Bohol is one of the most popular Islands in the Philippines for tourists, with a few choice spots stealing most of the limelight due to great diving and infrastructure. Many head to Panglao for its beaches and Carmen for its Chocolate Hills, but not many ever stray over to the far South East of the Island. Here you will find the town of Anda, a small Municipality with an authentic Visayan feel.
Anda has a population of around 17,000 and the majority of these inhabitants are involved with fishing or agriculture rather than tourism. The town sits at the end of a rugged coastline and has a public beach in the centre of 1km long, which is pristine and often empty. Behind the town the landscape rises up into green hills and forest; perfect for hiking or mountain biking if you’re so inclined. In fact, the town is fast becoming the perfect destination for travellers looking for a little bit of action to go along with their sleepy beach days and reading in the hammock. Bohol Adventure Company have recently relocated here, making it the perfect place for backpackers looking to spend a couple of days somewhere with equal chilling and action available.
Where to stay? There are a handful of really nice resorts scattered along the Anda coastline, but for somewhere with options for every budget, your best bet is 1 Peace Beach Resort. Here you can get a bed in a dorm with a fan that is right on the beach for 400P, a private room for 800P, and a romantic beach bungalow for 1400P. The kitchen is open from 8 ‘til 8 and if there are more than a couple of guests staying, the hosts will put on a big family dinner on the beach every night.
What to do? Anda is a real escape from the crowds, so spend your first morning listening to the waves, relaxing and sunbathing on the unbelievably clean beaches. After that, it’s time to get active. Bohol Adventure Company offers a variety of activities including kayak hire, mountain biking, motorbike hire and hiking. We chose to go on a half-day hike into the hills behind Anda and had a wonderful morning climbing to amazing views, laughing with the local people as we passed through and taking a dip in the waterfall to cool off on the way down. Just ask for James at 1 Peace and he will come and pick you up included in the price of the hike! If you still have energy left after that, Anda has some beautiful snorkelling sites not far from shore where turtles and whale sharks have both been recently spotted. After that, we suggest that you’ve earned a beer. There are some friendly bars in town, or you can always drink beer from your hammock.
How to get there? Anda is accessible by bus or car and is about a 2-hour drive from Tagbilaran. Buses run regularly but are much slower than hiring your own car/bike due to the number of stops they make along the way! However, the coastal road is very scenic and if you’re not in a rush it’s a fun way to travel. You’ll be dropped at the central market and easily be able to pick up a tricycle from there to your resort.