The rolling chocolate hills, white sand beaches, mangroves, mahogany forests and tiny Tarsiers makes the island one of the most diverse islands you can expect to visit in the Philippines. We spent 4 days, enjoying the scooter rides on the island, visiting the tourist sights and swimming and sunbathing. Here you can read about the top 5 things to do in Bohol.
1. Visit the Chocolate Hills
As unnatural as they may seem, Chocolate Hills in Bohol are real, but not exactly chocolaty. Shaped like hills, covered in grass (which browns in the dry season) and stretching as far as the eye can see. Even though they look soft as a cloud – they are actually hard and rice up to 120m in height. Many mysteries and tales have been told about these hills. This is why the geologists have differing views about how these hills were formed. One plausible theory is that they are weathered formations of a marine limestone lying on top of an impenetrable clay base. Nonetheless, they are a great sight in Bohol and one that simply can’t be missed on this island!
2. See Tarsiers
A tarsier is a primate that belongs to a 45-million-year-old animal family called as Tarsiidae. Today, they are officially recognized as endangered species that are predominantly found in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. In Bohol, we visited the Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary – the only place you should go to if you are curious to see these tiny bug-eyed mammals. Tarsiers don’t do well when in captivity since they can easily and quickly turn suicidal as they try to break free.
Too much noise, sunlight, and physical contact from foreign things can also over-stress them, which may also lead to suicide. They are extremely cute and tiny and if you’re lucky to see one in real life you should be very happy – they are hard to spot! The volunteers spend every morning searching for them and then taking visitors to them during the day in a quiet, calm manner.
3. Panglao Beaches
Bohol is quite a hectic island and you will prefer staying in the calmer Panglao in the south of Bohol. Not only is this place rich with resorts, restaurants and things to do in the evening, but it is also the place to go to if you want white sandy beaches and undisturbed sunbathing. But don’t go to Alona beach, instead choose less busy options! Go a little higher up to Dumaluan, White and Libaong Beach.
4. Man-made Forest
Driving through the man-made forest in Bohol is a truly mighty experience. The man-made forest stretches up to two kilometres and is made up of red and white mahogany trees. It was also part of a bigger reforestation project that was created in response to the deforestation in the Loboc watershed. It’s conveniently located between the Tarsier Sanctuary and the Chocolate Hills.
5. Try the Local Delicacy
Alona Beach wasn’t a place we particularly enjoyed visiting, because there were way too many tourists! However, it was interesting to see how many sea urchin sellers there were there! For a true Filipino evening – get a sea urchin to eat and enjoy a massage on the beach. If you’re curious about more local delicacies, then check out some more exotic Filippino street food.