Of the many islands in the Philippines, Bohol is one of the most romantic places that has to be on any couple’s travel bucket list. Further, the 75-islet island province is known as one of the best honeymoon destinations in the country. These five scenic places will make you understand why.
1. Be serenaded during a Loboc River Cruise
With its fine floating restaurant, its impeccable Boholano cuisine, cultural music, and dance, plus the lush tropics at any time of the day, the Loboc River Cruise has everything Cupid needs to spark up romance in any weary heart. The cruise begins in a serene terminal opposite the coral stone church of Loboc. Once enjoyed, you’ll never look at cruising the same again.
Loboc River Cruise’s all-you-can-eat buffet table is a celebration of Philippine delicacies. From soups, grilled fresh seafood, the all-time favorite barbecue, desserts, fresh fruits, and other native treats, cravings will surely be satisfied to everyone’s delight. The family-style service allows for heartfelt conversation in a relaxed atmosphere. In addition, what brings this experience to the next level is that everything that is seen and felt is made more memorable with the live band’s serenade. The cultural renditions of the locale’s personality is made alive with music. Can you imagine all the sights, sounds and scents at night time? It is romance in its purest sense. The soft breeze and the tranquility of the surrounding lush nature will cause anybody to rest his or her head on his/her partner’s shoulder. Soon enough, with the varied playlist, expect to burst in song or end up dancing. One distinct experience would be dancing the Tinikling, a Filipino cultural dance involving dancing over long bamboo trunks. It is definitely tricky but if pulled-off successfully, it is as delightful as it is fulfilling.
Loboc River is 24 kilometers (~15 mi) away from Tagbilaran in the Municipality of Loboc. Getting there is relatively easy by taking either buses, jeeps, or multi-cabs that have interior trips to and from Tagbilaran City. Otherwise, renting a van all to yourself is also another option.
Loboc River Cruise
Address: Loboc River, Loboc
Website: Loboc River Cruise
I think anyone will remember Ariel and her prince in a boat while listening to the groovy crab, Sebastian, singing “Kiss the Girl.” Well, taking a Fireflies Night Tour on the Abatan River while enjoying a dinner-for-two is much like the Disney dream but is more meaningful and nostalgic. Any gentleman planning to propose to his lady should take this intimate, not to mention, romantic setting into consideration. It is just pure perfection. He may have the sweet “yes” that is just plain music to his ears. For others who are still getting to know each other, however, the boat ride presents itself as a great opportunity for some alone time.
As the ripples of the Abatan River introduce you to its neighboring mangrove swamps, mangrove trees, and migratory birds, the conversations will start getting interesting and hopefully, more personal. In Mother Nature’s perfect time, the tantalizing glimmer of the iridescent fireflies make their grand entrance. Seeing them seemingly dancing in-sync in the night sky is the Philippine version of the magnificent Northern Lights. It is a dreamy sight to behold and remember.
To experience the dreamy, head over to Tagbilaran City and book the tour. Tour rates range from 115 USD to 215 USD (~5,774.36 PHP to 10,795.54 PHP) depending on how many there are in the group. The tour starts at 5:30 in the afternoon.
Fireflies Night Tour
Address: Abatan River, Bohol
3. Tour the Bohol countryside and say hello to the Philippine tarsier
The beauty of Bohol can be easily enjoyed in just a day. Booking a day tour will bring you to Bohol’s countryside and its most famous sites. These places include the Blood Compact Monument, the Tarsier Sanctuary, and of course, the Chocolate Hills, a potential UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Blood Compact Monument is located in Tagbilaran City, specifically in Barangay Bool. It was built in respect to the historical Treaty of Friendship between the the Spaniards and the Boholonos as represented by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Raja Sikatuna. It symbolizes a treaty of peace and equality between two very different cultures and religions. To the locals, this event is called “Sandugo.”
After the historical excursion, head over to the Tarsier Sanctuary for some peace and quiet. Buses and jeepneys are available from Tagbilaran City to Sikatuna, the well-watched over home of the Philippine tarsier. The tarsier is known as the smallest primate of the world, and it is only found in the Philippines. These creatures have giant peering eyes and gigantic toes, making them oddly adorable. Their eyes are bigger than their brains and these nocturnal critters are only around 8 to 16 centimeters (3.14 to 6.3 inches) long. Don’t be deceived by their size though. They can jump to a height of up to 4.88 meters (16 feet).
The next recommended must-visit destination is at Carmen, Bohol or the mountain town of Sagbayan. When here, get ready to marvel at the Chocolate Hills, which is a potential UNESCO World Heritage Site. This National Geologic Monument is made of of 1,776 hills across an area of 50 kilometers (31 mi). Any sweet tooth will instantly recognize them as Hershey’s Kisses. Legend tells of a giant who fell in love with a mortal woman. A day came when she died and the giant cried tears that hardened into the hills. Romance is worth a try here!
Guided trips to these destinations can be easily arranged through local hotels and travel hubs.
Bohol Countryside Day Tour
Website: Bohol Countryside Excursion
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4. Bohol Bee Farm
Find relaxation in an agricultural haven situated on top of a cliff in Panglao. Bohol Bee Farm houses a resort and a restaurant where you can feel close to nature while feasting on healthy food. This farm resort is dedicated to bee cultivation, organic farming, and healthy eating. Choose among the homey accommodations it has and enjoy the life of being on a tropical island. Treat yourself with their delicious meals made from organically grown vegetables and ingredients from their farm. Some of their scrumptious dishes that you can delight on are squash muffins, vegetable lasagna, and specially brewed coffee from roasted corn and wild berries.
Bohol Bee Farm
Address: Dao, Dauis, Panglao Island, Bohol
Website: Bohol Bee Farm
5. Candijay Rice Terraces
Aside from the magnificent Chocolate Hills, Bohol is also home to rice terraces which are located in its top rice-producing towns. The most stunning ones are said to be in the elevated areas converted into farmlands in Cadapdapan in the town of Candijay which were formed by the natives a long time ago. Here you can enjoy scenic views of the rice terraces, learn more about farming and get to interact with the locals. Meanwhile, should you want to have other adventures while in the town, you may also visit Can-Umantad Falls which is regarded as the tallest waterfall in the entire province of Bohol and explore other natural attractions such as caves, springs, and mangrove forest.
6. Antequera Basket Weaving
Visit the town of Antequera which is known to be the Basket Capital of Bohol to learn more about the art and the skills of the local artisans. Since basket weaving is the major source of livelihood in the town, you’ll get the chance to see the dexterity and precise movements of the weavers while manually producing beautiful pieces. You may also visit their showroom in Barangay Celing where their baskets and other native products such as hampers, home furnishings, wall decors, furniture, bags, and fashion accessories that come in all shapes and sizes are displayed. Should you want to buy some of their crafts, you may request for excess pieces which are usually stocked at the back of the warehouse.
Antequera Basket Weaving
Address: Municipal Tourism Information and display center (Meeting point of the tour) Poblacion, Antequera, Bohol
Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (weekdays)
7. Sea of Clouds in Danao
This off-the-beaten-track destination is located in the central highlands of the island province. This spot allows see the sunrise over a sea of clouds concealing the valleys below. The billowy blanket of clouds is seemingly stretched up to the distant Chocolate Hills and nearby towns. Meanwhile, as soon as the cottony layers have gradually vanished, it will eventually reveal the views of streams, rice paddies and coconut groves beneath. This lookout is easily accessible as it is only a short walk from the highway, and its occurrence happens throughout the year when the weather conditions are right.
8. Jagna Calamay Industry Tour
This signature delicacy from Bohol is produced in different parts of the town but the best-tasting ones are known to come from Jagna. This sweet treat is made from well-milled glutinous rice mixed with coconut milk and sugar that is placed in a clean coconut husk sealed with a red band. Calamay can be bought from vendors in every port and market in the province and some of them are sold in plastic canisters. However, to enjoy the native way of eating this, and appreciate the way it was originally packaged, you may buy the ones in coconut shells.
One of Bohol’s best attractions is Panglao Island. It is the largest of the 73 islands of Bohol. Known for its powdery white sand and its blissful serenity, it is also one of the best places to win the heart of your special someone. The island’s panoramic vistas are charming and embrace numerous natural wonders for some couple R&R.
Panglao Island is home to the underground Hinagdanan Cave and the white sands of Alona Beach. Long walks to send off the day and meet the sunset is just a beautiful experience. At night, a candlelight gourmet dinner may be arranged to make the shared moment last longer.
From Tagbilaran City, head over to Panglao Island, located in Panglao.
Panglao Island Tour with Mag-Aso Falls
Duration: 5 hours
In the heart of the Bohol Sea, the crystal clear water of Pamilacan Island is teeming with marine life. These amazing creatures naturally command anyone’s undivided attention and taking that speedboat to see how breathtaking it really is, is definitely a good choice.
The friendly sea welcomes the curious marine discoverer with its corals, diverse species of fish and most especially the dolphins, whales, and rare whale sharks that may decide to pay divers a visit as they swim by. Their presence is nothing more than stunning and will surely leave its visitors dumbfounded. After these close encounters, the beach bum syndrome kicks in and the best thing to do at these times is to enjoy the sand and the sun just staring at the island’s pristine setting. Enjoying lunch on the same spot will even make it a more awesome experience.
The visit to Pamilican Island begins on Bohol’s coastline. At the port, a speedboat is available to transit tourists and locals alike to a channel to the island. A visit costs around 150 USD to 300 USD (~7,531.77 PHP to 15,063.54 PHP), depending on the number of people in the group.
Pamilacan Island Marine Wildlife-Watching Tour from Tagbilaran
Duration: 8 hours
Let Bohol do what it does best
The best thing about Bohol is that it is not going anywhere. Its azure waters full of marine life, grandiose islands, and sandy white beaches are the perfect setting for romance. So, why not make this your next destination and fall in love over and over again.
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