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Top 5: Bohol

Chocolate HillsImage: Alex Robinson/Philippines Department of Tourism

From firefly kayaking to the renowned rock formations, Tom Beetham rounds up five things to see in Bohol, the Philippines


Chocolate Hills: Legend has it these strange formations were either the result of a stone-throwing fight between two giants or the solidified tears of a forlorn giant after his lover perished. Whatever the reason, the Chocolate Hills are probably Bohol island’s most famous tourist attraction. Comprising more than 1,000 individual mounds from 30 to 50 meters high, these formations are an arresting and unique sight.

Tarsier Research & Development Centre: For the past 45 million years, tarsiers have inhabited rainforests around the world. Due to rainforest clearing and poaching, these tiny primates can now be found on only a few islands of the Philippines, Borneo and Indonesia. Seeing these fascinating creatures roam their natural habitat in one of the sanctuaries run by the Philippine Tarsier Foundation is something that should be savored.

Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park: Bohol has become known as something of a thrill-seekers paradise, with caving, trekking, river tubing and all other such activities available on the island. Loboc Adventure Park, located in the southeast of Bohol, offers a series of lengthy zip-lines across the river valley, open-air cable cars and riverboat cruises along the Loboc River.

Firefly Kayaking: The Abatan River is the perfect place to see the fireflies, which congregate over the river in a sparkling display each evening. Kayaks are the best way to explore the river and offer a memorable experience with less of an impact on the environment and the endangered fireflies. Guides accompany kayak tours and local delicacies await you on your return to the boathouse. Kayaking among the mangroves for this dazzling natural light show is something you’ll never forget.

Anda: This small town on the southeast tip of Bohol is reputed to have the finest beach on the island, and one of the nicest in all the Philippines. There’s not much to do here except soak up the peace and quiet in this secluded part of the island. Spend a couple of days scuba diving in the turquoise ocean that teems with fish and enjoy sipping cocktails on the beach and watching the sunset.

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