look like giant mounds of chocolate. Chocolate Hills Tours will bring you to a viewing deck so you can see the iconic hills featured in the PhP 200 bill.

Loboc River Cruise

A boat sails along Loboc RiverAnother can’t-miss Bohol activity for first-timers is the Loboc River Cruise. The cruise is usually scheduled during lunchtime, so you can enjoy a plated or buffet meal aboard a raft as it cruises slowly down the Loboc River. The cruise also usually comes with a musical presentation from the locals, which will allow you to see and appreciate the local culture.

Bilar Man-Made Forest

Bilar Man-Made ForestThis Bohol tourist spot located in the towns of Bilar and Loboc is made up of red and white mahogany trees that stretch for over two kilometers. The towering trees are a sight to behold and are a great backdrop to travel photos. If you are on a Bohol countryside tour, your guide will most likely allow you to stop at the side of Loay Interior Road so you can take photos. 

The trees are actual living trees, but the forest is deemed man-made as it was born from a reforestation project that was started over 50 years ago. 

Tarsier Sanctuary

Tarsier SanctuaryBohol is also known as the home of the tarsiers, the second smallest primate in the world, making it one of the record-holder tourist attractions in the Philippines. The Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella is managed by the Philippine Tarsier Foundation, Inc., and gives these delicate nocturnal creatures a home in their natural habitat while protecting them from human poaching. During your visit, a trained guide will take you through their forest home so you can learn more about them.

Baclayon Church

Baclayon ChurchAlso known as the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary Parish Church, Baclayon Church is one of the oldest Catholic churches and one of the most famous churches in the Philippines. It is also a declared National Historical Landmark and a National Cultural Treasure. In 2013, an earthquake caused major damage to the church, but it has been restored.

Blood Compact Shrine

Blood Compact statue in BoholJust less than 4km from Baclayon Church, the Blood Compact Shrine commemorates the treaty between Bohol’s Rajah Sikatuna and Spain’s Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. This is believed to be the first treaty made between the Filipinos and the Spanish. The life-sized sculpture was created by National Artist and Boholano Napoleon Abueva.

Hanging Bridge

This hanging bridge is located in the municipality of Sevilla and is formally known as the Tigbao Hanging Bridge. It is made out of bamboo, hangs around 25 meters above the Loboc River, and connects two barangays to each other. Apart from giving you an adrenaline rush (as the bridge can be pretty shaky when you cross it), it will also provide you with unique views of the river. 

Bohol Bee Farm

Produce growing in Bohol Bee FarmPhoto by Bohol Bee Farm

Bohol Bee Farm is a property located on Bohol’s Panglao Island. While it is an actual farm, it is also home to a hotel and a restaurant. You don’t have to book a stay here to explore its facilities, as you can join a Bohol Bee Farm tour where you can try some of their famous dishes and enjoy some of the farm activities.

Alona Beach

Aerial view of Alona Beach, BoholConsidered one of the best beaches in the Philippines, Alona Beach is home to powdery white sand and pristine turquoise waters. It is also home to some of the luxurious resorts in the Philippines, including Amorita Resort. During your visit, you can enjoy water activities and dine at restaurants and bars along the beach.

After your Bohol countryside tour, you will head back to your hotel. Rest up, as you will go island hopping in the Phillippines the next day.

Day 3: Panglao Island Hopping Tour 

Dumaluan Beach on Panglao IslandWake up early for your Bohol island hopping tour. Panglao Island Hopping tours vary depending on the tour operator, but the usual activities include dolphin watching, Balicasag Island snorkeling, and relaxing on Virgin Island. As an alternative, you can also go on any of the Pamilacan Island tours, which are a little further away from the mainland.

Balicasag Island

Balicasag IslandThanks to the Balicasag Marine Sanctuary, the waters in Balicasag Island are rich with marine life, making it one of the best diving spots in the Philippines. Of course, you don’t have to dive to appreciate the waters of Balicasag Island. Snorkeling here will allow you to see colorful fish, reefs, and corals. If you’re lucky, you might even spot sea turtles here! On the island itself, you can enjoy the white sand beaches, where you can have lunch and interact with the locals.

Virgin Island

Virgin IslandThis island is also known locally as Pungtud Island and is famous for the crescent-shaped sandbar that extends from one of its ends. Here you can relax, sunbathe, or just wade in the shallow waters surrounding the sandbar.

Additional: Pamilacan Island Tour

Pamilacan IslandAnother option you have is to visit Pamilacan Island. Similar to Balicasag Island, this island is also home to white sand beaches and clear waters that are home to thriving marine life. You can snorkel to get a better look. On the way to the island, you may even spot dolphins! 

Bonus: Firefly watching Night Cruise Tour at Abatan River

A firefly on a long blade of grassIf you still have the energy for another tour at night, you can go firefly watching in Abatan River. You’ll board a boat (or, if you are feeling more adventurous, a kayak) and go for a slow cruise down the Abatan River at night. Along the way, your guide will tell you all about the local fireflies and point out the mangroves that are lit up by thousands of fireflies that call the trees their home.

Recommended additional Bohol day tours and activities

Can-Umantad FallsThis guide is for a Bohol 4-day itinerary, but if you have a Bohol itinerary of 5 days or more, you can schedule additional tours to make the most of your trip. Here are other fun Bohol activities and must-visit places that you can add to your Bohol itinerary:

Anda & Candijay Bohol Day TourAnda Beach, Bohol

On this tour, you will be able to explore some of Bohol’s natural attractions, including beaches, caves, falls, and rice terraces.

  • Anda Beach - This beach is known as one of the beautiful white sand beaches in the Philippines and has a length of almost three kilometers.

  • Cabagnow Cave Pool - This cave pool is one of the deepest cave pools in the province, with the deepest portion of the pool having a depth of 25 feet.

  • Combento Cave Pool - With a maximum depth of just around 6 feet, this cave pool is perfect for those who want a refreshing swim.

  • Tibao Cave Pool - Just a short distance away from Cabagnow Cave Pool, Tibao Cave Pool only has a maximum depth of around 3 meters.

  • Candapdapan Rice Terraces - These rice terraces offer a beautiful view of green and yellow, making the farmlands very photogenic.

  • Can-Umantad Falls - This waterfall was named after its height of 60 feet and is the tallest waterfall in Bohol.

Panglao Island Tour

Panglao ChurchThis tour will take you to some of the inland attractions of Panglao Island, like churches, a shell museum, and a cave.

  • Hinagdanan Cave - This popular cave in Bohol boasts spectacular stalactites and stalagmites and a lagoon that has a maximum depth of 12 meters.

  • Dauis Church - This National Historical Landmark is famous for its bell tower that is made from corals.

  • Panglao Church - Also known as the St. Augustine Parish Church, Panglao Church is home to a watch tower that is said to be the tallest Spanish-era watch tower in the Philippines.

  • Nova Shell Museum - This museum is home to one of the biggest seashell collections in the world.

Danao Adventure Park Day Tour

Tourists ziplining in Danao Adventure ParkPhoto by Danao Adventure Park

Adrenaline junkies will enjoy Danao Adventure Park, where they can try exhilarating activities, including ziplining, rappelling, bungee jumping, and river tubing. Those who want a more laid-back visit can go on an eco-adventure tour and enjoy bird-watching, kayaking, and spelunking.

Bohol Diving and Whale Sharks Tour

Free diving in BoholDivers who can afford to add at least two more days to their Bohol tourist spots itinerary should try diving in Bohol. Balicasag Island is the most popular dive spot in Bohol, thanks to its stunning corals and colorful fish. Diving near Pamilacan Island will allow you to see some types of barracuda and tuna, while Anda is home to cliff faces and caves. To ensure a hassle-free trip, book one of the Bohol diving packages the province has to offer.

If you want a unique snorkeling activity in addition to scuba diving, you can swim with whale sharks in Lila, Bohol. Lila is one of the emerging destinations where you can swim with whale sharks in the Philippines

Cambuhat River Cruise Day Tour

If you are looking for a tour that will allow you to immerse yourself in the local Boholano culture, this is it. After paddling down the Cambuhat River, you will make your way to an oyster farm. You’ll learn how these oysters are cultured here while enjoying your lunch. After your meal, you will go on a tour of the local village, which will allow you to interact with the community as the members show you how they make local handicrafts like baskets, hats, and mats.

Day 4: Departure 

Sunset on Panglao IslandOn your last day in Bohol, enjoy a hearty breakfast at your hotel or resort in Bohol. If you still have time before your flight or ferry departure, you can explore the nearby areas and shop for souvenirs before you go back to your accommodations, checkout, and go to the airport or the seaport.

Have an enjoyable and hassle-free trip to Bohol!

Aerial view of Balicasag IslandBohol and its many tourist attractions are just some of the few reasons why you should visit the Philippines, and this Bohol itinerary will allow you to explore some of the best attractions the province has to offer. 

For a more convenient experience, book your Philippine trip packages, including Bohol hotel and tour packages, Philippine honeymoon packages, and long stay packages with a reputable Philippine online travel agency like Guide to the Philippines. You can also book hotels in Bohol, including Mithi Resort & Spa, Bohol Beach Club, Modala Beach Resort, Bluewater Panglao, and Bellevue Resort.

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