The Abatan River Community Life Tour is organized by the Abatan River Development Management Council as a job- and income-generating program for the poor people in various municipalities.
Located some 10 minutes away from Tagbilaran City, Abatan River is one of the major rivers of Bohol, the others being Loboc River and Inabanga River.
Abatan River approximately stretches to 20 kilomters of water that passes through the towns of Catigbian, Antequera, Balilihan, and Maribojoc up to its mouth at the town of Cortes. At this point, the river opens up to an estuary, comprising of mangrove and nipa swamps. Its mangrove forests are one of the most diverse in the country, being home to approximately 32 mangrove species.
Before roads were developed in the area, the Abatan River served as the main waterway and transport route, with dark and deep portions that the locals bravely navigated.
The Abatan River Community Life Tour takes tourists to the towns of Cortes, Maribojoc, and Antequera. The towns of Balilihan and Catigbian, which were damaged by the 2013 tremor that hit Central Visayas, were excluded from the itinerary.
The river cruise starts from its jump-off point at the Abatan River Visitor Center in Cortes, where one of the highlights is firefly watching. The tour takes about an hour of gentle sailing on the Abatan River in a kayak or a traditional boat called bandong. This outrigger type of boat has nipa roofs above it and is fitted with rows of wooden chairs.
The Abatan River Community Life Tour also allows guests to see lush greeneries and other sceneries around the river. A tour package includes the services of a tour guide, sightseeing of natural wonders found in Bohol, and watching cultural performances.