Traveling to Bohol, Philippines from Mactan-Cebu International Airport

International travel magazines feature Bohol’s most famous attraction often enough that travelers may have read about its natural wonder, the Chocolate Hills. The mounds of brown-colored lime formation have placed the island of Bohol on many travelers’ radar.

Chocolate Hills in Carmen, Bohol

Bohol is the tenth largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the Central Visayas region, east of the bigger and more popular Cebu.

Tourists flock to Bohol to view the Chocolate Hills and soak in the sun on its white sandy beaches and enjoy its blue and emerald green waters.

Alona Beach in Panglao, Bohol

From Mactan-Cebu International Airport, one can get a taxi to Pier 1 to catch a ferry to Tagbilaran, Bohol’s capital city. The taxi ride takes about an hour in regular traffic. Without traffic in the early morning, it only takes half an hour.

Two Taxi Options

There are two taxi stands at Mactan-Cebu International Airport- white taxi stand and yellow taxi stand. Unaware that the yellow taxis do not use their meters and charge a set rate, my husband and I got in and paid Php470 ($9.40 based on $1= Php52) for the ride to Pier 1. A metered ride would have cost a few pesos less. The meter starts at Php40 ($0.77), a charge of Php13.50 ($0.30) is added per kilometer, plus Php2.00 ($0.04) is added per minute of travel.

Two Ferry Options

Travelers may choose between two options to Tagbilaran. Option 1 is getting on a fast ferry which takes 2 hours. Option 2 is getting on a slow ferry which takes 4 hours.

Before anything else, I would like to mention that those aged 60 and above get discounted fare on public transportation in the Philippines. One only needs to show a driver’s license or passport to get the discount. Say “senior” while presenting the ID and the person at the ticket booth knows to issue a discounted fare. It doesn’t matter whether one is a local or a foreigner. The same goes at restaurants and the local fastfood chains like Jollibee or Chowking. Seniors also get discounted entrance fees at some attractions.

Below are information on the fare and schedule of the fast and slow ferries to Bohol.

Passengers boarding an Ocean Jet ferry from Tagbilaran to Cebu

Fast Ferries Cebu-Tagbilaran

Ocean Jet

Fare: Php500 ($9.6)

Terminal Fee: Php25 ($0.48)

Travel Time: 2 hours

Super Cat

Fare: Tourist Class Php555 ($10.67)

. Business Class Php835 ($16.05)

Terminal Fee: Php25 ($0.48)

Travel Time: 2 hours

Slow Ferry

Lite Ferries

Fare: Economy Php255 ($4.90)

. Standard Php275 ($5.29)

. Tourist Php390 ($7.50)

Travel Time: 4 hours

We chose Ocean Jet because they have numerous scheduled trips to Bohol from Cebu and vice versa daily. We bought our roundtrip tickets from the ticketing office across the street from Pier 1 to avoid the long line at the ticket booth in the pier. It took two minutes to walk from the ticketing office to Pier 1. With tickets in hand, we checked-in and got our seat assignments. Then we were directed to baggage drop-off where we paid Php 50 ($0.96) each for our luggage. Only bags smaller than a carry-on may be carried by passengers to their seats. We proceeded to our gate to wait for boarding. The whole process did not take long, and the ferry ride was comfortable.

Inside an Ocean Jet ferry, Tourist Class (air conditioned). There is an open air option for the same price.

Things got a bit confusing and chaotic when we arrived in Bohol. There was no announcement where checked luggage may be picked-up. The guard we asked pointed us to a fenced area where ferry personnel were unloading bags from a cart. The 3 personnel who were carting bags from the ferry to the baggage claim area looked overwhelmed by too many passengers vying for attention to have their bags handed over. In Cebu, luggage is retrieved right by the gang plank upon disembarking. There wasn’t an announcement on this either. The process was as disorganized as the one in Tagbilaran.

View from Tagbilaran Port

It wasn’t difficult getting to Bohol from Mactan-Cebu International Airport and vice versa. While researching, I found the ferry websites helpful. But the latest updates are on their Facebook Pages. I suggest checking their Facebook Pages for the latest travel information.

Have you been to Bohol? How was your travel experience?

About Dee Gilbert

I am one half of a couple who loves to travel; the half who likes to write and share travel experiences. Reading about travelers' experiences inspire me more to see the world. So, I thought, perhaps in my own little way I could inspire others, too. :)
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3 Responses to Traveling to Bohol, Philippines from Mactan-Cebu International Airport

  1. pedmar10 says:

    Ah now I see it , I go there every year so far for the last few landing at Mactan and staying in Cebu. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

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