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Travel Guide to Bohol: Thrills Beyond the Chocolate Hills Edit

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Michelle Tobias  • Contributor
Opinions expressed by Explora.ph Contributors are their own.

Cover photo by Johnny Ferniz. Graphics by Manel Solsoloy.

At a Glance

Every summer in Bohol, almost 1,800 limestone mounds turn from green to brown, creating an epic landscape that make up the Chocolate Hills. You won’t run out of things to do in Bohol—from diving, beaches, and island parties, to wildlife sanctuaries, cultural sites, and eco-adventure activities.


With one main island and 75 smaller islands, Bohol is one of the naturally scenic islands in central Philippines. It is distinctive for Chocolate Hills, a sweeping panorama of 1,776 limestone mounds spread over a lush forest across three towns. Considered a rare geological formation, these hills are embedded with abundant fossils layered ages ago when the island was still underwater. Today, the hills are the second leading tourist attraction in the Visayas region, after Boracay.

Bohol is locally popular for its white beaches in Panglao, Anda, and Pungtud, and internationally-known for its dive site in Balicasag. You can also get a unique diving experience in Bien Unido Double Barrier Reef Marine Park, where you can witness 14-feet-high religious icons standing on the seabed. Near Pamilacan Island, meanwhile, you can catch sightings of whales between March and June, and dolphins playing on the water surface the whole year round.

The island is replete with waterfalls and rivers, gorgeous old churches, and eco-adventure activities. Things that you can experience only in Bohol though are cruising or paddle-boarding in the unspoiled Loboc River, checking out the tiniest primate in the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary, and stopping by the eerily quiet Bilar Man-Made Forest. Every July, Bohol celebrates Sandugo Festival in honor of the blood pact made between the Philippine leader Datu Sikatuna and the Spanish conqueror Miguel López de Legazpi.

8 Surprising Adventures for THE BRAVE ONES in Bohol

Written by Colleen Cabili

Ingkumhan Falls

This newly-discovered gem is tucked deep within the forests of Barangay Bauhugan. Locals claim that beneath the 12-foot-deep cobalt waters is an unexplored cavern, which adds an air of mystery to the already enchanting cascade. 

Photo from instagram.com/globe.of.destinations.

Bilar Man-Made Forest

Tourists on their way to the world-famous Chocolate Hills in Carmen will pass through a 2km mahogany forest located along the border of Loboc and Bilar. This was actually part of a reforestation project to replace the trees that fell victim to widespread kaingin or illegal logging. 

Photo by Natz Molina, instagram.com/natzmolina.

Danao Adventure Park

Conquer your fear of heights at one of the highest canyon swings in the world that can be found in this ecotourism park. The attraction, aptly named “The Plunge,” is located 200 meters above the canyon and features a 75-meter free fall that lasts for 4 seconds.

Photo from instagram.com/jolierawwr.

Sagbayan Peak

You wouldn’t need to go all the way to Carmen to marvel at the beauty of Chocolate Hills. This mountain resort and recreational park has a 360-degree view of the verdant expanse of the renowned tourist destination. Further along the horizon, you can spot the deep blue waters of Camotes Sea which separates the province from Cebu.

Photo from panglaoislandtravel.com.

Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park

This park’s main highlight is its 600m-long zipline that crosses the renowned Loboc River. 

Photo by Mike Rosal, instagram.com/mikerosal_.

Hinagdanan Cave

Unlike other caves which are often pitch-black and eery, this small limestone cavern in Dauis is naturally illuminated by the sunlight that seeps in the surface’s cracks. Inside is an underground crystal clear pool that’s great for swimming. 

Photo from theheliopaths.com.

Night Kayaking

Paddle through Abatan River after sunset and see the forest come to life under the moonlight! The firefly kayaking tour is led by former mangrove harvesters who now guard the trees and the river.

Photo by Cara Durano, instagram.com/caradurano.

Anda Adventures

If you can’t get enough of Bohol’s jungle trails and nature-tripping activities, you should definitely get in touch with Anda Adventures. Get to explore Anda while cruising on a mountain bike or a motorbike, or explore the depths of its pristine coasts through cliff diving and snorkeling. 

Photo by Dave Sañez, instagram.com/davful.
Photo by Lola Hubner.

Where is Bohol

Bohol is found across Cebu in southern Philippines. Graphics by Manel Solsoloy.

How to get to Bohol

From Manila, the fastest way to get to Bohol is by plane. Book a flight to Tagbilaran City, the capital of Bohol, through Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, or Air Asia. Travel time is about 75 minutes. From Cebu City, you can get to Tagbilaran City, Bohol, by ferry. Travel time is about 2 hours. The best way to get around the island is by renting a van, taxi, tricycle, or motorcycle. If you prefer to commute, you can get around by hopping on jeepneys, vans, and air-conditioned buses. Most attractions are accessibly from the national road.

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