Just a quick ferry journey from Cebu, Bohol offers independent travellers a wealth of options both on and off the beaten track. The island province is promoted almost exclusively through images of cute bug-eyed tarsiers and the majestic Chocolate Hills, and whilst both are fantastic highlights, in reality it’s the diving that brings in the tourists. Add a jungle interior, an adventure sport paradise, rice terraces and pristine white beaches, and you get a more rounded picture of what Bohol really is about.
Boholanos still affectionately call their province the ‘Republic of Bohol’, in reference to the island’s short-lived independence at the turn of the 19th century. It’s an appropriate appellation – today’s successors of the republic are fierce protectors of Bohol’s distinctive cultural heritage.