Bohol Travel Guide
Located south east from Cebu island is the island of Bohol, which is surrounded by 75 smaller islands and with an area covering 4200 square kilometer the 10th largest island in the Philippines. On 16 March 1565 this was one of the first places where the Spanish signed a pact with a local chieftain. From Bohol the Spanish started operating their business and took over other parts of the archipelago.
The island is famous for its cone shaped chocolate hills and provides a habitat for the Tarcier, the world's smallest primate. Close to the capital Tagbilaran is the popular island of Panglao renowned for its clear turquoise waters and world class diving and snorkeling sites. Converting of the locals to Christianity started with the arrival of Jesuits in 1596 and as a result Bohol island also has a number of notable historic churches.
About an hour away from Tagbilaran are the white sanded and unspoiled beaches of Anda. It is a great destination for those wanting to get away from it all as well as divers and snorkelers looking for pristine reefs and an occasional dolphin.
When to go
November to May is generally considered to be the best time to visit Bohol. During the first three months of this period the temperatures are cooler, but changes of rain are higher. In the summer period from March to May temperatures are increasing, but chances of rain decreasing. This is the time when Bohol's Chocolate Hills are at its most beautiful. In the other months of the year rain occurs more frequently and an occasional typhoon might hit the island.
Internet & Communication
Telecom provider Smart, Globe and Sun have network coverage throughout most of Bohol and are providing not always reliable 3G/ HSDPA wireless internet connection. Smart has the best coverage of the three, followed by Globe. Prepaid Sim Cards and refills can be bought in most convenience stores. Internet cafes tend to come and go, but in Tagbilaran and on Alona beach you will never be fare away from one.
ATM's are the preferred way of obtaining cash in Bohol. In the tourist destination of Panglao and in the capital Tagbilaran there are a number of ATMs connected to cirrus (Mastercard) or plus (Visa) payment network. Banks charge a service fee of 200 Pesos for every withdrawal by guest users with a limit of 20.000 Pesos per day. There are money changes in most shopping malls in the Tagbilaran and in Panglao offering fair rates for USD.
A 29 day visa extensions can be obtained in the bureau of immigration in Tagbilaran. The bureau is located on the 2nd Floor Sarabia Co, Torralba Bldg - CPG Ave in Tagbilaran. Tel.: (038) 235-608. The office is located on the second floor and you are expected to dress properly, so wear no t-shirts or shorts. The whole process can be completed within a couple of hours and cost 3030 Peso.