Bucket List Things to do in Bohol, Philippines
As our travel marathon continues from Cebu city, now we are heading to Bohol Philippines. The country itself has countless wonderful places to visit, today let’s discover our bucket list things to do in Tagbilaran City.
Bohol is such a gem composed with historic places to treasure, its history and legends remains as the landmark of each place that you’ll visit and will continue to be one of the charming places in the Philippines.
Tagbilaran, considered as one of the eight “Philippine Dream Cities” by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA). Its name means “to hide from the Moros”. “Tagu” meaning “to hide” and “Bilaan” is referring to the Moros/Muslim tribe who were feared by the early settlers.
The History of Bohol
Tagbilaran City is the principal gateway to Bohol, belongs to the Central Visayas Region VII. According to the country’s history, Tagbilaran was already involved in trading with Chinese and Malay before the Spaniards came.
Later had a contract of settlement when Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi and the native chieftain Datu Sikatuna pledged peace and cooperation through the famous blood compact.
The city was occupied by the United States during the Philippine-American War and by Imperial Japan during World War II.
Later on, Sitio Ubos (Lower Town) was declared a “Cultural Heritage Area” and some other houses in recognition of its cultural and historic significance.
In the year 2013 an earthquake with magnitude 7.2, with an epicenter near Sagbayan, Bohol, struck Bohol. Tagbilaran received four fatalities and 21 injuries, and damage to buildings, including the seaport, airport, and city hall.
This didn’t let the city fall after some reconstruction rebuilding made by the people the city is now back to its best state. More and more tourist come to visit and explore the city’s magnificent jewel places.
Bucket list Things to do in Tagbilaran City
There are so many places to visit in Tagbilaran Bohol If you like to be pampered like a rich kid? it only takes a few Euros or Dollars to do the things you want to do in this lovely city.
A complete tour will cost you less than you expected. For a couple, you have a choice to get a private driver for a tour or you can get your own motorcycle and drive it to get to your desired destination.
Among the famous destinations are Cathedral of San Jose, Bamboo Hanging Bridge, Bohol National Museum, Blood Compact Monument, Chocolate Hills, and many more.
Let me show you our Bucket list things to do in Bohol, I’m sure you’ll like it!
Don’t miss the ATV & Buggy car Experience
ATV and Buggy car experience is perfect if you’re a vehicle lover. It was our first experience to do this kind of activity, the plan was to ride an ATV for the four of us but we ended up choosing the buggy car.
My Brother and Sister-in-law took the ATV car, both were super excited and thrilled to drive on this rocky road unpaved area. Destination? The view of one of the Chocolate Hills not far from the area.
We were heading for a 30-minute tour, normally 1 hour is recommended but since we weren’t prepared for this (not with the right outfit) we chose to have a half hour only.
If you’re not sure if you can drive this kind of engine don’t you worry, you have a warm up or trial mode first so you’ll know how to manipulate this little guy. If everything turns well then you’ll proceed to the terrifying road.
However, the experience was one of a kind. The road was swampy and viscous, luckily we drive slowly not to dirt our outfit that day. It was our first tour of the day and no choice but to keep our clothes clean.
We’ll surely go back next time for a 1 hour or 2 hours tour to visit the 3 Sister’s Hill. Get the same experience as our for only 950 pesos (16 euros) for 4 persons a 30 minute ATV and Buggy car ride.
Note: If you don’t like to be covered with mud try to use a coat or this plastic cover that we are wearing on our shoes just to protect it from the mud. You can also give your phone or camera to the guide, he will surely take photos and videos of you.
Discover and get up close to the Butterfly’s world
A refreshing way to visit the Butterfly sanctuary in Bohol, according to my research there are two gardens where you can see the butterflies up close. The one in Bilar and the other in Sagbayan.
We went to Butterfly Garden which wasn’t too far from our previous tour, here you’ll see an exhibit of butterfly’s life and evolution.
Did you know the female butterfly is bigger than the male? I did know that way back before but now, I have to refresh my brain (haha).
The interesting part is to visit up close their habitat and get to know more about their pollen world. It was outrageous! knowing once more and refreshing our knowledge about these creatures is indeed a bucket list for us.
You will get to see other animals as well especially the birds. For this quick tour, you’ll get to pay 50 pesos only (1 Euro or 1 Dollar) cheaper than you thought huh?
At the end of the tour, the guide will take a souvenir photo of you having these fairy butterfly wings.
Get in touch with the Birds and watch them fly
Still at the Butterfly Sanctuary, after the knowing about butterflies and other species you will head to this part where you can touch the birds and even feed them.
Don’t worry, birds are trained and the guide is present to recommend you what to do. Don’t forget to hide your jewelry cause it may interest the birds. The guide said that jewels resemble the bird’s food so be careful they might beak your jewelry.
You can take photos as much as you want, it depends on the birds if they like you. But normally with bird food in your hand, will surely attract them.
The spectacular thing to watch is when the birds are flying in the open area. It’s one of the best things in your life. Watching them just being free makes you feel the freedom as well. (temporarily I guess)
However, the different species of birds here are special so even if they fly farther they will absolutely come back to their master (owner) to be well fed. Chances of getting good food in the wild are scarcely undeniable.
Visit the Mahogany Man-made Forest
This man-made forest is very known in Bohol, it’s one of the most visited tourist destinations in the city. The uniformity in height of the big trees, thickness, and design of leaves outstand other man-made forests that you’ll see. This forest on the border of Loboc and Bilar towns.
It’s also popular to see this mahogany forest on Television, it’s been a backdrop for some of their action films.
Arriving at this place you’ll surely feel like in refreshed, it was drizzling a bit and I assure you the ambiance here isn’t the same outside of the forest. We stopped for some minutes only, trying to adore this simple but magical forest.
Surely, for foreigners, the man-made forest is just a normal forest. But in the Philippines, we appreciate everything that we have even those who are man-made or naturally created.
Adore the Shiphaus in Poblacion Norte, Batuan
Shiphaus is a unique house turned and designed into a shipping vessel. Owned by Capt. Gaudencio Dumapias, a native of Batuan who became a successful mariner.
It was open as a tourist attraction and hotel to welcome local or foreign tourists to discover Butuan’s Culture. Inside the Shiphaus you will find captain’s cabin, chief mates cabin, kitchen, mess hall, and others. The staffs are all dressed in sailor’s uniform.
Don’t forget to visit this place, you’ll surely have an exceptional experience to be a seaman for a short of time. If you want to go here just ask your private local tour guide, It takes around 2 hours travel time to Batuan from the city of Tagbilaran.
If you are going on your own go to the integrated bus terminal in Dao and catch a bus going to Carmen. Look to your right upon entering the town of Batuan, Bohol. Some meters away from the church you will see the Shiphaus.
Be Captivated by the Church Ceiling of St. Joseph
If you have time to discover more about the city of Tagbilaran you should visit the St. Joseph The Worker Cathedral Parish. A centuries-old baroque church in the Philippines built during the Spanish colonial period.
The structure is well-preserved and maintained with necessary repairs after the damage of the earthquake last 2013. By this way the church that it can continue to welcome people to attend the mass for the tourists.
For us it was a nice experience to visit the church, we went there early in the morning on a Sunday. The mass was going to start hence, I vastly took the necessary photos and then we continued our tour.
The entrance fee is free of course unlike other churches in Europe. If you want to visit and get to explore the church fully, you have to come here early and take your time to pray.
Cross the Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge
One of the most audacious things to do in Bohol is to cross the twin hanging bridge. Yes! it’s a twin hanging bridge made of bamboo hardened steels which were initially used by locals to cross the river going to the Barangay on the other side of the main road.
Among other methods of crossing the Sipatan River, one of the ways is this one.
This Tourist attraction ranked number 3 in TripAdvisor. It’s been one of those activities that you should do when exploring Bohol. Entrance fee is only 60 Pesos (1 Euro) and you can cross the two bridges.
Honestly speaking, it was slippery and creepy at the same time. It was one of the most of the most breathtaking experience I haven’t endured. Don’t worry the bridge isn’t that long, only 40 meters. Well, it’ll take you 2-3 minutes to cross.
Dine in a Floating Restaurant
One of the most astonishing activities that you should take. Indeed a bucket list things to do is to have a buffet lunch on a floating restaurant. Well, it is known as the Loboc River Cruise.
This is actually our second time to experience it. I would love to come back and get a ride again on this cruise. The floating restaurant made of two banka-hulls or two canoe foundation which a large wooden platform placed.
Onboard, you’ll see a big table in the middle filled with food to serve the clients. On our side, we are very lucky to get into a nice boat which has a variety of food.
In terms of different viands, there are a lot certainly especially those salads and fresh algae and sea plants. For desserts? secret! I’ll let you know on a separate post.
It’s a 2 hours tour with the boat you’ll just have to pay 450 pesos or 8 Euros (300 for the meal and 150 for the tour). You have you time to eat as much as you can and get to appreciate the beauty of the Loboc River.
Don’t forget to read my full experience on this Bucket list things to do in Loboc River Cruise.
See one of the smallest primate “Tarsiers”
Yes! one of the smallest primate in the world. Tarsiers can only be found in the islands of the Philippines. What does makes it unique? are its impressive size, big eyes, and the rat-like tail.
The Philippine tarsiers are also unique because they normally measures at around 3 to 6 inches tall and they are very hard to spot in the forests. They are nocturnal and has the largest eye-to-body ratio in all mammals which gives them great night vision.
Tarsiers are very shy, solitary and territorial. It’s rare to see tarsiers together on the same branch they will generally be apart from each other. One thing you have to know is that they have a great neck rotation as much as 360 degrees and move its ears in the direction of the sound however, they cannot turn their eye sockets.
Note that when you visit any Tarsier Sanctuary, please do not touch them or take photos with flash, they are very sensitive and precious. Furthermore, they are considered endangered species.
For only 50 pesos (1 Euro) you’ll get a Tarsier encounter and observe how the species behave. Don’t forget to follow the rules of the Sanctuary, don’t try to feed them or make unnecessary noises.
You can visit either Corella Sanctuary or Loboc Tarsier Conservation Area.
Mesmerized by the Magical Landscape of Chocolate Hills
The precious moment of this visit in Bohol? is admire again these unusual geological formation of mountains. These cone-shaped or Hershey’s shape hills are naturally made of grass-covered limestone and symmetrical shape.
There are actually hundreds of them laying throughout the towns of Carmen, Batuan, and Sagbayan. More than 50 square kilometers (20 sq mi).
According to my research there are about 1,268 to about 1,776 individual hills. The domes vary in sizes from 30 to 50 meters (98 to 160 ft) high with the largest being 120 meters (390 ft) in height.
The ticket fee is 50 pesos per head (1 Euro) regardless of how many hours you’ll stay on the top of the hill. Note that if you’re going here don’t forget to bring your sports shoes with you and water.
Before arriving on the top you must climb the stairs for about 200 steps. Considering the weather, it’s very hot so bring you’re hat or sunglasses with you.
Get your First time Zip line Experience
The best of thing to do in Bohol? If you haven’t had your first Zip line experience? then it’s your time to shine. The Zip line activity is perfect for you, Loboc Eco Adventure Park “IFlyLoboc” is far from extreme experience it’s more of an enjoyable one.
This activity will actually allow you to cross the river via zip line. At 120 meters high you can see the most wonderful view of your life. Plus you’ll get the experience of flying with through a cable line of course.
For me, personally, it was my first time. Imagine for 20 plus years I never had this experience.
The ride of your life lasts about a minute, when you’re there flying you’ll certainly feels like having the most powerful super powers. The round-trip ticket costs 350 pesos, the Loboc Adventure Park offers pictures during your ride for 250 pesos (4 Euros) and you’ll get nice photos of your experience.
And there it is my Bucket List things to do, hopefully, you will try to do the same or just try a couple of these activities to do in Bohol. I’m definitely sure you’ll have a great stay in Bohol.
Tell us which one is your favorite? and Which ones are on your bucket list things to do as well? Until next time watch our my our next adventure!
I would like to thank again one of my closest friends for recommending me Bohol Chasing Bliss Tours and Transport Services
Thank you Bohol Chasing Bliss Tours and Transport Services for organizing this trip and for the best service you have given to us! If you’d like to do the same as our Bucket List Things to do in Bohol you can contact them when in Bohol Tel. no. +639173260232
Another place that I would love to recommend is El Nido in Palawan, Philippines. Visit this wonderful El Nido, Palawan Itinerary the Guide You Need for Visiting El Nido!
If you like to share with us your experience with us as a couple as well, please do send us an email and we’ll share your experience here.
Bucket List Things to do in Bohol