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.

First Timer’s Guide to Tokyo

Top 5 Things to do in Montevideo, Uruguay

Season: Winter – June to August   Weather: Cold, cloudy & windy

Average temperature: Highest 18-16°C Lowest 10-8 °C

Montevideo is a popular summer destination in South America, but it is just as incredible during the winter as it is during the summer. The food, wine, cultural street art in almost every neighbourhood and the beautiful beach coast will make you forget about the cold.

I was in town for just two days, but it was enough for me to fall in love with the city, and here are my top five things to do.

1. STREET ART

Montevideo is overflowing with beautiful street art spread amongst the city’s neighbourhoods. Each with its own unique style, history and atmosphere. Especially in Barrio Sur, where vibrant graffiti tells the story of the first Africans that migrated to the city and the history of tango dance and music.

As I said before, I wasn’t in town for too long but honestly, I didn’t miss much, because the city is so full of cultural art (including statues and monuments) on almost every street that by just walking around the city’s history is told.

2. EAT, DRINK & REPEAT

To avoid the strong outdoor winds that feel like they are slapping your face, you can spend your trip inside trying authentic cuisine and drinks all day long, because you are on vacation! So why not, right? 

Uruguayan cuisine is so diverse that you will never run out of delicious dishes to taste. Particularly, the asado steak grilled on wooden parillas, the Milanese breaded steaks (similar to schnitzel), meat empanadas and freshly baked corvina fish. If you are looking for something simpler and faster the Chivito and Choripan sandwiches are fantastic choices.

Before my trip, I was told Argentina was going to have the best steaks and grills in South America, but after this trip, I must say that Uruguayan steaks were much more impressive. I don’t know if it was because I was luckier with restaurants in Uruguay than Argentina, but every meal was more delicious than the next!

As for the drinks, make sure to try the national Tannat red wine.

3. HAVE LUNCH AND/OR DINNER AT THE MERCADO DEL PUERTO

Fresh off the boat from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, I headed straight to this cuisine haven market for some late lunch. Unknowingly, we picked the prominent El Palenque restaurant that serves both authentic steaks and seafood, which turned out to have one of the best seafood spaghetti I’ve ever tasted!
The pasta itself was delicious but what blew my mind was the variety, quality and quantity of the seafood. The asado steak was equally delicious, of course, since you can’t go wrong with any juicy meat in Uruguay.

Make sure to save some space for desserts with dulce de leche, which is added to many of the traditional desserts such as pudim, crepe or just taste it straight from the spoon full of creamy caramel.

4. WALK ALONG THE COAST

The most fun activity I did during this trip was to just walk around from coast to coast along the Rambla Promenade. It is also an excellent first-day adventure to do so you can get familiar with the city and know where you would like to explore more in the next couple of days.

If you are not too tired from the walk, head towards Avenida 18 de Julio, for some shopping where you can buy leather and wool goods.

 My walk journey started at Playa de los Pocitos, walking along the Rambla Promenade all the way to the west coast and ending at Ciudad Vieja, where many historical places are such as Plaza Independencia, Theatre Solís, Puerta de la Ciudadela, Palacio Salvo and many others.

5. TAKE A YERBA MATÉ TEA BREAK

Drinking maté tea is probably one of the most beloved Uruguayan traditions and a very unique experience to try in Montevideo.

The local herb drink is made from the yerba mate bush and it is served with hot water on a beautiful leathery and metal cup called Gourd. Many cups come with its own metal straw called bombilla.

The reason why the gours and bombilla are made of metal is to make it easier for locals to carry them around and have anywhere you go! It’s the perfect souvenir for tea lovers.

6. BONUS: ARRIVE/DEPART IN A BOAT

This one is not exactly an activity to do in the city, but rather a fun way to get to or leave Montevideo. From Buenos Aires, I took a boat by Colonia Express that takes 3 hours and 30 minutes. It’s not every trip that you get to arrive on a boat!

Where to eat in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a city with a large variety of cuisines and restaurants for every kind of mood. Here is a list of delicious and unique restaurants you must try when you are in the Dutch capital.

1. FOR THE MEAT LOVERSCANNIBALE ROYALE

I tried this place for the first time last week and I instantly fell in love with it. The burgers are big, rich in ingredients and accompanied by equally delicious fries. This rustic restaurant is located in one of the small streets of the city centre- in an area not commonly visited by tourists but very popular amongst the locals.
Their pint cocktails to share are also excellent, especially the long island ice tea.

Address: Handboogstraat 17 A 1012

Opening: Sunday – Thursday 12.00 – 3.00
Friday – Saturday 12.00 – 4.00

2. SUSHISumo
Sumo is one of my favourite places to have sushi outside of Japan.
Imagine a beautiful restaurant by a canal where you can have all the sushi and warm dishes you can possibly want. It’s truly heaven. As you wait for the food in between rounds, its impossible not to admire the decoration of red and sakura trees.
Above all, this is one of the few Japanese restaurants that I’ve been to with real Japanese green tea and just because of that, I absolutely love it.

Address: Kleine Gartmanplantsoen 17
Opening times: Monday – Saturday 12.00 – 22.30 Sunday 12.00 – 22.00 Reservations & prices

Mackerel, sea bass, salmon flambé and eel.

3. PICTURE PERFECTMaMa Kelly
MaMa Kelly is every girly girl’s dream. The restaurant is entirely decorated in pink and gold which matches perfectly with their specialities of chicken and lobster.
This fabulous restaurant is a bit far from the city centre, but it is also close to the museum quarter, making it the perfect lunch or dinner spot after a day of museum hopping.

Address: Olympic Stadium 35, 1076

Opening times: Every day from 11.30 to 00.00

CLASSIC DUTCH – In De Waag

If you are looking for the full Dutch experience on a romantic trip, this 1488 restaurant is a great place for a date night.
Located at one of the main squares of the city in Nieuwmarkt, this beautiful and eye-catching castle is solely lit by 300 candles creating an intimate atmosphere amongst the guests. While they experience Dutch cuisine accompanied by a great selection of wines and Heineken beer.

Location: Nieuwmarkt 4, 1012
Opening times: Every day 9.00 – 22.30

5. ARGENTINIAN STEAKHOUSECAFÉ DE KLOS

For some interesting reason, Amsterdam is full of Argentinian restaurants but these steakhouses are not your usual ones. Many of them are specialised in ribs, so much so that you can get unlimited amounts of it! These juicy dishes are served with steamed vegetables, potatoes and the classic Dutch sauce, mayonnaise. The first set of ribs come naturally to your table and as you digest it, waiters walk around with mountains of even more ribs.

Address: Kerkstraat 41-43, 1017

Opening hours: Monday – Sunday 16.00 to 23.30

BONUS: FEBO FOOD STAND
A trip to Amsterdam wouldn’t be complete without a snack stop by a FEBO stand. Where you can grab your own burger or frikandel at any time of the day or night by simply adding a couple of coins to a slot on the wall, and grabbing your food. These stands are all over the city, so if you find yourself needing a late-night snack after a long night of clubbing, this is your place.