Bohol island in the Philippines is a melting pot of activities. Yet a 3 day Bohol itinerary is usually perfect to explore the island’s popular activities without rushing along.
But if you have enough time I would suggest a 5 day itinerary. Bohol is a large island and in a 5 day Bohol itinerary you can include the island’s hidden tourist spots, waterfalls, include Bohol tours or boat tours. There truly is loads to do in Bohol.
In this post, I will break down a 3-day itinerary + 2 extra days if your plan is to explore further and off the beaten path.
BOHOL TOUR ITINERARY
If you are short on time or haven’t planned your Bohol itinerary, then an organized tour is a great way to see the island’s highlights all in one day.
You will find a number of tours on offer either online or from tour agencies in Panglao or Tagbilaran City. There are numerous tours to choose from and different itineraries for specific regions of Bohol.
If you choose a Bohol tour itinerary, the package will include pick-up and drop-off at your hotel (this is usually for Panglao and Tagbilaran areas). And during the day you will stop at the best tourist spots and some tours also include lunch on a river boat.
The tourist spots and itinerary for one of Bohol’s popular tours looks something like this; hotel pick up; a visit to Bohol’s historical site and church, Lunch on a river boat, The Chocolate Hills, a drive through Bohol’s man made forest and stop for pictures, and a visit to one of the Tarsier Sanctuaries.
Other tours worth considering could be a trip to Anda and the Candijay Region, a waterfall itinerary tour, or boat tours to nearby islands.
Searching for ways to reach Bohol?
The process is straightforward and you can get to Bohol with ferries or fast crafts from popular islands in the South of the Philippines. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL GUIDE
Our initial plan for Bohol was to spend around 6-7 days. In the end, we spent 10 days. We based ourselves in Panglao, Tagbilaran, and spent 2 nights in a seaside village in East Bohol named Anda.
I will break down a 3 day Bohol itinerary, + an extra 2 days if you intend to stay longer in Bohol. Included in the day itineraries are – waterfalls – rice terraces – beaches – cave pools and interesting tourist spots that are on the same route or in the same area for the specific day.
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BOHOL ITINERARY – DAY 1
Arrive in Bohol: The main point of entry for ferries is the port of Tagbilaran. And if arriving in Bohol by air, you will most likely touch down directly on Panglao.
Bohol’s tourist area is in Panglao and is a 30-minute drive from Tagbilaran. Panglao is where most tourists base themselves in Bohol and is where some of the island’s best beaches are located and offers a broad appeal of accommodation options for any budget.
Here are some of the best accommodation options on Panglao.
Alona Austria Resort – This property is the best rated option on Bohol. Alona Austria is very clean, centrally located and a budget friendly option.
Bird of Paradise – Having a cool design, Bird of Paradise is a good value for money option with exceptionally clean rooms and a central location.
And choose Panglao Island under ‘Neighbourhood’ (if you want to be shown only accommodations on Pangloa).
Or you can choose to have your accommodation in Tagbilaran city where the rate per night is cheaper overall compared to Panglao, there’s plenty of local food options and you’ll be nearer to most of the tourist spots on Bohol.
B&J Guesthouse Tagbilaran enjoys an exceptional review rating and is super budget friendly.
Kew Hotel – Tagbilaran is another good budget option especially for families.
If you catch a morning ferry (8 – 9am) from Cebu you should arrive in Bohol and be settled in your Hotel by 12:00 – 1:00pm.
Spend the rest of the day in the area. If you are staying on Panglao, you will be within a 15 minute ride from white sand beaches, a cave pool, cliff jumps, and restaurants.
All the best tourist spots in Panglao can easily be reached from Tagbilaran City within 30 minutes.
Here are Panglao’s best tourist spots for DAY 1
- Hinagdanan Cave and Pool (point B)
- Alexis Cliff Diving and Resort (point C)
- Panglao beach (point D)
- Alona beach (point A)
The map below shows the exact location for Panglao island tourist spots. You can click on the map for live directions to the first spot (Hinagdanan Cave and Pool). Later on change destination depending on your plan.
BOHOL ITINERARY – DAY 2
7 Hour Itinerary
Day 2 of your Bohol itinerary will be a combination of off the beaten path and popular tourist spots.
I will include 3 spots in this day itinerary. And all the spots are along the same route so you won’t really go out of your way.
How to get around: we rented a scooter and literally rode all around the island. The roads in Bohol are mostly in good condition and it is safe to ride around the island. Scooters cost 300 – 400 pesos a day ($6 – $8)
Another option is a car hire with driver. With this option you create your own itinerary but without the hassle of organising transport yourself.
*Mag-Aso Falls: A 1 hour ride out of Panglao and into Bohol’s countryside there is Mag-Aso Falls. There are loads of waterfalls in Bohol but Mag-Aso is at the top of our list along with another cascade included later on in this itinerary. Mag-Aso Falls is truly a piece of paradise nestled within Bohol’s jungle. A 15 minute trek along a paved path and stairs is required to reach the fall.
*Click on the blue links for more details
Camugao Falls: Camugao Falls is another waterfall in the same area. It only takes 30 minutes to get to Camugao Falls and the ride is straightforward. Camugao is a towering cascade at the end of a valley. A vibrant blue pool is right beneath the waterfall dwarfed by high cliffs. There is an easy 15 minute trek down to the pool and foot of the cascade. And if you intend spending some time, there are a few huts and tables you can rent for about $2.
Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary: With good reason, visiting a Tarsier Sanctuary is one of Bohol’s best things to do. The Philippine Tarsiers are the world’s smallest primates and probably the Sanctuary is the only place to see them. There is an easy trek around a jungle landscape and a guide will spot out the tarsiers for you. It takes about 20 minutes to walk all the way around the sanctuary.
Back to accommodation: Panglao is a 40-minute ride from the Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella.
BOHOL ITINERARY – DAY 3
8 hour itinerary
Ride along Bohol’s South Coast and into the countryside, the destination is a beautiful cascade. And later on is Bohol’s most incredible landscapes and a cruise along the Loboc river.
Pahangog Falls: Ride out of Panglao or Tagbilaran and along Bohol’s South Coast. The route to Pahangog Falls takes around 1 hour 20 mins. If you use Google.Maps the route is correct. At some point, the paved road gets narrower and turn into a dirt path along the jungle. And at the end of the path is a parking area and the jumping off point to Pahangog Falls. You won’t see the cascade from here and there is a 15 minute trek down to the cascade along a rough path. The path isn’t necessarily difficult but a pair of shoes are better than flip-flops.
Pahangog falls is stunning and as it turns out there are 2 or sometimes 3 streams of water creating beautiful cascade. And as many other waterfalls in the Philippines, a pool with a vibrant blue color which seems to call you to jump in.
CHOCOLATE HILLS via Bilar Man-Made forest: Bohol’s Chocolate Hills and the Mahogany man-made forest in Bilar are on the same route from Pahangog Falls. Somewhere along the way, the route leads through a 2 km stretch of dense mahogany trees almost to the point that sunlight doesn’t pass through. The forest is somewhere halfway into the journey. There isn’t really anything to do rather than take in the beautiful scenery and snap a few shots but it is a nice stop along the way to the Chocolate Hills.
The ride from the forest to the Chocolate Hills is a 20 km straightforward drive along small villages, rice fields and you will probably pass by a few carabaos walking along the streets. Dome shaped hills will suddenly come out from every corner until riding up to the main viewpoint looking over loads of uniform shaped hills with nothing but grass growing on them.
Loboc River Cruise: After the Chocolate Hills you can ride back down to South Bohol to Loboc River. This river is engulfed by a tropical landscape and mountains and lined with palm trees. If you Google Loboc River cruise the directions will take you to the jumping-off point for a boat ride along the river. It is more of a cruise and with 700 pesos ($14) you can jump aboard one of the cruises which will also include lunch. This will be the most scenic lunch break during your Bohol itinerary.
Or you can join a Loboc River Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Adventure and cruise along Loboc River on a stand up paddle. No worries if you have never paddled before as a professional instructor will teach you how.
And choose either the afternoon session or the evening one for a chance to see the fireflies.
Tip: There is a secondary waterfall near Pahangog Falls. The name is Ingkumhan Falls and there is a 10 minute ride between the 2 cascades. You can include this it into the day itinerary. But keep in mind that the Loboc River Cruise operates until 3:30 pm so you will have to see if you have enough time.
If you ended the day with the Loboc River Cruise, it will take about 45 minutes to ride back to Panglao. Tagbilaran is a 25 minute ride.
BOHOL ITINERARY – DAY 4
The first 3 days of this Bohol Itinerary focus on tourist spots in West Bohol in the area of Panglao and Tagbilaran. However, there are interesting activities and things to do in East Bohol. You could reach these spots from Panglao or Tagbilaran but it would be a 2.5 hour trip each way.
It is possible to buy tours from Panglao that will take you on a tour in Anda and East Bohol. However, you would be looking at a journey of 2.5 hours each way. I suggest spending a night or 2 in Anda which is the main tourist area in this part of Bohol. If you stay in Anda, the following tourist spots will be around 1 hour drive.
Here’s our recommendations for accommodation in Anda.
Island View Beachfront Resort – Perfect for those after a quiet place by the beach and looking forward to a relaxing night under the stars. This mid-range beachfront resort is exceptionally clean and serves amazingly good food.
Anda Poseidon’s Beach Resort – This small budget resort is right next to secluded beaches where you can swim, snorkel or sunbathe. Anda Poseidon enjoys beautiful views and serves great food at a good price.
After clicking on the link, tick the box next to Anda under ‘Neighborhoods’ on the left hand side of the screen. On mobile view use the filter and sort by neighborhood.
EAST BOHOL – 2 DAY ITINERARY
This is quite an extreme day itinerary and involves an epic ride along central Bohol’s countryside. The journey will take you through some of the most incredible sceneries, never-ending rice fields, and farmland. There won’t be any traffic along the way but you will come across some grit roads and other rough streets. We did this route on a scooter and didn’t really face anything too extreme.
The Bohol Sea of Clouds is a stunning lookout post from on top of Mount Puntaas in central Bohol. The name comes from the epic view that travels over rice terraces and peaks surrounded in clouds. This place truly is unbelievable but does take an extra effort to get to. From Panglao it is a 2 hour trip along the countryside and winding roads along farmland.
We left Panglao at 3:30 am to reach the peak for sunrise. About 70% of the ride was along pitch black streets. And about 1.5 hours into the trip, daylight brightened up the day. Let me tell you, getting to Mt. Puntaas for sunrise isn’t for the fainthearted. Most of the way we could barely make out our surroundings and the only form of light was from our scooter.
At some point, the day slowly lit up and there is a point where we passed through thick fog along tumbling farmland and cabbage fields. And shortly after we reached the peak.
There is a 100 metre drive into a mountain and a parking area. A small fee is necessary to hike up to the official peak. It is an easy 100 metre hike along a path up the mountain.
Once at the top we couldn’t believe our eyes. From where we stood, we could look down onto rice fields carved into a valley beneath us, mountains making their way up and back down into a stream of clouds. And their are quite a few peaks we could actually walk up to. Possibly you could easily walk down into the valley and wander through the rice fields. But farmers were working in the fields and we didn’t really want to be so much of an intrusion.
TIP: Getting to Mount Puntaas and the Sea of Clouds is well worth the lengthy ride. But keep in mind that on some clear days the clouds may not always be there which is probably the highlight of it all. If you don’t want to add this spot, you can still follow this itinerary but skip directly to the next spots in East Bohol and make your way to Anda.
In the Candijay region in East Bohol there is Can-Umantad Falls. It is a towering cascade and the tallest on the entire island. Can-Umantad isn’t in any way hidden and you can see the cascade from the parking area and while walking up to the fall.
When you arrive at the parking area you will need to pay a small fee and a guide will be assigned. The path is obvious and a guide isn’t really necessary but it is always nice to help the local community.
A 5-minute walk on a concrete path leads to the foot of the cascade. And a pool below is a great way to cool off after the big ride from Mt. Puntaas.
CADAPDAPAN RICE TERRACES
Straight above Can-Umantad falls there is one of the most beautiful landscapes in East Bohol. You can’t see this from the waterfall but the cascade is fed by a stream of water making its way along rice terraces carved into the mountain above.
The Cadapdapan rice terraces and Can-Umantad falls can easily be combined together since it only takes 10 minutes to drive from 1 spot to another. We didn’t know this when we went but there is a possibility to hike from the Cadapdapan rice terraces down to Can-Umantad falls or vice versa. We didn’t do this trek so we can’t say what to expect. But it’s good to know and I guess it is worth checking out. Let us know if you take this route instead.
CABAGNOW CAVE POOL
Anda is the main tourist area in East Bohol. Though don’t expect anything like Panglao, just that there some accommodation options for a range of budgets and a few western restaurants.
From your last tourist spot in the Candijay region, Anda is roughly a 1 hour downhill ride. And along the way you will pass by a few charming villages and locals surprised to see new faces.
The Cabagnow cave pool will make for a great addition to this already epic day of adventure. So if you are already worn out, you could leave this for the next day. After all, there are quite a few cave pools within a short walk from the main tourist area in Anda. Here are the caves that we know about in Anda, Combento cave and Tibaw cave pool.
TIP: Check out Coco Loco restaurant in Anda. They serve the best food with the freshest ingredients. We ate at Coco Loco 3 times during a 2 night span!
The itinerary above is basically what our trips look like. And I must say, it does get a bit tiring when always on the go. We have left the last day open for you to decide but here are a few activities to consider. Or you could relax on Anda beach or spend a night in one of the resorts facing the beautiful ocean.
Tours: We found a few interesting tours in Anda mainly scuba diving or snorkelling and there also may be boat tours. If you are into an adventure you can check out mountain biking tours. We saw these bike tours on offer in Anda.
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