Home » Guide to the Best Things to Do and See on Bohol Island in the Philippines

Guide to the Best Things to Do and See on Bohol Island in the Philippines

Of all the Philippines’ islands, Bohol is one of the most varied in terms of terrain, landscapes and history, meaning there are a brilliant number of things to and see.

Bohol Island can offer every type of warm-weather activity in one destination. From snorkelling, diving, watersports and beaching, to hiking, cycling, jungle exploring, historic cathedrals and unusual wildlife. It really has it all!  

So this is my guide to all of the top things to do and see on Bohol island in the Philippines:

Guide to Bohol Island: Essentials things to know

Getting to Bohol Island

Fortunately, Bohol is really easy to get to. 

From Manila, you can land directly at Tagbilaran airport on the island and travel onwards by tricycle to your destination. 

Alternatively, if you are coming from Cebu, you can take a ferry directly from Cebu City to Tagbilaran. You can find out more about this ferry route here.

If you’re further along the island, nearer to Kawasan and Oslob, you can actually travel directly from Oslob. You’ll need to ask around a little and it costs a premium, but you can take a local boat straight to the main beach area of Panglao on Bohol Island.

Sailing from Oslob to Panglao, Bohol, Philippines
Sailing from Oslob to Panglao

Where to stay on Bohol Island

There’s loads of great places to stay on Bohol Island, from delightful and well-maintained resort hotels to cool rustic huts alongside the Loboc River.

One of my favourite places to stay on Bohol Island is Bohol Bee Farm, an amazing organic produce farm located near to Panglao. Read my guide to Bohol Bee Farm here.

Alona Beach, one of the main beach locations in Bohol is located on the Panglao area of the island. Here you can find the best luxury hotel in Panglao, the South Palms Resort. At Dumaluan beach, just along the coast, Bohol Beach Club is a lovely hotel, and you can also visit for the day too.

For more affordable hotel options in Panglao:

Wandering around Bohol Bee Farm
Wandering around Bohol Bee Farm

The best things to do and see on Bohol Island

Visit the world-famous Tarsier Monkeys

Located in Corella, deep in Bohol island’s interior, is the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary. Tarsiers are highly endangered animals and are not found in many places in the world. To see the Philippine tarsier in its natural habitat, Bohol Island is the best place in the country to get up close to them.

Entrance fee: 50PHP

Important: Do not use flash photography, nor make loud noises. They also don’t like to be held and can get very distressed from the experience.

Interesting fact: They can turn their heads 360 degrees!

Entrance to Bohol Tarsier Sanctuary
Entrance to Bohol Tarsier Sanctuary
A tiny tarsier monkey at Bohol Tarsier Sanctuary
A tiny tarsier monkey

Get lost in Panglao’s interior

The Bohol jungle is a wonder to explore. Whether on foot, scooter or in a car, it’s beautiful and offers such magical scenery. explore the jungle, whether on foot, bike or in a car.

The wonderful island of Bohol is also a great place to meet the locals and it’s a wonderfully special moment greeting them in the little villages dotted in the jungle.

Everyone is incredibly friendly and it feels very safe!

Friendliest locals on Bohol Island
Friendliest locals!
Exploring Bohol Island
Meeting local kids whilst exploring Bohol

See starfish on Virgin Island

Don’t think you can walk here from Alona Beach – you definitely can’t. I had a funny feeling you could but it is definitely a long boat ride away. Virgin Island is essentially a long sandbar and, unfortunately, there’s always some crowds here. However, it is an awesome spot to find some starfish but beware of the sea urchins everywhere! They’ll hurt!

Finding starfish in Bohol Island
Holding a starfish!

Take a boat trip from Bohol island to the neighbouring islands

It’s really easy to find boat rides to other islands from Bohol – everyone offers them. Balicasag makes for an interesting island with some excellent diving, but huge crowds descend here every day. Another popular option is Pamilacan, again, a great diving spot.

Exploring Balicasag Island, Philippines
Exploring Balicasag Island
Holding a starfish, Bohol Island
Holding a starfish

Visit Nuts Huts and have an amazing lunch by the Loboc river

The most common way to experience the Loboc River on Bohol island is to join one of the (very loud and intrusive) buffet lunch boats that float down, alongside horrendous karaoke. We knew 100% that we didn’t want to do that, so we opted for a more serene option to visit Nuts Huts for lunch. Deep in the jungle and away from the main road, we found the beautiful eco-friendly wooden resort built above the river.

The food was delicious and it was the most relaxing spot imaginable. Hammocks and bean bags is really all they offer and if I return, I would 100% stay in their huts down by the water. This is definitely one of the top things to do on Bohol Island!

Relaxing at Nut Huts on the Loboc River, Bohol
Relaxing at Nut Huts on the Loboc River
Loboc River, Bohol
The view over Loboc River, Bohol
Nuts Huts, Loboc River, Bohol
Nuts Huts

Enjoy sunsets on Alona Beach

Arguably the most popular beach on Panglao, this beachfront offers many bars and with a great sunset view each evening, it’s the ultimate way to relax.

Sunset over Alona Beach, Panglao, Bohol
Sunset over Alona Beach, Panglao
Alona Beach, Panglao, Bohol
Making four legged friends on Alona Beach

Visit Bohol Bee Farm

We ended up staying at Bohol Bee Farm for a few nights – read my review on this amazing hotelhere. As possibly one of my favourite places I have ever stayed, I would also highly recommend it to day-trippers for excellent organic locally grown food and a really informative and interesting farm tour. It is one of those beautiful places that really has to been seen to be appreciated – words cannot do it justice!

Another place that is definitely amongst the top things to do on Bohol Island!

Swimming pools at Bohol Bee Farm, Philippines
Swimming pools at Bohol Bee Farm
Breakfast at Bohol Bee Farm
Someone’s watching me eat my breakfast at Bohol Bee Farm

Experience Dumaluan Beach

This beach, drawing more locals than tourists, is a bit of a gem on Bohol island. Whilst it does have a handful of high-end resorts (Bohol Beach Club is awesome), it is actually a lot quieter than Alona Beach. It is also cleaner, wider and the sea is incredible. Unfortunately, all our days there were a little bit cloudy but we would highly recommend enjoying drinks and burgers at Bohol Beach Club if the weather is inclement for you too!

Beautiful Dumaluan Beach, Bohol
Beautiful Dumaluan Beach
Smoothies at Bohol Beach Club
Enjoying smoothies at Bohol Beach Club

Visit the Baclayon Church on Bohol island

Sadly, this beautiful Spanish church (founded in 1596) was near destroyed in the earthquakes of October 2013. Declared a National Treasure along with three other Roman Catholic churches, Baclayon Church received less damage than the others, some of which were reduced to rubble. However, this church is definitely worth visiting and your entry fee goes towards its conservation.

Baclayon Church, Bohol
The beautiful exterior of Baclayon Church, Bohol

Visit the Bohol Forest

Entirely man-made and stretching for 2km between Loboc and Bilar, the trees were planted to combat global warming and deforestation. Mainly composed of uniform Mahogany trees, it is a sight to behold and a beautiful road winds between the trees. It is really quite impressive – there is a definite coolness and freshness to the air.

The Bohol Forest
Wandering in the Bohol Forest

Explore the Chocolate Hills

Undoubtedly the most famous site on Bohol islandand possibly the Philippines, tourists flock from around the world to see these unusual formations. There are an estimated 1,300 hills within a 20sq mile patch of land, and they stretch into the distance as far as they eye can see. They’re called the chocolate hills because in the dry season, the grass turns brown. Fairly unoriginal, but on our visit, the Chocolate Hills were green!

The many domes are actually grass-covered limestone, but geologists still debate to this day how they formed. The most commonly accepted consensus is that they were formed thousands of years ago by the uplift of coral deposits. Alternatively, the Chocolate Hills might have erupted from the sea in a massive geologic shift.

Either way, they’re definitely worth seeing and easily one of top things to do on Bohol Island.

Chocolate Hills, Bohol
The view over the Chocolate Hills, Bohol

Visit the Butterfly Sanctuary

A really interesting visit, you can learn a lot in a quick visit here. We found our guide to rush us around at 100mph, but it was a lot of fun all the same.

Butterfly Sanctuary, Bohol
The Butterfly Sanctuary

Wander through the Rice Paddies

After all, South East Asia is well known for them. Whilst not as spectacular and long as perhaps Bali and Vietnam, the rice paddies on Bohol island are still beautiful and peaceful. They line the roads for miles on many of the islands, very pleasant!

Bohol's rice paddies
Beautiful rice paddies on Bohol

Try the local food on Bohol island

So my absolute favourite was Maruya, which is essentially local bananas, fried, painted with extra butter (literally with a paintbrush!) and then rolled in sugar! Delicious! Do you see the happiness in my face!

Other popular snacks are Bohol peanut kisses (shaped like the Chocolate Hills!), Broa which is a local cookie that literally melts in your mouth and Torta, like the spanish-kind.

Local food on Bohol Island
Enjoying buttery bananas in Bohol!

Catch the local musicians

I’d never heard anything like this guy. He played ‘the leaf’ like a flute, and honestly, it was amazing! Such a talented fella!

Bohol, Philippines
Talented leaf playing musician!

Book a local tour

If all of this sounds great, but you’d like someone else to take care of the logistics, consider booking a trip with GetYourGuide. Ideas below:

The top things to do and see on Bohol Island, Philippines

So there, that’s it! I hope you’ve found my guide to the top things to do and see on Bohol Island useful and that maybe I’ve inspired you to visit this gorgeous island on your travels! If you’ve already been to Bohol, let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!

You might also find some of my other posts useful, including my 3 week itinerary for the Philippines and my top tips for travelling in the Philippines here.

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Disclaimer: This visit to Bohol was entirely paid for by myself and there was no involvement from the tourism board or a hotel. This is an independent guide.

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  1. Brian
    April 10, 2017 / 10:57 pm

    The bananas look like something I’d like. Never heard of Bohol before.

  2. Nausheen
    April 11, 2017 / 2:24 am

    Love this! My favorite is the starfish but I think I’d be too scared to hold it like that!

  3. Sandy N Vyjay
    April 11, 2017 / 5:12 am

    The islands and beaches of the Philippines are really mesmerizing. Bohol is literally looking like a slice of paradise. What wonderful beaches and the sea looks really captivating. All the makings of a great time.

  4. Tom Stevenson
    April 11, 2017 / 1:17 pm

    I loved my time in Bohol, don’t think I saw quite as much as you though! The Tarsier monkeys were great, didn’t realise just how small they were until we got up close!

    The church was amazing as well, even if it was in a bad way after the earthquake. I think we came across another one somewhere that was in much worse state. Was ridiculous how you could just walk in there if you wanted. After working on the rebuild in Chrisrtchurch, where everything was fenced off ,it was quite the shock!

  5. flightosia
    May 24, 2017 / 6:23 pm

    i liked Bohol place is located in Philippines. i m planning for travel in Bohol . very low cost ticket price in Philippines.

  6. ALI
    July 20, 2017 / 12:18 pm

    Definitely on my bucket list! Looks amazing..

  7. February 19, 2019 / 7:10 am

    Super excited to visit here this year. We do a lot of video work so Internet is a must, we were thinking about basing ourselves in Cebu and ferrying there. You think this is a good idea? Or is the internet ok there ?

    • claire_stokes@msn.com
      February 19, 2019 / 8:50 am

      Internet was pretty good in Bohol actually 🙂 Cebu would be better for internet but it’s definitely more chilled out in Bohol. Hope you have an amazing time, sounds very exciting!

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