Since first travelling to the Philippines in the end of 2014 I’ve been hooked on it and have been back 3 times now!
With over 7,000 islands to explore it can be a bit of a nightmare trying to decide where you want to visit and what to do!
Beach lazing in Borocay?
Arrgggghhhhh so many options and so little time!haha!
On my most recent trip to the Philippines though I got to explore an new spot – the island of Bohol in the more southern end of the country and had an absolute blast – in fact I now consider it one of the best places to visit in the Philippines!
Its got a lot to offer no matter what you like filling your travels with, so here’s 5 reasons to add Bohol to your Philippines travel plans!
The Chocolate Hills
This is probably the most famous draw of Bohol! This incredible natural wonder makes for some amazing landscape shots and is one of the most unique views I’ve ever laid eyes on!
There are heaps of local legends about how they came to be but I’m a fan of the one which tells of two giants fighting – throwing boulders at each other for nearly 3 days.
When they finally settled their differences and left as friends they forgot to clear up the mess and the grass grew over the boulders creating the Chocolate Hills!
…geologists have determined that the limestone hills were once part of the underwater landscape and years of erosion have washed away the softer parts of the landscape leaving the harder limestone structures.
But that doesn’t sound quite as cool hey?!
This easily makes it into my highlights list from the whole of the Philippines, not just Bohol!
I jumped on board an incredible floating restaurant experience where we were served some epic Filipino food (and yes the veggie stuff was delicious too!) eaten by hand off palm leaves in the traditional cayman way.
I had a serious food baby going on after all the incredible treats we were served, all washed down with a green coconut!
As the floating restaurants cruises along the river amongst the palm trees you’ll enjoy some awesome entertainment and even stop off to watch a local performance – which help support the local music schools so tip generously to a good cause.
Ice Cream, So Much Amazing Ice Cream!
Yeah there seems to be a bit of a food theme going on here hey?!
I visited the Bohol Bee Farm for lunch for yet another memorable feed! The best part though was desert – an array of flavoured ice creams made from coconut milk and sweetened with the local honey which is collected on the farm.
With flavours ranging from traditional chocolate, rum and raison and mint through to more unusual (and sometimes slightly questionable!) angles such as spicy ginger, purple yam, avocado and durian it pays to try a few and pick a favourite!
…any excuse to indulge!
If you love meeting some unique wildlife then Bohol has a treat for you – the Tarsier. This endangered primate is no bigger than my hand and boasts some of the biggest eyes in the animal kingdom!
Luckily for the Tarsier there are some dedicated conservationists on the island helping educate people about them, save their habitat and try to stabilise the population.
Stopping off at one of the Tarsier Sanctuaries will give you the opportunity to see these cute little guys in their natural habitat and hopefully snap an epic picture of their intense staring competitions!
They were fascinating to watch hopping through the trees, such awesome little things! I recommend heading there later in the afternoon to avoid the crowds and because they’re primarily nocturnal creatures they’re a bit more active towards the end of the day.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
If you love to explore at a slightly slower pace then I can highly recommend stand up paddle boarding – or SUPing.
Its something I’ve got more and more into over the last year as it’s a great way to explore on the water and a pretty fun work out too! Essentially it’s a larger and wider version of a surfboard which you stand on and use a canoe like paddle to get around.
It takes some getting used to but it’s a really chilled way to explore rivers, mangroves, lakes, lagoons and even the ocean!
On Bohol I cruised along the rivers, met the locals and enjoyed watching the kids crazy antics jumping out of trees and off rope swings – it was an awesome way to spend the morning!
And if you’re still not convinced here’s an epic little video I made which includes heaps of Bohol goodness!
And of course there’s lots more to do on the island too, such a visiting some of the historic churches, the local markets and some world class scuba diving!
So if you’re travelling to the Philippines anytime soon I highly recommend adding Bohol into your itinerary, check out Philippines Airlines and Cebu Pacific for some cheap internal fares or if you’re feeling heaps adventurous you can also take a boat there from Cebu (maybe after you’ve swum with the whalesharks?!) or even Manila, but I can’t really say 25 hours on a boat is the best way to spend your time!haha!