Bohol Travel Tips, Guide, and More

by Jules on September 25, 2013 · 0 comments

in Philippines,Travel

The province of Bohol is a group of islands located in the Central Visayas Region close to other major and economically important islands of the Philippines such as Cebu and Leyte. When people hear Bohol there conjures images of the famous Chocolate Hills and tarsiers, dubbed to be the world’s smallest primate and lives endemically in the island. I’ve got a few pictures taken in the island as well as some activities my friend Baye and I did while in there.

Chocolate Hills, Bohol

The Chocolate Hills

Chocolate Hills are a perfect example of karst topography made up of marine limestones dissolved and weathered for millions of years. Officials estimate that there are between 1,268 and 1,776 mounds in Bohol. Because the “mountains” are practically made out of hard sedimentary rocks, trees won’t grow on top of them. Only grass would grow so that when it gets really hot the grass would dry up and become brown thus the “chocolate” appearance.

Chocolate Hills, Bohol with a guy in the background, jules mariano

Chocolate Hills, Bohol with a lady in the background, beverly maniago

jumpshot in chocolate hills bohol beverly maniago

I gave in to my friend’s request to have my jumpshot taken! This is like “a must” to do when you visit the Chocolate Hills. Everyone’s doing it so I practically closed my eyes (you won’t see it since I wore shades to hide away the shame LOL) and jumped!

jumpshot of a guy in chocolate hills bohol jules mariano

jumpshot in chocolate hills beverly maniago and jules mariano

top shot chocolate hills

jules mariano at chocolate hills

ATV adventure rides are fun. They’ll take you to the communities where the Chocolate Hills are and get to see them real close. You’ll enjoy how much people appreciate you when you pass by especially the kids waving their hands goodbye as you pass by with your ATV. :) It’s heartwarming.

ATV adventure ride at chocolate hills bohol

ATV adventure ride in chocolate hills bohol

Danao Activities

Danao is far from Tagbilaran City, around 2 and half hour ride if you’ll take a van or 3 hours or more if by bus. Travel time may change soon as they finish the construction process of the road. The Danao Adventure Park is a great place to spend your time with your friends and family. Fun water activities await you as well as mountaineering, trekking, ziplines, plunge, and other outdoor adventure activities that you’ll definitely enjoy.

How to Get There

If you’re in Tagbilaran City, ride a tricycle and ask the driver to take you to the Dao Terminal. Take a van or a bus going to Danao. You should alight at the end terminal. From there, take a habal-habal and tell the driver to take you to the EAT Danao or the adventure park. Habal-habal is practically a motorcycle modified for purpose of transporting commuters in areas not covered by public utility vehicles like jeepneys. It’s fun. There’s nothing like it outside the Philippines. ;)

The Plunge is one crazy activity you shouldn’t miss but this isn’t for the faint of heart as jumping as high as 230 meters could scare the he** out of you. Seriously! I would advice you to take the chance to try it as it leaves a footprint in your head! haha!

the plunge in danao bohol jules mariano

the plunge in danao bohol jules mariano

It was raining when we visited the Tarsier conservation center so I didn’t get really good pictures of tarsiers but I can say that they are really cute and adorable. I’m not really a fan of animal farms or zoos as I’m against animal cruelty and any form of incarceration or petting so part of me didn’t really enjoy that activity. To think research shows that tarsiers kill themselves if they get too much social exposure from humans.

I’ll surely be back in Bohol soon and see other places I haven’t visited. I’ll definitely post more pictures and info when I did.

You will only live once, make it wonderful. :)

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Toledo, the capital of the autonomous community Castile-La Mancha, sits 70km south of Madrid, Spain’s Capital. The entire municipality of Toledo was declared World Heritage site by UNESCO on 1986 giving you an idea of the rich monumental and cultural heritage existing in the region.

My visit in the summer of 2013 (June-July) allowed me to experience some of the fun festivities that only happens in Toledo during the summer months in Spain as well as in other communities such as in Madrid, Salamanca, and Segovia. I wish I could have visited more communities but my initial purpose in visiting Spain is to take the Curso de Verano (summer class) invitation at the Universidad de Castilla-La Manca. Nevertheless, I came to know Toledo a lot as well as its nearby communities. I got to see Paris, France, too in one of the my super quick sneak from the university class! jeje!

History

Toledo is home to many Christians, Jewish and Muslim population that beautifully co-exist since time immemorial. During the Reconquista (Reconquest) under Queen Isabel the Catholic of Castile and Fernando II de Aragon, Toledo became the capital city of Castile. During this time (16th century), the city became an important cultural and economic center of all of Castile. But the prosperity experienced by Toledo was rather short-lived since after the movement of the Spanish Court from the province to Madrid.

Toledo Railway Station

The Toledo Railway Station greets you with a wonderful structure that will literally blow you away. Beautiful isn’t?

Toledo Railway Station

I took the Madrid-Toledo trip by Renfe. Fast and efficient. It’s expensive at around €12 but nothing compares the convenience of being able to go to another place 70km from Madrid in as fast as 30 mins. If you have been following the news in Spain, this is the same train company that killed more than 70 people recently when one of its trains derailed on its way to Santiago de Compostela.

And I was excited and looking so happy while waiting for a cab to take us to Gregorio Marańon, my university dorm.

At Toledo Railway Station

Check out the Puente de San Martin (San Martin Bridge) which is one of most visited bridges in Toledo and the most famous. The tallest building is the Alcázar de Toledo if I’m not mistaken.

Toledo

What to See

I have visited quite a number of tourist attractions in the area but below are some of the places you shouldn’t miss when you have a trip to Toledo. I took videos using my iPhone and I’ll share some of them here below.

Catedral de Toledo

IMG_0714

Toledo Cathedral, Catedral de Toledo

Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes

Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes

Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes

There are many beautiful monasteries in Toledo but this one’s my favorite. There’s just something special about this monastery’s design: the pattern, the finishing, the life-like statue of Catholic kings that ruled Castile before, etc. This is also a prime example of Isabelline Gothic style (Gótico isabelino) during the time of Queen Isabel the Catholic who was also the one who led the founding and construction of the monastery along with his husband Ferdinand II of Aragon. Their purpose is to commemorate the birth of Prince John, their son, and their triumph in the Battle of Toro in 1476.

The color is different on the first picture because it was taken during sunset. Its natural color is the second one.

I love history so much and became very interested in the life of Isabel La Católica starting the high school days. The life of Queen Isabel the Catholic is replete with sorrow, loss, and triumph. Her life story is worth reading.

Puente de San Martin (San Martin Bridge)

Puente de San Martin

This bridge is famous for having large arches. It also gives you a spectacular view of the hilly Toledo. You’ll pass by this area if you are on your way to the Piedra del Rey Moro, an area where tourists frequent a lot to see a full view of Toledo.

La Piedra del Rey Moro (The Rock of the Muslim King)

Atop of La Piedra del Rey Moro

La Piedra del Rey Moro, Toledo

Viewing the entire Toledo is best done atop of the La Piedra del Rey Moro. After the fall of Toledo from Christian monarchs during the period of Reconsquista the Muslim king who happened to rule Toledo before goes on top of this hill often just to see just what he lost during the war signifying how much he misses the place.

Tip: bring water with you when visiting this place especially during the summer season. Walking is bearable but the heat isn’t. Also, make sure you drop by at around 8pm-9pm (during the summer months as the sun set at around 10pm) to avoid scorching under the sun. Bring some sunscreens with you as well as hat!

I visited this place twice. It’s enchanting. If you understand Spanish, you’ll hear that the professor who were with us during our first trip tell tales about how La Piedra del Rey Moro got its name.

Plaza de Zocodover (Zocodover Square)

Zocodover Square is famous because it’s where most of the restaurants are located as well as where most famous festivities are held. Nearby you can see shopping centers, more restaurants, pubs and clubs.

Plaza de Zocodover, Zocodover Square

Puerta de Bisagra

Puerta de Bisagra functions like the maindoor of the old city and bears the coat of arms of Charles V. This is the most decent picture I have. Too bad.

Puerta de Bisagra

This post is getting longer so I had to cut it from here. I’ll add more topics in my next post as soon as I get time off from work.

Toledo is a must-see when you visit Spain. Just like its tourism slogan: Toledo es Impresionante! (Toledo is Amazing!)

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