On the Road in Bohol: Unforgettable Experiences

 My husband's home town is in Bohol, Philippines, and there is no way that we will not visit his birthplace during our vacation in the Philippines. So, we packed our bags and headed to Bohol, Philippines.

 Bohol is an island located in the Visayas, and we spent almost 2 weeks there with his family, eating local foods and seeing the incredible places Bohol has to offer. In this blog post, I would like to share my experience swimming on the beautiful beach of Dumaluan Beach Resort and our road trip around Bohol.


Dumaluan Beach Resort

One of the best ways to have fun with your family is at a beach picnic, and when I researched before we came back to the Philippines the best beach for families in Bohol, it all pointed me to Panglao. I have mixed feelings about Panglao because it is an expensive area, and I am not confident I can afford anything there.

 Luckily, I saw this post about Dumaluan Beach Resort, which is private but has cottages, white sand, and crystal-clear blue water. Without a second thought, I messaged the Dumaluan Beach Resort on Facebook. Below are the rates:


Php 1,500.00 - 7am to 5pm SUN-SAT (day use)
Php 1,500.00 - 5pm to 10pm SUN-SAT (midnight use)

Php 1,500.00 - 7am to 5pm SUN-SAT (day use)

OVERNIGHT USE starts at 6:00PM to 6:00AM
Php 2,000.00


*may subject to change without prior notice


First, I really love the idea of cottages; it's such a Filipino tradition. I remember when I was young, every time we went to the beach, we always rented a cottage for our whole family and brought our own food. Those memories are so fun, and having a cottage on a beach picnic with your family feels organized, comfortable, and affordable. 

I also love the idea that the Dumaluan Beach Resort cottage fee includes the entrance fee and grilling station; it's really affordable. However, they really recommend making a reservation in advance because they have a limited number of cottages and cannot guarantee that anyone can have a spot if they just walk in.

From Carment to Dumaluan Beach Resort, it took us 2 hours of traveling with a van. My father-in-law knows a guy who can send us there and take us back home for 3,500 PHP. It's honestly far, but once we get there, everything just makes the travel worth it. It's private, so it's clean and well maintained. The sand is pure pearl white; the beach, Oh God! I cannot emphasize how amazing and wonderful the water is.

The beach is crystal clear blue, the air is so breezy, and it's not crowded, maybe because it's weekdays? I'm not sure, but I'm loving the whole beach trip.

We paid 1,500 PHP for the first row cottage. The cottage is not like those cheap cottages; it is clean and looks new, and each cottage has its own garbage bin. The area has a karaoke room, a mini-store, a shower room, a toilet room, and a grilling area. All of this is so affordable at just 1,500 PHP. Unlike going to a resort in Panglao and paying a luxurious amount of money, you will get the same beach and sand. 

We really enjoyed our time at Dumaluan Beach Resort, especially our son, Aryl, who loves the water so much that he cried if we attempted to take him out. But in the end, we need to, because he's soaking up too much under the sun, and needs his nap time. He slept very peacefully, maybe because of the sound of the waves and the fresh, breezy air. 


Planning our Road Trip in Bohol

Before you jump to the exciting part of this blog, let me share with you some important details that will make you realize why our expenses for this trip are a little bit expensive, though Bohol Island is really expensive.

We did not stay in Tagbilaran City or the Panglao area; these places are very popular or touristy areas for tourists. We stayed at my husband's family home in a province in Bohol, a little bit close to the famous Chocolate Hills in Carmen. So, if I hire a van for a day tour, it will cost me a minimum of 3,500 PHP, which is honestly a lot. Well, it's actually reasonable since the tourist spots in Bohol are not close to each other; you have to travel a minimum of an hour to get from one place to another. 

Then we decided to ask my husband's uncle if he could lend us his pickup truck; we would just pay a minimum fee, pay for the gasoline, and, of course, pay for the driver. Nobody knows how to drive a car in this family, not even me, so we have to ask my husband's other uncle to drive for us in exchange for a budget friendly fee. It's a good thing he agreed, as did the owner of the truck.  


Getting Up Close with the Tarsiers

We decided to see the Tarsier first on this trip. There are a few Tarsier conservatories in Bohol, so it's quite confusing; there is one in Corella and one in Loboc. Yes! You read it right. Before we went back to the Philippines, I did my research about the entrance fee, and Google answered 80 PHP, but when we arrived at Loboc Tarsier Conservation Center, it was actually 150 PHP. I don't know; maybe the one that Google referred to was way back years ago, and the conservatory area updated their entrance fee; who knows?


Anyway, what is Tarsier? Tarsiers are small primates that are native to Southeast Asia. They are known for their large eyes, which are roughly the same size as their brains. Tarsiers are nocturnal and arboreal, meaning that they spend most of their time in trees and are active at night. They have long, slender fingers and toes that help them grip onto branches and move quickly through the forest canopy. Tarsiers primarily eat insects, but they have also been known to eat small birds and reptiles. Unfortunately, tarsiers are endangered due to habitat loss and the illegal pet trade. 

Image Source: Vice

The conservatory area has a very strict rule: no loud noises or flashy cameras because they can startle the tarsiers and disrupt their natural behavior. 

When we went inside the conservatory area, the area was not that wide open; it's a narrow cement trail. It looks like a mini jungle; I was honestly expecting a zoo or mini zoo, but it wasn't. It's literally trees and leaves, with the small Tarsier hanging on the branches. They are very small, with big, round eyes. At first, it's hard to spot them because they like to hide in the leaves, but the staff in the area is trying their best to pinpoint where the tarsier is. 

Is it worth visiting? For those who have never seen a Tarsier in person, yes, it is out of curiosity. But for those who are visiting Bohol for the second time, I think they should skip it. 


Short Stop in Bilar Man-Made Forest

I really wanted to include Bilar Man-Made Forest in our itinerary because it's the only photo stop in Bohol where you don't need to pay any entrance fee; however, the twist is that you need to risk your life.


Bilar Man-Made Forest is a beautiful and unique attraction that offers towering mahogany trees that line the road, creating a picturesque scene that is perfect for taking photos and enjoying nature. However, it's important to note that the road through the forest is narrow and winding, which can be quite dangerous for inexperienced drivers. Despite this, many tourists still choose to stop by Bilar Man-Made Forest for a quick photo op or a peaceful stroll through the woods. 

And we did stop and take our family picture in the middle of the road; it's a quick pose.

Enjoying the Sikatuna Mirror of The World

This is actually a new attraction in Bohol. Sikatuna Mirror of The World is a theme park and botanical garden with a miniature version of famous architectural attractions around the world, like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, and many more.


It is located in  Libjo, Sikatuna, Bohol, with an entrance fee of PHP 150 (Adults); PHP 50 (children below 3 feet); and PHP 120 (Senior Citizens and PWDs). And by the way, there is an environmental fee of 20 PHP per person required by the Local Government Unit (LGU). 

The place is really big and wide; the moment you entered the gate, there were a lot of spots to take photos. Yes, correct; the only activity you can do inside the Sikatuna Mirrir of the World is take photos, group photos, and selfies; there are no rides or even a restaurant or store inside. I highly recommend bringing your own water and umbrella, especially if you are visiting on a hot day. It is very hot, and there is not too much shade in the park; it's really wide and open. 

My family really enjoyed going around the park and taking pictures while I just sat in a corner where there was shade. I didn't want to be the unhappy traveler here. It is just too hot, and during that day I had a cold. And plus, I actually already saw this kind of theme park in Pattaya, Thailand, called Mini Siam, with the same attractions: replicas of famous buildings around the world. So, I wasn't that excited to immerse myself in that moment, but the place is indeed a very beautiful park. Our driver had been there many times, and he recommended visiting in the afternoon until night because it is much more beautiful with all the lights. 


Visiting the Historic Baclayon Church

The only architecture that I really want to see in Bohol is their Catholic churches. I've read and seen on the internet how amazing their ceilings are, the paintings, and the history behind them. One of the churches that caught my attention was the Historic Baclayon Church. It is one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines and has been standing for over 300 years. The church is a perfect example of Baroque architecture, with intricate carvings and details that are truly breathtaking. 


Unfortunately, the church was closed when we got there. In fact, I was very surprised to know that the church in Bohol closed its doors when not in use. The church closes during the mid-day and quite early in the evening. 

I highly recommend including Baclayon Church in your itinerary and double check its opening times. Though I've never seen the inside of it, I'm pretty sure it is worth visiting, especially for a historical fan like me. And, on my next visit to Bohol, I will make sure to go there during its opening times.


Time for Lunch

It was already lunchtime, and we stopped at a small open restaurant ( carenderia). We did not opt for the Loboc River Cruise and Buffet because it was out of our budget. According to Google, the Loboc River Cruise and Buffet cost 850 PHP per person, and we are like more than 10, so it was not ideal for us. Again, on our next trip to Bohol, I will surely try this. 


Exploring Hinagdanan Cave

After our sumptuous lunch, It's time to burn those fats. Our next destination is Hinagdanan Cave. The cave is one of the hidden gems of Bohol Island. Located in the municipality of Dauis, the cave is an impressive natural wonder that should not be missed during your road trip around the island.


This is another funny and shocking moment. When I bought the entrance ticket, I was very confident that it was only 15 PHP because I had Googled it beforehand. When I asked the lady how much it was, I was surprised that it was 60 PHP and not 15 PHP. If you decide to swim inside the cave, you have to pay 100 PHP.

Going inside the Hinagdanan cave, the stairs are very steep, so you need to be very careful going down. And inside the cave, it is very slippery, and the  atmosphere inside the cave is cool and damp.


A stunning display of stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over millions of years will greet you as you enter the cave. One of the attractions of the Hinagdanan Cave is its underground lagoon, where you can swim in crystal-clear water while taking in the natural beauty of the cave. The water is cool and inviting, making it the perfect place to cool off after a long day of sightseeing. 

It's really inviting to take a dive in the lagoon; however, as much as we wanted, we didn't have enough time, and we have little kids. I highly recommend trying to swim in the lagoon. The 100 PHP fee is worth it.


Hiking Up the Chocolate Hills

We really made sure to visit the Chocolate Hills on the last of our trip because it was already late afternoon and not hot. And it was the best decision we had; going to Chocolate Hills in the afternoon is so refreshing. 


Chocolate Hills is located throughout the towns of Carmen, Batuan and Sagbayan. The hills are a geological formation of over 1,200 cone-shaped hills that are spread over an area of 50 square kilometers. They are called Chocolate Hills because, during the dry season, the grass covering the hills turns brown, giving them a chocolate-like appearance. 


When we arrived in Chocolate Hills, we did not pay for the entrance fee because my husband's family resides in Carmen, and locals who live in Carmen are not required to pay. However, I did my research, and the entrance fee is 80 PHP. We had to hike up a winding path amidst lush vegetation to reach the top of the hills. The hike was difficult for me because, honestly, the stairs are very high and it was very tiring, so I needed to take a moment to catch my breath. It took us about 30 minutes to reach the top. When we arrived, there was a breathtaking view of the surrounding hills and the town of Carmen below. The panoramic view was definitely worth the hike, and we spent some time taking photos and enjoying the scenery before heading back down.  

Is it worth the visit? Yes, it is; just make sure to visit the Chocolate Hills during the afternoon.


Key Takeaways

I highly recommend visiting Dumaluan Beach Resort. It is much more worth visiting if you are bringing your family and planning to stay a whole day. 


And for the Bohol road trip, always make sure to bring extra money because you will never know how much you will need it. As I experienced, all the entrance fees I researched were wrong. 

Overall, Bohol is a great destination for those who love nature, adventure, and relaxation. Just make sure to plan your itinerary well and bring extra cash for unexpected expenses. 

Post a Comment

Its Beyond Imaginations. Theme by STS.