Touring Bohol Part 2: Chocolate Hills Tour
The Chocolate Hills Tour as the locals call it is just a tour of Tagbilaran City and its surrounding towns.
Here are the 7 spots that is usually included for the Chocolate Hills Tour.
- Blood Compact site
- Baclayon Church and Museum
- Loboc River Cruise (lunch included)
- Man-made mahogany forest
- Chocolate Hills
- Hanging Bridge
We landed at the airport at around 9:30 AM after a 45-minute flight. After getting our baggage, we were met by our driver for the day, Mang Fidel and his Nissan Sentra. He told us that we will finish the tour before he will bring us to our resort. Sounds good since check-in time is 2 PM.
Blood Compact Site
First stop from the airport is the Blood Compact Site. This site commemorates the blood compact performed by Spanish Explorer, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, and Datu Sikatuna of Bohol as a pact of friendship.
No need to spend a long time here since all you’ll see is the statue.
If you visit during the month of July, you should experience the Sandugo Festival celebrating this event.
Baclayon Church and Museum
Next stop in just about 5 minutes is one of the oldest church in the Philippines, Baclayon Church which was completed in 1727.
There’s also a museum beside the church that houses centuries-old religious relics and artifacts. Sad to say but no camera is allowed at the museum.
Museum Entrance Fee: P15
After a few minutes at the church, we’re off to see the tarsiers which is about 20 minutes away.
Unfortunately they are not in its natural habitat but instead, you will be going to a controlled environment with tarsiers living in small trees and potted plants. At least you can hold and take pictures of them close up.
Please don’t use flash photography with this small animals. Don’t pat or aggravate them in any way and try to be quiet too not like some Koreans visiting the place.
Loboc River Cruise
By this time we were getting hungry and it was almost 11:30 AM. Just in time for a relaxing cruise at Loboc river with buffet lunch. Unfortunately, the usual green and clear water of Loboc river was milky brown due to heavy rains the day before.
There are different boats to choose from. There are smaller ones which fills up quicker if you’re in a hurry. The food is so-so but the ambiance is more relaxed with an entertainer serenading you with his guitar.
There’s also a bigger boat with much better food and a trio (complete with sound system) for entertainment. You can also jam with them if you want but it takes longer for the boat to depart.
One of our friends here in Calvin’s Hub, Choi, suggests choosing Riverwatch for your Loboc cruise where the food is good and the refills are generous.
There’s also free WiFi all over the waiting area by the way.
Entrance Fee: P300 (buffet lunch included)
Man-made Mahogany Forest
After that relaxing lunch, it’s time to go to Chocolate Hills which is about 45 minutes away from Loboc. But first, a quick stop at the side of the road to check out the magnificent man-made mahogany forest in the town of Bilar.
The place is amazing with its uniformed height densely planted mahogany trees. It is pretty cool in the area because not much sun can pass through its foliage.
From Bilar, you will pass by the town of Batuan then Carmen where Bohol’s main tourist attraction, the Chocolate Hills, is located. The winding road will remind you of a trip going to Baguio.
Be prepared to climb 214 steps of stairs to reach the top where you can get good view of the Chocolate Hills. Unfortunately, they just installed a chain-link fence around the viewing area so there’s only one spot where you can get a good photo of the Chocolate Hills as your backdrop.
You might want to ask your driver to take you to the Chocolate Hills at a time when there are only few tourists around. It’s hard to take a photo at that particular spot if there are plenty of people.
There is an ATV track at the base of the hills. If you’re feeling adventurish, you can ride an ATV for P400 for 30 minutes. There will be a guide to accompany you and take pictures for you while you’re on the ATV. Ask your tour guide to stop by here because it’s not included in the tour. Thanks Rachel for this tip.
Entrance Fee: P50
As you go back to Loboc from Chocolate Hills you can stop by at the Hanging Bridge that hangs above the Loboc River.
Pretty anti-climatic way to end the tour. You don’t have to cross to the side unless you’re really fond of traversing hanging bridges.
Heading to Dumaluan Beach Resort
Actually, after the tour we also went to a souvenir shop near the Blood Compact site to buy some T-shirts and delicacies. I suggest you skip this part because the cheapest place we saw to buy Bohol delicacies (Angel’s Basket) is located on the way to the airport and is open 24 hours.
It was almost 4 PM when we arrived at Dumaluan Beach Resort and we’re already exhausted but that’s for another post.