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Things to Do in Bohol

If you're interested in more than just beautiful beaches, Bohol offers one of the most fascinating escapes from Cebu. Bohol island, located southeast of Cebu, is only the tenth largest in the Philippines archipelago but has arguably the best natural beauty and most spectacular dive sites. As with many of the frequently visited islands in the nation, Bohol has plenty of white sand beaches and Spanish colonial architecture, but those are far from the main attractions.

Jutting out of the center of the island are well over 1,000 conical, grass-covered hills. Geologists aren't sure how the Chocolate Hills were formed, and the surreal landscape they form is one of the most stunning in the country, particularly during the dry season when the grass turns brown, giving them a chocolate color.

Bohol is also known for a wide-eyed little creature called a tarsier. Native to only a few islands in the Philippines and Indonesia, these tiny primates are thought to be the smallest on earth, and you can see them at the Tarsier Research and Development Center.
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Chocolate Hills
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On the island of Bohol, the Chocolate Hills are hailed as one of the most spectacular natural landscapes in the Philippines. The more than 1,260 mounds—which get their name from the rich, brown color they turn during the summer months—are a geological anomaly best seen from an elevated overlook in the town of Carmen.

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Baclayon Church
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Completed in 1727, likely on the site of an older bamboo structure, the Baclayon Church was the hub of Spain’s first colonial settlement on Bohol—and 200 slave laborers were forced to build it from coral stone. An earthquake in 2013 badly damaged both the facade and the watchtower and the marks of the 2018 restoration are very visible.

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Blood Compact Monument
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Created by one of the Philippines’ top 20th-century sculptors, Napoleon Abueva, this bronze composition looks out over the ocean just east of Tagbilaran City. It depicts the Sandugo, or Blood Compact, of 1565, when the Spanish soldier Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and local leader Datu Sikatuna sealed their alliance with a blood ritual.

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Hinagdanan Cave
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Located on Panglao Island in the tropical region of Bohol, Hinagdanan Cave impresses visitors with its stalagmites and stalactites, and the visual effects created by sunlight filtering through holes in the ceiling. Take in the cave’s surreal beauty while swimming in the underground lagoon.

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Man-made Mahogany Forest
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Tall mahogany trees cast cool shade in Bohol’s Mahogany Forest, formally known as the Bilar Man-Made Forest. Set between two patches of natural tropical forest on the highway from Tagbilaran City to the Chocolate Hills, it’s a popular spot for photos, hiking, mountain biking, and even the odd movie shoot.

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Bamboo Hanging Bridge Sevilla
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Variously known as the Tigbao Hanging Bridge, the Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge, and the Bamboo Hanging Bridge Sevilla, this pair of bamboo footbridges hang 82 feet (25 meters above Bohol’s Loboc River. Steel cables have replaced the original rope, but the creaking, swaying, and wobbling as you cross is still unnerving.

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Abatan River
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Winding its way through eastern Bohol, the Abatan River was once a major transportation artery. Today, it’s the pristine mangrove forests around its estuary that draw travelers. At night, when conditions are right, they come alive with myriads of flickering fireflies, matched by the gleam of bioluminescent life-forms in the water.

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Mag-Aso Falls

Bohol’s Mag-Aso Falls twin waterfalls tumble 25 feet (8 meters into turquoise water at the base of a canyon lined with jungle vines and tropical greenery. Apart from stairs and a simple wooden viewing deck, the waterfalls feel entirely untouched by human hand—perfect photo territory when the conditions are right.

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Loboc

Loboc is a tropical municipality on the island Bohol. The area is most famous for the Loboc River, a coffee-colored body of water that’s flanked by palm trees and rock formations reminiscent of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost Word. Cruise down the Loboc River or visit the 17th-century Loboc Church.

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