Bohol holds a special meaning for us as it was our first family trip in the Philippines when we arrived 4 years ago. It was our first exposure to the amazing beaches in the country. As we are wrapping up our time here, we went back. Lizzy was only 18 months when we first went there so this time she enjoyed it much more as she could participate all the activities with us.
Unlike many other beaches, Bohol has many land based activities in addition to the beaches and island hopping. We arrived on Friday 6pm, after a quick meal at McDonalds, we went to bed early as we had to meet with our boat man after 6:30am the next morning.
First part of the trip was searching for Dolphins who live in the wild. I remember we only saw a few when we came in 2017 after searching for almost an hour. This time, we saw dozens and dozens of them jumping around up from the very start. It was amazing! They were jumping just in front of our boat. What an experience.
Second stop is snorkeling at Balicasag island where sea turtles are abundant. We saw one in 2017 and this time we saw 4 or 5, 3 of them even before we jumped into the water. Again, super lucky. The corals and fishes are also amazing. Now that I have a bit of knowledge about snorkeling spots, Balicasag ranked right after El Nido Palawan. It’s the only place we’ve been sea turtle in the Philippines.
even Lizzy ventured out snorkeling and picking up star fishes.
next was a stop at virgin island, a large sandbar, with millions of sea orchids and star fishes. First time saw moving star fish this time.
The next day we had land tour. We first wanted to visit a waterfall but it was closed, then we went to another one, closed again, so we spent the good chunk of the morning on the roads, getting car sick. Finally we arrived at Hinagdanan cave with a pool inside. The water was super cold but perfect to wake us up.
we ended the day at a Bee Farm for some ice cream, and then another near by beach to search crabs.
Day 4 started with tarsier visit. These animas look so weird, tiny body, gigantic eyes, and totally immobile.
then we visited chocolate hills (iconic view of Bohol), and a few hanging bridges
took a boat tour at Loboc river
and ended up again with ice creams
Day 5 was our departure day but our flight was at 5:30pm so we went to a nearby cliff to watch sardines run. Literally as soon as we got into the water, we were surrounded by sardines. It was such an incredible experience, so glad we went there this trip.
This trip was also kind of sad as the place looks so rundown after the pandemic. Many stores near the hotel we stayed both times closed, and few attractions were also closed due to lack of tourists. Our snorkeling guide shared that during the pandemic they didn’t have food everyday. So far. I really hope domestic tourism is back and they can find alternative living if not.