Bohol Things to Do
It's worth noting that in our experience most tours are quoted at a per person rate that varies depending on the total number of people joining a tour. If your hostel can't get a big enough group to bring the price down, enquire at a couple of agents until you find one who can. Private tours are available for most activities but will obviously cost more.
Exploring the countryside
The most popular tour in Bohol that's sold across the island is the Bohol countryside tour. This costs from PHP400 to PHP900 per person dependent on group size and usually just includes an air-conditioned mini van with driver who will chaffeur you round to various spots on the island. The tour lasts all day, starting at around 9am and arriving back at your hotel from 6pm. Remember that the cost normally excludes entry fees and there are a lot throughout the day!
A typical itinerary starts with the Blood Compact Memorial and Baclayon Church (PHP50 to enter Museum), followed by the Exotic Animal Farm which isn't great on animal welfare from what we saw (PHP45 for butterfly farm, PHP45 for python display). There's then a stop for lunch on a floating restaurant on the Loboc River (PHP450), which is buffet style and pretty decent. As you cruise the river you'll see some beautiful jungle scenery as well as local villagers putting on dance displays. This is followed by the Chocolate Hills (PHP45), Tarsier Sanctuary (PHP60) and a quick stop at the manmade forest. This is full of towering mahogany trees and is an impressive sight. The final stop is normally at a bamboo bridge (PHP50) before you return to your accommodation. Whilst the costs can add up it's a great way to see the island and overall is good value.
Another popular excursion is a night time trip to see the fireflies of Bohol - these can be seen either on a short boat trip (from PHP500) or by kayaking down the river (from PHP1000).
Snorkelling and diving
A travel favourite in Bohol are excursions that allow you to take advantage of the fantastic snorkelling and diving on offer. The best way to do this is on an island hopping trip, Balicasag and the Virgin Islands are the most popular destinations for these adventures and a day trip tends to cost from PHP1500 and upwards depending on whether you want to dive etc. Marine life you can spot on these trips includes everything from dolphins and clownfish to reef sharks and rays.
Be wary about additional costs for equipment and island entry fees and be sure to use a reputable agency for these trips, especially if you plan to dive or snorkel.
Swimming with whale sharks
A final very popular tour offered across Bohol is the opportunity to swim with whale sharks. This costs from PHP700 for transport to the location where they are found, in addition to PHP1000 for park entry. This is another one that can feature unexpected additional charges so make sure to clarify everything in advance.
It's also possible to rent underwater cameras which is a great idea if you want some good quality snaps. The location is off the coast of nearby Cebu island and it takes around 2 hours by boat to reach before you'll be able to head out to the snorkel site. If you're headed to Cebu anyway you may wish to do this activity from there but many do enjoy the tour from Bohol so it's definitely an option.