In Bohol, Chocolate Hills stud the landscape and tiny, boggle-eyed tarsiers hide among the branches of its thick jungles. The island’s famous grassy hills, named for the cocoa shade they take on during dry season, may remain a geological mystery but local legend claims they were caused by the tears of a heartbroken giant, Arogo. Climb a viewing platform to marvel at the collection of over 1,200 hills, which stretches into the horizon like something out of a Super Mario universe. It’s harder to spot Bohol’s now endangered bat-eared, gremlin-esque tarsiers. Your best chance of catching a glimpse is at the Philippine Tarsier Foundation, which provides sanctuary for the world’s tiniest primate.
While Chocolate Hills and tarsiers steal the thunder, Bohol is actually a microcosm of the Philippines’ best bits. Spanish churches are a colonial reminder and the Loboc River winds snake-like through the jungle, its shores glowing with fireflies after dusk. Postcard-ready beaches lead out to a marine sanctuary where you can snorkel among sea turtles in a coral wonderland. Watch dolphins dance through the waves as you sail to the remote Balicasag and Pamalican islands, crossing the path of migrating whales. These juggernauts of the sea were once hunted by islanders who now run ethical boat tours and welcome visitors into their villages, teaching them how to weave traditional coconut-leaf rice plates.
Enjoy Bohol tours with help from our destination gurus, who’ll set you up with a local guide to discover the island’s unique landscape and wildlife.