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The First-Timer’s Bohol Travel Guide (2021)

There’s something about Bohol. My sister and her husband live in Shanghai but they spend a week in that Central Visayan province every year. They have no ties there. No businesses to oversee, no friends or relatives to visit. They go because they love it and they’ve been doing that for several years now.

The Philippines is an archipelago consisting of 7,641 islands. With so many islands to choose from, you’d think they’d get bored visiting the same place year after year, but they don’t. And I can understand why.

Because apart from Bohol being one of the Philippines’ most picturesque provinces, it’s also one of its most intriguing, boasting an array of attractions that you can’t find anywhere else in the country. As my sister and brother-in-law can tell you, it’s a captivating destination with much to see and do.

If you’re visiting Bohol for the first time, then I hope this Bohol travel guide can help you plan your trip. Like them, it might be the first of many.


This travel guide to Bohol is long. For your convenience, I’ve compiled links to hotels, tours, and other services here.


Top-rated hotels on Panglao Island, the best place to stay for first-time visitors to Bohol.



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Because of the current global situation, Bohol travel guidelines can change often. Click on the link for the latest travel guidelines to Bohol.

If you plan on visiting the Philippines from a foreign country, then be sure to check for updates on travel restrictions to the Philippines. If travel is possible for you, then you may want to seriously consider getting travel insurance with COVID coverage.


Depending on your passport, you may need a visa and other documents to visit the Philippines. Check out to learn about the requirements and to apply for a visa (if necessary).


Bohol, for me, is one of the Philippines’ most interesting and diverse destinations. If I had friends visiting from other countries and could take them to just one place, then Bohol would be on my short list.

As beautiful as the Philippines is, many destinations offer mostly sand and surf. But not Bohol. Apart from its many white sand beaches and world-class dive sites, Bohol is known for unique attractions that you can’t find anywhere else in the Philippines.

Curiosities like the Chocolate Hills and the Philippine Tarsier come foremost to mind. You like churches? Bohol has plenty, some dating back to the early years of Spanish colonization.

If you’re an animal lover like I am, then you’ll be pleased to know that the seas around Pamilacan Island are a main migration route for cetaceans like spinner dolphins and Bryde’s whales.

If adventure’s your thing, then you can go stand up paddleboarding on the Loboc River or go cycling on a steel cable 150 feet off the ground.

The Philippines has some of the best beaches in the world so if all you want to do is lay on the sand catching rays, then there’s no shortage of islands to choose from. But if you want a place that offers that and more, then come to Bohol.


Like most regions in the Philippines, Bohol is hot year-round and sees little fluctuation in temperature. What matters more when planning a trip to Bohol is the amount of rainfall and knowing when peak seasons are.

June to November are the rainiest months so you may want to avoid that stretch if your goal is to catch as much sun as you can. Late December and Holy Week are peak seasons for locals so I’d say the best time to go would be from January to around Mid-March. The weather is ideal and there are fewer tourists.

DEC-MAR: High season in Bohol is from December till late March when it isn’t as hot (yet) and the weather is dry. Temperatures around this time range from 28-32°C (82-90°F) during the day and drop to 25°C (77°F) at night. As described, the period around Christmas and Holy Week are peak seasons for locals so be prepared to compete for the best real estate on the beach.

APR-JUL: If you’re allergic to people, then anytime after Easter weekend until July would be a good alternative. It’s hot, with temperatures rising to 38°C (100°F) during the day, but it also starts raining more so that may help to offset the scorching heat. Being summer, it’s also the best time to see the Chocolate Hills in their brown chocolate-y color.

AUG-NOV: August to November is considered the wet season so you may want to avoid this time as the rains become heavier and more frequent.

Climate: Annual Monthly Weather in Bohol

To help you better understand the climate in Bohol, I’ve included average temperature and annual rainfall graphs below. Suggested months to visit are indicated in orange.

Average Temperature

Average Temperature in Bohol, the Philippines

Annual Rainfall

Annual Rainfall in Bohol, the Philippines


Bohol is about an hour and a half south of Manila by plane. We always fly to Bohol from Manila but you can get there by ferry as well if you’re already in Cebu or Dumaguete.

Most travelers to Bohol will stay on Panglao Island. Bohol–Panglao International Airport (TAG) was inaugurated in late 2018 so you can now fly directly to Panglao from Manila. Before then, flights would arrive in Tagbilaran City which is about half an hour away from Panglao.

Tourists traveling to Bohol by ferry from Cebu or Dumaguete will arrive at the Seaport in Tagbilaran City. You can book a transfer in advance through your hotel or Klook.

This guide focuses on how to get to Bohol from Manila, Cebu, or Dumaguete, but there may be other ways to get there depending on where you are. You can go to Bookaway to search for routes available to you.

From Manila

Airlines that fly direct from Manila to Panglao are Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, and Air Asia. Be sure to check all three airlines to find the best deal.

From Cebu

If you’re already in Cebu, then you can go to Tagbilaran by fast ferry. The trip takes about two hours and there are several departures daily. You can book fast ferry tickets from Cebu to Tagbilaran on Bookaway.

From Dumaguete

If you’re already in Dumaguete, then you can travel to Tagbilaran by fast ferry. You can purchase tickets through 12Go Asia, Klook, or Kkday.


The unit of currency in the Philippines is the Philippine Peso (PHP).

Being from Manila, we don’t need to exchange currency but there are a few money changers around Alona Beach on Panglao Island. Some hotels will exchange your currency as well. However, I’ve read that the rates aren’t as favorable on Panglao and you can can get better rates in Tagbilaran.

Assuming you’re coming from a bigger city like Manila or Cebu, then you’re better off exchanging your currency there before traveling to Bohol. The exchange rates will most likely be better.

Alternatively, you can also withdraw Philippine Pesos (PHP) from an ATM. The rates are competitive. Just be sure to advise your bank you’ll be using your ATM card overseas so you don’t run into any problems.


Panglao Island is where you want to be in Bohol. It’s where you’ll find all the best beaches, resorts, restaurants, and bars in Bohol.

Panglao Homes Resort & Villas

If it isn’t important for you to be right on the beach, then Panglao Homes Resort & Villas is a great choice of hotel. Located about 2 km from Alona Beach, it’s a secluded boutique resort with clean spacious rooms and a nice swimming pool. The distance from the beach didn’t bother us at all since they offer free one-way shuttle service to Alona beach five times a day.

We booked a room here through, but you can make a reservation through Agoda as well. If Panglao Homes isn’t the right resort for you, then you can check these links to find alternate listings: | Agoda. Check out some of the top-rated hotels on the island:

You can also book hotels and home stays in Bohol using the handy map below.


1. Visit Bohol’s Top Tourist Attractions on the Countryside Tour

Bohol has many interesting tourist attractions like the Chocolate Hills in Carmen, the tarsier sanctuary in Corella, and the Loboc River. The problem is, they’re spread out across the island so it can be a challenge to visit them on your own.

The Countryside Tour — a chauffeured tour that takes you to all of Bohol’s top sights in one day — makes it easy. Check out my post on the Countryside Tour in Bohol for more pictures and information.

We arranged for our own private car rental with driver to visit all these sites, but you can book this Bohol countryside tour through Klook or Kkday.

The Countryside Tour: Your Ticket to Bohol’s Top Tourist Attractions

Tour Duration: 7-9 hrs
Cost: Depends on number of guests

2. Go Dolphin Watching and Snorkeling at Balicasag Island

Like the Countryside Tour, dolphin watching and island hopping / snorkeling is another popular excursion in Bohol. You’ll set off at dawn to go dolphin and whale watching before spending a few hours snorkeling around Balicasag Island.

There you’ll come face to face with a spectrum of marine wildlife like fish, turtles, and giant clams. Check out my post on Dolphin Watching and Snorkeling at Balicasag Island for more pictures and information.

Like the countryside tour, we made our own arrangements for boat rental but you can book an island hopping tour with Klook or Kkday.

On Chasing Dolphins, Turtles, and a Pop-up Seafood Bar in Bohol, the Philippines

Tour Duration: 11 hrs
Cost: Depends on number of guests

3. Go Stand Up Paddleboarding and Mountain Biking at Loboc River

If you like action sports, then you’ll love this. What better way to enjoy the Loboc River than to ride along its banks in the morning then dive in from your paddleboard in the afternoon?

It’s loads of fun and a great way to beat the summer heat. Check out my post on Stand Up Paddleboarding and Mountain Biking at Loboc River with SUP Tours for more pictures and information.

We booked both activities directly with SUP Tours, which was the first company to offer these stand up paddleboard tours on Loboc River. I’m not sure if this is the same company but you can book the mountain biking and stand up paddleboarding activities through Klook as well.

Go Stand Up Paddleboarding and Mountain Biking at Loboc River in Bohol, the Philippines

Activity Duration: 1 hr each
Cost: Mountain Biking – starts at PHP 800, Stand Up Paddleboarding – starts at PHP 800

4. Bike on a Zipline at Chocolate Hills Adventure Park

We did this at Eden Nature Park in Davao and had a lot of fun with it. You’re basically riding a bike with specialized wheels that wrap around the cable. You’re attached to a safety harness while a metal bar tethers your bike to an overhead cable, so there’s no chance of you falling off. I hope.

We haven’t been to Chocolate Hills Adventure Park but a friend of ours told us it’s in the midst of the Chocolate Hills so you’ll be treated to some pretty spectacular views.

Aside from this bike zipline, Chocolate Hills Adventure Park offers plenty of other attractions as well like a surf zipline, treetop rope challenges, wall climbs, and zorbing. It looks like a lot of fun so you’ll probably want to save a whole day for this.

Check out their website for a list of attractions and rates, including transportation. You can also purchase a discounted admission ticket to the park through Klook.

Bike on a Zipline at Chocolate Hills Adventure Park, Bohol, Philippines

Activity Duration: About 1 hr for the bike zipline
Cost: PHP 600 for the bike zipline


Thanks to social media and the global expansion of fast food giant Jollibee, Filipino food has become more mainstream over the years. There are many delicious things to eat in my country but in my opinion, these are the dishes that you need to try.

Click on the link for a list of the best dishes to try in the Philippines, many of which you can probably find in Bohol.

Grilling pork liempo

Photo by MikeEdwards via Deposit Photos


Delicious Filipino desserts like halo-halo and leche flan are among the best things about Filipino cuisine. If you have a sweet tooth, then check out our article on Filipino desserts for more sweet suggestions in the Philippines.


Photo by junpinzon via Deposit Photos


1. Giuseppe Pizzeria & Sicilian Roast

Giuseppe Pizzeria & Sicilian Roast is one of the best Italian restaurants we’ve been to not just in Bohol, but in all of the Philippines. It’s really good.

Owned and operated by Italian Chef Giuseppe Genco who’s worked at premier hotels like the Hilton, Manila Peninsula, and Shangri-la, this was probably the single best meal we had on this trip.

Check out my post on Giuseppe Pizzeria & Sicilian Roast in Bohol for more pictures and information.

Giuseppe Pizzeria & Sicilian Roast: Where to Eat in Panglao, Bohol, the Philippines

Expect to Spend: About PHP 500-600 per person with drinks

2. Pearl Restaurant at Linaw Beach Resort

What romantic getaway would be complete without dinner on the beach? A TripAdvisor favorite, Pearl Restaurant is located at the far end of the more secluded and much quieter Danao Beach.

They have an extensive menu offering all kinds of dishes like fresh seafood, Australian rib eye, fondue, pasta, pizza, and paninis. They even serve more exotic fare like crocodile and ostrich! In my opinion, dinner and cocktails here on the beach whilst watching the sunset is a must in Bohol.

Check out my post on Pearl Restaurant at Linaw Beach Resort in Bohol for more pictures and information.

Pearl Restaurant at Linaw Beach Resort: Where to Have Dinner on the Beach in Panglao, Bohol, the Philippines

Expect to Spend: Anywhere between PHP 500-900 per person with drinks

3. Bohol Bee Farm

A TripAdvisor favorite and Bohol staple, Bohol Bee Farm is known for serving good food using only the freshest organic greens and vegetables.

You can walk around their expansive facility and visit their many herb and vegetable gardens. They bake their own bread and churn out their own ice cream served in house-made cassava cones as well. Resembling a giant treehouse, the restaurant offers the most stunning ocean views.

Check out my post on Bohol Bee Farm for more pictures and information.

Bohol Bee Farm: Where to Eat in Panglao, Bohol, the Philippines

Expect to Spend: About PHP 450-550 per person with drinks


To help you get your bearings, I’ve created this map so you get a better sense of where everything is. Click on the link for an interactive version of the map. All the places recommended in this guide are pinned on this map.

Bohol attractions map


The majority of travelers to Bohol stay on Panglao Island. You can get around by tricycle/habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) or by renting your own motorbike.

Tricycles don’t have meters and charge per destination, but PHP 80 for every 2 km (for up to 3 people) seems a good rule of thumb. Motorbike rentals may vary from resort to resort but ours charged the following rates: PHP 500 per day (1-3 days) / PHP 400 per day (4-7 days) / PHP 350 per day (8+ days).

If you rent a motorbike, then you probably intend to visit Bohol’s tourist attractions on your own. If so, then you can refer to the map above or ask your hotel for detailed directions. If you’re going on the countryside tour, then you’ll be picked up and driven around in an air-conditioned car/van.


Like many destinations in the Philippines, Bohol is one of those places where you can stay for weeks doing little more than laying on the beach. But if you don’t have weeks, then four full days should be enough. It’ll give you enough time to do everything in this guide.

Here’s a sample 4D/3N Bohol itinerary I put together to help you plan your trip.

• Blood Compact Shrine
• Baclayon Church
• Man-made Forest
• Chocolate Hills
• Simply Butterflies Conservation Center
• Loboc River Lunch Cruise
• Corella Tarsier Sanctuary
• Dophin and whale watching
• Virgin Island
• Balicasag Island Marine Sanctuary
• Relax on the beach
• Mountain biking
• Stand up paddleboarding
• Get a massage on Alona Beach
• Chocolate Hills Adventure Park


Assuming you’ll be traveling to Bohol with one other person, then a budget of around PHP 3,500 per day for four full days should be plenty. This takes into account a moderately priced hotel, restaurant meals, must-do tour fees, transportation, and pocket wifi rental.

How much to budget for accommodations depends on several factors like hotel preference and number of Bohol travel companions. We booked a room at a boutique resort for about PHP 1,990 a night. Expect to pay much less if you’re staying in a dorm room.
Again, this is subjective, but based on our experience, I’d say around PHP 1,000 a day per person if you dine at restaurants. You can spend much less than this if you eat at lower end eateries.
Of the four activities suggested in this guide, I’d say the countryside tour and island hopping are the absolute must-dos, meaning you won’t have a complete Bohol experience if you skip them. Both tours will cost at least PHP 3,744 per person.
If you’re sharing the cost with one other person, then you’ll each be paying PHP 225 per day.
The only time you’ll be taking a tricycle or habal-habal is if your hotel is too far from the beach. If you’re sharing transportation costs with one other person, then that should amount to about PHP 80 each per day. Allocate more for transportation if you plan on renting a motorbike for the duration of your stay.
This comes out to PHP 3,236 a day per person. Ren and I are middle of the road travelers who enjoy good food and drink, so the recommended budget is a good baseline for travelers like us. Adjust accordingly based on your own travel habits.


1. Plan your Trip with Sygic Travel

This has been my go-to trip planning app for many years now. I’ve been using it ever since it helped me plan our first trip to Osaka.

What it does is allow you to visualize all the places you want to visit on a map so you can see exactly how far they are from each other. That way you can easily group attractions and restaurants by day to come up with an efficient itinerary. Check out my post on the Sygic Travel app for more information.

DOWNLOAD: iOS / Android

2. Rent a Pocket Wifi Device

Aside from my passport, the three most important things for me when I travel are money, my smartphone, and a pocket wifi device.

Being able to access the internet whenever you need to is so important these days, especially when you’re in a foreign country. You’ll need it to navigate, convert currencies, and stay connected to the people back home.

You can secure a constant wifi connection by buying a sim card or renting a pocket wifi device. I find pocket wifi devices to be simpler so I prefer that in spite of the added cost, but either one is fine.

Assuming you’ll be going to Bohol by way of Manila, then you can rent a pocket wifi device or buy a sim card and have them waiting for you in Manila. You can either pick them up from Ninoy Aquino International Airport or have them delivered to your hotel.

3. Check for Bohol Travel Vouchers

There are many websites that offer discount passes to tours and services. Two of my favorites are Klook and Kkday. They offer deals to many destinations around the world, including Bohol.

If you’re looking for deals on tours, transfers, activities, etc, then you may want to search through the Klook or Kkday websites for a list of Bohol attractions.

4. Get Travel Insurance

If you’re a foreigner traveling through the Philippines, then you may want to get travel insurance. The Philippines is a little “rough” around the edges and you never know what can happen.

Personally, we get travel insurance if we plan on doing anything physical on a trip. In the Philippines, I assume you’ll be doing a lot of outdoorsy stuff so I think getting travel insurance is a good idea.

We buy insurance from World Nomads or SafetyWing. They’re both leading travel medical insurance providers used by many digital nomads. Check out my article on why we buy travel insurance for more information. You can follow the links to get a free quote from World Nomads or SafetyWing.

5. Bring the Right Power Adapter

Electrical outlets in the Philippines typically feature two-pronged flat sockets, either Type A or Type B. Be sure to bring the right power adapters for your devices. Electrical voltage is 220V and the standard frequency is 60Hz.

Have Fun!

I’ve been to Bohol many times but I still don’t consider myself an expert. Nonetheless, I hope you found this guide useful. I’m only sharing some of the things that I learned from our trip.

If you have any questions or comments, then please leave them in the comment section below. You’re welcome to join our Facebook Travel Group as well.

Thanks for stopping by and remember to keep your voices down when saying hi to the tarsiers!


These are some of the things we brought with us to Bohol. Aside from my photo and video equipment, we did a lot of outdoorsy things so I brought gear suited for that.

If you’d like to see what other gear we use, then you’re welcome to have a look inside our backpack. (NOTE: The following links are Amazon affiliate links.)

Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III
Canon G7X Mark III
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
Lipo Battery-safe Pouches
Battery-safe Pouches
Dry River Bags
Dry River Bags


This post contains affiliate links. That means we’ll get a small commission if we make a sale at no additional cost to you. We only recommend products and services that we use ourselves and firmly believe in. We really appreciate your support as this helps us make more of these free travel guides. Thank you!

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Wednesday 18th of September 2019

Hello. Been looking for advise since its my first time to travel with my son and explore Bohol. I am not sure yet because i already booked our flight on November 2019 and i dont have any idea on where to stay. Some of my friends who traveled to other places in Bohol recommended to just find a hotel to stay in for 2 nights right there and then in Bohol. Is it advisable to do so? Otherwise, I will start searching before our due date. Thank you very much.

JB & Renée Macatulad

Sunday 22nd of September 2019

Hi Ellice, some people do that but I'm not one of them haha. I like to have everything sorted out before I go to make sure I don't run into any problems. If you'd rather not pay up front, then you can make a reservation on Most listings will allow you to cancel up to a few days before your booking without any penalties. Hope that helps and enjoy your trip! :)

Mark G

Tuesday 14th of May 2019

Hi guys thank you for the good information. I am going to come to Bohol in July 2019. I was in the Philippines in 2017 and had a really great time in Manila rented motorbike and went to Balar. it was a long trip 12 hours. I did not know the small motorbike cannot go to express road you need to have a 400cc motorbike. I rented a motorbike through The service was nice.

But now i am want to rent a scooter in Bohol. I found good offer on Book2wheel but i want to see if there are other options. I am looking for budget for 250 pesos a day to 300 pesos. I am a backpacker.

JB & Renée Macatulad

Wednesday 15th of May 2019

Hi Mark, I'm sorry but we don't rent motorbikes so I don't know.


Friday 15th of February 2019

80 php for every 2 km? Hardly.. Guisseppie and Sunset Grill being excellent meal options is an outlandish lie and I'd like to know what your relationship is with those establishments to post such nonsense.

Furthermore you encourage people to rent a pocket-wifi device for 450 php per day and you darn well that is ridiculous. You can practically buy one for 500!

Greedy foreigners like you are what is ruining this country.

JB & Renée Macatulad

Friday 15th of February 2019

Thank you for expressing your opinion NemoHonesty. As rude and vitriolic as your comment was, you're entitled to your opinion.

First of all, we aren't foreigners. We're Filipino. If you read this article in its entirety, then you'd know that.

Secondly, PHP 80 for every 2 km was indeed the going rate for tricyles when we were there. Not sure if it's gone up or down since then but I have no problem updating this guide if it has.

Thirdly, we have no relationship with Giuseppe Pizzeria or Sunset Grill. We sincerely enjoyed their food, just like the hundreds of people who left positive reviews on their TripAdvisor pages. You can click on the links to see for yourself. If you do, then you'll see that they're both TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence awardees. I have no idea why you feel so strongly against both places, but you're entitled to your opinion, as are we. Not everyone shares your taste in food.

And lastly, yes I agree that Konbini is on the expensive side. I've voiced this to them myself. We rent pocket wifi devices wherever we go and in our experience, the Philippines has been one of the most expensive. Sadly, they have few competitors which is why I believe they can jack up the price. But I did offer the alternative of renting from GoLocal in this guide, to which I am not an affiliate. The important thing is for people to have reliable wifi access when they're here.

But I am curious about this PHP 500 pocket wifi device you speak of. Care to share the brand and where we can get it? I haven't checked lately, but we've tried two other brands in the past – both of which cost well over PHP 1,000 – but the connection was poor and unreliable. One of those devices was SmartBro which we've since given up on. I'd love to try this PHP 500 device you're recommending to see if it's any good.

In any case, thanks again for your comment. I don't know you and you don't know me, but based on the aggressive tone of your comment, you sound like an angry person. I don't know what's going on in your life that's causing you to react this way, but I do hope things work out for you. Life's too short to be this bitter.


Saturday 13th of October 2018


Found your website/blog so helpful in planning my upcoming trip to Bohol. I was wondering when booking the Balicasag Island tour, how long was the boat ride from Panglao to the Island? And how long from Balicasag to Virgin Island? and from the Virgin Island back to Panglao. I have a friend who get sea sick and was wondering if they can handle the travel times.

Thank You, Ann

JB Macatulad

Sunday 14th of October 2018

Hi Ann, the first leg of the boat ride is a bit long because you're dolphin watching. It's definitely over an hour. The other legs after that are shorter, maybe around 30-45 mins each. Ren gets easily seasick too and she remembers feeling a little nauseous that day. Your friend should definitely take Bonamine (meclizine) before the boat ride. Hope that helps and enjoy Bohol! :)


Tuesday 24th of July 2018

Goodeve po... Ask ko lang if may contact number ba kayo ng habal2x driver na pwedeng mag tour samen sa buong bohol??? Sa Tubigon po kasi kami dadaan..

Thanks po... :)

JB Macatulad

Friday 27th of July 2018

Sorry Kerby, wala akong alam eh. Pero itry mo si Lisa – +63 910-259-0398. Siya yung nagprovide sa amin ng boat para mag island hopping. Sinundo kami ng asawa niyang nakamotor kaya baka may mererecommend sila. Enjoy Bohol! :)