Bohol, Philippines: Travel Guide

How to Get There

From Abroad

If you’re coming from abroad, you can fly through Manila or Cebu. Better option is to take Cebu as it will save you the hassle of going through Manila in which you may need to transfer from NAIA to domestic airport.

From Manila

Coming from Manila, you can take a direct flight to Tagbilaran. Airlines with domestic flights from Manila to Tagbilaran City are Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia.

From Cebu

And if you’re coming from Cebu, you can take a boat to Tagbilaran in which you have two (2) options: take a 1.5 hours trip with a fast ferry (with 10 trips daily), or 4 hours trip with a regular boat. Fast ferries in Cebu are SuperCat, OceanJet and Weesam Express.

How Long to Stay

It will depend on which places you want to visit. In my opinion, two days is sufficient to visit the popular tourist spots in Bohol, which we did: spent one day each on the city tour and Panglao.

Where to Stay

If you have a tight budget, then opt to stay inside Tagbilaran City. There are many hotels available near Tagbilaran airport and port which are cheaper than hotels in Panglao Island.

If you have enough budget and prefer to stay in hotels near the beach, then go to the Panglao Island.

Tierra Azul. Image by Chris via Alona Beach Guide.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to book in advance so we let Kuya Dodong (he is our tour coordinator, see more details about him and his tour below) to book for us. After our city tour, his driver brought us to the Tiera Azul Resort which is just a quick walk away from the Alona Beach.  A 2-pax bedroom for P2,000 per night (as of 2016) includes hot shower and a breakfast. Oh, and don’t forget that you can take away your breakfast if you have an early tour the next morning, they can pack it in a Styrofoam… and we ate ours in the boat while on the island hoping tour. And don’t forget to bring your garbage back to your hotel. 😉

All in all, Tiera Azul is a nice hotel especially if you’re in a tight budget. But I still suggest that you do your own research and book in advance to save.

Getting Around

Due to my very busy schedule when we’re about to go to Bohol, I wasn’t able to prepare in advance and create a proper itinerary for our trip. So we decided to get a tour and luckily found Kuya Dodong on the internet.

Kuya Dodong

When I first heard about Kuya Dodong, I thought he’s just working alone and uses his own car for rent and tour. But we always find his name when we are searching the internet for tour service in Bohol. FYI, Kuya Dodong was also featured in Korina Sanchez’s Rated K. We once watched it (though I can’t find the link anymore) and that’s when we knew he is legit.

We inquired to Kuya Dodong via text and e-mail. He immediately responded with sample itinerary and prices for 3D2N and 4D3N packages. Gladly, he accepted our request for a customized 2D1N package for 2 persons with his prize tag of P8,880. Expensive? It’s actually cheaper than other tour providers. And did I mentioned that only the two of us are the passengers of the private car and boat? Yes, we were treated like a VIP.

We haven’t met Kuya Dodong during our tour and it was only his driver who picked us up (forgot his name). They were very accommodating, punctual, and they accept extra request like stopping over to some souvenir shops and even add location for our tour WITHOUT extra cost. The driver gladly let us visit the ShipHaus when we saw it along the way even it is not included in our agreed tour.

You can contact Kuya Dodong through the following:

Places and Activities

Below are some of the places you can visit and some activities that you can do when you visit Bohol.

What to Eat

Below are the foods that we tried during our visit in Bohol.

We had our lunch on day 2 at Bohol Bee Farm where we tried (1) organic garden salad, (2) steamed tilapia, (3) spicy kinilaw na talong, with brown rice and some complimentary snacks, and it was very delicious. Spreads and jams are also available in Bohol Bee Farm.

Peanut kisses and calamay can be bought in most of the souvenir shops.

When you buy calamay, please remember that any food in liquid form (even malapot) are not allowed in hand-carry. Ours was confiscated during baggage checking.

Sample Itinerary and Budget

Below is a sample itinerary for 2 persons base on our trip in Bohol.

Sample Itinerary for 2 Persons
Time Description Transpo Amount
Day 1: Arrival in Tagbilaran, Bohol
6:00 AM ETD: Manila (to Tagbilaran) Plane
7:25 AM ETA: Tagbilaran
Kuya Dodong’s 2D1N Bohol Tour 8,880
8:00 AM Countryside Tour Car
Chocolate Hills
ShipHau (30) 60
Loboc Man-made Forest
Tarsier Sanctuary
Tigbao Hanging Bridge
12:00 PM Loboc River Cruise (with Buffet Lunch)
Butterfly Sanctuary
Python – Prony
Baclayon Church & Museum
Blood Compact (Sandugo) Site
4:00 PM Souvenir Shop
5:00 PM Check-in @ Tiera Azul Resort (1 night) 2,000
6:00 PM Alona Beach
7:00 PM Dinner
9:00 PM Back to Hotel
Day 2: Dolphin, Island, Panglao & Departure
 5:00 AM Wake-up call
 6:00 AM Dolphin watching  Boat
 8:00 AM Island Hopping
Balicasag Island
Island user’s fee (100) 200
Swimming guide (150) 300
Snorkel & mask (100) 200
Big clam watching (200) 400
Virgin Island (Pungtud Island)
 11:30 AM Back to hotel
 12:00 PM Check-out
Panglao/Dauis Tour  Car
Shell Museum
Bohol Bee Farm
Late lunch @ Bohol Bee Farm
Hinagdanan Cave
Dauis Church Ruins
 6:00 PM to Tagbilaran Airport
 7:00 PM ETD: Bohol  Plane
 8:15 PM ETA: Manila
Total Expenses (2 persons): PHP 12,040

Yes, it’s roughly P12K for two (2) persons, please note that it doesn’t include airfare and food yet. Probably a little bit expensive for a 2D1N trip and that’s what you get when you don’t plan and book in advance. But you can still lower your expenses by inviting more people to your group.

Nevertheless, with the VIP treatment of Kuya Dodong and his group, it’s worth every penny and we very much enjoyed our Bohol trip.

This is a map of the places I visited for this journey to serve as your visual guide. You may save it on your Google Maps and view it for later use by pressing the “star” icon on the upper-left corner of the map. View the full instruction here.

Have fun!

This post is based on my personal travel experiences and research for this trip. Please feel free to share your experiences, as well as, suggestions or your questions on comments below.

I hope this helps you on your next travel. Enjoy!

References:

“Getting to Bohol”. Retrieved from: http://www.bohol.ph/article12.html

(2011) “Getting to Bohol, Philippines”. Retrieved from: http://www.bohol.com/tour/getting-to-bohol/

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