Who would have thought Bohol had so much to offer. Apparently loads of people since some places on the island are starting to get crowded. Nevertheless, we explored several beautiful sites in Bohol, and we even got to spend two nights on semi-deserted Balicasag. It was us, a couple of cabins and a few locals. I had never seen so many exotic colorful fish, corals, and giant turtles. What was hard to get, was good night sleep. In the Philippines there is noise everywhere, be it inside your hotel or in the neighborhood. Filipinos don’t seem to mind though; the TV or loud music is on all through the day. However, it’s impossible to get angry, the moment you complain, they apologize, stop the noise and give you a huge smile. Crazy lovely bastards!
What to Do in Bohol
Bohol is a fantastic island, a paradise for nature lovers. Its most visited site is the Chocolate Hills, a strange geological formation of more than 1000 hills. We visited during rainy season so they were lush green. They turn brown in the dry season, thus the name. Another highlight of our Bohol trip was the visit to the Tarsier Conservation Area to see the world’s smallest mammal. We don’t usually visit zoos and alike. However, the center claims they roam free. Eitan wants me to clarify that he did not enter the conservation area. Though he believes animals are the best thing on earth, he restrained himself in order not to bug them. We also visited pretty Loboc River with the Bamboo Bridge and passed through the man-made Mahogany Forest.
How to Organize your Trip to Bohol
Though Bohol has nice beaches, they are not as nice as the ones in the Camotes Islands or El Nido. Don’t get us wrong, Bohol has nice beaches. These are the Philippines! However, the ones we saw were starting to show the perils of western life. There are so many things to do in Bohol that staying in Loboc Town came handy. We were close to everything and in an authentic environment. One day we hired a tricycle to wonder about the island. Filipino tricycle drivers are brilliant. Our driver Brian took us everywhere and was a pleasure to talk to. Throughout the island, we saw plenty of beautiful colonial churches and nice rice fields. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visit any of the waterfalls or caves. Apparently, there are a few. Bohol’s great location makes it an ideal stop on any island hopping adventure around the Philippines.
Where to Stay in Bohol
We believe the best place where to stay in Bohol is definitively Loboc Town. Loboc River and dense forests surround small Loboc Town. On the outskirts of Loboc, you’ll find two great places to stay: the Loboc River Resort and the Fox & The Firefly Cottages. If you prefer to stay in the middle of nature and soak up the best views, then Marqis Sunrise Sunset Resort and Spa is for you. If you are looking for a place under the sun but don’t have time to make it to Balicasag, go to Anda’s White Beach. The Anda White Beach Resort and the Anda Cove Beach Resort are two fantastic options. In Panglao, the Bohol Beach Club has all the amenities of a great resort.
Balicasag Island, a tiny island across Panglao, is one of the best snorkeling spots in Southeast Asia. In fact, the beauty of the Balicasag Marine Sanctuary will soothe you. Actually, most diving and snorkeling excursions from Panglao are to the Sanctuary. During the day, we could see the boats bringing people to snorkel in front of us. Fortunately, they leave in the afternoon! It was us and the lovely turtles! We tried to search for the turtles, but the currents were too strong to handle or maybe we are too weak to deal with currents? In any case, you can see turtles safely from the shore, with a life vest on. One day we hired a boat with a driver to take us a bit further from the shore. The snorkeling was superb and we felt safe, taken care of by our driver.
The Balicasag Island Dive Resort is the only accommodation on the island. So take it or leave it! We had a good time. Though our room was basic, it had everything we needed and we felt we were not unnecessarily damaging paradise with a pool or even worse the ubiquitous infinity pool. It’s the ocean that’s infinite, and it was in front of us!
Still wondering what to do in Bohol and Balicasag? Please let us know in the comments below.