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Bohol is one of the most popular islands in the Philippines and is located right next to Cebu. Due to that popularity, the island itself is well-developed in comparison with other destinations. For instance, it has well-built roads and houses international fast-food chains. This ultimate guide will give you a great insight into all the things you need to know before heading to Bohol.


How to get to Bohol

You have two options to get to Bohol: You can either take a flight to the island or catch a boat from Cebu.

By plane:

There are direct flights from Cebu and Manila available and especially if you’re already in Manila, taking the flight will be the most convenient way to get to Bohol.

By boat:

If you’re already on the bigger neighboring island of Cebu, I definitely would recommend taking the boat. There are different ferry operators available, and I had a good experience with the company OceanJet. It’s a bigger boat company and, by Filipino standards, is well organized. They do have official departure times (check departure time here), which will make travel planning easier for you and lets you combine it with a sightseeing city tour in Cebu. Just make sure, you’re at the terminal 30 minutes before departure.

The whole ride will cost you around 850 PHP and takes approximately around 2.5 hours if it's not already too dark outside, you can also enjoy an amazing view from the upper deck.

Things to do

Bohol is packed with so many things and should, therefore, be on everyone's Philippine travel list.

Chocolate Hills

Chocolate Hills belongs to the main tourist attraction of the Philippines. It’s around 2.5 hours from Panglao by scooter away and while you’re heading towards the Chocolate Hills, you can visit other tourist attractions as well.

To get the best view of the Chocolate Hills, you need to pay 50 PHP, where transportation to the view deck is included. On top of the view deck, you can see thousands of rock formations that, depending on the season, turn brown. That’s also where the name comes from.

There’s a tail that the Chocolate Hills were created by a giant, who once was so sad about being rejected by a woman, that wherever his teardrops fell, a hill grew. In reality, the rock formations were created millions of years ago by the uplift of coral deposits and the action of rainwater and erosion.

You probably ask yourself, if a 2.5-hour drive is worth it. Let me say you this, it depends on your interests and conditions. If the weather is nice, you do enjoy driving around with the scooter and want to explore Bohol's inland, yes. Maybe you're very interested in geology, then I highly suggest seeing the Chocolate Hills, since it's a unique creation of nature and it can only be seen in Bohol. Otherwise, don't do it just to have it seen. You'll presumably spend 20 minutes on top of the hill, surrounded by many tourists, take your photo and then you get bored. There's not much to do around the area and you can't wander around as well.

Visiting a Tarsier Sanctuary

Tarsiers are the smallest primates in the world and can only be seen in the Philippines, such as Bohol.

Frankly, I’m not a fan of doing any animal attraction stuff, that’s why I skipped the swimming with the whale sharks thing. However, I googled about visiting the tarsiers and did my research and it turned out that it's eco-friendly and by visiting a sanctuary you're going to support the preservation and protection of their habitat. A big benefit is also that seeing a tarsier is kind of guaranteed and you could see them in wildlife too, but finding one without a guide is almost impossible.

Drive through Man Mades Forest

If you’re already heading to the Chocolate Hills you cross the Man Mades Forest and this sightseeing spot can be a welcoming break stop from your long ride.

Man Mades Forest accommodates thousands of mahogany trees and is the product of a reforestation project. Along the road, the trees kinda create a tunnel, and you feel like transferred to another world. The forest itself is around 2km long.

Alona Beach

I did love the vibe down there. And I honestly love walking along the beach, especially when something is going on. It’s touristy, and there are lots of locals who are trying to sell you things and services, such as a massage or jewelry. Though, the beach itself is beautiful and exactly how a tropical beach should look; clear water, a white sandy beach, and palm trees. Perfect to wind down and have a cocktail or two.

Where to eat

The Philippines is not well-known for being a vegetarian-friendly country, especially in terms of local food. Therefore, we had to look up international restaurants, since we didn't want to eat rice and eggs the whole time, and after doing some researches I was surprised by the many food options in Bohol. We gladly found some good vegetarian-friendly restaurants and one of my favorite cafes was located on the island as well.

Shaka’s Cafe

Yes, there’s another Shaka’s Cafe in Bohol as well and if you read my other blog posts about the Philippines, you already know that I’m a huge fan of it! Here you can taste the best smoothie bowls we had in this country and I always go for the Bom Dia Smoothie Bowl. Surprisingly, they have a bigger menu here, with many salty food options.

Shaka only serves vegan dishes and drinks and the quality standard is always exceptional. On top of that, the staff is very kind and always gives you a welcoming feeling from the beginning.

Toto e Peppino

An authentic Italian restaurant is also awaiting your visit. In comparison to other restaurants, it's priced above average, but you get a huge pizza that can be shared.

Somehow I fell in love with ordering just a basic pizza Margherita, but I figured that it was also the best way to taste the quality of Italian food. In my opinion, it's all about the sauce and the dough.

At Toto e Peppino the tomato sauce was rich in taste and the dough fluffy and well-baked. We also ordered the veggie pizza, and to be honest, you can save your money, because the Margherita was so much better.


This restaurant is definitely a wonderland in terms of Thai food and it seems like, that every time we're at a Thai restaurant we kinda order the same thing: Papaya Salad with Red Curry, Pad Thai, or Thai Basil Stir Fry. We alternate our orders, depending on what's available without meat. Anyways, at this restaurant, we both had the Basil Stir Fry, and was one of the best and most authentic ones we had during our travels! So, if you're craving good Thai food in Bohol, this is your place.

Lekker Garden

This place is very hidden, and far away from the crowd and city center, but worth the visit. Right next to the airport of Bohol, you can enjoy healthy Mediterranean-inspired dishes and lots of vegetarian and even vegan options are available here. Also, they had some Filipino dishes on the menu as well.

Some used ingredients are growing right next to you in the little garden, and that's where the name comes from.

Co-Working Space

Some travelers, as we do, need a safe space to work on their computers and I wish every destination would accommodate such a place because it's such an upgrade having such a co-working space. The Common Crew Coffee is a cafe that serves coffee and cake, nothing fancy.

But what makes this place special is that it is a co-working space as well, where you can pay for the internet and the environment itself. No bad feelings for sitting too long and blocking the space, no need to always order more food and drinks. You can just be there for the whole day and work on your computer and use their wifi. Big plus: the coffee they have is actually very good and made in the Philippines.


The Red Picnic Hostel was our home for 5 days and by reading the word hostel you'd have the specific expectation of a place: lots of backpackers, a common area where you get to know people, and loud parties. This place is definitely not like that and although it has shared bedrooms with bunker beds, the vibe reminds me of a resort.

However, we really enjoyed our stay here, since we didn't always have the best experience with a homestay, and getting a resort feel is a welcoming change. The private room is spacious, has a balcony and a comfortable bed and the price was unbeatable. We just paid less than 30$ per night and although it's a short scooter ride away from the center we enjoyed staying there. To be honest, distance with a scooter is not really a problem.

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1 Comment

Dolly Beloya
Dolly Beloya
Dec 18, 2022

very beautiful 💕

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