Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the establishments featured in this article may implement temporary closures and/or a set of safety requirements according to changing protocols. In addition, Bohol might have travel guidelines and requirements for tourists. Please make sure to abide by these to stay safe.
A thousand green hills in Carmen. Cruising through blue-green waters while dining in Loboc.
A two-kilometer stretch of man-made Mahogany forest in Bilar and Loboc. These may easily be the top three reasons why tourists from all over the world choose the laid-back setting of Bohol
to relax and break away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
is surely fun with family and friends, but sometimes, going out on a journey on your own may just be what you need to find some peace and quiet for yourself. Here are some recommendations on how to do your solo travel to Bohol
for 3 days and 2 nights on a shoestring budget--because finding peace and quiet doesn’t have to be expensive!
Where to Stay
Address: 16 Bagong Lipunan St., Brgy. Poblacion 3, Tagbilaran City, Bohol
Image: Tr3ats Guest House Bohol Facebook Page
My pick in Tagbilaran would be Tr3ats Guest House Bohol. The place is very neat and six-bed dorm rooms start at PhP350 per person while private rooms for two cost PhP900 per night. Tr3ats Guest House Bohol is 15 minutes away from Tagbilaran Seaport. Some motorcycle or pedicab drivers might not know where the place is, but you can try mentioning Al Niño swimming pool and they might get that.
The guest house has clean and well-maintained facilities, from the dorm rooms up to the comfort rooms—and that makes it really good for the price you pay. Guests are also free to use the swimming pool adjacent to the guest house until 10 PM. Tr3ats Guest House Bohol also has a Cebu counterpart; you may be interested to know if you’re planning to go to Cebu on your next trip
Address: Purok 1, Brgy. Libaong, Panglao, Bohol
Bohol Coco Farm guest house
Meanwhile in Panglao, Bohol Coco Farm is a suitable place for budget travel. It is a family-owned backpacker’s place managed by helpful owners and staff members who will give you directions and tips for your trip. Bohol Coco Farm is also a good starting point if you want to check out the beaches in the area like Alona Beach, Bikini Beach, and Bolod or Dumaluan Beach. Bohol Coco Farm is just 10 to 15 minutes way from another farm, Bohol Bee Farm, by bike.
As of early March 2021, Bohol Coco Farm has not yet officially reopened. It has however announced plans to resume operations soon.
Where To Go
Address: Chocolate Hills Service Road, Carmen, Bohol
Chocolate Hills, one of the most popular tourist spots in Bohol
Without a doubt, the quintessential must-see place in Bohol is the widely-publicized Chocolate Hills found in Carmen, an hour and a half to two hours away from Tagbilaran. The bus ride from Tagbilaran to Carmen costs PhP50, while the habal-habal (local term for motorcycles) going up from the entrance will cost you PhP20 to PhP50 depending on your haggling skills. The entrance fee to the Chocolate Hills is PhP50.
“Coming-home gifts” or souvenirs you take home to your family and friends when you get back from vacation are available around the area. The cheapest pasalubong finds in Bohol
, such as key chains, cost only about PhP15 to PhP50.
Bilar-Loboc Man-Made Forest
Address: Loay Interior Road, Bilar, Bohol
Bilar Man-Made Forest
If you are still in the mood for some walk amidst nature, you can check out the Bilar-Loboc man-made forest, a two-kilometer stretch of Mahogany trees. You can also make a stopover in this landmark and take snaps as you will pass by this place before reaching Chocolate Hills. (Tip: You can take the front seat of the bus/jeepney to get a wide, front-row view of the forest, which can save you the time and money!)
Address: Brgy. Camayaan, Loboc, Bohol
If it is your first time to go to Loboc, it is best to sit by the driver to know more about the river cruise. Most of them are always eager to tell tourists about the popular destination. You can also ask him how long it takes to get there from Tagbilaran (okay, don’t ask, it takes about 30 to 45 minutes), and how to go about reserving a spot for the Loboc river cruise and lunch, if you find it fitting to spend more than PhP450 (rate for adults) for the cruise and the lunch that normally lasts for an hour.
Where and What to Eat
You can enjoy delicious food even if you’re on a budget!
For tourists, Loboc Tourism Staff Gina Espiritu recommends budget-friendly Acacia de Bubu in Tagbilaran. It is one of Bohol’s watering holes known for its barbecues. Meanwhile, for something more popular among tourists, try eating at a floating restaurant in Loboc Tourism Complex, home of the famed Loboc River Cruise. If you’re on a really tight budget, you can skip the river cruise and eat at a floating restaurant while marveling at the blue green Loboc River instead.
Well-known edible pasalubong (coming-home gifts) from Bohol for family and friends or for you to eat while in transit include sikwate (hot chocolate) and Peanut Kisses
Going around Bohol on a shoestring budget only means one thing: you have to commute. However, if you know how to drive a motorcycle and you are not afraid or shy to ask strangers for directions, renting a motorcycle is also one of the most cost-efficient ways of touring the province.
For somebody who has traveled solo when time permits, I can say that the key to making the most out of your trip without spending too much is to ask. Ask how much the flat rate from point A to point B is; ask the cheapest way to get to your point of interest from where you are staying; ask your cab/tricycle/habal-habal/bus driver where to check out local products; and, ask for recommendations because locals usually know the ins and outs of every place
So, go and experience Bohol even if you are traveling on a budget and traveling by yourself.
Want to see more travel guides to various Philippine locations? Check out Yoorekka
Quick Tips for Travelers
● You can spend lower than the budget mentioned above depending on your choice of transportation and food.
● Think the driver is asking for too much? If haggling doesn’t work, ask the driver some information about the place and how to make the most out of your stay—a cheaper alternative to getting a tour guide.
● Wear light clothes when traveling. After all, Bohol is in a tropical country and you wouldn’t want to carry heavy faux fur coats while riding a habal-habal.
*All prices mentioned are subject to change without prior notice.
This article was originally published in Yoorekka on May 31, 2016.