Getting to Bohol was the preface to my 3-month adventure across the Philippines. I was definitely excited to put my weeks of itinerary planning to the test. Before the trip, I studied the tourist maps of Bohol and read rummaged blogs and online forums for budget travel tips in Bohol. I found out that the cheapest way to get to Bohol from Cebu is to take the ferries from Pier 1, Cebu City to Tubigon Port, Bohol. Tubigon is a town located at the eastern coast of Bohol Island. Not only did it cost less but, looking at the map, I thought it was a better entry point since some of Bohol’s major tourist attractions are just along the highway from Tubigon to Tagbilaran City.
Aerial View of Tagbilaran City and Panglao Island in Bohol
I arrived in the Mactan-Cebu International Airport at 10:00AM and rushed to the metered taxis (parked outside the domestic departure area). I was hoping to catch the 10:30AM (Cebu to Tubigon) trip of the Starcraft ferries, unfortunately, I didn’t make it in time so I had to wait for the next trip at 12:30PM.
Cebu to Bohol Ferries
There are a lot of ferry trips plying the Cebu to Bohol route daily. Fast ferries (or “fastcrafts”) take half the travel time compared to the slow ferries or (RORO ferries) and costs almost twice as much. Going to Tagbilaran, it takes 1 hour and 45 minute of sea travel by fastcraft and costs around P800 – P1000 (or P400 if you take a round trip promo). Going to Tubigon, the fastcrafts just take 45 minutes to an hour and costs P200 only.
The Starcraft Ferry is one of two fastcraft companies servicing the “Cebu to Tubigon” route. Their ticketing area is a bit tricky to find since it’s not located inside the terminal building. Instead, you can find it at the “panadero” bakery outside the main (front) gate of Pier 1.
Fastcraft Ticketing Booth at Panadero Bakeshop
Outside the Passenger Terminal Building of Pier 1 in Cebu City
Waiting for the Starcraft Ferry at the pre-departure area (Gate 2) of Pier 1’s passenger terminal. Terminal Fee = P10
First Look at the Starcraft Ferry and Departure from Cebu City
Tubigon to Tagbilaran Tourist Trail Routes
There are two “tourist trail” route options to get from Tubigon to Tagbilaran. The shorter way is to take the eastern coastal road passing by the towns of Calape, Loon, Maribojoc, Cortes, before arriving in Tagbilaran. The towns dotting the eastern coast of Bohol has a number of interesting churches and heritage spots worth visiting. Meanwhile, the longer way is to take the central highway at the heart of Bohol Island. Bohol’s central highway is the main tourist trail of Bohol where the major attractions of Bohol can be found including the Chocolate Hills Complex Viewdeck in Carmen town, Man Made Mahogany Forest in Bilar, Loboc River Cruise, Loboc Church, Baclayon Church, Blood Compact Site, among others.
I decided to do the “Central Bohol” tourist trail during my first day in Bohol and then explore “Eastern Bohol” on my last day.
Arrival in Tubigon Port, Bohol
I arrived in Tubigon Port at around 1:30PM. I was already running 2 hours behind schedule and was orried I might not have enough time to commute to the various destinations in Bohol I planned on visiting that day. I soon found out that the passenger jeepneys and buses in Bohol are so infrequent that it would require a full day to do a “tourist trail” by commuting from one town to the other. I ended up taking a single motorcycle ride or “habal-habal” to take me to my first destination, the famed “Chocolate Hills” of Bohol.
Tubigon to Cebu RORO Ferries and Fastcraft Schedule
MV Starcraft “Cebu City (Pier 1) to Tubigon, Bohol” Ferry Schedule
Jadestar “Cebu City (Pier 1) to Tubigon, Bohol” Ferry Schedule
MV Seajet “Cebu City (Pier 1) to Tubigon, Bohol” Ferry Schedule
Lite Shipping Bohol Cebu-Bohol Schedule
View more information about Cebu to Tubigon Ferries.