Bohol offers next to white sandy beaches on Panglao and near Anda, also some terrific must sees for every tourist. Here are tourist sites you can combine in one day trip.
You haven’t seen Bohol if you haven;t seen the Chocolate hills. Now you can either go tot the main attraction site or you can take a bus from Tubigon to Carmen en drive through the Chocolate hill landscape. But if you are visiting only one day, the main attraction is quite fine. The viewing platform will give you an excellent view of the mountains, and if you walk down the road towards the main entrance in my humble opinion, you even have a better view of this magnificent landscape.
Did you know that each one of the cone shaped mounds of the Chocolate Hills is actually grass covered marine lime stone?
There are a few legend about the Chocolate Hills and how they came to exist, I like the more romantic legend that tells of a giant named Arogo who fell in love with Aloya, who was a simple mortal. Aloya’s death caused Arogo much pain and misery, and in his sorrow he could not stop crying. When his tears dried, the Chocolate Hills were formed.
When visiting be prepared to climb a huge stairway, the viewing platform was not wheelchair accessible anymore during my visit in februari 2016 because of the damage of the 2013 earthquake. They are still reconstructing the place.
Entrance fee is 50 pesos p.p., there are toilets, a restaurant, food stalls , souvenir shops and blind massage available.
If you love to watch butterflies, do visit the Simply Butterfly Conservation Center at Bilar.
Watch the butterflies in the cage and walk among them. Take pictures and enjoy the beautiful plants. It is a rather small place and can be very crowded. But it makes a nice break when you are on a day trip. The flowers in the botanical garden are all planted to attract butterflies and in the enclosure you can see some beautiful species up close.
People working at the Butterfly Sanctuary will help you with make photos of you through the pinned butterfly displays that make you look like you have butterfly wings.
There is a picknick area and barbecue area where you can sit and relax. A visitors restroom and a restaurant that sells food, drinks and ice cream
Try the banana chips, they are a real healthy and tasteful snack.
Entrance fee is 60 pesos per person.
Man Made Forest
On your way to the Butterfly Sanctuary and the Chocolate Hills you pass the Man Made Mahogany Forest at Bilar. Aware of the decreasing forestial areas the Filipino Government decided to start planting trees to protect the environment and prevent mudslides and corrosion of hills. My guide told me this is a project from 1962. So the trees are over 50 years old.
Underneath the trees it is cool and fresh and the thick leave-roof filters the sunlight which gives the forest a special feel. I was told that Manilla film makers often use the forest as background for movies and series that require a forest background. I can see why. The trees are tall, straight up and there are thousands of them which makes it very impressive. The area stretches for 2 kilometers and every tree is hand planted by men. It is the first and only man made forest in the Philippines.
Did you know that all trees in the Mahogany Forest are protected?
You can ask you driver to stop, so you can take pictures of the road winding through this beautiful forest.
Half way the Mahogany Forest there is a picknick area, with a viewing platform and seats, one can use to cook your own food and sit underneath the giant trees enjoying the fresh cool air.
Dinner on the Beach
If you want the best of both worlds, mountains, hills and beach, you can end your day-trip at Alona beach to enjoy a barbecue dinner at the beach. Almost every restaurant at the sea side sets up tables in the sand near the water and you have a choice of meat and the catch of the day.
Nothing better than to see the sunset from you tables while your food is being grilled and served at your sea-side table so you can enjoy it under the starry evening-sky at the very south-tip of the island of Panglao-Bohol. Bury your feet in the fine white sand of Alona beach and reflect on a wonderful day at Bohol.
Did you know that you can include even a visit to the Tarsier Sanctuary in you day-trip? There is plenty of time to do so.
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