Bohol for Beginners. A four-part series on travel in Bohol. [http://www.wineandfoodtravel.com/travel/best-of-bohol-part-1-boholano-delicacies/]
The first of a four-part series on travel in Bohol: [http://www.wineandfoodtravel.com/travel/best-of-bohol-part-1-boholano-delicacies/ Bohol for Beginners]
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Revision as of 17:27, 14 April 2011
The rice terraces of Candijay, Eastern Bohol
Bohol is the main island of Bohol Province together with 75 minor surrounding islands. The island lies southeast from Cebu Island and southwest of Leyte Island in Central Visayas region. This oval-shaped island is the tenth largest of the Philippine archipelago. Another gem of the Visayas, Bohol is a tropical haven of natural beauty. The coastline of the island is skimmed by gentle coves and white sand beaches. Bohol is not as internationally famous as nearby Boracay, but is well-known locally as a paradise for divers and snorkelers. Dolphin watching and whale watching tours are popular with both residents and visiting tourists. The best season is from March to June, but dolphins can be seen year-round. In addition to white sand beaches and dive spots, Bohol is famous among others, for its Chocolate Hills, the Tarsier – arguably the world’s smallest primate, heritage sites and old stone churches.
Tagbilaran — Capital of Bohol and the main point of entry to the island, including nearby Panglao Island.
Loboc — Rivertown with historic church and idyllic falls. Home of the famous Loboc Children's Choir. Also famous for its River Cruise including serenade and buffet lunch.
Carmen — Launching point for tours of the Chocolate Hills
Corella — The best place in the Philippines to spot a tarsier in the wild.
Baclayon — Port with tours to Pamilacan Island and the town where the old Baclayon Church (established in 1727) is located. Elegant heritage houses line the main road.
Bilar — Gateway to Bilar & Rajah Sikatuna National Park.
Dauis — Historic Church with lovely seaside setting, pilgrimage site, and venue for heritage-themed dinners, exhibits, tours, cafe, craft shop featuring local jewelry
One of the fast ferry that serve Cebu to Bohol and vice-versa
At the moment, Bohol's city airport in Tagbilaran services daily Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airline flights from Manila. It is undergoing renovation to accommodate the B-737s of Philippine Airlines. Ramp area improvement and the construction of a modernized airport building will soon ensure bigger aircraft will allow direct flight into Bohol. Most guests to Bohol enter the island either by land or sea via its island neighbor, Cebu.
The Tagbilaran City Tourist Pier handles more than 4,000 travelers on a daily basis. Nine daily ship calls from Cebu are processed efficiently, with other ships from Manila, Cagayan de Oro City, Dumaguete, Dipolog, Iligan City, Larena, Plaridel and Ozamiz City also welcomed on a regular basis. Another four port terminals cater specifically to Cebu and northern Mindanao routes. Additional berthing space for fastcraft ferries is currently under construction.
Bohol Island is easily accessible by bus, private cars, taxi and rental cars. Many of the towns in Bohol have a bus terminal where one can get a ride to other towns. Tagbilaran City, the capital city of Bohol has an integrated bus terminal located in Dao, where you can get a bus ride to get in most towns in Bohol. Most bus lines operate follows daily schedules. To go the the Chocolate Hills, one had to take the interior-route like Carmen-Sierra Bullones.
Other ways, to get to different places in Bohol is to rent a car. There are several different transportation companies in Tagbilaran City where you can make arrangements to rent a car or van or jeepney. Taxis are also available, but usually you have to pay in pre-negotiated fare called Pakyaw.
The Tarsier monkey of Bohol
For the past 45 million years, tarsiers have inhabited rainforests around the world, but now they only exist on a few islands in the Philippines, Borneo and Indonesia. In Bohol, the Philippine Tarsier was a common sight in the southern part of the island until the 1960's. Once protected by the humid rainforests and mist-shrouded hills, these mysterious primates struggle to survive as their home is cleared for crop growing and poaching.
To date, the Philippine Tarsier Foundation has acquired 7.4 hectares of land in Corella, Bohol for a Tarsier sanctuary. With the Department of Environment and Natural Resources playing an oversight role, the foundation has asked other Bohol towns with Philippines Tarsier populations to donate 20 hectares (49.4 acres) of forestland for conservation.
It also runs a Tarsier Research and Development Center, which serves as a visitor center and venue for research, as well as a habitat preserve. At the sanctuary, a spacious net enclosure keeps a number of Philippine Tarsiers for feeding, captive breeding and display. Here, visitors can observe the Philippine Tarsier in their natural habitat. Within the sanctuary, the Philippine Tarsiers roam freely and all of them have got used to a seven-foot high fence that circumscribes the territory and which serves mainly to protect them from predators like feral cats while maintaining a theoretical chance for tarsiers to leave the enclosure and return as their wish.
Do not visit the caged Tarsiers which are elsewhere on the island (especially in Loboc). These are kept in insufficient conditions and often die of stress from the visitors and poor care. Dead animals are frequently replaced by new one illegally captured from the while creating a high stress on the yet surviving population.
The Tarsier was used by Stephen Spielberg as the inspiration for E.T.
The Chocolate Hills are probably Bohol's most famous tourist attraction. The hills, which look like giant mole hill, are considered unusual geological formation that consists of at least 1,268 individual mounds that are scattered throughout the municipalities of Carmen, Batuan, and Sagbayan. The hills range from 30 to 50 meters high and are covered in green grass, which turns to brown during the dry season, making them look like chocolate mounds. ( Quoted from "Your Guide to Bohol" by Sanchez-Bronce, Loop and Carpentier)
Legend has it that the hills came into existence when two giants threw stones and sand at each other in a fight that lasted for days. When they were finally exhausted, they made friends and left the island, but left behind the mess they made. For the more romantically inclined is the tale of Arogo, a young and very strong giant who fell in love with an ordinary mortal girl called Aloya. After she died, the giant Arogo cried bitterly. His tears then turned into hills, as a lasting proof of his grief. .
However, up to this day, even geologists have not reached consensus on how they where formed. The most commonly accept theory is that they are the weathered formations of a kind of marine limestone on top of a impermeable layer of clay.
Danao Adventure Park (E.A.T. Danao), Barangay Magtangtang, Danao, Bohol, . 8:00am-4:00pm. Extreme/Eco/Educational Adventure Park that offers various activities for all ages. It boasts of a sky-ride, zip-line, river tubing, caving and trekking activities that will surely make a visit to Bohol memorable. It promises to be a whole new experience far superior to the common offer of Chocolate Hills’ tour, tarsier and dolphin/whale watching. Rates vary depending on choice of package or activity.
Island Hopping. There are several uninhabited islands to explore just ten-minute boat ride from Panglao Island.
Bohol Virgin Island
One can escape from the resort crowd and head for quiet towards the clean white sands of Virgin Island. Technically speaking, Virgin Island is a only sandbar. Even during lowtide, the center part of this crescent moon shaped islet is submerged under 6 inches of water. This flooding divides the Virgin Island into two islets. The submerged part of the islet is a good spot to take photographs because it gives an illusion of walking over the water. There are no accommodations or infrastructures in this small unspoiled island but this only adds its peaceful charm.
Diving: Bohol boasts the best diving sites in the world, and there are many diving center to provide the training courses for OW,AOW and so on.
Bohol is known for its bee farm. The honey they get here has become a popular treat. It is also believed that honey from the Bohol Bee Farm has medicinal uses. Honey from Bohol got added uses in certain delicacies and recipes.
Pyramid Bar and Restaurant is an al fresco restaurant along Alona Beach. Aside from fresh seafood catch, the restaurant serves other varieties like sandwiches, pasta, noodles, chili chicken, beef teriyaki and pork cordon bleu. The bar serves fresh fruit juices, carbonated drinks, beer, wine and cocktails. At night, torches complete the tropical dining atmosphere.
Bohol's rapidly growing status as a developing tourist attraction in the Philippines has resulted in the improvement of its tourist facilities. From quality boutique hotels to delightfully quaint bed-and-breakfasts, lovely top of the line hotels and resorts to a simple bed rented from a resident. As such, whatever your budget, you could easily find a suitable place to stay. During peak periods such as Holy Week, Christmas and New Year, rooms may be a bit more difficult to find and more expensive so it would be advisable to reserve in advance.
Bohol Coconut Palms Resort, Aba-a St. Laya, Baclayon Bohol, Philippines 6301, ☎ (02) 526 0157, . Bohol Coconut Palms Resort have opened their doors to provide you with wonderful facilities and warm service. It is truly a venue you can enjoy with your family, friends, and even your colleagues. The resort also has a function room that can accommodate 200 people. You can also find pleasure in their leisure facilities. These include a semi-Olympic-size swimming pool with slides and kiddie pool with fountain.Best rates on official website start at Php 1,300.
Metro Centre Hotel, CPG Ave., Tagbilaran City, Bohol Philippines, ☎ (63 38) 411-2599 (email@example.com), . At the heart of the financial and commercial district stands the imposing 8-storey Metro Centre Hotel and Convention Center. The property is equipped with the finest amenities for business travel and leisure. The health club features exercise facilities that include sauna, jacuzzi and massage.
Solidad Suites, J.C. Borja St. cor M. Parras St., Tagbilaran City, Bohol Philippines, ☎ (63 38) 411-3074, .
Vest Pension House, Tamblot Ext., Tagbilaran City, Bohol Philippines, ☎ (63 38) 501-8079, .
Darunday Manor, 22 J. A. Clarin St., Tagbilaran City, Bohol, ☎ (63-38) 411-2512, . checkin: 1400; checkout: 1200. Located at the heart of Tagbilaran City, Darunday Manor is a walking distance to the City's main attractions. It has nine air-conditioned rooms, each room with solar-heated showers and baths.from US$28.
Amarela Resort, Barangay Libaong, Panglao Island, Bohol Philippines, ☎ (+63) 38 502-9497 to 99 (Bohol) / (+63) 2 911-5203 (Manila Office). Amarela Resort is a Mediterranean-style villa built on top of a gentle slope.
A beach resort in Bohol
The restaurant, which is managed by the same resort, has a spectacular view of the mountains and the sea. It has a swimming pool and a well manicured flower garden with steps leading down towards the beach. Because there are no other resorts nearby, the beach was able to keep its cleanliness and exclusivity. Starfish and other marine life can be easily spotted along the shallow waters. This resort is a quiet alternative to the usually busy Alona Beach.
Bohol Vantage Resort, 1, Panorama St, Barangay Mayacabac, Dauis, Panglao Island, ☎ +63 (0) 38 5023106 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. This resort is located at a calm place on Dayo Hill with a magnificent 210-degrees wide panoramic view overlooking Bohol and the islands of the Central Visayas. The newly built resort offers 6 apartments and 8 hotel rooms. The apartments are about 65-90 sqm large and include a very spacious roofed terrace, air conditioning, kitchen with refrigerator and cooking facilities, cable-TV, DVD-Player, free Internet-access and safety deposit box. The hotelrooms are about 44 sqm large and have refrigerator, cable-TV, DVD-Player, free Internet-access and safety deposit box.
Hayahay Resort in Panglao Island, Bohol, Alona Beach, Panglao Island, Bohol Philippines, ☎ (0063) 38 502 9056, . Hayahay Resort is a tropical paradise for diving enthusiasts and holiday seekers. This Alona Beach resort has an open restaurant on the beach, 11 comfortable rooms with private bath and Wi-Fi access, and exciting water activities like snorkeling, dolphin watching, and scuba diving.
Linaw Beach Resort (Linaw Beach Resort Panglao Island, Bohol), 9999 Daorong, Danao, Panglao, Bohol Philippines, ☎ (63 38)502-9345 (email@example.com), . We are one of the newest beach resorts situated directly on a very private section of Alona Beach. We offer a wide range of amenities for making your stay with us a memorable one. Our friendly staff are here to serve you with the best hospitality that Bohol has to offer. You can enjoy your own private beach fine dining restaurant and infinity pool or enjoy a cocktail while at the pool bar. In our Restaurant we serve only Organically grown vegetables and herbs from our own garden.
Bohol Beach Club, Bolod, Panglao, Bohol Philippines, ☎ (63 38) 411-5222 to 24 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . The resort boasts of an exclusive one and half kilometer stretch of white sand, the largest shoreline in that area. Guest can also enjoy a relaxing swim in the kidney shaped pool set in lush greenery or simply laze at the outdoor jacuzzi. The club has aqua sports that include snorkeling, fun island dives, sailing, kayaking, and whale and dolphine watching
Flushing Meadows Resort and Playground, Brgy. Dao, Dauis, Panglao Island,Bohol Philippines, ☎ (63 38) 502-2122 (email@example.com, fax: (63 38) 502-2122 loc. 102), . Flushing Meadows Resort & Playground is Bohol's most exclusive deluxe resort. Guests at this lovely Bohol resort may expect a truly pleasurable tropical paradise experience. Fishing and diving facilities, a private beach, a spectacular children's playground, and an international-standard tennis court are among the many attractions at this resort in Bohol. Accommodations here combine island decor with modern amenities; private balconies provide stunning seaviews.Best rates on official website start at US$105.
Panglao Island Nature Resort and Spa, Bingag, Dauis, Panglao Island, Bohol Philippines, ☎ (63 38) 411-5878 / 411-5982 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Small cluster of accommodations have private spacious paties with comfortable chaise lounge, an ideal spot for room service for breakfast or leisure reading. Rooms are equipped with the state of the art amenities. The management ensures that service is impeccable and the stuff are the friendliest one will ever meet.
Paragayo Resort in Panglao Island, Bohol, Alona Beach, Panglao Island, Bohol Philippines, ☎ (0063) 38 502 9172, . Paragayo Resort is a Modern Native inspired resort designed and ran by British national Mark Kilroy. Located 3 minutes walking distance from the world famous Alona Beach, Paragayo Resort combines the crisp island air of Bohol with its international-standard budget resort feel
Cebu is one and a half hour trip by fast ferry. Bohol's Tagbilaran City Seaport has eight daily fast craft services to Cebu City. Trips are available from 6AM to 7PM.
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