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7 Best things to do in Bohol, Philippines

Bohol is a great island below Cebu in the Central Visayas region in the Philippines. It is home to unique tiny primates called tarsiers, extraordinary Teletubby hills, beautiful forests, beaches and more. There is a lot to do and see on this island, but the distances are very big. We accepted the challenge of finding the best spots all within a maximum 2-hour drive (by motorcycle) away from the central town and harbour, Tagbilaran. Here’s a list of the 10 best things to do in Bohol, Philippines.

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What to do

Around Tagbilaran

Tagbilaran is the main city of Bohol and is the place where you will arrive by ferry. Many activities can be done from here.

Tarsier Sanctuary Corella

We absolutely love animals and for us, this was one of the highlights of our trip to Bohol. Philippine Tarsiers are very small (about 8,5-12 cm) carnivorous primates with huge eyes and long bald tails. They cannot move their eyelids, so they move their entire head instead, which is a little creepy. We think they are adorable and remind us of baby Yoda. They are some of the oldest primates on the planet (55 million years old) and have elongated hands and feet to hold themselves in trees.

They really don’t do well in captivity with humans, noise, and light around, causing them to become suicidal and crash their heads into trees. This makes breeding programs hardly possible, that’s why this Tarsier conservation sanctuary was founded. The sanctuary is supported by ecotourism foundations such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Tourism. Lucky for you, you can visit them as a tourist and contribute to their survival.

There are a couple of sanctuaries in Bohol, we visited the Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella. Park your vehicle in their car park, expect to pay around 150 Philippine pesos (around €2.50) and prepare for a muddy short walk. Keep in mind that tarsiers get very stressed by noises and that talking, shouting or screaming is strictly prohibited when entering the sanctuary. A free guide will walk you through the sanctuary and point out the little sleepy tarsiers for you to take pictures of. Good thing, because the little buggers are very hard to spot.

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Bilar Man-made forest

Oh, how we love ecotourism activities! Here’s another one: The Bohol Mahogany Forest, or better known as the Bilar Man-made forest. This 2 km-long forest was as its name indicates built by people as a reforestation project. Make a stop on your way to the Chocolate Hills and admire the large overhanging trees from the road. It is a beautiful stop to take some pictures. More into an active holiday? You can go mountain biking or hike in this forest!

Be aware! Within the man-made forest, there is a tarsier conservation area to be found. It is a popular place to see Tarsiers because it is located close to the chocolate hills. However, this is not an official government-approved sanctuary. They hold the tarsiers captive in small viewing areas, which is incredibly stressful for these little creatures and decreases the duration of their lives by almost half. Please reconsider visiting and go to the tarsier sanctuary in Corella instead.

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Chocolate or Teletubby Hills?

By far the most popular thing to do in Bohol is the Chocolate Hills. They are called like this because in some months (March until June) the grass turns brown. We visited in January when the hills were green. Although the hills were not iconically ‘brown’, we would still recommend visiting. This unique natural phenomenon cannot be found elsewhere in the world and is very interesting to see. They truly reminded us of the Teletubby hills and were waiting for Tinky Winky to stroll down one of the bulbs.

The hills once used to be corals that date from the ice age and eroded into the limestone, round-shaped hills that appear today. From the Chocolate Hills Complex close to Carmen you have a stunning view of the hills. Park your car, tricycle driver or motorcycle at the car park, buy your entrance tickets for 100 pesos (around €1.70) and wait for the golf cars to take you uphill. There you’ll find a small café and a bunch of stairs that will take you up to the viewpoint.

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Blood Pact Shrine

The blood pact shrine is an important monumental statue that illustrates the agreement the Spanish and local Filipino’s closed when the Spanish arrived to colonize the Philippines. It tells the story about the sealed ‘friendship’ between the ruler Rajah Sikatuna and the Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, the leader of the Spanish. The monument remembers the blood compact. It’s interesting, if you ask local people about it, that they will tell the story of mutual friendship instead of hostile colonization. This is a great example of how hospitable, friendly and forgiving Filipino people are.

JVGH+XMM, J.P, EK Inting St, Tagbilaran City, 6300 Bohol

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Chido Café

If you’re visiting the Blood Pact Shrine, you cannot miss the Chido Café located about 50 meters away. This colourfully designed café with healthy food, great coffee and an incredible sea view over Panglao is worth a visit. Take a break, sit back and enjoy the view.

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Panglao Island

Panglao island is connected to Bohol by a couple of bridges that can be crossed by car. The island is popular among tourists and many delicious restaurants and luxurious hotels are located here. Because many tourists find their way here, it can get quite crowded sometimes. Up to you where to stay! Anyway, Panglao is worth a visit as there are a couple of awesome things to do.

St. Augustin Church

The Philippines is a catholic country and religion is a big part of Filipino culture. We ran into this church by accident as we were driving back to Tagbilaran. Having the sunset in the background, this little church was so picturesque! Imagine the sun going down, and kids playing football in the grass while the priest sings his biblical lyrics. It was very beautiful and rather a great experience than an actual highlight.

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Alona Beach

White beach, green palms and a warm breeze coming from the blue sea? Alona beach is your place to be. It is a really nice beach with diving sites, boats and soft sand. It does get crowded at times, so it’s best to go early if you want to have a calm and peaceful experience. This beach is close to many great restaurants and hotels and awesome for an afternoon stroll.

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How to get there

To visit Bohol or Panglao you have several options:


From Cebu City, go to the Cebu pier 1 and take the ferry to Tagbilaran. The company Oceanjet offers fast ferries and will take you in approximately 2 hours to the Tagbilaran pier. Expect to pay 800 pesos (around €13,50,-) for the normal tourist class, and another 100 pesos (around €1.70) if you’re carrying a backpack or suitcase. They will ask to pay for your luggage after going through security at the port. They will also ask you to pay an additional terminal fee of 50 pesos (around €0.85).

Book ferry tickets here


You can grab a plane to Panglao International Airport, very close to Alona beach. Fly directly from Manila, Davao or El Nido. The prices fluctuate considerably, the best tip we can give you is to use Skyscanner for booking your flights and book far in advance.

Book flights here

Where to stay


Travelbee hotel

Tagbilaran is the city where most ferries will take you. Before continuing your trip, it could be nice to spend a night close to the pier. Travelbee hotel is located a 5-minute walk from the ferry pier and offers very comfortable beds. They have a space to work and breakfast is included. Learn from our mistake and book online to save a lot of money for this place!

Prices start from €25,- a night.

Sweet Home Boutique Hotel

This hotel is also located close to the ferry and offers beautifully designed rooms with nice beds and a delicious breakfast. Some rooms offer a balcony with a sea view.

Prices start from €43,- a night.

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Alona Beach

Ohana Panglao Resort

Want a peaceful place located close to the beach (about 1 km) but away from the crowds? This is your place to go. Spacious rooms, a pleasantly heated pool and great Wi-Fi. They offer a free shuttle to the beach.

Prices for private rooms start from €34,- a night.

Ultra Mint Dive resort

This beautifully designed resort is located around 10–15 minutes from Alona beach and offers both private rooms and dorms. It has a lovely pool.

Prices for dorm beds start from €27,- a night and private rooms from €70,-.

Glamping Alona

More into unique experiences? Glamping Alona is a great fit. They offer a camping experience in luxurious tents with a fan and bed. There is a pool and the beach is about a 20–25 minutes walk away.

Prices for tents start around €24,- a night.

Where to eat


Chido Café

A colourful café with a stunning sunset and healthy food.


Umaya offers delicious Japanese food like sushi, ramen miso and more traditional set dishes. You’ll get a complimentary cup of hot or cold tea and water. During the weekends, they offer all-you-can-eat options.

Spindrift Restobar Lite Port

Up for some fast food in a bar? Go to Spindrift bar. This karaoke bar has local people singing their heart out every night and offers simple, but tasty burgers. A hilarious experience. Their mango shake is also really nice.

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Alona Beach

Molly Bistro

This place is beautifully designed in Bohemian style and the food is absolutely delicious. They also have great cocktails for reasonable prices. Try the seafood pasta! You won’t regret it.


Go here to have breakfast with some great fruit bowls and a decent coffee.

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