Bohol has long been in my bucket list that’s why a trip to Bohol was what I gave to myself as a Christmas and birthday gift. It was my first time in Bohol but the experience was unforgettable.
Bohol, the 10th largest island in the Philippines, is located 2 hours away from Cebu. It’s a major tourist magnet owing to its amazing historical and eco-tourist sites.
The ancient churches, historical sites, cultural treasures, beautiful nature, diverse wildlife, lovely beaches, caves and great diving sites make Bohol a top travel destination. Moreover, the warm and friendly character of the people is also one of the things that make Bohol worth visiting.
Our tour started from Iloilo where we live. From Iloilo International Airport, we rode a plane going to Cebu and then checked in a hotel.
The next day, we rode a ferry located in Pier 1 going to Bohol. The fare is around 500 Philippine peso for one (Senior citizens and children 7 years and below get a discount). There’s also a terminal fee to be paid. Our smooth-sailing ferry journey took about 2 hours. From pier 1 Cebu, we took the 7 am ferry ride and arrived in Tagbilaran Wharf by 9 am.
I usually travel without a tour guide but since it would be hard to travel from one place to another especially if you got several destinations to visit in a day plus since I’m with my mom and my little one I decided to book a guided tour online.
The guided Countryside day tour cost us 1,387 pesos for one which included several destinations, nice service vehicle, tour guide driver, entrance fees and buffet lunch at a Loboc floating restaurant. I think the price is worth it. The more you are the cheaper the tour becomes.
Our tour guide/driver named Alan picked us up in the wharf. I’d like to call him Kuya Alan; he was very patient with us and he kept us entertained. He made our countryside day tour smooth sailing and exciting.
Our one-day countryside tour consisted visiting these wonderful places…..
Python and Wildlife Park
Actually, I wanted to skip this destination because I’ve got snake phobia (Ophidiophobia) but I changed my mind as I wanted to overcome my fear which I did…a little bit. Ha ha!
Here, we met Prony (the original one passed away last 2013 and is now preserved) and Prony 2; they are both huge and long pythons measuring 23 feet or 7 meters long.
Aside from various snake species, there are also other animals found in the Python Sanctuary like monkeys, etc.
We had a nice picture taken beside Prony 2, where I don’t look terrified but deep inside I’m like going to pass out. Ha ha! That was for my little one. Hell yeah, it was a really cool experience!
Finally, I get to see a real tarsier (which I usually see in our history or Social Studies books). The Tarsier Sanctuary is a must-see place when in Bohol.
The tarsiers are the smallest primate in the world with very big eyes. Cute! They are so small and delicate not to mention already endangered. Disturb or touch them or they’ll commit suicide that’s why tourists are advised to observe silence, turn off camera flash and avoid touching the adorable miniature primates.
Bilar-Loboc Man-made Forest
Seeing a lot of lush Mahogany trees is just pleasing, rejuvenating plus I felt I was able to breathe truly fresh air. You wouldn’t think that this forest is just man-made, would you? Yes, this forest located in Loboc is a man-made and a reforestation project, that creates a cool and fresh atmosphere. We took a short stop to take a photo of this worthy place to see.
My long wait since I was a kid was over, I can’t imagine myself seeing these iconic cone-shaped hills for real. The Chocolate Hills Complex is the ideal spot to see the beautiful landscape of this natural wonder. Be prepared to climb 214 steps to reach the deck; makes a nice exercise, though.
The Chocolate Hills, located in Carmen, are one of the natural wonders of the Philippines. They are actually made of limestone. During the summer the hills turn brown and green during the rainy season.
You can also ride the ATV or buggy car if you want to get near the hills. Too bad, we canceled our buggy car ride since it rained. A bike zip is also available for the adrenaline junkies.
Loboc River Cruise
The Loboc River cruise was scenic and relaxing. We enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed the buffet consisting of Filipino food. There’s also a live band playing on the floating restaurant, making the cruise more enjoyable.
We were able to see floating souvenir shop, the Busay Falls and local children dancing Filipino folk dances.
I loved the dancing part it as it preserves and brings the culture to life and also made me reminisce my elementary days dancing folk dances! =)
Baclayon Church and Museum
The Baclayon Church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines founded by the Jesuit Priests.
I got teary-eyed after seeing the inside of this Church which was badly damaged by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in 2013.
The church was currently under construction and chemical treatment that’s why people are not allowed to get inside the church.
The convent beside the church was made into a museum; you can find interesting things such as antique statues, centuries-old relics and artifacts.
Picture taking is not allowed inside the museum. At the back of the museum, you can find a nice small garden and a wishing well.
I’m happy to have visited, lit candles and prayed in this church.
There’s also a souvenir shop on the second floor and below the museum.
Apronia Souvenir Shop
We skipped the Butterfly Garden so we headed to Apronia souvenir shop where we bought the famous and delicious delicacy called Peanut Kisses. Sadly, I wasn’t able to get a picture of this shop. There are lots of delicacies and items that can be bought in this shop as ‘pasalubongs’ or gifts for people back home.
Blood Compact Monument
The last stop of our Bohol Countryside day tour is in the Blood Compact Shrine located in Bool District of Tagbilaran City. According to history, this is where Datu Sikatuna, the Chieftain of Bohol and Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the Spanish explorer sealed their friendship.
There’s a nice small hotel beside this site. Just like the people staying in the hotel, we were able to get a good view of the Bohol Sea and the Panglao Island.
So, that ends our countryside day tour in Bohol which lasted for approximately 7.5 hours. What a day!
Kuya Alan dropped us off to Tagbilaran Wharf where we boarded our ferry to Cebu. It was already past 8 pm when we arrived in Cebu. We rested in the hotel to recharge and enjoy Cebu for the next 2 days.
It was indeed a memorable experience! Hopefully, I’ll be able to explore more of Bohol and visit Panglao Island next time.