Bohol

Chocolate Hills - Bohol's icon

Another gem of the Visayas, Bohol’s historical significance extends way back to the blood compact between Boholano Chieftain Sikatuna and the Spanish conquistador, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, in 1565.

Scenic Bohol casts an enigmatic charm drawn from the many archaic mementos spread throughout the oval-shaped island: from the Chocolate Hills and the tarsier to 16th century watchtowers and Jesuit Baroque mission churches. The Chocolate Hills, all of 1,268 perfectly cone-shaped hills, are undoubtedly the most famous tourist attraction in the province. Among these hills that abound in Central Bohol, two have been developed into top-class resorts.

One of the rare faunas found in the Philippine archipelago, the Tarsier is the smallest primate in the world. It is a nocturnal primate measuring from four to five inches, with a tail that is longer than its body. Those interested in tarsier watching are always welcomed by the Boholanos to see the famous primate in its natural abode up the hills in the town of Corella.

A tropical haven of natural beauty, the coastline of the province is skimmed by gentle coves and white sand beaches. You can find some of the country’s great dive sights here. Balicasag in Bohol is one of the very best and most popular dives in the Visayas. A black coral forest is among its main attractions but virtually anywhere you drop in is sure to be rewarding. Another major attraction, Cabilao is renowned for the hammerhead sharks that shoal around the clear waters. Large pelagics are very common here, and if you are really lucky, you can find yourself swimming with a passing school of dolphins.

Images courtesy of Philippine Department of Tourism

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Underwater Recommendations

Balicasag Island is accessible in a 35 minute boat ride from the town off Panglao Island. The island has been developed into a dive resort for people who have a keen sense of awareness for marine preservation. Whale watching expeditions can be organized from here. Pamilacan Island is one of the country's richest scuba diving sites. Noted for its big whales called Sanga. It is between the deep sea of Bohol and Mindanao. Beautiful small and big colored fish and the prized Gloria Maris sea shells abound in its surrounding waters. Accessible in an hour ride by pumpboat from Baclayon, a whale watching expedition can also be organized.

Getting There

From Manila, fly to Cebu then catch a connecting flight to Tagbilaran City, the capital of Bohol. If you prefer to go straight to the province, Aerolift has direct flights to Tagbilaran City daily. For a more leisurely travel, Bohol is also accessible by sea.

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