The Top 7 (+1) things to do in Bohol!

Besides Incredible Freediving Of Course!

The 7 (+1) Must-Do’s in Bohol Province!

There’s something in store for everyone who travels to Bohol. There are endless possibilities to explore, from the white-sand beaches to the forested interior and giant chocolate hills. Enjoy the wonders of nature, capture the Chocolate Hills’ stunning views from above, and take a dip in pristine waters. Discover the locals’ rich heritage and culture as you hop around the island via tricycle, all in search of new adventures!

 

Let’s Dig Into the 7 (+1) Must-Do Activities in Bohol Province!

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But first, let’s listen to (former) Governor of Bohol, the Hon. Edgar M. Chatto.

Of course, You NEED TO GO Freediving at Napaling Reef!

Of course, how could we not start this list with things to do in Bohol with freediving. The famous Napaling Reef, the beautiful coral wall, the massive drop off, the sardines and the most incredible sea creatures. Napaling reef is one of the reasons why freediving in Panglao has become so incredibly popular – of course, Panglao is an incredible island too 🙂 but Napaling is a spectacular playground for freedivers.

At only 300 meters away from our dive center here in Panglao, we can go in at any time, train without the use of a boat, have year-round near-perfect diving conditions and always have plenty of fish around the training lines and do we regularly see whale sharks, mantas, different kind of whales like grey whales, minky and we even had two close encounters with blue whales – Napaling Reef is quite incredible and for us the best freediving location in the world.

You simply can not come to Bohol and not take a freediving course to enjoy spectacular Napaling!

Napaling Reef

Visit the Chocolate Hills

Check out Bohol’s claim to fame – the Chocolate Hills. Located in Carmen, Bohol, Chocolate Hills are among the most popular tourist spots that draw crowds from various nationalities. If you are looking for a unique and scenic attraction, Chocolate Hills might be an option to explore: dozens of rounded, conical hills dot the area. You’ll get a 360-degree view of this iconic landmark from the viewing deck that is definitely worth the drive out and back again.

There are many theories abound on how the Hills got their name. One legend says that they’re leftover portions of rich men’s birthday cakes. Another myth is that a carabao made the hills who couldn’t stop eating when it saw delicious food. There’s also an idea that they were just named for their resemblance to molehills. But in reality, the hills are made of soft soil and limestone and are some of the largest karst landforms in Southeast Asia.

Visit the Chocolate Hills

These structures had formed millions of years ago from carbonate rocks and coral reefs through petrification (the process of a substance turning into stone) and erosion. The sea levels had risen and fallen, bringing in the sand that covered the soft clay layer. Then the rainwater gradually washed away the surrounding soil to reveal the skeletal structure beneath. The weathering halted at the layer where the hard limestone surface met the softer sedimentary layer of clay below it.

The Chocolate Hills are more than just stunningly beautiful. They were also declared as a National Geological Monument. The Hills are one of the places that make Bohol so popular, and now you know why.

Meet the tarsiers at the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary

In Bohol, you can see one of the world’s smallest primates, a rare and endangered Philippine tarsier. Tarsiers are natives of the island of Bohol. Their eyes are huge compared to their body frames, and they have powerful limbs to leap vast distances. Tarsiers are nocturnal primates, so you can catch a glimpse of them already hanging out on branches and sitting along the ground close to their exhibit when you enter the sanctuary. It is important to keep your flash turned off while taking pictures – they are susceptible to light.

In the Philippines, tarsiers are popular not just because of their unusual appearance but also due to their endangered status. This has led certain establishments to take advantage of this and exploit tarsiers for photo opportunities and profit. Tourism is essential to the Philippine economy, but so is its obligation in preserving its wildlife.

Tarsier Things to do

There are several tarsier sanctuaries in Bohol, all claiming to be official, but not all of them care about the tarsiers’ welfare or protecting their habitat. Some sanctuaries strictly adhere to the law, whereas others just let tourists take photos with the tarsiers. We advise you to visit Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary in Corella because it is run by Philippine Tarsier Foundation (PTFI). PTFI is a non-profit private organization supported by Philippine government agencies like the Department of Tourism and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The foundation was formed with a clear mission to protect and conserve Philippine tarsiers through humane attitude and actions in protecting these endangered species from extinction. PTFI spends the money earned from the tourists to increase awareness about this endangered animal and raise money for conservation, so given a choice, it is a good initiative to support.

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Explore Hinagdanan cave

Bohol is known not only for tarsiers and Chocolate Hills but also for dozens of cave systems. One of the most unique natural attractions, the Hinagdanan Cave, is located on Panglao Island in the municipality of Dauis at only 5 minutes away from our freedive academy in Panglao. This cave has received attention from Filipino and international tourists since the turn of the 21st century.

According to popular belief, a farmer accidentally discovered the cave while he was cleaning his field. When he found two holes on the ground, he threw a stone into one hole and heard a splash. Afterwards, he used his ladder to investigate what’s beneath.

It takes about 10 minutes to go down the cave. The cave is about 100 metres long of beautiful rock formations.

Hinagdanan Cave

The stalactites and stalagmites stick out from the ceiling and floor of the cave as though trying to meet each other. Stalactites are hanging down, while their partners on the floor are called stalagmites. Most of them look like icicles dangling from the ceiling. Some stalagmites are bell-shaped, while others are conical. Dimly lit and a little narrow at first, the cave soon opens up into a big room that houses the lake. The main source of light to the cave is sunlight that filters through small holes in the ceiling. The combination of sunlight from holes on the ceiling, surrounding rock formations, and the cave’s high ceiling makes a very picturesque view. The vibrant underground lake is fed by natural springs in the limestone karst, which filters out impurities and makes the water clear and fresh, perfect for swimming.

Check the man-made Mahogany Forest.

Mahogany Forest in Bohol is a natural and man-made two-kilometre stretch of trees that line a portion of the country’s highway. Aptly named due to the great number of Mahogany trees that adorn the forest, you will be impressed by the beauty of these trees and how they were able to tame and grow into massive sizes despite the ground being rocky. Rent a motorbike and drive through an avenue of trees with rich and dark brown trunks. The winding road paints a scenic painting of the primaeval forest’s green canopy that envelops you as you ride. The roads are nicely paved, and the traffic isn’t too heavy, so even new riders can handle the journey. Park your bike on the side of the road and meander up the hill to get a closer look at the massive roots that tangle together in the soil. There are no fancy resorts, hotels, restaurants or even any whooping structures marked as a “tourist attraction”. And yet, this place seems to be a dream hideaway for lots of tourists and travellers alike.

Bohol's Man Made Forrest

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Take a boat to Balicasag island.

Balicasag Island is one of the world’s top dive sites and a protected management area. Divers keep coming back to Balicasag for its world-class underwater life. The marine sanctuary sits off the southwest coast of nearby Panglao Island, about a 20-minute boat ride from Bohol’s Alona Beach. This tiny isle is home to one of the Philippines’ finest marine sanctuaries. Divers can enjoy exceptionally clear waters and views of multicoloured corals while exploring the craggy topography that gives rise to some of Asia’s best wall dives.

The island is perfect for freediving and is for sure one of the best places for freediving in the Philippines. We regularly offer boat tours and adventure packages to our guests, and we always have a great time going there. The freediving (and snorkelling) happens at about 20 meters from the shore, where a beautiful coral garden exists just right off the beach.

At Balicasag, underwater caves are abundant and full of life. The shadow of the island combined with the coolness and nutrient-rich currents provide an environment that makes coral flourish even at greater depth. The biota on Balicasag’s drop-off wall is very diverse. You can expect to see table corals, sea fans, tube worms, black corals, and of course, all kinds of tropical reef fish – including clownfish, lionfish, and scorpionfish.

Cruise down the Loboc river

Bohol visitors love the Loboc river for its scenic beauty. You can enjoy a floating restaurant cruise or go for a swimming cave exploration or bamboo rafting. In your free time, you can stay at a nice resort with sweeping views of the river. It’s worth it to pay extra for an all-you-can-eat buffet. You won’t regret it. Once you’re done with the lunch, you can rest in the hammocks and work on that tan before heading out to your next adventure.

If you’re not into boat rides, wait at the end of the river. Locals are happy to rent out paddleboards for a small fee. You can paddle down the river on your own and explore at your own pace.

Loboc River Bohol

Explore the waterfalls of Bohol

Bohol is replete with breathtaking white waterfalls. They are perfect for a refreshing swim, and you can even go hiking up some of the falls for a different perspective. The lush tropical scenery and the charming serenity makes it an ideal destination for travellers who want to escape from urban chaos and the fast pace of life. Enjoy taking a relaxing dip under cascading waters while admiring the views. Familiarize yourself with amazing stories behind some of these falls, learn new ways to reach them and don’t forget to buy native delicacies at the side!

Camugao Falls is a medium-sized waterfall located in the Camugao district of central Bohol. If you love going to waterfalls, then don’t miss this! The road alone is a beautiful adventure into the jungle of Bohol. It’s an easy walk down to the fall from the parking lot that features lovely views of the thick green forest on the way. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by friendly locals who will offer to show you around. A quick walk through the bushes, and you’ll see a huge cauldron pool below. It has a wide water curtain that falls from a big rock. At its base, it has a cave, where one can get inside and swim.

Caamugao Waterfall

Mag-aso Falls is a beautiful group of waterfalls located in Sagbayan municipality. This group of falls has it all, from cliff jumps to trails and a beautiful waterfall. The Mag-Aso Waterfall itself is an 8-meter high and spectacular waterfall from any angle you look at it. Directly behind you, however, the waterfall takes on an entirely different demeanour: the view of the falls plunging into a deep blue pool is one of the more iconic images in all of the nature photography. This thunderous whirlpool surrounded by lush green foliage was formed when a section of land collapsed from erosion brought on by typhoon winds and rain. Remember to bring your friends and make it a fun day out!

And that’s it for the Top Things to do in Bohol! Do you want to learn how to freedive, book a tour in Bohol or have questions, please contact us anytime? Also, do contact us if you want to join any of our courses. We teach freediving courses in the Philippines, but we also teach freediving online via nice and entertaining Zoom classes almost every week. The same goes for our freedive instructor courses that we teach every few weeks online – we offer different options, but they are fun and entertaining.

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