Bohol is a small town in the Philippines known for the world famous Chocolate Hills, Loboc River and the tarsier, a strange little animal that looks like a monkey but actually has more in common with a bat.
The best way to see what Bohol has to offer is to go on tour. The Bohol Countryside Tour is something that a lot of tour operators offer. It’s a one day tour that includes all the must-see and historic locations in the city. I opted to book a tour with a company called Incon Bohol Tours and they made me very happy. Our tour guide was very well versed in the background and history of Bohol. I don’t have pictures of all the places we went to, unfortunately, but I will write down our itinerary at the end of this post.
Our first stop was the Blood Compact or Sandugo Site, which was made in honor of the First Treaty of Friendship between Miguel Lopez de Legaspi of Spain and Rajah Sikatuna of Bohol.
If you’re wondering what the lady in the background is looking at, it is the view of Panglao Island, which is clearly visible from where this monument is built.
Next we went to the Baclayon Church, which was under construction because of the damage it incurred during the earthquake that hit Bohol a few years back. Most old churches were built with coral stone, which made them quite sturdy at the time.
The church’s altar was painted in gold – meaning the paint they used was made with real gold. And the black and white tiles were the original Spanish tiles used when the church was first constructed. Amazing how they were able to preserve them!
The San Pedro Apostol Paris Church, more popularly known as the Loboc Church, was also badly damaged in the earthquake and is now being rebuilt. One unique feature of the church is that the belltower was built right across it. They say that this was to minimize damage in case something happened to the church. Good thinking!
In the same vicinity was another attraction called the Stupid Bridge, or the Bridge to Nowhere – because it leads nowhere. Word is, the DPWH started this project to connect the Loboc River to the church, but they later on stopped it because they realized the other end would actually hit the church…But when you go up the bridge you’ll have a really nice view of the Loboc River and the boats that take you around it as you enjoy a sumptuous lunch.
We skipped the Loboc River Cruise and opted to go straight to the Bilar Man Made Forest – a 2km stretch of densely packed mahogany trees with a road and speeding cars to separate them. If you’re daring enough, your tour guide will ask you to sit in the middle of the road for the sake of a good picture. Fun! 🙂
Our last stop before lunch was the Chocolate Hills Viewing Deck in the town of Carmen. The Chocolate Hills were originally called the Carmen Hills, but because of their unique round shape and the fact that the grass turns brown in the summer, a foreign ambassador suggested they be renamed to the Chocolate Hills. There are about 1,776 hills spread out over 50km and we had to climb 210 steps to the top of the viewing deck to see them all. It was worth it!
Sadly, I no longer have pictures of the rest of the tour but after this we went to the 40ft Hanging Bridge made solely of bamboo. We bravely traversed it and I don’t have pictures because I was trying not to fall. We also went to the Tarsier Sanctuary where baby and adult tarsiers are nursed and kept safe because they are now considered an endangered and protected species. We also visited the Buzz Cafe, which is an organic restaurant that also sells products from the Bohol Bee Farm. They have really good chocolate and malunggay ice cream served in a cone made of kamote (sweet potato).
If you’re interested to visit Bohol, I suggest you contact Incon Bohol Tours and take the Bohol Countryside Tour. Complete itinerary is posted below.
BOHOL COUNTRYSIDE TOUR
- Blood Compact Commemorative Shrine
- Baclayon Church
- Python Sanctuary
- Loboc River Cruising Lunch Buffet
- Loboc Church Ruins
- Tarsier Conservation Area
- Bilar Man-made Forest
- Hanging Bridge
- Chocolate Hills
INCON BOHOL TOURS
+63 917 910 7606 | +63 929 762 3614