Road tripping through the natural wonders of BoholMonday, February 06, 2017 Road Trips by Jon Santangelo
Bohol is bound with enough natural wonder that it would be nearly impossible to experience all of them in one day. But if you are tight on time, you can still have a memorable yet blissful trip in this part of the Philippines. In a mere time span of a day (pushing it) or two, you will cover lots of ground if you rent a scooter.
Bohol itself is one of the Philipines’ largest islands but attached to it is the Panglao peninsula which is relatively small, a 30-minute scooter ride from top to bottom. Any resort, hotel or hostel that you stay at will assist you in renting a bike. (Even the owner of the hotel that we stayed at let me borrow hers for ten US dollars a day.) Remember that it’s easy to get lost on Bohol island if you don’t preplan your trip. Don’t try to improvise with directions!
Bohol Chocolate Hills
To start off your trip, the ultimate thing to do in the morning is to check out the world-renowned UNESCO site, the Chocolate Hills – an oddity of hundreds of “once in a lifetime to see” grassy, cone-shaped hills. Known as Bohol’s most famously romanticised attraction, these striking natural wonders are just mesmerising to look at.
Once you are there, you can climb to the top of a high point and take awesome shots and selfies, too.
At the gate below is the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park, where you can go (literally) bike on a zip line. Even if you are not up for an adrenaline rush, taking a bike zip line ride is an absolute must-try. With this funnily bizarre zip line ride, you get the chance of peddling a bike along a 500-meter long cable that hangs high above treetops. Not only will it give you a thrilling adventure, but while zip lining, your eyes will feast on 360-degree views of Bohol’s landscapes and the iconic Chocolate Hills.
After that, ride back through the man-made forest, but video your views since photographs don’t do it justice. The Mahogany human-made forest is a striking gem. With its surreal scenery, lush vegetation and steep slender trees, this five to ten-minute ride throughout this man-made wonder of a forest will leave you in an awe-inspired state of tranquillity.
The Philippine Tarsier
Then go visit the world’s smallest primate, the endangered Philippine Tarsier. A visit to Bohol is not complete without seizing a rare chance to a spot a tarsier. It’s an endangered species, and one of the smallest primates in the world. Quirky, adorable and cute, these unique creatures can be found at the Tarsier Conservation Area. But expect long lines of tourists here. A relatively short experience, the tour itself only lasts about ten to twenty minutes.
Loboc-Loay River cruise
The Loboc-Loay River buffet cruises will feed your grumbling stomach with a variety of tasty local cuisines and live music. Plus, the river cruise will give you incredible sights of palm tree jungles, tall mangroves, and intertwining riverbeds.
To top it all off, the river cruise makes a pit stop to the Ati tribe reservation. There you can to interact with the preserved lifestyle customs of the native peoples’ children and tribesmen. Bang drums, shoot arrows, and take photos with the natives and make sure to tip them, too.
When you finish touring Bohol, go south, take the bridge and follow the highway down for twenty minutes to Alona Beach.
Relaxing and unwinding in Alona Beach is a great way to end a memorable and serene day. Here, you can treat your jaded feet and back to a rejuvenating massage right on the beach- all while watching a beautiful tropical sunset. At night you can enjoy seafood and drinks at any of the dozens of restaurants and bars along Alona’s beachfront.
And if you are unsure about riding off into the unknown, don’t be apprehensive to ask for directions. The locals are happy to help guide you with honest advice. Out of all islands in the Philippines, Bohol’s might have some of the most sincere, good-hearted people. Along with the convenience of the locals’ English speaking skills, they treat you like guests instead of tourists.