Ah Bohol. This is actually my second time in this beautiful island in Visayas. For me, Bohol is a place that has it all. Scenic spots, unique wildlife, historical places, sparkling beaches and, of course, great food are ingredients for a guaranteed blast. For my second encounter, I play tour guide for my friends as we headed to Bohol’s countryside. Let’s go!
First up, Bohol is actually a huge island. So before you start getting your DIY glasses on, I STRONGLY recommend that you get a guided tour instead. This will provide huge time savings and will make the most out of your day.
For this countryside tour, we got the services of Naldix Bohol Tours. We availed of the whole day countryside tour costing us Php2,000.00 for the vehicle (Hyundai Accent, 4 passengers). What’s good about their package is that their driver can serve as your tour guide and photographer at the same time. The best part? They have no 8-hour limit as to the vehicle use, unlike other tour packages. Entrance fees for all attractions, including the Loboc buffet lunch was priced at Php635.00 per head. Wasting no time, we started our Bohol tour by 8AM. Our first stop: Hinagdanan Cave.
Upon entering the cave, you will be accompanied by one of the tour guides. Don’t underestimate these tour guides as they are very knowledgeable about the cave, how it was discovered, its physical features, etc. They also serve as pretty good photographers. Just give your camera, let them tweak the settings and boom, quality photos for the group.
We were inside the cave for about 20 minutes. I must say that the tour guide was quite entertaining and very much a part of the cave experience itself as well. Expect the words “fabulous”, “amazing” and “gorgeous” throughout your photo shoot. This was also my first time to enter a cave with lots of stalactites so I was quite happy to experience it here in Bohol.
After the cave tour, we bought some souvenirs early to maximize time. Next up on our list was the Blood Compact Shrine.
There’s really nothing much to see here except the Sandugo statues of Legaspi and Sikatuna. Arrive. Picture2x. Leave.
Trivia: This is NOT the place where the Blood Compact actually took place. That spot is located a few kilometers ahead of this shrine (there’s an official signage).
Up next on the itinerary is the Baclayon Church, one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. One interesting thing about the church is that it has two visible “apparitions” on its walls. The one is claimed to be Padre Pio, while the other one looks like a depiction of Madonna and child. Legit? Or just a product of pure imagination? You decide.
Next stop was at Prony, the huge python. I was scared of touching Prony so I let Kaye do the honors instead. Hehe.
After photo-ops with the snake, we decided to buy pastry treats there instead since the place had all of the Bohol delicacies for sale (Peanut Kisses, Peanut Fingers, Kalamay, etc.). However, the biggest surprise was the homemade ice cream found at the nearby stall, Schwarzwaldhutte (it’s a mouthful, I know).
For P35.00, you will taste one of the yummiest homemade ice creams you’ll ever have. Kaye went for their bestseller, the kalamansi ice cream while I went with the tsokolate (pure tablea) flavor. The cone, was as delicious as the ice cream too. Best P35.00 evar. They also have peanut and garlic-flavored ice cream if you’re up for some gastronomic adventure.
Next destination was the Butterfly sanctuary. As the name suggests, the place is full of colorful butterflies. More picture-taking ahead.
By 11:30AM, we headed to the Loboc River Cruise for the buffet lunch. Incidentally, we were feeling very hungry at that time too. Nice timing, Manong Driver.
The Loboc River Cruise has become one of the main attractions that has been flocked by tourists, next to the Tarsier and the Chocolate Hills. While I couldn’t give more than an “average” rating for the food served at the lunch buffet, the river cruise was fun. The ride lasts for 45 minutes and you will be navigated throughout Loboc River with its lush green forest and, apparently, also green waters.
By mid-trip, you will pass by a floating hut with locals, from varying age brackets, rendering songs to the tourists. Guests can also join the festivity as they can sing and dance along with the kids. Most foreigners try their luck at dancing tinikling or strutting to the tune of “Pusong Bato” (It was a hit during that time. I hated that song. Ugh.) Of course, tips are very much appreciated by the locals.
After the Loboc river cruise, my companions were bracing themselves for the thrilling adventure ahead, the Loboc Zip line. I’m no stranger to the Loboc Zip line as I experienced it for the first time last year so no shivering feet or audible palpitating going on in this chubby body of mine.
The Loboc Zip line is situated at the top of the mountain and is overlooking the Loboc River. After paying the fees and signing the waivers (very important lol), we walked to the starting point on top of the hill. This is where it all sinks in. Hahaha.
Kaye and I were the first to go while Koy and Mary followed suit. The zip line experience? Well, nothing short of satisfying. The extreme height of the zip line accompanied by the view of the Loboc River was a solid 1-2 punch for thrill-seekers. Although the zip line isn’t the longest (the longest I’ve tried was in Dahilayan), the high altitude was definitely what set it apart from other zip lines.
By the second zip ride, our nerves had already subsided and fear has been devoured with excitement. After the zip ride, do proceed to the counter to claim your photos, nice and easy on the CD.
That’s it for Part 1 of our Bohol Tour. Be sure to check out PART 2 which covers our encounter with Tarsiers, our visits to Chocolate Hills and Bohol Bee Farm and our exciting ATV joyride! -rod-