Cebu Bohol Itinerary 4 Days 3 Nights
Cebu is the most developed province in the Philippines, with Cebu City as its capital, and also, known to be the oldest City in the country.
Trivia: Some historians call the Cebu as the first Philippine archipelago because it was where Ferdinand Magellan first colonized the ethic group called Malacca. Magellan also converted the then king and queen to Christianity and gave the image of the Holy Child (now known as the feast of Santo Niño de Cebu) and Magellan’s cross (now a tourist spot).
How to get to Cebu
We boarded Cebu pacific bound for Mactan Cebu International Airport. The flight is about 1:15 hours. Then we rented a car to drop us off to Cebu City proper.
For Bohol City Tour, we arranged to rent a van for 2-hour city tour.
Verbena Pension House, Cebu City
We stayed at a big room for 6 with free breakfast. It has 24-hour security and there are nearby convenient stores.
Getting around Cebu
Basilica del Santo Niño
How to get there
From Verbena Pension house, ride a jeepney with Banawa-Carbon sign board and tell the driver to drop you off to Sto. Niño Basilica.
Why go there?
The oldest Roman Catholic church established in the Philippines (16th century). The gift from Ferdinand Magellan to the queen during her baptism to Christianity is said to be preserved in this Church. Also, the basilica is the symbol of the birth and growth of Christianity in the Philippines.
Around the basilica’s complex are European inspired structures like the Pilgrim center, Magellan’s Cross, the museum where antique relics are displayed and the basilica library. I’ve seen some century old furnitures and I was really amazed how it’s preserved.
During Sunday, mass services are held around the complex.
Why go there? A trip to Cebu is not complete without going to Tabo-An Public Market to buy some dried fish for your friends and family back home.
They also have local delicacies, sweets, shrimp paste and some spices.
We went there around 4:30pm and we finished dried fish shopping around 5:45pm, during this time some shops were already closing, so if you are planning to go to Tabo-An, make sure you go early enough to check every stalls and get what you want.
Larsian and CnT Lechon Cebu (the famous roast pig of Cebu)
Larsian is the BBQ haven in Cebu while CnT Lechon Cebu is one of the restaurants that serve the best Lechon in the Philippines.
Lechon is a roasted pig. “The best pork ever” as stated on TIME magazine and Anthony Bourdain’s travel food show ‘No Reservations’. Read all about it here.
Getting around Bohol
In Bohol, these tarsiers are not that hard to find, they are being domesticated by the locals for visiting tourists, and since we rented a van that would take us to every tourist spots in Bohol, the driver took us to his friend. We saw about ten make-shift tarsier habitats that he built, there were ten short implanted mangroves and each mangrove has a tarsier, they jump, climb and clenched to the branch staring with their wide eyes open. The caretaker will also give you a bread to feed the tarsiers and to interact with them. Don’t forget to give your donations (any amount) before leaving the place, and no, you can’t take one home with you.
There are three legends on why the chocolate hills were formed, my favorite one is the one that says, the formation of the hills was because of a defecating giant carabao. One day this giant Carabao ate all the crops that his stomach couldn’t handle, after eating all the crops, he defecated until he emptied his stomach, the feces have dried forming 1,776 Chocolate Hills. More about this on Wikipedia.
Before you get to see the Chocolate hills you have to climb a long stairs to reach the viewpoint, once you reach the peak, you’ll be greeted by what it seems to be an image of a postcard, these 1,776 hills spread over 20sq miles. The landscape is so majestic, 1.3 trillion-inch LED display brought to you by Mother Nature.
We spent almost an hour just taking pictures, enjoying the ambience and just staring at the landscape.
Prony, the giant Python
Albur, Bohol, is the only place in the world where you can find the longest and heaviest Python in captivity. The locals even call it “The Living Anaconda of Bohol”. Measuring up to 25 feet (and still growing), weighing 320kgs at age 10. The locals say that the best time to visit the sanctum is when it’s feeding time because you get to see Prony moving across the cage, you get to see the hunter side of the python while the caretaker releases live chickens to the cage but we got there right after the feeding is done, Prony is now peacefully sleeping, however, I got to enter her cage and touch her skin.
Fact: Prony used to be fed with dogs (dead of course). It was condemned for animal cruelty.
Beside the python’s cage are other wildlife animals, since the captivity of Prony, the local municipality have been in discussion with The Animal Kingdom Federation to recognize the place as an animal sanctuary and seek support to improve it based on animal welfare standards.
Loboc River Cruise
Next to our destination is the Loboc River. It’s a floating restaurant that serves buffet, mostly, Filipino dishes. We had our lunch while watching performances from some entertainers on-board. After the lunch, when everyone is charged and full, the boat sets off for an hour of cruise around the river (such a nice way to put you to sleep). At the end of the river there are small bamboo-made huts where other entertainers performs ethnic dances.
Above the river, you’ll see people zip lining. Loboc zip line measures about 480 meters and considered as the longest zip line in the Philippines. Sadly, it’s not part of our city tour package, probably next time we re-visit Bohol.
Other activities included in our package
- Bohol Man-made Forest – This spot stands out because of the uniformity in height of the mahogany trees. Some say during summer you can feel the division of temperature, it’s hot outside the forest and a sudden cold breeze changes the temperature once you’re under the overhanging trees
- Hanging Bridge – The way to reach Prony the giant python
- Sandugo (One Blood) – Is a sculpture of blood compact between Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Bohol chieftain Datu Sikatuna to seal friendship
- Baclayon Church – 18th century Catholic church. The church is included to the tentative list of UNESCO Heritage of the Philippines. Also the most conservative Catholic church I’ve been, girls are not allowed to enter if they are wearing skirts, they will provide you with a piece of linen cloth to cover the legs downward
Cebu Bohol Overall Expenses = Php12,500 (US$250)/person to travel two historical cities in the Philippines
- Air Fare: Two-way, all in (seat sale at Cebupac) = PHP5,200/person
- Land transfer from Cebu Airport to Verbena pension house: PHP800 / 4 passengers = PHP200 per person
- Accommodation: PHP2,750 per night / 5 persons per room x 3 nights = PHP1,650 per person
- Rented van for Bohol city tour: PHP3,000 for 3 hours / 5 person = PHP600 per person
- Ferry boat from Cebu pier to Tagbilaran, Bohol via Oceanjet = PHP750 two-way per person
- Loboc River Cruise “Eat all you can buffet” = PHP400 per head
- Food allowance for 4 days 3 nights = PHP2,000
- Pasalubong: PHP1,500 budget
Cebu Bohol are two destinations where you can see the combined works and artistry of man and nature to create and build majestic places. Our 4D3N itinerary isn’t enough to visit and experience everything each cities has offer. We will definitely go back.
Value for money is reasonable because we get to travel two major historical cities in the Philippines for less than PHP15,000.
The food, of course, is worth the long travel — authentic Cebu Lechon, Larsian BBQ, the fresh sea weeds, Chorizo etc.