If you’re a first-timer looking for the best Bohol itinerary to make the most of your day, you’ve come to the right place.
Exploring the beauty of Bohol in just one day may sound challenging, but it’s absolutely doable. As a first-time visitor, my family and I embarked on a memorable adventure, beginning with a flight from Clark International Airport to Cebu, followed by a ferry ride to the captivating island. While some may prefer a direct flight to Bohol from NAIA, we found the convenience of traveling through Clark, Pampanga a good option, especially since it allowed us to explore some areas of Cebu along the way.
Upon arriving in Cebu, we spent a night before setting off on our adventure to Bohol the next morning. A scenic ferry ride transported us to Bohol, where we checked into Bluewater Resort, our cozy home for 2 days.
We packed our first day in Bohol with visits to the most popular attractions that any first-timer must see. To ensure seamless transportation between destinations, we rented a van, allowing us to make the most of our time on the island.
Here’s a rundown of the Bohol itinerary destinations we explored:
Blood Compact Shrine
Our journey began with a visit to the historic Blood Compact Shrine. This historical site holds a special significance in Filipino history. It is said to be the spot where a blood compact or Sandugo took place between Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna, a chieftain of Bohol. This event symbolized the friendship and alliance between the Spanish and the Filipinos.
Stepping into this church, which was built in the 16th century, was a step back in time. The Baclayon Church is one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines and is recognized as a National Cultural Treasure. Its intricate Baroque architecture and religious artifacts give visitors a glimpse into the country’s colonial past.
This charming garden offered us the chance to get up close with beautiful butterflies, as well as crocodiles and snakes. While I must confess that reptiles are not my cup of tea, I couldn’t help but appreciate the beauty and the rich biodiversity of the region.
Lunchtime brought us to Rio Verde, a unique dining experience that allowed us to enjoy a boat ride along a river while indulging in a delicious meal. The picturesque scenery and accompanying music made it an unforgettable dining experience.
Tarsier Conservation Area
One of the main highlights of our trip was the chance to witness the adorable Tarsiers up close at the Tarsier Conservation Area. As we explored this sanctuary, we were reminded of the importance of respecting their natural habitat and adhering to the rules in place for their well-being. It was heartwarming to witness the dedication of the caretakers and their commitment to preserving these unique creatures.
On our way to the next destination, we stumbled upon Ship Haus, a recently built house that resembles a ship. The owner, a real captain, was inspired to create this unique tourist attraction after people started taking pictures of his house. It was an interesting and unexpected detour.
Saving the best for last, we arrived at the iconic Chocolate Hills. These geological formations consist of more than a thousand cone-shaped hills scattered across the landscape. According to local legends, these hills were formed when two giants engaged in a battle and hurled rocks, leaving behind these magnificent mounds. The hills get their name from their chocolate-brown color during the dry season, resembling rows of delicious chocolate kisses.
To cap off our Bohol adventure, we decided to have dinner at Henann Resort. This resort, with its unlimited buffet restaurant, exceeded our expectations. The opulence and grandeur of the place made us feel like we were in a paradise reserved for the affluent.
After a day filled with exploration and sightseeing, we decided to take it easy on our final day. We spent our time at the hotel, enjoying its amenities until check-out. Later, we traveled back to Cebu for a few hours, where we managed to squeeze in visits to the Temple of Leah and Sirao Pictorial Garden, making the most of the time and energy we had left.
My thoughts on our Bohol Itinerary
Reflecting on our personal experience, we were truly grateful for the efforts made by the locals to preserve these amazing places and for their warm hospitality. While we wished we had more time to discover more spots that Bohol has to offer, we acknowledge that our Bohol itinerary, designed to cover multiple destinations in a short period, required us to keep a brisk pace. So, if you’re planning a trip to Bohol, I highly recommend extending your stay in Bohol to fully immerse yourself in its wonders, allowing ample time to explore each destination at a more leisurely pace. Additionally, I suggest planning a separate trip to Cebu to fully experience the unique charms it has to offer.