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Top Things to Do in One Day in Bohol, Philippines

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Bohol is located in the Visayas, a 2-hour boat ride away from Cebu. It’s the 10th largest island in the Philippines. Its extraordinary attractions make Bohol a major tourist destination. People come here for the white beaches and beautiful nature with its diverse wildlife.

I’ll tell you, Bohol is a fun place that has so much to offer! I came here for to see: Chocolate Hills, Bike Zip, Tarsiers, and few more that will be mentioned throughout this post.

I had such a wonderful time in Bohol, riding with a Deaf local around all day on motorbike and enjoying the stunning views of nature.

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Ferry from Cebu City to Tagbilaran City, Bohol

After I was finished with the Sky Adventure Experience, I headed out to Bohol. Instead of a fast ferry, I took a regular ferry (or in other words, slow) that left at 10:30pm under Lite Shipping Corporation and it was a little over 5 hours. I arrived in the capital of the island of Bohol in the Philippines, Tagbilaran City, around 3am.

You can easily purchase your ticket at the Cebu Port: Pier 1 & Ouano Wharf in Mandaue city.

For schedules and rates, go to this page on their official website.

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Photo Courtesy: Google Images

Upon arrival in Bohol, I immediately started walking out the docking area as my friend advised me to find a local who would let me ride their bike for cheap because drivers near the dock will give you ridiculously high fare. Sometimes it’d be 3,000 (~$66 US Dollars) for 10-minute ride or even less. Definitely overpriced. He stated that a normal fare for a bike ride by local should be up to 300 PHP (~$6 US Dollars).

It wouldn’t be worth your time catching a biker near the docking area. Be sure to go out of that area to find cheaper cost.

I caught a biker when I got out of the area. Sure enough, he actually attempted to charge me for 3,000 PHP anyways. $66 for 10-minute ride to TR3ATS Guest House? Oh, PLEASE.

I actually scoffed and refused. I just gestured with a finger pointing down while moving the hand up and down. I was laughing when I told him to keep going down as he slowly offered lower fare one at a time until he finally reached from 3,000 PHP to 250 PHP (~$5 US Dollars).

The biker was surprised that I knew the ‘local standard’ rate. He gave me a look and a thumb-up as if he was saying, “good one.”

TR3ATS Guest House

My stay at TR3ATS Guest House in Bohol was sponsored as well. It was agreed through email before I came to Cebu. I only stayed here for one night as I left Bohol at night on the next day.

The place looks new and modern. Very clean. Nice and friendly staff. They were very accommodating and they would get me whatever I need as soon as possible. You can book the other stay option through Bohol Villas

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I had a private room with private bathroom. It was air conditioned. Beds and linen were good and clean. Nice bathroom with running hot shower. Faucet and toilet water runs good. I felt very cozy.

On the plus side, the room came with a large LCD TV with English cable channels mounted on the wall.

Anyways, I pretty much knocked out first thing I laid my eyes on the bed when I arrived.

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In the morning, they offered complimentary breakfast at the lobby and it was pretty decent for me. Lobby had a 50+ inch flat screen TV with cable channels, a couch and four sets of small tables with four chairs each. They got free WiFi

Also, they got a nice pool. It had been shared with Alniño Coffee Shop. The coffee shop came with a sports bar as well, so there was a good mix of locals and travelers.

Overall, it was a pleasant stay.

Contact Information 

Disclosure: This review was sponsored by TR3ATS Guest House. I received a free accommodation for one night in an exchange of a review in this blog post.

Garden Cafe

After breakfast, I had to meet Noel Ganados at Garden Cafe at 9 o’clock in the morning. He was a Deaf local guy who I got connected through a friend of mine in Cebu.

Garden Cafe is located in the heart of Tagbilaran City. Over the past 24 years of operation, it has become a regular landmark in this city of nearly 200,000 persons. Most of the service staff are deaf. They can communicate by sign language or through writing. The restaurant is owned and operated by Bohol Foundation for the Deaf and Disabled, a close working partner with International Deaf Education Association (IDEA).

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There’s an Old Western theme to the restaurant because the owner, George Dennis Drake, is from Montana. Because Filipinos have a difficult time getting out to visit other countries and other cultures, so he decided to bring Montana to them. All of the authentic antiques displayed in the Garden Cafe are from his family and friends back in Billings, Montana.

Anyways, I took a walk from the guest house and arrived there within 10 minutes. It wasn’t long at all.

There were four Deaf female employees there greeting me. They were so thrilled to have a Deaf customer coming in, so they gave me a cup of the coffee on the house, which was very kind and appreciated. While I was waiting for Noel to arrive, we all chatted and had some good laughed together.

After a kind greeting upon Noel’s arrival, we started discussing what we could see throughout the day. We both agreed on the following:

  • Chocolate Hills

  • Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP)

  • Mahogany Man-Made Forest

  • Bamboo Hanging Bridge

  • The Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Bohol Python and Wildlife Park

  • Hinagdanan Cave

  • Alona Beach

Before we headed out for the day, he asked me to cover food and gas throughout the day because he felt like I was a good friend and he didn’t want to get paid by a friend, so he would feel contented with me covering his food and gas. I honored that as well.

Once we were done with planning out the day, I hopped on his motorbike and went out for the day. We pretty much rode on the bike to all of the attractions all day. I have to admit that I was lucky to have that, otherwise I probably would have to spend an extra day if I had to take public transportations.

Chocolate Hills

The Chocolate Hills are a famous tourist attraction of Bohol. They have been declared the country’s third National Geological Monument and proposed for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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There had been from 1,260 to 1,776 hills spread over an area of more than 50 square kilometers (31 miles). Hills weren’t very high, from 30 to 120 meters. The sloping mounds changed colors with the season. During the rainy season, the hills are covered in green grass and during the dry season, the landscape changed into brown shades, hence the name.

Even today, scientists aren’t able to figure out how the Chocolate Hills were formed, but they believe that the grassy hills were once coral reefs that erupted from the sea in a massive geologic shift. Wind and water put on the finishing touches over hundreds of thousands of years.

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Noel and I went to their observation platform where there were several restaurants, souvenir shops, and “Chocolate Hills Resort” hotel nearby. It was nice that the hills could be seen on the way to the observation platform, but the original viewing station “Chocolate Hills Complex” located on one of the hills had been partially closed due to the destruction from the earthquake of 2013. I hope it will be repaired and restored to the original appearance soon.

By the way, there would an entrance fee of 50 PHP (~$1 US Dollar), but they waived the fee because I was Deaf.

Besides, the hills were so beautiful to look at. I definitely would recommend you to visit this place if you’re coming to Bohol.

Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP)

Want some adrenaline while you’re at Chocolate Hills? This is definitely the place to be.

Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP) () is the latest eco-tourism adventure park situated in Carmen, Bohol.The park offers thrilling adventure activities like hiking trails, tree top adventures and the famous Bike Zip. You can find more details on their attractions here.

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Package rates also can be found here.

Like I did with the Sky Adventure Experience in Cebu, I walked in and turned in the sponsorship request letter with statistics from the media kit. They agreed to sponsor me for an exchange of a review in a blog post. Since only I was sponsored, Noel decided to sit out on this one.

I was granted with a package of two treetop rope challenges where I got to try both of their hanging bridges and Zipline plus a ride on Bike Zip (also known as “The Rush”).

Truth to be told, “The Rush” said it all. It definitely defined the adrenaline rush I received while riding on the bike along the zip. The bike was wobbly most of the time, but it was secured with the use of state-of-the-art safety equipment. I enjoyed the picturesque of the grassy limestone hills while pedaling my way 150-feet above.

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Remember, I’m an adrenaline junkie, so the Bike Zip is my favorite part of the whole things. The rope courses are okay, yet fun! Besides, Chocolate Hills Adventure Park is the only adventure park that offers the exciting Bike Zip in Bohol. The ride truly gives me an unique experience of seeing the famous Chocolate Hills. By the way, you can buy a bike for less than $500 from the nearby shop if you don’t want to spend money on rent.

Besides, they have a viewing platform where you will be able to see the another side of the hills, which I think is rather better than the one I went beforehand.

Contact Information 

  • Address: Sitio Camanayon, Brgy. Buenos Aires, Carmen, Bohol, Philippines

  • Phone Number: +63 9326677098

  • Operating Hours: Open daily from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM (including holidays)

  • Email: chocolatehills88@yahoo.com

  • Website: http://chocolatehillsadventurepark.com/

Disclosure: This review was sponsored by Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP). I received a free package in an exchange of a review in this blog post.

Mahogany Man-Made Forest

While on the way to the Bamboo Hanging Bridge, we stopped by for a look at the man-made forest in Loboc, which was a very simple and pleasing experience. It was so gorgeous that it was hard for me to imagine that this was not a forest made exclusively by nature. Noel and I didn’t really stay for long, but it was still worth my time seeing it.

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The manmade forest is a 2-kilometer stretch of mahogany trees that carpet the sloping ground where the city of Loboc meets Bilar. According to my friend and the online researches I had. The trees were planted as a part of a reforestation project started more than 50 years ago, to replace trees lost from watershed kaingin (slash-and-burn farming) in Bohol.

Bamboo Hanging Bridge

Before crossing the bridge, I paid 20 PHP (~$0.44 US Dollar) as entrance fee. It would be used for the maintenance of the bridge and amenities. The environmental fee (10 PHP from the entrance fee) is to preserve, maintain and protect the environment and the bridge.

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The bridge was originally built using just bamboo and rope. Now, the rope has been secured with steel cables, giving added safety and stability.The deck of the bridge is formed out of woven bamboo slats. In places some of these appear broken but its still sturdy enough to take the weight of tourists, locals and even small motorcycles.

While crossing the bridge, you would be able to appreciate the great view of the emerald Sipatan River below. It was very bouncy and wobbly for me. I actually slipped couple of time. Be sure to keep an eye on your steps and be careful. =)

On the other side of the bridge, I spotted a very famous man, The Buko King, who could strip a coconut (buko) in less than 10 seconds using just his teeth. Noel and I decided to purchase a coconut (it was really cheap, less that $1 US Dollar). I was amused by how delicious it was while sharing the coconut milk with Noel.

The Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary

Must see place! Adorable cutest little primates with giant eyes and chinchilla fur. They’re so TINY!

The sanctuary was established in 1996 by the Philippine Tarsier Foundation, Inc. (PTFI) to protect the tarsier as they are now one of the World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates due to its vulnerability and the absence of law protecting it from hunters in the past. The tarsiers would be allowed to live and reproduce freely in a natural setting here.

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One thing about the Tarsiers is that they are so delicate to the point that it will commit suicide when it gets too much stress. When placed in a cage, it continuously bumps its head to the metal bars until it dies.  These tiny critters may look sluggish and weak during the day but they are like Master Yoda at night. They can do very large jumps to catch insects and are very swift to evade predators.

Because of that fact, I was told to strictly observe the tarsiers in silence to avoid interrupting their sleep. The use of camera flash and touching them were strictly prohibited as well.

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Besides, I saw about 6 of ’em.

Not kidding, these adorable creatures are so cute and harmless looking, you’d wish you had one as a pet.

Bohol Python and Wildlife Park

Noel and I actually went to this place to see the biggest snake in the world. Unfortunately, we didn’t know that the original one already passed away back in 2013, but they were growing a new python anyways.

The Bohol Python and Wildlife Park is a fun place to visit and see some of their different animals, birds, and reptiles and photo the largest snake in captivity. You can also purchase homemade cakes, snacks, and souvenirs and take interesting photographs.

DCIM107GOPRONaturally, I became connected to the python when I was holding the snake in my hands. We kind of interacted and played. I’m fine with snakes in general, but I cannot stand spiders.

The locals and people watching me were screaming in fear. They thought I was crazy.

Am I crazy?

Hinagdanan Cave

Here, Zoel and I were supposed to pay 20 PHP (~$0.44 US Dollar), but the fee was waived because both of us were Deaf.

When I was at the cave, I learned one interesting thing about the cave. It was never intended to be found the first place. It was actually by accident.

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Here’s the story:

Hinagdanan Cave was found accidentally by the owner while clearing branches and old tree trunks for a farm. He saw two holes and throw stones at it out of curiosity. He heard a splash and got intrigued on what’s inside. Then he built a cemented ladder in order for him to get down the cave. He went down and discovered a hidden cave with giant limestones and a deep blue lagoon in the middle. The lagoon turned into a swimming spot for the locals. He named it Hinagdanan because it meant “laddered.”

I didn’t swim in the lagoon because I wasn’t wearing my swimsuit and I didn’t have time to change and swim. I was on a tight schedule.

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Besides, inside the cave was just beautiful. The cave ad been lit by sunlight which beam through holes in the ceiling. You could see the sun rays reflecting off the blue lagoon.

Also, keep in mind that the cave is already slippery, so be sure to watch where you step because I have almost fallen into the water myself. Plus, Sometimes the path down the cave is challenging. You will need to make sure your footwear is durable unless you want to go home on bare feet.

Alona Beach

Well, the very last attraction of the day!

Alona Beach is the most popular and developed place in Panglao Island. It is an 1.5 kilometer long stretch lined with coconut palm trees. The place is truly beautiful with its white sandy beach and crystal clear water. FYI, there is a fantastic snorkeling spot right front of the beach as there is beautiful coral reef down there, but I didn’t snorkel. You can if you want.

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It was about dinner time when I arrived there. After a long day of adventure, we dove into the water without hesitation. Then we bought some beer and drank together with pleasure. We pretty much chatted the night away.

After that, Noel dropped me off at the docking area where I boarded my ferry to Iloilo City and then to Boracay.

What a day, huh?

My experience with this trip was amazing. What about yours? Feel free to share your stories here.

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Calvin Young

Calvin Young

Hey buddy! I go by Calvin and I'm a Deaf traveler. I love exploring the world to discover and share amazing stories, useful tips, stunning photographs, jaw-dropping videos and many more with you all! I aim to empower and inspire the Deaf people that they can do anything they want through my travels.

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Suzanne

Thank you for all this wonderful information. I really enjoyed sharing your trip.

Cathy Carandang

Was helpful Calvin! All the best!
– Cath from Philippines

Amazing post and photos too! Your photos looks stunning and gorgeous! Thank you for sharing this awesome and wonderful information! I’m glad I found your blog, I really appreciate all the time and effort you put into sharing your experience! Thanks!

Zaireen Kai

Amazing photos and interesting blog, Calvin. Thanks for sharing!

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