- When is the Best Time to Do the Bohol Loboc River Cruise?
- How to Book a Loboc River Cruise?
- What to Expect at Loboc River Cruise
- Cultural Show
- Busay Falls
- Other Bohol Attractions to Visit Near Loboc River Cruise
- Loboc River Water Activities
- Chocolate Hills
- Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary
- Bilar Man-Made Forest
- Baclayon Church
- Loboc River Zipline Activity at Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park
Bohol is an island province known for its diverse natural attractions, which include pristine beaches, stunning caves, beautiful waterfalls, adorable tarsiers, and the iconic Chocolate Hills, making it one of the top tourist spots in the Visayas and one of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines.
One of the must-visit Bohol tourist spots is the Loboc River, which runs through several towns in Bohol and is lined with lush trees. If it’s your first time in the province, the best way to explore the river is through Loboc River cruise tours, which are usually included in the itinerary for most Bohol countryside tours.
To learn more about this unique experience, this article will give you all the information you need to know about going on a cruise along the Loboc River in Bohol and why it’s a must-add to your Bohol itinerary.
When is the Best Time to Do the Bohol Loboc River Cruise?
The best time to experience a Loboc River cruise is during the dry season, and for Bohol, this is usually from December to May. The cruise usually comes with a buffet lunch, so it’s best to time your trip at noon, but you can go as early as 10 AM and as late as 2:30 PM.
How to Book a Loboc River Cruise?
Tourists can walk in and purchase their tickets at the Loboc Tourism Complex along the Loboc River, but it is highly recommended that you book in advance as part of a Bohol countryside tour. This will allow you to visit other top tourist attractions in Bohol and give you the convenience of a hotel or resort pick-up and drop-off.
What to Expect at Loboc River Cruise
The Loboc Tourism Complex is located across the river from San Pedro Church, another Loboc, Bohol tourist spot. When you arrive there, you need to secure your ticket to a Loboc floating restaurant. If you booked in advance as part of your Bohol tours, this will be done by your guide for you.
If your visit falls on a weekend or a holiday, you might need to wait in a queue before you can board your assigned floating restaurant in Bohol. If there aren’t a lot of tourists on the day of your visit, you may be able to board your boat immediately. Don’t worry if you find yourself having to wait, as there is a comfortable waiting area.
When it is your turn to board a boat, you will be called and escorted to the docking area. On the way to the dock, you may see a group of blind musicians serenading the tourists before they board. Feel free to make a donation.
Keep in mind that, depending on the size and layout of the floating restaurant, each one can accommodate up to 60 people, so unless you’re traveling with a large group, you will have to share the boat with other tourists.
This also means that you may spend time at the dock waiting for the boat to fill up. Should this happen, you may take advantage of this time to choose your preferred table in the boat or to take pictures without the crowds.
Once the boat is full, you will be asked to sit at your table as the boat will be pushed off the dock. The boat will then be pushed along Loboc River by a smaller boat behind it. As your Loboc River Cruise begins, the staff of the boat will inform you that you may get your food from the buffet spread, which is usually located at the center of the boat.
The Loboc River cruise food varies depending on the boat, but you can expect a lot of Filipino dishes like rice, pork sisig, lechon kawali, shrimp, grilled fish, and pansit (noodle dish). You may also find dim sum like siomai on the buffet table. There is also usually one vegetable dish on board for those looking for healthier options.
Dessert and select drinks are also included in the buffet, but soft drinks and alcoholic beverages need to be purchased separately. You can keep coming back for more food and drinks throughout the duration of the ride.
The whole trip from and to the dock lasts around 45 minutes to an hour. As you cruise down Loboc River, you will be treated to views of the lush riverbanks lined with coconut trees and other flora. Some parts of the riverbanks are also lined with houses, and you might encounter locals rowing down the river on a small boat.
Most of the floating restaurants in Loboc River also have their own live band on board. The band will entertain you with live performances of popular local and international songs. You can also request your favorite songs, and if the band knows them, they will definitely play them for you. You can even take the microphone and perform live karaoke if you're not shy!
At some point during the cruise, the floating restaurant will dock near a floating stage, where you will be treated to a cultural show by the locals. Some of the locals will be singing local songs while playing the ukulele as the others perform a local dance.
Don’t be surprised if the performers invite some of the tourists to go on stage to perform with them! If you are chosen, you will participate and try local dances, including one called the tinikling. The dance involves the use of two long bamboo poles, which dancers try to avoid as they step and hop over and around them. However, don’t be offended if you are not invited to take part in the performance, because the limited time and space on the stage only allow for a few tourists to join in.
At the end of the performance, you can help support the locals by tipping them via the donation box or by purchasing a ukulele to keep as a souvenir.
Halfway through your Loboc River cruise, you’ll find yourself near Busay Falls, a set of small falls that flows through the river. The Loboc River Ecotourism Adventure Park is located near the falls, and you might see other tourists enjoying a zipline ride if you look up.
After you and the rest of the passengers have admired the waterfall, the boat will turn around and head back to the Loboc Tourism Complex. On the trip back, you can continue enjoying the food from the buffet spread and the live entertainment from the band.
Your boat will dock at the Loboc Tourism Complex, and, if you have more stops to visit as part of your tour, you will board your tour vehicle so you can head to your next destination.
Other Bohol Attractions to Visit Near Loboc River Cruise
Apart from the river cruise, there are other activities and experiences you can try in and near Loboc River. You can choose from more outdoor activities or learn more about Bohol’s history and culture by visiting one of its oldest buildings. Note that while some of these are part of the typical itinerary for a Bohol countryside tour, you have to book the others separately.
Loboc River Water Activities
If you want to explore the river more intimately and at your own pace, you can try Loboc River kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding. For kayaking, you can rent a kayak, a paddle, and other gear from some of the resorts and tourist establishments along the river. You can also go on a guided kayak tour along the river, and if you’re brave enough to do it at night, you can even join firefly-watching tours that use kayaks!
If you’d rather go Loboc River paddleboarding, you can join stand-up paddleboard tours along the river. Like with Loboc River kayaking, these tours usually provide all the equipment necessary for you to explore the river safely. There is also the option to go on a stand-up paddleboard firefly-watching tour. You can also experience something similar when you book an Abatan River firefly tour.
The Chocolate Hills is one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines. It is the highlight of Bohol countryside tours and with good reason. The iconic hills cover an area of over 50 square kilometers across three different towns. There are over 1,000 of these symmetrical and conical hills, and during the dry season, the grass on these hills turns brown, making them resemble giant mounds of chocolate.
Most Bohol countryside tours include a stop at the Chocolate Hills Complex Viewpoint in Carmen, where you can enjoy an unobstructed view of the Chocolate Hills.
Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary
Another icon from Bohol is its adorable tarsiers, which are featured on the PhP 200 bill along with the Chocolate Hills. You can see these small primates (the second smallest in the world, to be specific) when you visit the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary.
This sanctuary in the municipality of Corella is managed by the Philippine Tarsier Foundation, Inc., whose mission is to save the lives of the endangered tarsiers. The property allows the tarsiers to reproduce and live a happy and comfortable life.
During your visit, remember that these creatures are delicate and easily stressed, so stay quiet so as not to disturb them. You may take pictures of the tarsiers from afar, but remember to turn off your flash.
Bilar Man-Made Forest
The trees in this forest are not man-made but are the result of a reforestation project that was started over 50 years ago. The trees planted here are a mix of red and white mahogany trees, which make for beautiful photos. The forest is located in the towns of Bilar and Loboc, and tours usually make a quick stop along the highway that passes through the trees.
Apart from taking photos of and with the forest, tourists can also enjoy the cool shade the trees provide. For your own safety, remember to be on the lookout for approaching cars, as the highway is still a regularly used thoroughfare.
Baclayon Church, which is also known officially as The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary Parish Church, is one of the oldest churches in the country and is a declared National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines.
Apart from its historical significance, the church is also known for the coral stones that were used to build it during the 1700s. However, in October 2013, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake heavily damaged the church, with its bell tower and entrance collapsing completely. It took over four years of restoration, but the church has been reopened since February 2018.
Loboc River Zipline Activity at Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park
If you’re looking for another tour with a view of the Loboc River, you can try the Loboc River zipline activity at the Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park. The adventure park sits atop a forest not too far from the banks of the Loboc River.
The park’s zipline has a height of 120 meters and a length of 520 meters. Those brave enough to try this activity will be treated to views of the forest canopy and the Loboc River as they zip through the course in a Superman or belly-down position.
Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park also offers cable car rides that pass 100 meters above the Loboc River. One cable car can carry up to five adults and is a great alternative for those who prefer a slower ride.
Experience the Loboc River Cruise on your next visit to Bohol!
First-timers in the country should definitely include Bohol and a Loboc River Crusie in their Philippine itinerary. The cruise will not only give you a taste of the local cuisine and culture, but it will give you a relaxing experience in the midst of the natural wonders of Bohol.
- Looking for where to stay in Bohol? Check out these accommodation packages:
For a hassle-free overall experience, book travel packages for your trip. Guide to the Philippines offers several, including all-inclusive family vacation packages, vacation packages for couples, and other Philippine trip packages.
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