If you want to visit all significant sights of Bohol island in one day, you can use the Bohol tour itinerary I suggest here. This itinerary gives you enough time to get pleasure from each stop, however it’s pretty intensive, so there is no time for boredom!
More about Bohol attractions:
There are two options of the route: from Tagbilaran city (also it fits for those who start from Alona beach in Panglao island) and from Tubigon city. You can complete the route on public transport or rent a motorbike or a car.
According to this route you go one spot from another one and you don’t come back to one of the points, Tagbilaran for example. It seems obvious when you look at the map with a highlighted route on it. But public transport routes are not so clear in Bohol, and locals sometimes don’t know how to go through A, B and C. Also Philippines don’t care about time so much. One-two extra hours on the road is not a big deal. I tried to get some information about public transport from Corella to Loboc on a hostel reception. The girl who worked that day told me that we have to come back to Tagbilaran and take another bus to Loboc. We were lucky that I checked it, we could lose 2-3 hours! The route in this post is verified, so you can use it without any doubts.
If you want to find time for everything, you have to start early in the morning, have your breakfast and have a lunch on Loboc River Cruise boat.
Travel map of Bohol sights from Tagbilaran:
Sights en Route:
Must see place! Adorable cutest little primates with giant eyes and chinchilla fur. In this place as opposed to The Loboc Tarsier Conservation Area, tarsiers live in natural biotope in a wood lot of 10 hectares. It’s not a zoo. It makes this place an amazing natural place for some people, others become disappointed, because tarsiers are pretty far away and you can’t see a lot of them. If you like zoos, it’s better to go to Tarsier Conservation Area in Loboc.
Loboc River Cruise
To be honest we didn’t expect much from this very touristic place. But the cruise was surprisingly pleasant. Actually there were only 4-5 foreigners within 20-30 persons onboard. All others were Filipinos. There is an “All you can eat” system on this restaurant-boat, so it works well as a place for lunch. In general the food was delicious, the river was beautiful, waterfalls at the end of the route were picturesque. So go green without any doubts.
Loboc Eco-Tourism Adventure Park
Here you can find one of the most popular zip-lines in Philippines. Unfortunately for extreme sports lovers, zip-line is not extreme or thrilling at all. But it’s really amazing when you flight above woods and above the river with waterfalls. It’s just 1 minute of flying, but during this time you are happy as a child. 50 shades of green from the height of a bird flight.
It’s the oldest church in Philippines. That’s why it’s so famous. Unfortunately, now this place is called “Loboc church ruins”, and you can see “before” and “after” on advertising photos. Earthquake in 2013 dramatically destroyed the church. But the place became even more attractive because of new mysterious and historical atmosphere.
It’s number one tourist place in Bohol island. Cocoa colored hills in a shape of truffles stretch for kilometers around the view point. Small houses and rice fields located between these hills look like toys. You simply can’t imagine that everything around is not man-made park, it’s a wonderful example of a caprice of the nature.
These sights are also on the way:
Man-made Forest (Mahogany Forest)
Hundreds and thousands of mahogany trees. Every one of them was planted by a man. The place is beautiful, however it’s just a mahogany forest, nothing else. We were happy to see it from a bus.
Route section: Loboc – Chocolate Hills
Hanging Bamboo Bridge
It’s really a hanging bamboo bridge. :) If you’ve never been to such places, try it! It doesn’t take a lot of time, and the pleasure is guaranteed.
Route section: Loboc – Chocolate Hills
It’s not a special sight. You can see rice and other fields pretty much everywhere. Rice grows, peasants work, bullocks pull, the real life goes. I’m a fan of fields and everything “real”, I mean not artificially created for tourists. So I really enjoyed our travels in Bohol island.
Route section: everywhere
Travel Guide for the Route.
How to Find Time for Everything?
1. 8 am – 9 am. Tagbilaran -> Tarsier Sanctuary
In Tagbilaran take a tricycle, a motorbike, a jeepney or a bus and go to Island City Mall. Bus terminal located just in front of Island City Mall. Take a bus they goes to Sikatuna. The last stop of the bus is Loboc. And ask a driver to stop at Tarsier Sanctuary. Then you need to walk a few minutes to the Tarsier Sanctuary entrance. The road takes you 20 minutes and costs 17-50 pesos depending on a type of a public transport.
2. 9 am – 10 am. Look at tarsiers at Tarsier Sanctuary.
A half an hour is enough to watch animals and read about them on stands. We thought that we needed an hour at least, but we completed everything in 30 minutes without any rush.
3. 10 am – 11 am. Tarsiers -> Loboc.
Take the same bus at the same stop and go to Loboc. Take off at Loboc Church. If you have time before 11 am, than you can watch and make some pics of Loboc Church. It’s located just near by the road. If you are short in time, it’s better to go to River Cruise first and came back to the church later.
The road takes 15-20 minutes and costs 17-50 pesos depending on a type of public transport.
4. 11 am – 12.30 pm. Loboc River Cruise
Boats start at Loboc Turism Center. The building is located in front of the church. You need to cross the road and a bridge over the river. You can see boats-restaurants from the bridge, so it’s easy to find the place.
Loboc River Cruise works until 3.30 pm. 11 am is a time for check-in to a boat that leaves at 11.30 am. This half an hour you can use for eating. If you want to find time for everything, it’s better to have a lunch here and that have a dinner after the route. Check-in is going until 11.30 am. There are a few tour companies that offer river cruise. We took Village cruise and enjoyed it. The price was 450 pesos. One hour cruise + half an hour for lunch.
5. 12.30 pm – 1.00 pm. Watch Loboc Church ruins.
6. 1 pm – 1.15 pm. Loboc Church -> Loboc Eco-Tourism Adventure Park (Zip-line).
It’s just 3 km between the church and the adventure park. You can walk there or take a bus that goes to Carmen and take off at Loboc Eco-Tourism Adventure Park. But the most convenient way is to take a motorbike. We paid 40 pesos for 2 persons and arrives to the ticket office.
7. 1.15 pm – 2 pm. Zip-line above Loboc river.
“There and back” ticket costs 350 pesos. Photos go your flight take you 200 pesos.
8. 2 pm – 3 pm. Loboc Eco-Tourism Adventure Park (Zip-line) -> Chocolate Hills.
Go to the highway and take a bus that goes to Carmen. The direction is to the North, opposite the direction to Loboc Church. Take off at the Chocolate Hills. There is a billboard on the road. From this point you need to walk 10 minutes up to a ticket office. If you go by motorbike or tricycle, you can go to the ticket office directly. The road from Loboc to Chocolate hills takes 25-80 pesos depending on a type of public transport.
9. 3 pm – 4 pm. Admire at Chocolate Hills.
Entrance ticket costs 50 pesos. If you want to catch sunset at this place, it’s better to arrive a little bit later at 5 pm. So you can spend more time at other attractions or go to hanging bamboo bridge or man-made forest on the way.
10. 4 pm – 6 pm. Chocolate Hills -> Tagbilaran
Go back to Tagbilaran. Take a bus that goes directly to Tagbilaran city. The road takes 2-3 hours and costs 50-80 pesos depending on a type of public transport.
Main attractions of Bohol island:
Travel map of Bohol sights from Tubigon:
The route is pretty much the same, but reverse. Please take into account that Tarsier Sanctuary works until 4 pm and the last Loboc River Cruise boat leaves at 3.30 pm. It makes the route from Tubigon more intensive and risky.
Accommodation in Bohol
There are a lot of hotels in Tagbilaran City. It’s not a problem if you didn’t book it in advance, but for a comfortable short trip it’s always better to have a reserved room somewhere in a city center. Prices in Tagbilaran are pretty low.
However a lot of people prefer to stay at Alona Beach. For those who prefer reclusive and peaceful place, I can recommend a great hotel on a cliff with a private beach and swimming pool Almira Diving Resort.
Hotel map in Tagbilaran City:
How to Get to Bohol Island?
The most comfortable way to go to Bohol Island is to flight to Tagbilaran Airport from Manila. You can choose between three airlines: AirAsia, Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines.
How to Get to Bohol Sights from Tubigon?
You can get to Chocolate Hills from Tubigon via Carmen city. Take a bus to Carmen at Tubigon bus terminal. The bus terminal located 1 kilometer away from Tubigon port. The road takes 1-2 hours and costs 30-80 pesos.
In Carmen you can take a bus that goes to Tagbilaran and take off at Chocolate Hills. But it’s much more convenient to take a motorbike or tricycle there. In this case negotiate with motorbike or tricycle driver to get you to the ticket office, not just to a crossing to Chocolate Hills. We took tricycle for 100 pesos. The road took 15-20 minutes.
How to Get to Bohol Sights from Alona Beach?
There are buses that go from Alona Beach to Tagbilaran. The bus stop is on the road turn, just near by the place where the way to the water starts. But it’s always better to ask locals. :) The last stop of the bus could be Island City Mall or Tagbilaran city. The road takes about an hour and costs 30-80 pesos. Take into account that the last bus leaves at 6.30 pm or 7.30 pm. It’s better to arrive at the bus stop before 6 pm. Otherwise you need to take a motorbike or a tricycle. Drivers ask 350-500 pesos. We bargained to 250 pesos for two persons.
How to Get to Bohol from Cebu Island?
If you are already in Cebu City, you are lucky one, because you can get to Bohol island and complete the “sights tour” the same day. If you have to get to Cebu city first, it would be pretty hard to complete the route in one day. The road to Tagbilaran or Tubigon city takes too much time.
The easiest way from Cebu City to Bohol island is to take a ferry at Cebu-Mactan Port. Most of boats move off from Peer 1. You can get a ferry that go to Tagbilaran or Tubigon ports. In most cases it’s more convenient to go to Tagbilaran. The road takes 2-3 hours, the ticket costs 350-800 pesos. Boats go each 30-120 minutes depending on time of the day, starting at 5 am. There are 3-4 companies that offer ferries. It’s cheaper and faster to get to Tubigon: 1-2 hours, 200-230 pesos. But Tubigon is pretty far from Panglao island where Alona Beach located as well as from all Bohol sights. Also you can take a Regular Ferry to Tubigon from Peer 3. It goes 2 hours and costs 150 pesos. In this case it’s better to be sure about a schedule.
Read detailed information about traveling to Bohol via fast ferries, regular ferries and local flight from Manila here.
Types of Public Transport in Bohol.
- Jeepneys. It’s a mix of a jeep, a bus and a lorry. They are the most bright, most colorful, cheapest, slowest and the most uncomfortable. In general they are “the most”. Bench-sits go along a body, open doors, full of people.
- Buses. Regular buses. They could be more or less comfortable, with air conditioner or with an open door. A little bit more expensive than jeepneys.
- GT Express shuttles. Comfortable, equipped with an air-conditioner. Fast, but pretty expensive.
- Motobikes of all brands. Cheep and convenient. The best option for short distances. The price is negotiatable.
- Tricycles. This type of transport is an official taxi in Bohol. All tricycles are the same model, with license ID and with a hired driver. The price is bigger than for motorbikes, but could be less than shuttles, especially if there are two or three of you traveling together.
Does It Make Sense to Rent a Motorbike?
It’s all up to you. We simply were afraid, because the road is mountain, we didn’t know the route, we didn’t have a map as well as an internet connection. Also Andrey, who is our driver for motorbikes, didn’t slept well, so didn’t feel well. Also the price for rented motorbike in Bohol is 500-600 pesos per day + gas 80-100 pesos. It’s pretty expensive, even taking into account that there are two of us for one motorbike. So we chosen public transport. I calculated all expenses for transport for the day and they were less than 650 pesos, even including tricycle to Mag-Aso waterfall which cost 350 pesos.
All Truth About Our Trip in Bohol Island
If I had this route before I started my trip, I would go this way. But I hadn’t. So our trip was not the same.
We started at Panagsama Beach in Moalboal where we live at 4.30 am. At 10 am our ferry left Cebu-Mactan Port and went to Tubigon. We had a lunch in McDonalds and went to Chocolate Hills. At 5 pm we were in Loboc. It was too late for river cruises, so we walked around and made some pictures of Loboc Church. Then we went to Tagbilaran to find a hotel for a night.
We went to Tarsier Sanctuary, than to Loboc River Cruise, than to Eco-Tourism Adventure Park to try zip-line, then we went back to Tagbilaran to find time for a trip to Mag-Aso waterfall and to watch Hobbits in Island City Mall cinema. From there we went to Alona Beach.
We took a boat to go see dolphins, to freedive at the reef of Balicasag Island and to walk on sand of Virgin Island. Also we had time to sunbathe on Alona beach, to swim in the sea, to visit Hinagdanan cave, to clean our chakras according to Tibet method and to drink the best coffee in the world.
We went back to Panagsama next day.
- Dates of the trip: 19-20 of December, 2014
- Place: Bohol Island, Philippines
- Budget for recommended “Bohol sights tour”: 1,100-1,500 pesos