We were supposed to be in Bohol last May, and this trip has been cancelled by AirAsia due to ECQ/GCQ in Metro Manila. Good thing travel restrictions were lifted so our flight was rescheduled. I’ve been wanting to go back to Bohol since last year so I can show Kyle the wonders this island has to offer, and we finally made it!
So, what do you need to know before traveling to Bohol? Please read through this blog to know the requirements, our itinerary, and expenses especially for tours.
Requirements to be presented at NAIA and Bohol-Panglao Intetnational Airport (hard and soft copies are accepted)
1. Negative RT-PCR – swab test result should be extracted 72 hours prior to travel time, and the laboratory should be DOH accredited or else rejected. Please refer for the list of DOH accredited labs here. We did our swab test through PGH in Manila and paid only PHP900 each. They also accept saliva RT-PCR test.
2. Valid Government ID – make sure it’s not expired. They allow school ID for kids.
3. Confirmed Hotel Booking in Bohol – book DOT accredited establishments only, see the list here.
4. Roundtrip Airfare ticket – we only paid PHP2,500 for me and Kyle (seat sale is my best friend!)
5. Travel Itinerary – the schedule of activities in Bohol. See sample below:
6. Certificate of Acceptance
- Tourists must register at http://www.panglaolgu.gov.ph and fill up this Google form
- Panglao LGU will email the Certificate of Acceptance
- Panglao LGU will email the link to download the MyBohol Tourist App as well as the screening code to register (sign up) in the app
7. Bohol QR Code – Once registered, an email will be sent to you with your login credentials (sign in). Use the login credentials to sign in and generate QR code for each
8. Download the Traze app on your phone – this will be used for contact tracing. You will need this both at NAIA and Bohol-Panglao International Airport
For further assistance, you may contact the Panglao Tourism Point of contact at 0906 254 0979 (Mr. Dustin) or 0946 609 6090 (Ms. Hana). You may also email them at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAIA Departure Guide:
Upon check-in at the check-in counter, they will ask for your government issued ID, certificate of acceptance, negative swab test results, and Traze app
Panglao Arrival Guide:
- In the holding area, all tourists must present their government issued ID and Traze app
- Before leaving the airport exit, they will scan your individual QR code
- From the airport, tourists shall be picked up by the resort transport service or a pre-booked accredited tourist transport service
- Safety protocols like wearing of face masks, frequent hand washing or sanitizing of hands, and physical distancing must be strictly observed at all times.
Resorts during pandemic have big discounts, up to 30-50% off. When I was looking for a resort to book in Bohol, this was the first resort that showed up at my Agoda app. I checked the reviews, was impressed, and booked right away!
Bird of Paradise Resort is a hidden gem in Bohol, this place gives me Bali vibes! Located at Ester lim drive, Heartland Road Barangay, Panglao, Bohol, it’s a brand new boutique hotel about 10-15 minutes walk from Alona Beach and 5 minutes drive from Bohol-Panglao International Airport. We super love this resort from the interior design, to the most friendly and helpful staff, great food, fast WiFi, the plants, and the ambiance is just wow!
They have 8 luxurious rooms which are all perfectly designed. You may book through their website, contact them at 0917-5222473, or book through booking apps. We booked through Agoda and paid PHP6,000 for our 3 nights stay!
Detailed blog about this resort is posted here Bird of Paradise Bohol Resort
Bohol Countryside Tour:
I’ve been to Bohol 7 years ago and did the countryside tour, but I wanted to show Kyle what it’s like in Bohol. Please note that you can not do DIY when doing tours, you need to book through a DOT accredited tour company. We booked ours through LN Travel and Tours, you may contact them at 0935 215 3318. I paid PHP2,000 for the car services, although this amount is actually good for 2-4 people. But since we can’t join a group due to IATF protocols, I had to pay the whole amount. You will save if there’s 4 of you in the group!
First stop, the Chocolate Hills located at Carmen, Bohol. It’s almost 2 hours drive from our resort. Entrance fee is PHP50 per person. There are more than 1,000 symmetrical mounds known as the Chocolate Hills. You need to climb 214 steps to reach the top for the best view.
Then, we went to Bohol Enchanted to see the Tarsiers and other animals. Entrance fee is PHP100 per person. Kyle was so happy to see them! Please note that Tarsiers are sensitive to noise, so you have to observe silence. They usually commit suicide when they are stressed, you’ll see more of it on the vlog.
You may also feed the rabbits there for PHP10 per pack, big boy enjoyed it too!
And then, we went to the Bilar Man-made Forest. A jump shot is a must LOL!
Lastly, we went to the Sevilla Hanging Bridge
Part of the tour is going to these places, but we opt not to. I just really want to show Kyle the Chocolate Hills and Tarsiers.
- Baclayon Church
- Blood Compact
- Loboc River Sightseeing
- Loboc River Cruise – you have to rent the while boat which costs PHP4,000 with lunch
You may watch our arrival at Bohol and countryside tour here: https://youtu.be/ZgtmRlItojc
This might be one of the highlights of our Bohol adventure since Kyle got to see swimming dolphins and turtles in the ocean for the first time. We also booked the same tour company and paid PHP2000 for the boat, again it’s good for 2-4 people. Mind you our boat was huge, the boatman said it can accommodate up to 20 people! But there was only the two of us on it for the island hopping.
First stop was the dolphin watching! We thought we won’t see dolphins as it was a bit drizzling at the moment. Boatman said they don’t show up when the weather is bad, good thing is that the sun started to shine and we saw some dolphins. On a good sunny day, you can see as much as 500 dolphins!
Then, we went to Balicasag Island to swim with turtles and do fish feeding. Note that food is a bit pricey on this island, so it’s better to bring your own food or as a way of helping the locals, you may order food or drinks there. We also had to pay for these fees:
- Municipal Tourism Environmental fee – PHP150 per person
- Snorkeling & local guide – PHP300 per person
- Snorkel rental – PHP150 each
- GoPro rental – since we don’t have an underwater camera, we rented it for PHP1,000. This includes a guide to take your unlimited photos and videos. They will transfer the photos to your phone. But if you want to get the memory card, it’s for PHP1,500
They will give you this wristband if you are doing snorkeling, so they can identify that you paid for it
You have to ride a smaller boat to go to the turtle area, we had 2 guides with and another one who took our underwater photos
Final stop for the island hopping was Virgin Island. This is actually a sandbar, however, since we went during high tide, we didn’t get to see it. We still enjoyed the clear waters though!
And oh, we tried to eat Sea Urchin for the first time! The bigger one is grilled and costs PHP100, the smaller ones are fresh for PHP200 for 7 pieces. It actually tastes good! There are food vendors there grilling by their boats incase you want to have some lunch or try their seafood.
The boatman drove us back to our resort with his motorcycle, this is called habal-habal in the Philippines. It’s actually part of the tour services but I gave the boatman a tip to thank him for driving for us safely. Another first for Kyle, he was a bit scared while I’m enjoying so much LOL
Since we didn’t have lunch in the islands, we changed up and had a late lunch at Shaka Cafes Bohol. It was a 5 minutes walk from our resort. Kyle had a burger while I got Bom Dia smoothie bowl. Food price ranges from PHP200-350 per meal without drinks.
Definitely a must visit restaurant when you’re in Panglao! I have to say, I love their interior design, the furniture, the food, the staff and the ambiance. Again, I feel like I was in Bali. I have a detailed blog about it here if you want to see more photos and know more about this restaurant, click this link MIST.
You may watch our island hopping and MIST vlog here: https://youtu.be/IOjtRqUwbeI
South Palms Resort Panglao:
On our last day in Bohol, I was just thinking of staying at Bird of Paradise Resort while waiting for our flight in the afternoon. However, during our stay, I saw a lot of beachfront resorts and thought of doing a day tour/use. I saw from a post on Instagram of how amazing this place is and I immediately contacted them. For only PHP388 per person, you get to enjoy this amazing resort for a day use with all its amenities, and it also comes with a free drink or appetizer that you can choose from. How cool is that?
Ahhh, upon entering the resort, I was in awe of it’s beauty, serenity, design, and everything!
We want to stay longer but we have an afternoon flight.
Mango shake by the beach is always a good idea!
Free amenities include kayaking, paddle boarding, biking, and fish feeding
For more photos and detailed review of this resort, you may read through this blog – South Palms Resort Panglao
Returning back to Manila, I felt bad for the tour companies/tourist attractions in Bohol. I talked to our drivers and the guides, and they told me a lot of people lost their source of income. Tourism has taken a toll on most people, and I really hope we go back to normal so we can help them. Make sure to give them a little tip or treat them with food, it will mean so much to them.
One way of helping the people in Bohol is sharing their contact info. This is Kuya Ramil, his mobile number is 0910 418 4103. He’s our service when eating out and going to South Palms Resort. He’s super nice and on time when you tell him to pick you up. Contact him if you’re in Panglao.
Overall, I spent more than I was supposed to since I’m paying for 4 people for the tours. But, if you’re going to Bohol as a group, you can save way more than we did. Here’s our expenses not including food, souvenir, and tips.
I hope this blog helps for those who are planning to visit Bohol. You don’t need to follow our actual itinerary, but I’m telling you we had a blast! Boholanos are so nice and they’ll make you feel like you’re at home. Just always remember to follow safety protocols and respect the island.