Island Life Around Bohol – Philippines
Island life around Bohol started by arriving in Cebu in the middle of the night and grabbing a taxi from the airport to Pier 1 is a breeze. The streets are deserted and if you arrive early you can rest easily in the park at Independence Plaza just in front of an old military defense fort called Fort San Pedro. The first ferry to Cebu is
at 6am where you are able to book a ticket for different parts of Bohol.
If you would like to start in the north consider a arriving at a small island called Jao. Not many people have heard of it including the locals living in Bohol. If you book a ticket from Cebu to Getafe and take a motor bike to Talibon you are able to arrive at a tiny island of Jao. While in Talibon head past the market to the fishing pier and find a small boat heading to Jao which should cost 150 pesos. If you plan on cooking food for yourself on the island it is best to buy in the town market beforehand. There are no supermarkets or restaurants on the island.
From what I know there are two listings on AirBnB and one resort called Nico’s. I highly recommend a stay at Biggies place and experience life with a Philippino family. There are two bungalows on the beachfront property as well as the family’s house. Cathy the host is an amazing cook and explained a lot about her community. Her husband and children were the sweetest people and were a real joy to spend time with. Also on the property is a small store called a sari-sari. At their family run sari-sari you can buy small snacks, beer, the local favorite Tanduay Rum and other personal items such as soap or laundry detergent. A short stay on Jao will expose visitors to the real deal of life on a small island in the Philippines. This island is purely for the art of doing nothing. If you are adventurous you can take a fishing boat out the sandbar and swim in clear waters and white sand. There is not much else to do there beside interact with the islanders, get to know their customs, and learn a little about their culture. It is the perfect place if you are looking to escape the typical tourist spots on Bohol. Next, make your way down the east coast of Bohol. Bus or private van is an easy way to travel however renting your own motor bike allows for all of the freedom you could ask for. The cheapest route is bus which isn’t so bad. Next stop is Anda which is small peninsula with bordering hills and a sparkling sea. There are long white sand beaches comparable to that of the famous Boracay. To reach Anda from Talibon you must take a bus to from Talibon to Ubay. From Ubay switch buses and arrive in Guindulman and from there take the bus going to Anda. Tell the driver which hotel or resort you are staying and he will gladly let you off along the road. Those looking for a nice resort could try Blue Star Dive Resort. If you are on a budget you might be interested in Little Miami Beach Bungalows situated just on the beach.
There are bungalows available from 400 – 700 pesos per night. Anda de Boracay, Long Beach, and White Beach all located in Anda are far less populated with foreigners than the southern are of Bohol such as Panglao. There is a way more of local vibe but still a lot to do. Bitoon Beach (which means Star Beach) is situated near jagged coral cliffs that over looks the sea. Here there are bungalows perfect for a BBQ with other locals. It is close to the Combento Cave were you can take a dip in a fresh water pool underground. Usually there are young children bathing there naked so don’t be surprised. Another popular cave not exactly ideal for swimming is La Manuk. The entrance fee is 300 pesos which will cover the cost of a guided tour with the options of 1-3 hours time period. The guides speak exceptionally good English and are experts at explaining the history behind the caves and the different ceremonies that took place their centuries ago. Visitors can see hematite cave drawings, various rock formations, human remains, and ancient coffins once used for a burials all while surrounded by beautiful panoramic views of the Mindanao Sea. Anda has a small town feel and everyone is exceptionally friendly there as if the town were one big family. In the center there is the municipal building where dozens gather to play basketball each evening and softball in the morning. There is a stunning church which faces the sea that has impressive Greco-Roman motif paintings on the ceiling as well as other small chapels around the neighborhood. In Anda you will be surrounded by people who will treat you like family and in a location full of unique and remarkable places that will make your trip a memorable one.
Use full links for transportation all of them are ferry liners:
If you want to read more about Bohol here are some articles: