Amidst numerous projects and deadlines on my calendar, traveling is something I wish I had the time (and energy) to do more often. That’s why, when Philippine Airlines released a seat sale back in March, I just had to book a flight and plan to read a Bohol travel guide.
With more than five months to think about where to stay in Bohol, what to do, and where to eat, one might think my equally busy friends and I would have enough time to prepare for an itinerary that makes sense.
Unsurprisingly, we flew to Bohol just before lunchtime with a lot of excitement but no itinerary and no sleep.
A Bohol Travel Guide For Wanderlusts Who Hate Planning
Getting around Bohol – LV Transport Services
We stayed in Panglao for three days and two nights with zero plans in mind. Ten hours before our flight to Bohol, I was referred by a friend to a tourist driver, Erwin Cabrillos, of LV Transport Services who drove us around for an eight-hour day tour in Bohol. He also facilitated our transfer from the airport to the place we rented, and back. He’s very knowledgeable and was never late.
The two-way airport transfer service will set you back 1,000 pesos while the day tour is at 2,500 pesos. This may change, of course, depending on the number of passengers. This Bohol travel guide urges you to hire the services of a tourist driver because getting around is too difficult. And no, there’s no Uber in Tagbilaran.
LV Transport Services
Address: Lourdes, Panglao Bohol
Contact Kuya Erwin: 09202436622
Where to eat – Gerarda’s Place in Tagbilaran City
Upon arrival in Tagbilaran City past noon, Kuya Erwin took us to Gerarda’s Place for lunch. The family restaurant decored with various antiques was probably a three-minute drive from the airport. Their menu boasted a wide selection of traditional Filipino cuisines.
Address: 30 J.S Torralba St., Tagbilaran City
Contact: (038) 412 3044 or 09399084038
Where to stay – Matt’s Place, Airbnb
Even during the rainy season, the best hotels in Bohol, especially in Panglao Island, were already fully booked a week before our arrival. I really wanted to stay at the Henann Resort in Panglao, though. Good thing there’s Airbnb.
Matt’s place was a modern two-bedroom house not too far from Alona beach and that could comfortably accommodate a group of six. His place was also a walking distance from Bluewater resort.
Its fully functional kitchen is complete with cooking utensils that are perfect only if one of us knew how to cook. And the WiFi connection was blazing fast! This was already a good score considering it’s only for around 3,500 pesos per night.
Matt’s Place in Panglao
Address: Daorong Boulevard, Panglao, Bohol
Contact Sherry, Property Manager:
Where to go – Alona Beach
While the temptation to sleep the rest of the day was too difficult to resist, we managed to go straight to Alona beach after unpacking to check out what’s in store for us (and take some photos). The sand was fine and powdery white as expected and the waves were crazy at that time. Probably because of the tropical depression. But any Bohol travel guide should mention Alona beach at least once!
Alona beach is filled mostly with tourists and is lined with a lot of restaurants, tattoo and massage parlors, dive bars, and ice cream shops. We left just after a sumptuous seafood dinner in one of the restaurants in the area.
A Bohol Travel Guide
Where to go – Bilar Man-made Forest
The next day, we went with Kuya Erwin for an eight-hour day tour around Bohol. We didn’t have anything in mind, except Chocolate Hills, so he practically decided where to take us.
Afterward on our way to Carmen, Bohol to see the ever-famous Chocolate Hills, we stopped by in Bilar to marvel at its man-made mahogany forest.
Bilar Man-made Forest
Address: Loay Interior Road, Bilar, Bohol
Where to go – Chocolate Hills in Carmen, Bohol
I first became acquainted with Bohol’s Chocolate Hills when my grade school teacher asked us to bring a poster of Philippines’ tourist destinations. Now, they could also be seen on the back side of a 200-peso bill.
To get to the viewing deck, you’d have to walk up a flight of stairs with more than 200 steps. Meanwhile, here’s a photo of Leah struggling to get to the top. Even I had to stop once in a while to rest. Ha, ageing! Happens to us all!
Chocolate Hills Viewing Deck
Address: Carmen, Bohol
Entrance Fee: 50 pesos / person
Where NOT to go – Tarsier Conservation Area
I admit I know nothing about tarsiers except for the fact that they’re endangered species and suicidal.
Moreover, Aileen has a really informative post about why you should avoid going to Tarsier Conservation Area in Loboc heralding itself as a “sanctuary.”
Where to eat – Loboc River Cruise
To be honest, I was expecting to hear the Loboc Children’s Choir while dining. According to Kuya Erwin, the choir stopped singing after the earthquake in Bohol, one that nearly destroyed the Baclayon Church. The lunch buffet was nothing special. If not for the experience of getting on a cruise along Loboc river and hope of hearing the choir, I would’ve skipped this.
Loboc Bohol Floating Restaurant
Address: Poblacion Ondol, Loboc, Bohol
Fee inclusive of buffet lunch and river cruise: 450 pesos / person
Finally, over to you
Did you have anything else to add? Any tips for anyone who wants to go to Bohol with no plans? Let’s hear it in the comments section below. May this Bohol travel guide help you, spontaneous travelers!
Photos taken using a Samsung Galaxy S8