How to Travel From Manila to Bohol, Philippines, by Bus, Ferry, and Plane

Woman relaxing in a hammock, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines
Matteo Colombo / Getty Images

Bohol is an island province in the Philippines known for its lively coral reefs and peculiar Chocolate Hills. It's about 400 miles (644 kilometers) from Manila, the capital, but separated by a series of islands, straits, and patches of sea. Still, getting between the two cities is quick and easy with the 2018 opening of the Bohol-Panglao Airport and the possibility of bus and car travel via the convenient ferry system.

  Time Cost Best For
Bus 23 hours $55 Making stops along the way
Plane 1 hour $55 Arriving on a time crunch
Ferry 4 hours $50 Taking the scenic route

What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Manila to Bohol? 

Although it isn't much more economical than flying or taking the bus (in fact, you can sometimes score flights for much cheaper), the ferry is consistently inexpensive. It's generally cheaper than taking a bus (and much less time-consuming to boot) and happens to be cheaper than flying during peak tourism season, too. Bringing a car along on the ferry costs extra, but if you board the boat on foot, it costs $41 to get from Manila's North Harbor to Cebu (a three-hour journey that 2GO Travel operates about 50 times per week, according to DirectFerries.com) and another $8 to get from Cebu to Tubigon (one hour), a seaport in Bohol. From the terminal in Tubigon, you can take a cheap Jeepney to your hotel.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Manila to Bohol? 

Prior to 2018, Bohol had only a regional airport, Tagbilaran Airport. Now, it's home to the bigger Bohol-Panglao Airport, which serves both domestic and international destinations and sees more than 60 direct flights from Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport per week. According to Skyscanner, there are five airlines that offer nonstop flights between the two destinations—with Cebu Pacific being the most popular—and the trip takes only one hour, on average. That's a far cry from the alternative 23-hour bus ride, and for about the same price. While the average cost of a plane ticket from Manila to Bohol is about $55, you can sometimes find them as low as $30. 

Is There a Bus That Goes From Manila to Bohol? 

There is a bus route you can take, but it involves transfers and ferry rides, resulting in a 23-hour ride that doesn't cost less than flying or ferrying. First, you would take a Jeepney—operated by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)—from the intersection of Claro M. Recto Avenue and Quezon Boulevard. It should cost only about $1 and take 40 minutes. From there, you can walk six minutes to the Silver Star Bus Terminal in Cubao and board a Silver Star Liner (departing only once daily) to Carmen, a municipality in Bohol. The second ride takes 22 hours and includes several ferry rides. The one good thing about this mode of transportation is that you can stop at all the delightful Filipino destinations along the way.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to Bohol? 

Climate-wise, Bohol really has only two seasons: one that's sticky-hot and another that beckons frequent monsoons. Most choose to go during monsoon season (November through May) because it offers a mixture of rain and sun whereas the summers provide no relief from the heat and humidity. If you can tolerate such temperatures, you may be able to strike deals on transportation and accommodation this time of year. If traveling during monsoon season, keep in mind that inclement weather can occasionally affect ferry schedules.

Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport? 

The island of Panglao, where the airport is located, is connected to Bohol by a convenient causeway. It takes about 30 minutes to get to Tagbilaran City, which can be accessed by the airport bus for about $2. You can also take a Jeepney or tricycle to Bohol for budget-friendly prices.

What Is There to Do in Bohol? 

The province of Bohol is known for its pristine beaches on Panglao Island, its Chocolate Hills (over a thousand picturesque rolling knolls across the island), the swimmer-friendly lagoon in Hinagdanan Cave, and the bustling coral reefs that surround the coastline. While portions of the reefs require a boat ride and scuba gear to see them, some of them are a quick swim from the beach.

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