Bohol Island: 5 Reasons why this island is the perfect family vacation destination

Plane Landing in Tropical Paradise
Bohol Island, Philippines.

Picking a family vacation destination can be quite complicated. There are so many variables to consider. How many people are going? What kind of place does everyone like? Is the country safe, especially for kids? Can everyone do all the activities available? The questions are endless, but here’s a suggestion that will answer all your questions, the Bohol Island, Philippines.

This beautiful Filipino island checks out all the boxes for a perfect big family trip destination and here and here are five reasons why. 

1. Low-tide beaches

The beaches in Bohol are not only breathtaking for anyone to swim in, but they are especially perfect for kids! Since the tides change throughout the day very slowly, meaning for majority of the day the tides are below knee hight, make it super safe for kids and parents can enjoy their beach day without having to worry too much.

In the mornings, the tide is at its lowest allowing a long view of the sandy beach and low waves. My little sister particularly liked being at the beach in this specific time because of the little ponds that formed, filling with fish, hermit crabs and other cute little sea creatures. Another curiosity that I encountered on the beach were these strange brain-looking sand piles that are formed by crabs while they dig their homes in the sand.

2. Tropical Weather

As a tropical island, Bohol has a consistently warm weather at any season.

December to February is winter season which can have a couple of stormy rainy days but in general this is common favourite season by locals since it’s not-too-cold-and-not-too-warm temperatures.

Another tropical perk that will make you fall in love with this island is it’s transparent waters. You can see fish and other aquatic animals swimming from far away through the warm water and play “spot the starfish” from the beach shore!

Women Relaxing on a Tropical Hammock
Bohol Island, Philippines

3. High Safety Control

In the last couple of years, the security of the Philippines has increased extremely. Especially in public places such as malls, hotels and main streets. 

At the Bohol Beach Club Resort where I was staying, you could see guards all over the property, even at the beach! Which made my family and all the other guests feel safe when the kids were playing in the sea. It decreases the chances of an accident happening and gave an extra safety guarantee for the parents so they can relax and enjoy their vacation to the maximum!

3. So Many Activities

It’s fascinating how many activities you can do in such a small island. Due to its rich jungle biological environment, this Filipino island is packed with adrenaline- and aquatic sports, animal and insect sanctuaries, and nature parks to explore.

On land, the Loboc Ecosystem Adventure Park is a great place to spend they day with activities everyone in the family will enjoy. The most popular being the zip-line that runs across the Loboc River with incredible views of the jungle and water falls. If you are not a fan of zip-lining, you can see the same beautiful view from the cable car that passes through the same path at a much slower pace.

In the water, you can partake in all the usual aquatic sports; rafting, scuba diving, kayaking and so on. But the unique activities you shouldn’t miss in Bohol, are snorkelling amongst the coral reef and go dolphin watching on a bangka, a Filipino watercraft.

Snorkelling and dolphin watching was definitely the highlight activity of the trip for the youngsters of the family. Especially when we helped the boat driver catch urchins and we got to try fresh urchins! It was definitely a unique experience.

For the little ones, the highlight activity was visiting the Tarsier sanctuary. In order to protect the adorable little creatures, visitors can only observe the tarsiers from a safe distance and must have a guide take you though the preservatory forest and points out the tarsiers as she spots them. Tarsiers are quite easy to spot during the day since they are nocturnal and most of them would probably be sleeping on a tree when you see them. But occasionally they will open their big bright eyes making them even easier to spot.

In regards to getting around the island with a big group, the best way is to rent a van with a local driver. Hotels and travel agencies can provide with great packages for day trips that can also include entry tickets making it much easier and faster to get around with a big group.

Another more relaxing alternative is to spend a day at the Bohol Bee Farm and Resort. An incredibly beautiful property with a restaurant, cafe, ice cream parlour, private beach and an organic store. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon.

4. Cheap prices

You might be thinking that you might not be able to do half of these activities because it’s expensive, as it is in most destinations, especially during the holiday season. But I have good news for you! The Philippines is quite cheap! On average, a three-course meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant will cost about ₱800.00  which equals to €14.66. A local 0.33 cl beer bottle will cost ₱200.00 equals to €3.67. Even hotel and resort restaurants prices are much cheaper than your average prices. Making it the perfect opportunity to splurge and go out for a special dinner with the family!

5. Christmas at the beach

Last but definitely not least and in my opinion the absolute main reason to why Bohol is the best destination for an end-of-the-year family trip is having Christmas at the beach!

It might be strange at first, heading over to the beach on Christmas night wearing a t-shirt and shorts to have a buffet dinner with strangers from around the world. But as soon as you reach the beach and see how beautiful and atmospheric it is, trust me, you will have the time of your life.

At Bohol Beach Club Resort, where I stayed, they organised a delicious Filipino buffet with delicious authentic dishes that guests can dine underneath a star studded tropical night sky.

To top off this magical night, the hotel also organises a show full of dance performances featuring fire.

To see more Bohol island photos click here.

Pernambuco, Brazil

Porto de Galinhas & Tapioca Crepes

Porto de Galinhas Beach

Located in the northeast of the country, Porto de Galinhas is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, because of its mesmerising natural pools and corals. The fishing town is fairly isolated and small compared to its surrounding cities, such as the capital of Pernambuco, Recife, which is just an hour away (63km) by car.

The town has been preserved as a local area from the rest of the world. In consequence, the town is really laid back and can be pretty difficult to find Wi-Fi outside of your hotel, inn or resort. So if you want to tune off from the world and practice your Portuguese, this is the perfect place.

The center is full of colourful and cute open air traditional restaurants, artisanal stores, kiosks and aquatic sports agencies. With the city center situated directly in front of the beach or very close by. I recommend staying at a resort because they have English speaking staff and are ready to help you plan and book your vacation. It might be pricier than staying at a pousada (inn) but it will save you a lot of stress and time. Plus, most of them are located directly in front of a beach, which is the best part of the area.

Porto de Galinhas is a great destination for a family trip, because you can safely let your kids play at hidden low tide beaches, while relaxing by the shore drinking coconut water. The beaches are usually very quiet and pretty empty so you will always have plenty of space and peace.

There are many exciting activities to do like scuba diving by the coral reefs at Praia do Porto de Galinhas, which covers a large part of the ocean shore separating the waters and creating different shades of blue throughout the beach.

You can also have unique adventures, like observe first hand where the guaiamum ( the blue carb) and the uça crabs live at mangroves, where the trees and the beach meet. Take a ride on a buggy, a common transportation in Porto de Galinhas which you can book from your hotel or from the town center. Make sure to ask for a driver that can speak English or your own language. The buggies can take you to different beaches or on a tour around the town. You can also book taxis for a day and go on a day visit to Recife and the beautiful Olinda. The drivers are always very nice and well informed on the region’s history.

At night, the restaurants become even more full with lively Brazilian music, where you can have a fun night out with caipirinhas and dancing. Frevo is the traditional music of the Pernambucan region, so if you go to Brazil during February, make sure not to miss the carnival shows and Frevo dances.

Tapioca Crepe with Ham, Brie Cheese and Oregano

Pernambuco is not only known for their delicious seafood, but also for their tapioca crepes, which is one of my favourite Brazilian foods. ❤

In Portuguese, tapioca (a.k.a cassava root) is the name for both the vegetable and the dish, since the crepe is made only from the starch extract. The root was inherited from the indigenous people that lived in Brazil before it was colonized by Portugal. The great thing about the vegetable, is that it can be made in many ways, with salty or sweet ingredients and it can be served for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Since the country does not produce a lot of yeast to make bread, Brazilian people use tapioca to make flour, and gain the nutritious benefits needed. Since it’s full of iron, calcium and many other nutrients, with a low level of saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Which helps improve blood circulation by maintaining good levels of blood pressure. It also helps lose weight and fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore because of all these benefits, the most common time to have a tapioca is in the morning with ham and cheese to give you energy for the day ahead.

Tapioca Crepe with Nutella, Banana and Cinammon

I personally enjoy eating tapioca for breakfast as well and as a desert, with Nutella, banana and cinnamon powder.

The tapioca crepe is incredibly easy to make, once you have the flour, but it can be pretty hard to find outside of Brazil or in other regions, because it’s a regional dish. But in Porto de Galinhas, you can find it at almost every restaurant and café.

Mandioca is another dish that can be made from the tapioca root. It’s also very easy to make, by just cutting the root into medium pieces and boiling or frying it. The side dish goes perfectly with dry meat and roasted onions, which are also typical dishes from Pernambuco.

Best season to go to Porto de Galinhas is at the end of the year when its summer in Brazil. Pernambuco is not as insanely hot as Rio, but you can definitely get a tan and enjoy your days by the beach.