White sand beaches plus chocolate hills plus tarsiers and more to see and experience in the little island of Bohol! Bohol is 2 hours away from Cebu via fastcraft, it has always been there luring visitors to see its many tourist attractions and swim in its crystal clear waters. Most of the people I know have visited the island province of Bohol yet there I was never making it to this very popular tourist destination despite my place being so near it – well, I didn’t until last week 🙂
World famous geological landmark – Bohol Chocolate Hills
Tantan, Titus’ brother called us up and said that he needs a break from slaving it in the office and enticed us to go to Bohol with him. And since my sister has also been egging me that we go to Bohol for quiet sometime now so we can have ‘pictorial’ it was the perfect opportunity to do the trip. After all, summer is blazing hot and where better to go than to a place famous for many things especially white sand beaches? So to Bohol we go!
Two years ago our group (without Tantan) embarked on a Northern Luzon Roadtrip to ILocos where we had so much fun. So we were all looking forward to another travel adventure. In fact days nearing our departure date, Nicko has been continuously asking if things are all set. LOL.
How to get from Cebu to Bohol?
Five days before we intended to leave, Titus & I went to Pier One to go to the main office of Oceanjet, a fastcraft company serving the Cebu-Tagbilaran route and vice versa, to buy our tickets early on. We had been doing online research to scout for cheap hotels along Alona beach and ways to go to Bohol. We decided that Oceanjet is the best choice considering that it’s fast, it docks in Tagbilaran instead of Tubigon and they have an on-going ‘Oceanjet Libre Balik Promo’ if tickets are purchased at least a day in advance and date of return is within one week from original date of departure. Unfortunately, I am a tad disappointed with Oceanjet’s promo as anyone reading their literature would automatically assume and think that they have indeed a “Libre Balik” promo which if translated to English means “return trip is free”. I mean, come on, libre = free / balik = return. Sad to say but Oceanjet’s promo is misleading; the return fare is not free, it is just a discounted one. I wonder why DTI have not checked on this. Anyhow, I hope people at Oceanjet will realized their mistake and change their promo slogan to something more accurate like “ Discounted Return Fare” so travelers will not expect more. Despite my disappointment we still bought 5 tickets at P820.00 per pax round trip fare. One way costs P600/pax.
Oceanjet’s FastCraft to Bohol
Another Option: If you have more time you can choose StarCraft, another fast craft to Bohol but note though that it docks in Tubigon port and not Tagbilaran Port. Their one way fare is P220.00 per person. There are also slow crafts serving the Cebu-Tagbilaran route, one of them is Weesam. These slower boats are way cheaper than fast crafts but average travel time is longer at 4 hours as compared to fast crafts that arrives in Tagbilaran after 2 hours of sea travel. time.
BOHOL DAY TOUR VIA VAN
Bohol for all intents and purposes is still basically a rural place. I don’t mean any offense to Boholanos. I am in fact applauding them. Everyone knows that Bohol is one of the Philippines’ top tourist destinations, yet despite the deluge of tourists arriving on her ports and airport everyday, Bohol continue to exude that old town charm. Life is unhurried and slower, I think that’s the reason why it draws in foreign tourists. In the white sand beaches of Alona, I think 1 out of 5 tourists are foreigners. My brother even remarked it feels like we were the foreigners there with so many westerners and Koreans scattered left and right, on the beach front, on the restaurants, on the streets.
Oh yah, public transportation to get to every tourist attractions that Bohol offers is a bit tricky. Actually, in my opinion it is not advisable for tourists to commute for the tour as buses that plies in between towns are rare, like an hour apart. There are tricycles and habal-habal for you to hire; habal-habal are motorcycles that carries three or four passengers but their movements are limited to the main towns.
The best option would be to hire a car or a van. If you are many in a group that would be better so you can all split the cost and make it more affordable per person. The usual Bohol Countryside Tour packages cost P2,500 using a van or if you’re lucky a SUV is available. We suggest you avail of our van and driver Julius because his group includes Hinagdanan Cave in Panglao in the tour package; most Bohol travel tours does not include Hinagdanan Cave because it is a bit out-of-the-way but Julius’ group does so you may want to consider hiring him – Julius number 09173565898 or Paul’s number 09297623614.
Included in their countryside tour are the following Top Tourist Spots of Bohol:
- Picking you up in the airport/seaport of Tagbilaran.
- Sikatuna’s Blood Compact Site
- Baclayon Church
- Rioverde Tarsier Place
- Loboc River Cruise
- Loboc Zipline & Cable Car Center
- Prony the Giant Snake Complex
- Butterfly Conservation and Garden Center
- Man-made Mahogany Forest in Bilar
- Chocolate Hills
- Hanging Bridges
- Hinagdanan Cave in Panglao Island
- Bringing you to your hotel.
Note: Alona to Tagbilaran is about 21 kms, so when it’s time for you to leave, you have these options:
- Wait for the hourly minibus, be early at the waiting area on the main road so you won’t miss it.
- Ride a habal-habal motorcycle to Tagbilaran at P300/person.
- Hire a van for P500/van.
BOHOL PLACE TO STAY – Cheap Accommodation
We stayed in Walk-Inn Haven Apartelle, it’s literally a few walks to the Alona White Sand beach strip, maybe 2 minutes tops. It’s a small inn with just 7 rooms. Our driver was the one who suggested that place, and we really like the place. It’s new, cheap, private and you can’t hear the blazing sound system of the beachfront restos despite its close proximity to the beach area. It’s before Bohol Rock Hotel, nearer to the beachfront than Alona Kew Hotel. The downside to this apartelle is that they don’t have any restaurant, you have to go out if you feel hungry. But that’s okay since lots of restaurant, carenderias, diners, and mini-marts are close by. We paid P1,600 per room good for 3 persons/room, the usual rate for the room is P1,800 but we haggled it down. Highly recommended place for budget conscious like us!
Bohol’s Walk-inn Haven Apartelle is truly a haven for walk-in guests 🙂
The second floor of the apartelle is all ours at P1,600 per room
I had so much stories and pictures to share about our Bohol adventure. But I have to take time off now to mind my sunburnt skin. LOL
Note: Click here to go to all 5 posts of our Bohol trip 🙂