Bohol is the 10th largest island in the Philippines, nestled securely at the heart of the Visayas, between southeast of Cebu and southwest of Leyte.
The province is gaining prestige as a prime eco-cultural tourist destination in the region. It has an abundance of pristine white sand beaches and azure blue waters. Coral reefs teem with a variety of picturesque marine life. Most notable of these sites and increasing in world renown are those found in Pamilacan, Balicasag, and Cabilao islands, becoming a haven for tourists and scuba divers.
It’s a must for all tourists in Bohol. You can rent a van or a car and even mini-SUV to bring you to popular tourist attractions in and around Bohol. You can find one just outside the airport. You can haggle with them. There’s a lot of choices so you may ask around. The usual price is PHP1,500 per day for the usual route if you rent a car. But you can ask the driver to bring you to more places at an additional fee. Gas/Diesel isn’t cheap, anyways.
Here are the famous attractions to visit in Bohol:
Bohol’s most famous tourist attraction. They look like giant mole hills, or as some say, women’s breasts, and remind us of the hills in a small child’s drawing. Most people who first see pictures of this landscape can hardly believe that these hills are not a man-made artifact. However, this idea is quickly abandoned, as the effort would surely surpass the construction of the pyramids in Egypt. The chocolate hills consist of are no less than 1268 hills (some claim this to be the exact number). They are very uniform in shape and mostly between 30 and 50 meters high. They are covered with grass, which, at the end of the dry season, turns chocolate brown. From this color, the hills derive their name. At other times, the hills are green, and the association may be a bit difficult to make.
Blood Compact Site
The Sandugo is a blood compact, performed in native-Bohol style between the traveling Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna of Bohol on March 16, 1565 in the Philippines to seal their friendship as part of the native customs. The pact was entered into by López de Legazpi for the purpose of insuring friendly relations between the Spaniards and the Filipinos. This is considered as the first international treaty of friendship between two people of different races, a Filipino and a Spaniard. ‘Sandugo’ is a Visayan amalgamation term ‘sang dugo’ which means ‘one blood’.
In your travel from Tagbilaran to the Chocolate Hills in Carmen, you’ll pass this man-made forest in Bilar town. It’s a two-kilometer stretch densely planted with Mahogany trees. When you enter this area, you feel like you are entering another world, one that is refreshing and you can taste and feel the fresh air around you. But this man-made forest is just part of the larger Bohol Forest filled with naturally grown trees of different species and giant ferns lining the road.
Loboc is around 24kms away from Tagbilaran and it’s one of the iterenaries of most, if not all, Bohol Tour Packages.
There are two choices fo the river cruise. One is via a banca(canoe) where boatmen will take you to the cascading mini waterfall of Busay. Another, which is more popular, is boarding the floating restaurant new the Loay bridge where they are stationed. Food here was fine and plenty and features local delicacies. While cruising and eating your sumptous buffet, a band will serenade you. Guests are also invited to sing if they like to.
Another important attraction of Bohol is its Hanging Bridge. It’s a bamboo bridge hanging above the Loboc River. Adventurous people might find walking across really exciting. Normally, if you’re on an island tour, it’s not included in the itinerary but you might want to check with the driver if they could pass you to the area even for 10 minutes. It will surely add excitement to your day in Bohol.
The Baclayon Church, just six kilometers away from Tagbilaran City, Bohol, is the second oldest stone church in the Philippines (the oldest is San Agustin Church, in Real Street, Intramuros, Manila, built in 1571). Constructed in 1595 by the Jesuit priests, it is still intact and houses important relics and images reminiscent of the historic Roman Catholic religion in the country. Among those displayed in the church museum are: crystal chandelier, silver tabernacle, altar with carvings inlaid with gold, life-size statues and more.
The Church of San Pedro in Loboc, Bohol is the second oldest church in Bohol. It was originally built in 1602, but soon reduced to ashes. In 1638, a stronger one was build. Located near the river, it has survived a number of floods. Inside the church, you can admire some remarkable naive paintings on the ceiling.
Bohol is very accessible by air and sea travel, it is the closest province to Cebu city, with travel time of 1 hour and 30 minutes by fastcraft and 20 minutes by plane. From Manila, it is accessible by plane in less than an hour and there are four flights daily to and from the capital.
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