Explore the various attractions in Bohol loved by locals and tourists alike. Find the top things to do and tourist spots such as Chocolate Hills to visit in this island province.
One of the best tourist spots in the Philippines that deserves worldwide recognition is Bohol. It's well-known for being the home to the iconic Chocolate Hills and sanctuaries of tarsiers. You can also find some of the best beach resorts in the Philippines in Bohol.
But what many travelers don’t know is that it’s also a haven of nature’s treasures, blessed in all things ecological. To balance it out, Bohol is also rich in history, being a fountainhead of our country’s Christianization.
From Chocolate Hills tours, Tarsier Sanctuary excursions, Hinagdanan Cave adventures, and Alona Beach trips to name a few. Read this guide to help you plan your Bohol itinerary with the top things to see and do.
Bohol's claim to fame is unique geological formations of over 1000 cone-shaped hills that change in color depending on the season – the Chocolate Hills. You can view the hills from the Chocolate Hills Complex where there’s a viewing deck with a stunning 360° view of the cone-shaped hills.
These giant mounds of chocolate-colored earth on the dry season that turn green during the wet season are known across the world for their enchanting beauty. The hills are spread out on a 50-square kilometer land and vary in size.
No trip to Bohol is complete without seeing this iconic landmark, which is even featured in the local currency.
The Chocolate Hills has been declared the country's third National Geological Monument and is considered by many as an Eight Wonder of the World. There are a lot of ways to enjoy a tour in Chocolate Hills.
You can appreciate the view on its observation deck, get a picturesque view while riding a bike zipline or enjoying a treetop rope course in the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park, and many more.
According to local legends, the hills were created by two giants who got into a fight and threw boulders and rocks at each other. The mess they left after their battle is said to eventually lead to the formation of the hills that we know today.
Another story says that the hills are tears of a heartbroken giant who fell in love with a mortal.
The third story, quite a funny one, is about a giant carabao that plagued the town and ate all the crops. The townspeople then fed it their spoiled food. When the carabao defecated, they dried up to become the hills.
In reality, the Chocolate Hills are conical karst hills that were formed by the uplift of coral deposits combined with rainwater and erosion. It's considered to be an extraordinary example of karst topography and is the main highlight of most Bohol excursions.
If you’re the type who loves the beach and islands, Bohol will not disappoint. Bohol is also known for its white-sand beaches, islands, and diving sites that are usually included in Panglao Island tours.
The island is connected to the main Bohol island by bridges and can be traveled to by land vehicles. This is also where the new airport is located in.
The majority of top hotels and resorts in Bohol are situated in Panglao Island, some of which are some of the best Philippines luxury resorts. Most tourists who love the sun, sea, and sand stay in this part of the province because of its proximity to pristine beaches and islands.
Here are some of the beaches you can tour and see in Panglao Island to get your much-needed rest:
The top beach destination on the island, where most luxury and 5-star hotels in the Philippines, beachfront resorts, Bohol restaurants, and bars are found. Alona Beach is known for its long stretch of white sand and crystal clear waters.
Aside from working on your tan and trying out various Alona Beach activities, you can try water activities like parasailing, banana boat, fly fish, and UFO ride.
Considered to be an excellent alternative to the more famous Alona Beach is you want an uncrowded white sand beach with clear waters. A must-see in Dumaluan Beach is its stunning sunset.
You can also find several budget Bohol resorts and hotels here for a fraction of the price of those in Alona Beach.
It is another uncrowded beach in Panglao Island that is notable for its beautiful white sand lined with towering coconut trees. It's a great spot not just for swimming but for divers and snorkelers as well.
This features a massive shoreline that is ideal for families with small kids because of its shallow waters. You can also do a picnic here while enjoying your beach day out.
Here you can find first-class resorts situated near its beautiful white sand shore and azure waters. It's also known as a great diving spot because of its precious marine life.
This beach is located in the northern area of Panglao Island that is relatively unknown to tourists. Go here if you want to get away from the crowd but still want a pristine white sand shore with crystal clear waters.
Hinagdanan Cave excursions are a must-add in any Bohol itinerary. Not only because of its beauty, but it's also easily accessible from the Chocolate Hills and waterfall destinations in the province.
The Hinagdanan Cave features a pool of clear water at the bottom. You can swim here under the mesmerizing sight of stalactites and stalagmites.
The word "hinagdanan" means laddered in Cebuano. This now-famous tourist spot in Bohol is said been accidentally discovered by a farmer who built a ladder to access the cave, thus the name.
The cave also holds historical significance as it was once used by locals to hide during World War II.
During a trip to Panglao Island, only one person at a time can enter the 100-meter long cave. Be careful when traversing the trails as it can get slippery because of the moisture inside the cave.
The light filters through the nearby cave entrance, filling the whole area with a relaxing and otherworldly glow. It is not like any swim you've had before! Once you're done taking a dip, you can also check out the souvenir shops right outside the cave.
One of Bohol’s most beautiful natural attractions is the Loboc River. This beautiful river is a wonder of nature that has been preserved through the combined efforts of the local authorities and the residents.
The scenic river that runs through multiple towns in Bohol is framed with lush tropical trees, perfect for winding down in the afternoon after your countryside tour.
The most popular activity in the river is the Loboc River Cruise tour, where tourists board a floating restaurant. The boat cruise will drift along the serene 1.5km long river while you feast on a Filipino lunch buffet.
Guests onboard the boat will be serenaded by a local band until you reach the end of the river at Busay Falls. Here, you will be treated to a spectacular cultural show of song and dance. Feel free to dance with the locals; it will be the highlight of your day!
For a different (and more private) experience, you may try a Bohol river cruise and paddleboarding adventure that is fast becoming a hit for those who want to explore the river at your own pace.
This activity is a great way to take in the beauty of the Loboc River without the crowd. It's also perfect for beginners and non-swimmers.
Like the Chocolate Hills, the tarsiers and their big eyes are synonymous to Bohol as well. These nocturnal creatures are considered to be the smallest primate in the world.
They grow to be just 15 centimeters long at most, and they're just so cute! Tarsiers can also be found in other Philippine destinations like Samar, Leyte, and parts of Mindanao. But Bohol is known for its tarsier sanctuary tours that help preserve and raise awareness about these species.
If it's your first time in Bohol, don't miss a visit to the Tarsier Conservation Area in Loboc or the Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella. These tarsier sanctuaries allow tourists not just to see these small creatures up close, but also to learn more about them.
For the complete experience, you can join a Bohol day tour that combines other tourist spots with this.
When visiting the tarsiers, remember that they are nocturnal and are asleep during the day. You'll find them perched on branches around the sanctuaries. Make sure to keep the noise down because they're sensitive to sound.
Taking their photos is fine but keep the flash turned off not to wake them up. Touching them is also a no-no because it will stress them out.
Panglao Island isn't the only tropical beach destination in Bohol. The town of Anda has become a fast emerging tourist spot in the island province as well. Located on the eastern coast of Bohol (around three hours from Tagbilaran City), Anda features a 1.5km-long white sand beach called Anda Beach.
Anda Beach offers a more relaxing tropical escape compared to Panglao Island's famous Alona Beach.
Aside from the beach, the town of Anda also offers other natural attractions like blue cave pools. You can explore these and other beaches in the area with a full-day tour of Anda to make the most of your time.
This natural cave pool, locally known as Kabagno Cave, has been gaining popularity because of its crystal clear waters that you can plunge into from its opening. The cool waters are around 20-25 feet deep and are popular with cliff divers.
Another enchanting natural cave pool not to be missed in Anda, Bohol. It has a more shallow pool with just 4-5 feet deep water. The rock formations of the cave look like a chandelier that's why it's named after the word "kumbento" or convent.
While Bohol already has white sand beaches along its coastline, there are also islands to explore where you can snorkel or dive aside from swimming or sunbathing.
Joining an island-hopping tour in Panglao Bohol is highly recommended when exploring Bohol. Here are some top destinations that you can visit during island-hopping tours in Bohol:
Balicasag Island is a prime diving and snorkeling spot in Bohol because of its precious marine life. Aside from colorful reefs and fishes, you can also spot sea turtles here if you're lucky! Apart from the underwater sights, joining a Balicasag Island tour is worth it as it boasts of a white sand beach that surrounds the whole island where you can lounge in.
This small island is an excellent spot for diving and snorkeling. It's also known for its dolphin-watching activity where you can see different species of dolphins. If you’re lucky, you can also spot whales here, too!
Also known as Pontod or Pungtud Island, this features a moon-shaped sandbar that fades into the water. It's the perfect island-hopping stop for sunbathing or just swimming.
Photo by Danao Adventure Park
If you're a thrill-seeker and want a refreshing way to marvel at Bohol's natural wonders, you can visit the adventure parks in Bohol.
These are a must-add in any Bohol itinerary if you're traveling with a group of adult friends and are up for adrenaline-pumping activities like ziplining, treetop challenges, and more.
A top destination in Bohol for adventure enthusiasts because of the fun and exciting activities that await you. A Danao Adventure Park adventure will get you to try fun activities like zipline, bungee jumping, and rappelling. You can also try paramotoring, root climbing, and various river activities here.
Another way to enjoy the view of the Chocolate Hills is by trying out the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park tour. You can also try outdoor adventures like bike zipline and surf zipline, with the Chocolate Hills as your backdrop. They also have other exciting activities like treetop rope challenges and wall climbing.
Get a spectacular view of the Loboc River and the Chocolate Hills when you try their zip line or a cable car ride with the Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park experience.
Photo by Bohol Bee Farm Resort
With all the exploration you'll be doing around Bohol, you're sure to get hungry! The Bohol Bee Farm included in a day tour in Panglao Island offers organic food that's tastefully prepared by its head chef and owner, Vicky Wallace. It's also one of the best restaurants in Bohol.
Contrary to the name of this attraction, the bees aren't the real stars here; it's the food.
The Bohol Bee Farm is a private resort that has become a popular stop for a Panglao trip before heading to Panglao Island's Alona Beach. It's perched on a cliff where guests are treated to a relaxing sea view as you dine alfresco.
Its hand-carved dining set with amazing treats (like the appetizer of squash bread with impressive spreads) is the real deal. And yes, the flowers on your plate are meant to be eaten! Other must-tries are their fresh salads, soups, and seafood dishes.
Don't miss a visit to The Buzzz Ice Cream just right outside the restaurant. They offer unique flavors of ice cream like malunggay, tomato, spicy ginger, and coconut that are served on a cone made from dried cassava.
You can also buy organic food products as souvenirs in their shop, including honey!
Go on an excursion and see some of the heritage churches in Bohol. You'll be able to catch a glimpse of how the locals devote their time during prayer. And learn about the remnants of the historical past through its architecture. Here are some of the must-see churches:
This is the oldest church in all of Asia and is a part of a Bohol countryside tour. It's impossible to proceed in the vein of historical churches without visiting this. The devastating earthquake of recent years damaged the original church, but through momentous efforts, the entire church has been rebuilt.
Officially the Church of the Immaculate Concepcion, the church also has a museum with some religious artifacts. It's also pretty accessible since it's an easy drive from the Blood Compact site.
Officially named the Church of San Pedro, this church is the second oldest in the province. If you're looking for something like Sistine Chapel, this is it — the church has excellent exteriors, complete with a heavenly scene painted on its ceiling! It's often included in a day trip in Bohol.
Also known as Our Lady of the Assumption, this church was built in 1697 and is dubbed by The National Historical Commission as a National Historic Landmark. Its neoclassical exteriors perfectly complement its stunning interiors, making it a must-visit church included in a Panglao tour.
One of the largest and most-frequented churches in Bohol, the Cathedral is made of ancient coral stone. It has undergone some facelifts, but you’ll still see the original pieces that are touchstones to the country’s religious history.
If you want to see more of Bohol’s colonial past, make sure to drop by this next tourist attraction.
The Sandugo or Blood Compact Shrine monument found in Bo-ol district of Tagbilaran City is a landmark at the site of the first international treaty of friendship between Spaniards and Filipinos. It's a popular attraction included in a Bohol day trip.
This place represents a junction in our history that pretty much led to us being who we are now. The Blood Compact Shrine depicts Sikatuna and Legazpi at the famed "Sandugo" moment, as the former pledged allegiance to the latter. The National Artist makes it for Sculpture, Napoleon Abueva.
It is also an easy trip since it's just along the main roads you'll pass as you go around the city. You can hail a tricycle from the town proper and ride a bus from the Dao terminal. Ride the bus that goes through Barangay Bo-ol.
If you’re not fond of commuting and you want to see the Sandugo Shrine along with other major tourist spots, you can join this fun sightseeing activity in Bohol.
You can also participate in a combination tour that explores the best of Panglao historical and natural sites in a day! Be ready to snap photos of this important event in history.
You’ve crossed hanging bridges, but have you crossed one made entirely out of bamboo? This well-known hanging bridge often included in a sightseeing trip in Bohol is made of woven bamboo straps and stretches over a gently flowing river.
The locals know it as Tigbao Hanging Bridge. There's an entrance fee, but you get free access to the tourist spot if you join a sightseeing tour in Bohol as it's mostly included in the itinerary.
The Tigbao Hanging Bridge is located in Sevilla, Bohol. It's suspended 83 feet above the Loboc River and is the primary connection between two barangays in the town.
To ease your mind about its structural integrity, the bridge has a set of cables that ensure its stability. Your reward for braving the heights and the wobbling? A souvenir shop at the other end.
It's pretty touristy, but hey, at least there's something! Whether you're a local finding new things to do, or you're a tourist wanting to experience everything extraordinary in Bohol, this is a must-add in your to-do list.
Visit one of the most enchanting places in Bohol, which is the Bilar Man-Made Forest. It's part of the reforestation project started in 1947 and launched in 1953 by Governor Conrado Marapao. It was to stop the Loboc watershed deforestation.
It was a successful project as many laborers, government employees, locals, and even students help each other in the plant seedlings. It consists of 20,000 hectares in the towns of Loboc, Batuan, Carmen, Valencia, Jagna, Sierra Bullones, and more.
The Bilar Man-Made Forest often included in a Bohol sightseeing escapade is great for a slow walk down a natural tunnel formed by the canopies of well-spaced trees. It's a tranquil place, so it's great if you're looking for a short pit stop before your next Bohol adventure, the forest is just north of it.
It has a stretch of two kilometers and is made with white and red mahogany trees. This tourist destination is often packaged with other tourist spots such as Chocolate Hills in a guided sightseeing excursion in Bohol.
It’s also combined with nearby attractions such as this sightseeing tour with Loboc River Cruise.
Relax and unwind at Bohol’s famous waterfalls. Take a dip in these gorgeous waterfalls accessible by public transportation or by joining a Bohol waterfalls escapade.
20 kilometers from Tagbilaran and found in the forest of Barangay Can-omay are hidden waterfalls called Mag-Aso Falls, named after ‘aso’ or smoke due to the drizzles resembling smoke that is formed from the strong drop of water.
Out of 20 waterfalls in Bohol, this waterfall is the most accessible from the capital Tagbilaran City and is also less crowded, as it is still not yet commercialized. It’s a must-try half-day tour in Bohol.
Just around an hour’s drive from Alona Beach is one of the most enchanting spots of nature anywhere in the region. The falls themselves are sparkling clean! Take a dip in its turquoise waters and admire the scenic view it offers. The place is quite popular, so expect some company while you’re here.
This waterfall is located at Balilihan, Bohol. It’s one of the highly-recommended waterfalls in the province because of its amphitheater-like cascading of waters. You can swim and laze around the waters for as long as you like!
There's also a Kawasan Falls in Bohol and not just the popular one in Cebu. This gorgeous waterfall has a high drop of 20 meters and is blessed with clean and aquamarine waters. The good news is it's included in most waterfalls tours in Bohol.
Drop by at the Butterfly Sanctuary in Bohol! It's 1 kilometer away from Bilar Market and 5 minutes away from Mahogany Man-made Forest in the town of Bilar. It's the first butterfly livelihood breeding and conservation program in Bohol.
It aims to help the insect and named after, also studies and preserves local plants that are greatly affected due to illegal poaching and deforestation.
The Center has several facilities that would take more than an afternoon to cover. Its main one is the Butterfly Garden, where over 50 species of butterflies flutter around freely. Seats and pathways are available for strolling around or idly watching them as they fly by.
Butterflies who are inbred can be visited in the Butterfly Enclosure, which has a waterfall and caterpillar feeding displays as well. Guests can also take a walk at the Nature Trail, located on a small hill where tropical plants, birds, and other small wildlife are also present.
You can reach this habitat conservation center along the highway of Carmen Town. Colored flags serve as the signage to the entrance of the Center, which is roughly 40 kilometers away from Tagbilaran City, the capital of Bohol.
Guests are required to pay an entrance fee before entering the vicinity. But you can get in for free if you join a sightseeing trip in Bohol that includes this tourist spot in the itinerary.
Go on a night excursion by participating in a firefly-watching tour in Bohol. Visiting Abatan's centuries-old mangrove forest is often described as fantastical.
The roots and the canopy of leaves reflect crisply on the clear water, lending the river its sparkling emerald hue. It's one of the most recommended things to experience!
The Abatan River stretches 20 km traversing several small villages in Bohol province. The river opens to an estuary, which grows as many as 32 mangrove species of the entire Philippines.
Before the fireflies can glow, they spend three years as larvae in the undergrowth beneath the trees. They then metamorphose as bioluminescent fireflies but could only light for one month of their adult lives.
You can go ahead and tour the mangroves on a kayak, either on a shared tour or private tour. Prepare to see the fireflies, which are bioluminescent phytoplanktons that twinkles in the galaxies beneath and above the mangroves come evening.
You can even have a tour package with dinner before or after the Bohol firefly watching tour! The mangrove tunnel tour and firefly tour each lasts 2 hours. Proceeds help sustain ecotourism projects as well as fund local scholars.
Go on a sightseeing tour in Bohol’s city proper, Tagbilaran! See some of the iconic tourist spots and discover the rich heritage of the city. There are many places you can visit while in the area, but these are the top ones included in a Tagbilaran city experience:
This is President Carlos P. Garcia's former mansion turned museum in Tagbilaran. It is reminiscent of the White House due to its color and displays various furniture and paraphernalia belonging to his family.
This heritage house was built by Julian Rocha, a well-known 19th-century architect in Bohol. It displays a rich and extensive collection of furniture, reminiscent of Spanish ancestral houses during the colonial period.
It’s a must-visit church due to its gorgeous Neo-Romanesque facade, with a depiction of Old Testament symbols on its side interiors.
Most sightseeing Bohol tours pass by this tourist spot as it’s the perfect place for photography shots. It’s also the region’s biggest government center.
Photo by Cambuhat Oyster Farm
One of the must-try activities in Bohol is a trip to the Cambuhat Oyster farm. It's situated in the municipality of Buenavista, Bohol. It is part of an eco-friendly tourism enterprise by the Cambuhat Enterprise Development & Fisheries Association (CEDFA).
Tourists get to see how oysters are planted and harvested. Also, learn about the preservation of mangroves on this tour.
Due to its geographic location, the locals of Buenavista engage in farming and fishing as their primary source of livelihood. The locals were able to develop oyster farms along the Cambuhat river.
The people are also into weaving, basket making, and broom making. The local government has developed some of its natural attractions and has been gaining from tourism as well.
This oyster village tour begins takes the tourists to Cambuhat River in Buenavista where participants will board a small boat. They will paddle down the river to see the oyster farm, witness a demo of planting and harvesting oysters and even taste fresh oysters.
The tour guide will also take them through the mangroves and nipa palms, where the guests will learn more about the preservation and management of the river.
Plan Your Bohol Trip Now!
There's so much to see and discover in Bohol, from the iconic Chocolate Hills, the adorable tarsiers, islands, and beaches with precious marine life, to exciting activities in adventure parks. It's the perfect destination for nature lovers, diving and snorkeling enthusiasts, and thrill-seekers.
Start planning your itinerary with this list of top tourist spots and find Bohol tours that best fit your needs for that perfect getaway.