The Bohol Countryside Tour is considered as the fundamental tour in Bohol. Every first timer tourist should experience this tour to maximize his stay in Bohol. Aside from the beautiful white beaches in Bohol, the province also has many God given beautiful sights that Boholanos are trying to preserve and protect. These beautiful panoramas can be seen if you’ll take the Bohol Countryside Tour, which is also mistakenly known as Bohol City Tour. It can be completed in no later than 8 hours. Usually, it is initiated at around 8:30 in the morning for you to have an abundant time if you wish to take some time to some spots for picture taking. But even there’s an ideal time to begin the Bohol Countryside Tour, it is still doable to start the tour as late as 2 in the afternoon. The disadvantage here is that you may not be able to cover all destinations.
Blood Compact Site – Blood Compact Site is located in Bool, Tagbilaran, Bohol. It is a monument built to mark the place where the blood compact between Datu Sikatuna of Bohol and Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi took place locally termed as Sandugo. Sandugo is a Visayan word which means “one blood”. It symbolized the unity and friendship of the Filipinos and the Spaniards. It is considered as the most vital part of the Philippine history because it is the beginning of infiltration and conquest of Spain in the Philippines.
The Blood Compact Site is situated at the top of a cliff, just a very short walk from the side of the road. In front of it is the national highway while on the opposite is the sea view of Tagbilaran City. You may also find vendors outside the site selling souvenir items, delicacies and refreshments.
Baclayon Church – Baclayon Church is located in the town of Baclayon, just 6 kilometres from Tagbilaran City. The church is the second oldest in the Philippines, next to San Agustin Church of Intramuros, Manila. The Baclayon Church was built in 1595 by the Jesuit priests. This church, just like any other churches built by the Spaniards was made out of coral rocks and egg whites. Our ancestors, lead by the Jesuit priests used eggs whites as glue to affix the coral rocks. You’ll definitely be amazed if you’d think of how much egg whites they needed to build such a big structure.
Bohol’s Mini Zoo – The mini zoo in Bohol is located in the town of Loboc. Some of the animals you’ll see here are ostrich, pythons, wild birds, variety of wild cats and others. Tourists are allowed to touch the animals and can also take pictures of them in their cages as souvenir photos. The care taker will assist the tourists in entering the cage to make them feel more comfortable & assured of their safety. The children, young at heart, and animal lovers may enjoy it here.
You may opt to buy souvenir items because there are vendors inside the zoo selling peanut kisses, key chains, bags, T-shirts and more.
Bohol Tarsier – Tarsiers are considered as the world’s smallest primates. These primates have been found in the countries of Borneo, Indonesia and Philippines. There are only 5 species left now. Four are located in Indonesia and Borneo and another species called Tarsius Syrichta is found in the forests of Bohol, Philippines. The same species is also found in the island of Samar, Leyte and Mindanao. Perhaps the reason why tarsiers are known to be found only in Bohol is because of their quantity in Bohol compared to the other provinces.
Bohol tarsier or Tarsius Syrichta is a resemblance of a combined small monkey and a rat. This primate is only 4-5 inches long, and as small as a man’s hand. Its’ almost naked tail is longer than its body which makes it look like the tail of a rat. It has very large brown eyes; each is bigger than its brain. It has furless ears and lengthy fingers.
Tarsier can rotate his head up to 180 degrees in each direction. It is a nocturnal creature like the owl, sleeping in the morning and very energetic at night to catch something to eat. Tarsier’s foods are fruits and insects like cockroaches, crickets, small lizards, mosquitoes and other flying and crawling insects. Some say tarsiers eat charcoal which is not true at all. What they actually do is they retrieve the insects from (sometimes burnt) wood.
In order to protect the tarsiers from possible extinction, the Philippine government during the time of Pres. Ramos, launched the Philippine Tarsier Foundation and set aside 134 hectares in the towns of Sikatuna and Corrella, Bohol for them. Here, the tarsiers can move freely to find their food. Currently, the foundation is supported by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Department of Tourism.
Moreover, the locals of Bohol have decided to put up the tarsier display in the town of Loboc for tourism purposes. The area is enclosed with a net so the primates cannot escape. In the display area, tourists can see the tarsiers up close but are strictly prohibited from touching the primates and taking pictures with flash because it may cause the tarsiers to become anxious. They have the tendency to commit suicide when strained.
Loboc River Cruise – The Loboc river cruising is one of the best things that can happen during a vacationer’s tour in Bohol. Here, you can ride on a floating restaurant which serves a variety of delicious Filipino foods where you could refill your plate anytime, repeatedly while on the boat. In order to maximize the cost, better come here with an empty stomach. Some of the foods that they prepare here are crabs, shrimps, noodles, raw mango with anchovies, grilled fish, barbeque, fruits and other Filipino foods. The tour takes about an hour of enjoyment while eating and get serenaded by the boat’s singer. While cruising to the other end, you will see naked children jumping from the top of the trees down to the river. It is very inviting to bathe in the river because it’s clean. At the end of the river is the Busay falls, but before you reach it, the boat will stop for a while on the side of the river for you to witness the Lobocanon’s welcome dance and song presentation for the tourists. Here you can come down and dance or take pictures with them. Travellers will definitely enjoy the delicious foods, fun music and beautiful scenery while breathing the fresh cold air.
Chocolate Hills – The Chocolate Hills is one of the main reasons why Bohol has become famous. It consists of more than 1,500 scattered hills in the towns of Carmen, Sagbayan, and Batuan. From Tagbilaran City, it takes about 1 to 2 hours drive to the Chocolate Hills in Carmen. Before you get there, you’ll get the chance to drop by other Bohol tour spots like man-made forest, tarsier display in Loboc and the mini zoo of Bohol, and all of these are part of the Bohol countryside tour’s itinerary. You will also traverse these places on your way back to Tagbilaran City.
One of the hills in Carmen has been developed for tourism. The local government of Carmen built the chocolate hills complex where there is a restaurant and a view deck. To get to the top, one has to climb the 214 steps going to the view deck. When you manage to be at the very top of the hill, there you’ll find the wishing well which has to be banged after you make your wish. Here, you are able to see the surrounding hills in 360 degrees. These hills are green in color during rainy season and turn brown during summer.
For those who have weak knees or perhaps not accustomed to the weather in the Philippines, you may opt not climb to the view deck because you are still able to see the hills in the waiting area or at the entrance.
Going to the Chocolate Hills is highly recommended for vacationers who want to tour in Bohol. You would really be surprised by the beauty of nature when you get to see these remarkable hills in person. This beautiful scenery and the white sand beaches of Bohol are the reasons why many of the tourists still want to revisit Bohol over and over again.
Simply Butterfly – The Simply Butterfly Garden is located in the town of Bilar. Here you can find a variation of butterfly species and butterfly-by-products local to Bohol. And also, this area is a research center on how to preserve the host plants of these butterflies. You will be gladly accommodated by their local guides who will do a short lecture on the life cycle of butterflies. During which, you will not only be glad of the knowledge you’ll get from them, but get delighted as well of their sense of humor. Tourists can touch the butterflies or take pictures of them. Within the garden, just a few walk from the entrance, is a big mirror with a butterfly printed on it. You or the local guides can use it as a tool to get a good picture. All you have to do is to give your best pose in front of the mirror. The result? You’ll get to have a butterfly like wings just like a fairy. The local guides in Simply Butter Garden are great in adjusting your camera settings and they’ll be more than happy to assist you so you can get nice photos.