Why Bohol is the Philippines’ most prized natural wonder for eco-tourism

It’s time to add Bohol to your travel bucket list. Pic: Cj Jimenez/flickr

BOHOL province in the Philippines encompasses the main island of Bohol plus 75 surrounding islands.

These many islands with their white sand beaches, coves, excellent diving spots and lush tropical rainforests, have helped fuel Bohol’s domestic reputation as an ideal destination for eco-tourism.

While nearby Boracay has become famed for its stunning beaches and near-perfect weather, Bohol has developed tourism in a more responsible manner than its well-known neighbor.

SEE ALSO: Boracay by day and night

Abundant natural and cultural attractions together with a diverse geography and ecology make Bohol a great destination for adventure and eco-tourism.

Now let’s get down to brass tacks. What is there to do in Bohol?

Gaze into the large, soulful eyes of a tarsier

The tarsier is an endangered species in the Philippines

The tarsier is an endangered species in the Philippines. Pic: Via Tsuji/flickr

Tiny nocturnal primates with large, soulful eyes. It’s easy to understand why someone might want to have a tarsier as a pet. Unfortunately, this desire is partly responsible for making the tarsier vulnerable to extinction.

The Philippine Tarsier is unique to the country. At the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary near the town of Corella in southwestern Bohol, tarsiers can be observed in their natural habitat. Read more about protecting tarsiers in the Philippines here.

Visit the Chocolate Hills

The Chocolate Hills of Bohol Island. Pic: Art Phaneuf Photography / Shutterstock.com

The Chocolate Hills of Bohol Island. Pic: Art Phaneuf Photography/Shutterstock.com

Probably Bohol’s most famous tourist attraction, the Chocolate Hills, are a collection of rare geographic formations of uncertain origin. Numbering 1,268 individual hills of 30-50 meters, they resemble termite mounds.

Covered in green grass, their name comes from the chocolate color the hills take on during the dry season when the grass turns brown.

Dive to witness stunning marine life

See marine life up-close

See marine turtles up-close. Pic: Agoda

Diving in Bohol is considered world class. There are many great sites for scuba and snorkeling and plenty of centers offering training.

Highlights include black corals, reef sharks, wall dives, marine turtles, frogfish, cuttlefish, octopi, sea horses and much more. Sites are located off the main island of Bohol or a short distance away on one of the many smaller islands.

Pump your adrenaline at the Danao Eco-Adventure Tour

The adventure park offers a range of exhilarating activities. Pic: Destination Cebu

The adventure park offers a range of exhilarating activities. Pic: Destination Cebu

This highly touted eco/adventure park features zip lining, river tubing, caving, sky rides, repelling, kayaking, trekking and visits to a local organic farm.

Additionally, Bohol offers opportunities for camping and island hopping to locations like Balicasag, Panglao, Cabilao and Pamilacan Islands. There are also remnants of the Spanish colonial era for those interested in that historical period.

Watch dolphins and whales

The entire coastal region of Central Visayas and beyond is great for observing whales and dolphins. Pilot whales and dolphins are present in these waters year round. You might even get lucky and see a whale shark.