Bohol is a one off wonder that has it all- the sun, shimmering, crystal clear sea, soft sand and spotless beaches, a cornucopia of amazing historic heritage sites, and panoramic sensational scenery and if that isn’t enough folks, you can do it all on a shoe string if you feel so inclined.
This trip was a combination of birthday present and surprise for my sister who, to that point, had never been on a plane. Tagbilaran Airport is the entrance to the Aladin’s cave that is Bohol; rich in atmosphere and top-of-the-notch experiences. With just our old, cheap backpacks and the wisdom has once spoken to me by a wise old sage, “negotiate etc” ringing in my ears, the journey began…
How to get there?
There are several airlines flying to Tagbilaran airport in Bohol:
Air Asia | Cebu Pacific | Philippines Airlines
Most of these fly from/to the capital Manila, but you can also find flights connecting Bohol to Cebu City. Flights are generally inexpensive if you book ahead to guarantee a good price. You can set up sale alerts with both Cebu and Philippine Airlines using email or their app.
Bohol has many ferries connecting to other ports nearby, especially Cebu island. The most popular route is definitely between Tagbilaran and Cebu City, with multiple sailings a day.
*Ferry schedules from/to Bohol as per August 2017
Manila – Cebu
- There is the Carlos A. Gothong Lines departing from Manila twice a week, from Pier 18 wharf at 11:00 PM on Tuesday and Thursday, and arriving at Cebu City Pier 7 wharf at 10:00 PM the following day.
Cebu – Bohol (Tagbilaran)
- 2Go (Supercat): 8:45 AM|1:45 PM|7:40 PM
- Lite Ferries: 12:30 PM|10:00 PM|1:00 PM (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday only)
- Ocean Jet: 6:00 AM|7:00 AM|8:00 AM|9:20 AM|10:40 AM| 11:40 AM| 1:00 PM| 2:00 PM|3:30 PM|4:20 PM|6:35 PM
Bohol (Tagbilaran) – Cebu
- 2Go (Supercat): 6:30 AM|11:15 AM|5:25 PM
- Lite Ferries: 12:00 NN|10:30 PM |12:00 MN (Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday, only)
- Ocean Jet: 6:00 AM|7:05 AM|8:20 AM|9:20 AM|11:40 AM|13:00 PM| 2:00 PM|3:30 PM|4:20|5:30 PM|6:30PM
Bohol (Tubigon) – Cebu
- Lite Ferries: 7:00 AM|12:00 NN|2:00 PM|7:00 PM|12:00 MN
Cebu – Bohol (Tubigon)
- Lite Ferries: 7:00 PM|10:00 PM|12:00 NN|6:00PM|10:00 PM|12:00 MN
Bohol (Tagbilaran) – Siquijor (Larena)
- Lite Ferries: 8:00 PM (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday only)
Siquijor (Larena) – Bohol (Tagbilaran)
- Lite Ferries: 7:00 PM (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday only)
Complete ferry schedules in the 2Go, Lite Ferries, and Ocean Jet websites. Try Ocean Jet ferry, they are often slightly more expensive, but the boats seem to be newer, safer and a lot more comfortable; worth a little additional expense!
Getting Around Bohol
Getting around the island is not the easiest of feats for tourists who want to make the most of their trip, but if you think about in advance, especially in respect of transport, it’s not so bad. For shorter distances, the humble tricycle is a good choice; it’s cheap and can be easily found in the streets of Tagbilaran. These trikes can take you to any point of the city and other neighboring towns like Panglao, Dauis, and Baclayon.
For longer trips between towns, public transport, like buses and jeepneys, are a better option although they can drive you mad with frustration as there are no set schedules and they tend to depart only when they are full – it’s the luck of the draw! Ultimately if your goal is to visit as many places within a short period of time, your best bet is to hire a private vehicle or join a tour.
If you know how to ride a motorcycle, you can rent one for P300 to P1000 depending on the model. Car rentals are also available, P1500 to P2500. Apart from the obvious advantage of independent travel a car offers, if there are a few of you, you get to divide the costs.
For island-hopping, boat rental cost varies depending on the season, boat size, and which islands you want to visit. The most common here is the Virgin Island + Balicasag Island, which usually comes in at between P1500-P2500 for a boat that can carry up to 10 passengers. As usual don’t be afraid to negotiate!
As an alternative to this, you can simply join a pre-arranged group tour as we did. As invariably you are put together with other groups, the cost will be divided between the total number of persons. Most resorts and hotels offer tours but the rates, which can be expensive, vary according to the number of persons joining the tour.
Places to Visit
DAY 1: Anda & Candijay, Bohol
Before arriving in Tagbilaran City, we had already contacted a company Kuya Johnfel Caseres 09065550098 / 09997201988, who arrange tours. We hired their car to take us around Anda and Candijay, Bohol for the cost of Php2,500 which we shared across four people and agreed itinerary in advance that would take us to the following sites:
Detailed Post: 1,000 pesos Travel Guide to Anda & Candijay, Bohol
DAY 2: Bohol Countryside Tour
For this tour, My sister and I joined 8 other people (connected thru a well known social media site) who had hired a van for the day at a total cost of Php1,800 (180 per pax). Great value!!
This was booked through Kuya Darunday Jhoel (09-484-076-476) of Bohol Fun Tours and if you use their services you can often get free accommodation as well and if you can negotiate that, it is fantastic value.
DAY 3: Chasing Waterfalls in Dimiao
For our third day of Bohol backpacking trip, my sister and I went chasing waterfalls!
We started by taking a van ride from the Dao Bus Terminal from near the Island Mall and, as expected, it did not leave until it was full up but we were quite lucky and only had to wait for 20 minutes. Fares are 100/pax one way. The cheaper alternative is to take a bus or jeepney.
We were not sure how to get from where we were dropped off to the waterfalls, but fortunately for us, there were locals there who was able to tell us how to get to them. They pointed us in the direction of the habal-habal drivers who were already there and waiting for passengers. You need to negotiate with these guys who, at first, quoted us a pricey fare to reach the 3 waterfalls on the basis that they said it will not be an easy ride! Luckily for us and with the kind intervention of some locals,
they dropped their prices and we agreed at P750 per motorcycle (375/pax), roundtrip for the 3 waterfalls.
Detailed Post: Chasing Waterfalls in Dimiao, Bohol
DAY 4: Panglao Island Hopping
It was an early start on day 4 of our Bohol Backpacking trip – we had booked a tour that would take us to multiple places in the Bohol Sea. We had chosen a popular trip, the Panglao Island Hopping Tour, that takes you out into the sea for a heady mix of dolphin watching, snorkeling, turtle encountering on Balicasag Island, and finally to The Virgin Island. It is easy to book this tour through your hotel as we did and you should pay not more than 400/pax (Aug 2017). You can also directly with the boatmen along Alona Beach for a complete boat; expect to pay 1,200 – 1,800 PHP depending on how many of you there are and your haggling skills!
ISLAND HOPPING BOAT RENTAL INCLUSIONS:
(When booked thru hotel)
- Pick-up & Drop-off Alona Beach
- Pump Boat Rental (all vessels registered with Coast Guard)
- Life Jackets
- Dolphin Watching
- Island Hopping to Balicasag & Virgin Island
(Not included in the boat rental charge)
- Snorkeling to Marine Sanctuary – 150.00 Php / pax
- Pawikan Watching – 200.00 Php / pax
- Aqua shoes – 100.00 Php / pax
- Snorkeling Gears with life vest – 150.00 Php / pax
- Environmental / Municipal Fee – 150.00 Php / pax
- Fins – 250 Php / pax (optional)
- Underwater camera – 1,000 Php (optional)
- Lunch – 300.00 Php / pax (Balicasag Island)
Detailed Guide: Panglao Island Hopping
Other Bohol Tours
Panglao Island Tour
E.A.T Danao Total ECO Adventure Tour
Entrance and Parking Fees:
- Entrance Fee: Adult – P 25.00
- Children three (3) Yrs. old & below free entrance
- Parking P 10.00
Individual Activity Pricing: (Subject to Change)
- Plunge – P 700 / person
- Suislide – P 350.00 / person
- Sky Ride – P 250 / person
- Cliff Rappel Rappel – P 600.00 / person
- Root Climb – 400 / person
- Moderate Caving – P 350.00 / person
- Hard Caving – P 550
- Ziplet – P 100
- Wall Climbing – P 100.00
- River Kayaking – P 300.00
- Off Road Buggy – Under Maintenance
- River Tubing – P 300.00 (Min of 5 pax)
- River Trekking – P 300.00 (min of 5 Pax)
Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park Rates
Zipline : Php 350/pax
Cable Car : Php 250/pax
All Ride(zipline & cable car) : Php 550/pax
Combo ride : Php 350/pax (one-way zipline & one-way cable car)
Soft copy of souvenir photos on a CD (for the whole group) + 1 printed photo: P250
Sagbayan Peak Tour
Usually stops at Sagbayan Peak, Mag-aso Falls, Punta Cruz Watchtower, Hinagdanan Cave.
Pamilacan Dolphin & Whale Watching
Dolphin and Whale watching is a daily attraction in Pamilacan Island. Lucky ones have a chance to see Sperm Whale and Bryde’s Whale during the months of March thru June.
Bohol Entrance Fees
|Entrance Fees:||Per Pax|
|Country Side Tour|
|🚩 Python Sanctuary||45 Php|
|🚩 Chocolate Hills||50 Php|
|⚠️ ATV Ride||450 Php|
|🚩 Tarsier Sanctuary||50 Php|
|🚩 Man Made Forest||FREE|
|🚩 Hanging Bridge||20 Php|
|🚩 Loboc River Cruise (Buffet Lunch Included)||450 Php|
|🚩 Butterfly Conservation Center||45 Php|
|🚩 Souvenir Shopping||FREE|
|🚩 Blood Compact Shrine||FREE|
|🚩 Baclayon Church and Museum||50 Php|
|🚩 Bohol Bee Farm||30 Php|
|🚩 Hinagdanan Cave||15 Php|
|🚩 Shell Museum||30 Php|
|🚩 Balicasag Marine Sanctuary Fee||150 Php|
|🚩 Pamilacan Marine Sanctuary||200 Php|
|🚩 Dumaluan Beach||25 Php|
Where to Stay?
Tagbilaran City, the capital and main port of Bohol houses the main shops (including the department stores Bohol Quality and Plaza Marcela), banks with ATMs, money changers, and several attractions, such as the Bohol Museum and a few cinemas. However, unless you’re here on business, during the fiesta or Sandugo festival, or arrive late or have to depart early in the next morning, there is little reason to stay here, as nicer places to stay can be found on Panglao. Still, the city has a good number of hotels and a few resorts.
Where we stayed?
- LTS Lodge: Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, Tel. +63 38 411 3310
⚠️ Room Rates: Single – P330/day | Double – P392.00/day
- Kuya Darunday Jhoel (09-484-076-476) of Bohol Fun Tours offers free accommodation if you use their services
- Casa Juana Lodging House: Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, Tel. +63 38 411 3331
- Coralandia Resort: Graham Avenue, Tel. +63 38 411 3445
- Chriscent Ville Pension House: Gallares Street, Tel. +63 38 411 4029
- Gie Garden Hotel: M.H. del Pilar Street, Tel. +63 38 411 3182
- Hotel La Roca Graham Avenue, Tel. +63 38 411 3797, Fax. +63 38 411 3009
- Island Leisure Inn: Ilaw International Center, Bool, Tel. +63 38 411 2482
- Meridian Hotel: Martig-a Street, Tel. +63 38 411 3060, Fax: +63 38 235 5793
- Nisa Travelers Inn: Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, Tel. +63 38 411 3731
- Taver’s Pension: Remolador Street, Tel. +63 38 411 4896, Fax: +63 38 411 4790
- The East Coast Tourist Inn: Miguel Parras Street, Cellphone +63 916 416 1793
- Villa Camilla: Maria Clara Street, Tel. +63 38 411 4966
- Villa Alzhun Tourist Inn V.P. Inting Street, Tel. +63 38 411 3893, +63 38 411 4143
- Wregent Plaza Hotel: Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, Tel. +63 38 411 3144
Where we stayed?
- Lennon’s Place: Alona Beach, +63 92 238 6408
⚠️ Single Bed – P400/off-season | P450/peak-season | Matress only- 300
- Beach Rock Cafe & Lodge: Alona Beach, Tel. & Fax: +63 38 502 9034
- Bohol Island Dive Resort: Alona Beach, Tel. & Fax: +63 38 502 9005
- Panglao Island Nature Resort: Bingag, Tel. +63 38 411 2599, Fax: +63 38 411 5866
- Peter’s House: Alona Beach, Tel. +63 38 502 9056, Fax: +63 38 502 9107
- Playa Blanca: Alona Beach, Tel. +63 38 502 9015
- Rene’s Place: Alona Beach, Tel. +63 38 502 9149
Itinerary & Expenses