After 2 nights in Oslob, we decided to take the ferry over to Bohol which was made famous for by the incredible Chocolate Hills and one of the smallest primates in the world, Tarsiers.
There are three different ferry routes to get from Oslob to Bohol, these are;
Cebu City to Bohol – Having already been in Cebu City and aware of the traffic, we decided against this route. There are three ferry’s that operate this route between 6am and 6pm daily with one roughly leaving every 30 minutes.
Oslob to Bohol – Not heavily documented on the internet, there is a ferry that leaves from Oslob to Bohol. However, based on our research we found it to be unlicensed and therefore decided against this route.
Argao to Bohol – The route we’ll be focusing on, there are three ferries that leave daily from Argao port to Bohol.
Bus To Argao Port
Buses run on the main highway (Natalio Bacaslo Avenue) that follows the coastline around from Cebu City down past Moalboal, Santander and then round to Oslob before returning to Cebu City.
You can pick up the bus with the ‘Cebu City’ destination from opposite 7/11 in Oslob town outside Lolo Tinong’s Bakery.
The buses are run by Ceres Liner and leave every half hour (roughly, although everything in the Philippines is very relaxed – especially when it comes to travelling anywhere so be sure to give yourselves plenty of time)
We personally got the bus at 8am to take the 1.5 hr journey to be embarking on the 12 midday ferry from Argao to Bohol – I really didn’t want to have to go up to Cebu City!
Pro Tip: The Ceres Liner buses are green in colour.
The assistant to the driver will get off and load any bags – if you’re unsure whether the bus is the right one for you, this is a great time to ask.
You don’t need a ticket to board the bus, this will happen when you are seated – alternatively, you can buy one online in advance.
The assistant will come round and ask for your destination and hole punch a ticket that’s supposed to highlight the fare – not that we could understand it.
The cost from Oslob to Argao on an airconditioned bus is 100 pesos per person and the journey takes around 1 and a half hours depending on the traffic and number of stops.
The buses are surprisingly comfortable, the seats recline, the temperature was good and they had a film playing.
This allows you to check you’re heading in the right direction, where you are in proximity to your destination and order taxis via the Grab app in the major cities.
Upon arriving into Argao the assistant shouted something at us to alert us that we had arrived, not that we really understood. I walked to the front to double-check he was speaking to us.
The bus dropped us off on the main road alongside Taloot Port. A habal-habal driver was there to greet us and offer us a ride down the long straight road to the port for 10 pesos. We didn’t have that much luggage, and plenty of time to spare so decided to walk down instead.
Taxi To Argao Port
An alternative method of getting the bus is getting a taxi to the ferry port. Grab doesn’t work in Oslob, and I’m unable to find any bookings you could make for this journey online.
Therefore you’ll either want to arrange the transfer with the help of your accommodation reception or speak to the locals – someone always knows someone who is willing to do transfers.
The journey should cost around 1,000 pesos to 1,5000 pesos for up to four people – if you’re planning on taking a minibus then expect to pay more.
Ferry From Argao Port To Tagbilaran, Bohol
Once you arrive at Argao Port you’ll find a number of small stores and restaurants selling snacks for the journey.
Pro Tip: There is a small snack area on board however prices are more expensive when compared to these shops on the mainland.
The area to board the ferry and purchase tickets is through the gate, towards the water to the side of these stalls.
The ticket booth opens one hour prior to the ferries departure, although a queue may begin to form half an hour prior to opening.
The journey with Lite Ferries cost 230 pesos per person. There’s also an additional 5 pesos per person port fee. You won’t be permitted to board the ferry without getting the pink slip associated with this payment.
You can purchase ferry tickets for the Argao to Bohol route online if you prefer to book beforehand or pay card – as the ticket booths will only accept cash payments.
Just next to the ticket booth you’ll find the passenger terminal. This does open prior to the ticket booth so if you’re looking for somewhere to hide out and escape the heat, this is the place!
The ferry begins to board foot passengers around forty-five minutes prior to departure – the time depends on the number of cars or cargo also travelling.
You’re assigned seats on your ticket and these will be pointed out to you by a member of staff as you board the ferry and have your ticket checked by a member of staff.
The ferry can be loud in places, it’s open-air so there’s no air conditioning or fans so it can also get extremely hot.
Helen and I were located downstairs by the engines and eventually had to put on our noise-cancelling headphones to try and block out some of the deafening rumbles from below the passenger area.
The journey from Argao to Bohol takes two and a half hours. It’s incredibly scenic and photogenic. Upon arriving in Tagbilaran, Bohol you’ll exit the port terminal area and find a number of people offering taxis and habal-habals.
These are the easiest ways to get from the ferry port to your location in Tagbilaran or the nearby Panglao Island.