Image: tarsier sanctuary (left) and chocolate hills (right)
How to get there: ferry from Siquijor, Cebu city, Oslob, and more.
I had several bad reviews from people before going to Bohol, but I still cannot understand why. It has beautiful green scenery, but the only catch is it takes a long time to get places (enormous island) and maybe travellers got turned off by the touristy beach area in Panglao. Aside from the famous Tarziers (I went just to see them – so worth it!) and chocolate hills, we saw signs for crocodile farms, Ostrich farms, and all sorts of things to see there. Apparently the east side is also nice, but most travellers do not make it out that far.
Accomodation: Best hostel was the Oacis Balili Heritage Lodge hands down. You will 100% meet people if you are travelling alone. Tagbilaran city is a good place to base yourself (cheaper) – that way you can explore bohol, or go to Panglao to dive.
Getting around: easiest is motor bike. Local buses and jeepneys also possible.
- Tarziers (see them at the Sanctuary as they will be in natural habitat vs cages. Aim the the afternoon as they sleep with eyes closed during the day).
- Chocolate hills – 1.5hrs drive from the port city. Great for pictures!
- River boat tour / fireflies by night
- Panglao beach – everyone said it is overrated and way too saturated with tourists. I did not bother. If you go I heard bikini beach is nice.
- East coast: Anda beach and some cool cliff jumping in waterfalls.
Siargao Island (5+ days)
2nd most loved spot by travellers- You come here and stay a lot longer!
How to get there: fly, or 16 hour overnight ferry from Cebu City Port (⅓ cost of a flight).
Where to stay: General Luna (where everything is happening), or quiet option is Pacifico
- SURF! Main reason why people come here
- Maasin enchanted river
- Island hopping tours
- Rent a scooter and explore!
*If you cannot go to Siargao, and have an extra 3-4 days, see my ‘Other Destination’ options at the end of this article. I would recommend Bantayan Island.
Thanks to @fab_Imz for info contributions.
Puerto Princessa (0-1 day)
Puerto Princessa has its charm, and I was the only guest in my good rated hostel. Most people land and go straight to Port Barton or El Nido. Benefit – many ATM options to get cash before heading north. El Nido has 1 ATM and Coron airport ATM was broken.
NOTE* you cannot bring mangoes from PP to El Nido (pest control thing going on). So don’t stock up at the market.
- Iwahig town to see fireflies (but note you can see fireflies in Bohol and Coron), and it is 1-2hours from PP.
- There is some night life there if you are staying in town
Port Barton (2-4 days) my 2nd favourite
Click Here for my video