Loboc is a very popular tourist destination in Bohol Island. Primarily because of its emerald calm river, and secondly because of an old Christian church, which has not lost its greatness even after a destruction. Locals are trying to develop tourism in the area by opening new hotels, restaurants and attractions. Loboc River Cruise and Loboc Eco-Tourism Adventure Park are the most popular so far.
Loboc River Cruise
To be honest, we were suspicious regarding a trip on floating restaurant considering it too touristic. The famous river is a necessary water for the population, but not too remarkable entertainment for those who have seen many rivers in a lifetime. In addition the cost of this adventure is quite high for the Philippines – 450 pesos. And the quality of the food may be too bad, so you would be hungry after all. However, we decided to go.
Landing on the floating restaurants was quite serious. First of all, you need to buy a ticket for a specific time. Landing starts half an hour before departure. As soon as you aboard waitress offer you drinks. After a while they open buffet, so guests can eat before the trip starts. I must say that it makes sense, because the journey on the river is rather short in time, about half an hour one way. During this time you want to look around and take some photos, talk with other people without any rush.
We were very surprised by the fact that 5 of 30-40 guests on board were foreigners, the rest – Filipinos. And I must say, everyone was satisfied.
Food is served as a buffet. European and Asian cuisine, meat, chicken, rice, pasta, vegetables, fruits, desserts. Everything is quite tasty, you definitely can find something for yourself. So the price is reasonable. You spend money on ticket instead of restaurant, but save time, which is always important in travel.
The river, though not affluent, but picturesque. Green jungle leaning over the green waters. Just life in all its glory. Rare houses on shore and fishing boats complete this landscape. This is what I expected and it was more pleasant than I imagined. But I definitely didn’t imagine small waterfalls at the end of the route. They called Busay Falls. It was so unexpected and so beautiful!
Another pleasant surprise was the musical performance with Filipinos singing and dancing. In general Filipinos love to sing and do it pretty well, but they are not well organized. So it’s hard to find a good show. But here, in a hut on the river dressed with funny costumes, they looked very nice and touching. It’s true that they were not synchronized during dancing and singing, but the performance was full of children’s joy and spontaneity, and my heart just melted. And then they called everyone to join: play musical instruments, sing, dance and jump over bamboo stems. In general, it was very fun and provocatively. Finally I gladly gave decent tips.
Short video of Filipino music performance:
How to get to Loboc River Cruise?
You need to cross the bridge over the river to find floating restaurants. The bridge is located near the Loboc Church and goes directly from the main road. We asked the driver to stop the jeepney near the church. But knowing that we need a floating restaurant, he backpedaled and drove straight to the ticket office. It seems that he wanted us to go to this company specifically, because there are several companies offering tours on floating restaurants. Our was the closest to the bridge.
Also you can rent a private boat. There are a few offers along the river. By the way, one of those small boats came very close to the waterfall, larger boats with restaurants moor much further.
- Ticket price: 450 PHP
- Time to visit: 1.5-2 hours
- Opening hours: 10 am – 3 pm
Loboc Church is one of the oldest in the Philippines. It’s more historical place than travel attraction.
The church does not work for a long time, the building was seriously destroyed after an earthquake in 2013. Now souvenir shops sell cards with the church before and after the quake. However, the place hasn’t lost its appeal, on the contrary, it became even more atmospheric.
Loboc Eco-Tourism Adventure Park
Loboc Eco-Tourism Adventure Park is famous for its zip-line over the river. The experience you get is not extreme, but it’s wonderful. The line runs above the forest, the river and waterfalls I mentioned above. The flight lasts about a minute, but it’s enough, because the most interesting moments you get in a few seconds.
Zip-line is safe. It has relatively simple design (“spiderman” in this case). It’s extremely unlikely that something go wrong or break. If you buy a return ticket you ride on the zip-line twice, but this is not the same line. Therefore, do not leave things on the tower where the first line starts, unless you want to climb back to pick them up.
Round-trip ticket costs 350 pesos. And they ask 250 pesos for the photos if you want to get them. They offered two sets of photos for 250, so we agreed.
A distance from the church to the adventure park is 3 km. You can go on foot, take a bus towards Carmen city, or take motorbike or tricycle taxi. The last option is the most reasonable – fast and not expensive (30-100 pesos).
Short video of our Zip-line flight in Loboc Adventure Park:
- Ticket price: 350 PHP
- Time to visit: 30-50 minutes
- Opening hours: 8.30 am – 5.30 pm
How to get to Loboc in Bohol Island?
I don’t want to repeat my text with a route from Tagbilaran, Tubigon and Alona Beach in Panglao Island. Please read detailed description here. I just want to say that you can take a bus on a bus station near Island City Mall in Tagbilaran. There are two possible options of bus routes: Tagbilaran -> Loboc and Tagbilaran -> Carmen. Take out at Loboc Church.
- Travel dates: December 20, 2014
- Location: Loboc, Bohol Island, Philippines