Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bohol Adventure

Beach Bumming and Travel around the islands and hills of Bohol
August 12-15, 2010

Bohol is known for its pristine white beaches, beautiful dive sites, old churches, and of course, the Chocolate Hills and the Philippine Tarsier. This destination is considered an all terrain, and water adventure haven and so we experienced it ourselves on a one long weekend of August 2010.

Day 1

We arrived Tagbilaran airport on a thursday afternoon. Transportation to the hotel is already available at the airport area. The hotel where I reserved did not provide a transportation to the hotel and so I hired a sedan ride from the airport the the hotel. The ride costs P500 and it would take around 30-45 minutes from the airport to the hotel where I stayed at Panglao Island.

I reserved a room at Panglao Regents Park Hotel which is about 600 meters from the beach front with overflowing pool. It is a great place to stay due to the amenities and the package I already purchased from them already includes a Bohol land trip. There are other packages for diving and island hopping however I am only interested on touring Bohol by land and would like to check on my own the islands myself.

Unlimited pool at Panglao Regents Park Hotel

The fee to a Bohol land trip plus a 3-day 2-nights accomodation and breakfast costs P6,400/2pax.

By night time, we scoured around the area and there is a cheap but great tasting grill about 280 meters from the hotel right in front of the Alona Kew  Police station and grilled chicken thigh and fish ranges from P80-P150.

We spent the rest of the day swimming in the pool and slept early as I had no sleep yet the past night due to work.

Day 2

We woke up at 7:00AM to have breakfast and prepare for our Bohol land trip at 8:00AM. The hotel prepared the transporation and I learned that the sedan service they hired is from the same company of our transportation from the airport.

Our first stop is the Simply Butterflies Conservation Center where you see butterflies roaming around free in this private garden cultivated for them.
There is a tour guide available to introduce you with various types of butterflies. After the tour, you can freely roam the whole garden as well for a photo shoot or just to enjoy the peace.

Butterflies all around and are friendly to the visitors

Next stop is the famous Chocolate Hills. As the name implies, there are over 1,300 hills that are lump-shaped and almost symmetrical and are color brown during summer and turns green on rainy season. According to geologists, these hills where limestones and are underwater during the Pleistocene era and when water dried out and the area became land, they were left out as these hills. The area spans for over 50 square kilometers at the middle of Bohol Island, specifically at Carmel, Bohol.

Chocolate Hills 270-degree Panorama

One of the hills was turned into a viewing area and you have to climb the steps to get to the whole top and luster with the view. Souvenir shops are available at the base of the viewing hill and photo services are also available.

Viewing area of the Chocolate Hills at the end of the stairs.

From the Chocolate Hills, we then headed to back to Loboc and passed by the Bilar Man Made Forest to take some pictures under the foliage.

Bilar Man Made Forest

Then we continued our tour to the so-called Hanging Bridge. At the other end of it, there is this man who according to them was once featured at a TV show that can skin coconut husks so fast with his teeth. You just need to pay him P100. I'm not interested though so and I'm hungry so we went on to our next destination after crossing the bridge and some photo ops.

Hanging Bridge at Loboc, Bohol

It is lunch time, so its the right time to have lunch by the barge at Loboc River. There is a P100 fee for the environtment and a P400/person for the cruise and lunch which you need to pay before you go on. After which they will let you know what number of the barge you need to ride on to have your lunch. It is a lunch buffet and they serve different types of Filipino dish for you to satisfy yourself while you cruise the beauty of the Loboc River. There are also stops along the river where locals will serenade the people on the barge.

Loboc Bell Tower

Loboc Lunch Barge

Buffer by the barge

One of the barge while cruising through Loboc River

After the Loboc River Lunch tour and we had our bellies full, we then proceeded to our next destination which is at Xzootic where we saw one of Bohol's pride which is the Philippine Tarsiers. They are the smallest monkeys in the world and are nocturnal. As they are are used to the dark, ensure that flash is turned off when taking pictures. Do not touch them as well as they commit suicide when they are stressed.

The cute little Philippine Tarsier as it posed with us.

Next stop is buying souvenirs. Bohol is known for calamay and for Bohol, this is enclosed in a coconut shell. And the other one is the ever famous miniature chocolate hills... the Peanut Kisses. The Peanut Kisses is a confection of sugar-coated peanuts shaped like the chocolate hills. Souvenir shops are available and concentrated along Jagna, Bohol.

Then we went to the oldest church in the Philippines, the Baclayon church where its construction dates back to 1717 and was completed 10 years later. It made up of carbonate that were extracted from pulverized corals.

The altar inside Baclayon Church

Baclayon, the oldest church in the Philippines

Posing by the light seeping through the window of Baclayon Church

Last stop, the Sikatuna Blood Compact Site where the site commemorates the start of the Spanish colonization in Central Visayas way back the 16th Century as the explorer, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi has befriended the powerful Datu Sikatuna.

The tour lasted until 4:00PM and so we had our dinner at our favorite grill at Tawala, Panglao and by night, we proceeded to the beaches of Alona Kew and had a soothing massage from local masseuse along the shore for P300/person.

Day 3

On our 3rd day, we just enjoyed hotel pool for a while then headed back to Alona Kew Beach for a daytime beach bum. The beach has a milky-white fine grain sand and the waters are shallow even if you are already a hundred meters of the shore. Be careful with sea urchins though when you get further from the shore and make sure your foot is protected with marine shoes and not just sandals.

White beach of Alona Kew, Panglao, Bohol

Majestic beach at Alona

By 3:00PM we went around the shore of Alona Kew Beach to look for a boat ride to the esteemed Virgin Island. One offered us a ride to it for P1300. The travel is about an hour from the shore of Alona Kew in Panglao.

Virgin island is a crescent-shaped island in the middle of Bohol Sea that is visible on low tide and is knee deep during high tide. It was low tide when we got there so we enjoyed the serenity of this beach as we were alone when we arrived the island.

Low tide at Bohol Sea where our boat got stuck for a couple of minutes

On Virgin Island

Sunset on Virgin Island, Bohol

Video is in Tagalog

As we got back to the hotel, we then endulged ourselves with night swimming then drink to our hearts content at the bar.

Bohol is indeed a Philippine treasure. People here are truly hospitable and you will not only enjoy the sea but the land as well.


Airport to Hotel 150
Bohol Tour Transportation 500
Simply Butterflies 20
Chocolate Hills 30
xZootic 20
Loboc Barge Lunch 400
Spa 300
Virgin Island 1500**
Hotel and Breakfast 3D2N 6400*
Meals 500
Bar 500
Hotel to Airport 150
Total Expenses Php10,470

* can be shard by two people
** can be shared by up to 4 people

This waypoints, roads, and trails data obtained from this Bohol Adventure of 2009 were contributed to the +OpenStreetMap Philippines for future use of travelers and drivers who would like to check out the island.


Openstreetmap Philippines Map (link)
Schadow1 Expeditions Contributions (link)

How to use for your Navigation System (link)

View Bohol Adventure in a larger map

For a tourist driver, you may contact Aster Barbon at 09185195414 or Jong Barbon at 09183692514

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1 comment:

  1. Expenses report has been added to this article so our readers may be able to plan ahead when taking their vacation at Bohol.