What do you usually think of when you think of Bohol? Yes, the Chocolate Hills. Or those cute, wide-eyed tarsiers. Panglao for divers and beach lovers, the Loboc river for the romantically inclined. Baclayon and other churches for those who are interested in history, and the internationally renowned Children’s Choir. All these are the standard things to do when you are in Bohol.
For the adventurers at heart, though, there is another very good reason for going to Bohol: the Danao Adventure Park.
Danao is a small town around two hours from Tagbilaran City. Considered one of the poorest municipalities in the province in the early 2000s, it has now grown to be Bohol’s center for eco-adventure activities. Managed by the local government of Danao in cooperation with a non-government organization, the adventure park is also known as E.A.T. (Eco, Educational, Extreme Adventure Tour) Danao, offering a range of exciting activities that are sure to push anyone’s limit.
“We will finish the 1.5km long zipline before the end of this year,” Danao’s chief of police PO3 Norman Nuez said, in whose house a colleague and I stayed when we went there. “This is in addition to the existing zipline that we have now.”
A zipline is a zipline, right? Wrong! In Danao, the zipline (P350/person) is connected to two cliffs, and one is treated to a wonderful sight of a long and winding river 200 meters below. Line 1 is 460m long; reaching the end of it, you would then need to walk a bit to reach Line 2, which is a bit longer at 480m. At the other end waits a photographer who’s always ready to take a good shot (a printout costs P50/photo).
It was my second time to ride a zipline (my first was in Corregidor) and I chose to lie face down, looking at the river and the thick vegetation hundreds of meters below me. I loved the feeling of seemingly flying over everything, and it seemed to end so quickly.
We also tried the cable car (a.k.a. Sky Ride, P250/person) which was parallel to the zipline. It was nice because unlike the zipline, it went very slowly. However, it lacked the adrenaline-inducing ride of the latter.
For those who are more adventurous, Danao has its version of a bungee jump. Called the Plunge (P700/person), it is a 70m freefall requiring utmost courage and will from every first timer. You would be geared up, brought to the loading platform and be made to choose how you would like to be dropped: lying or sitting down?
A panel is then lowered, you would be dangled over the cliff, and with a cry of Bombs Away! the rope is released and you would plunge through space, the sheer terror perhaps of the freefall robbing you of the ability to even cry out. After around 10 seconds or so (probably the longest in your life), the rope would tighten around your body and you would swing gently for a few times over the treetops.
Did I try it? Nope! I didn’t feel ready for such an adrenaline-pumping action. According to PO3 Sarah Dupio who went with us that day, though, it would only be scary the first time around. She did it once, then went back to do it again the second time around, loving the rush when her body plunged through space.
We only stayed a very short time in Danao so I wasn’t able to experience more of what it was offering. Next time, however, I will come back to try out the following:
• Caving (P350)—there are two levels: one for beginners (one hour hike, approximately 400m), and intermediate (3 hours hike with more vigorous activities)
• Rappel 15m with root climbing (P400)
• Rappel 60m (P600)
• Kayaking/River Tubing (P200)
• Bouldering/Rock Climbing (P200)
How to go to Danao, Bohol:
From Tagbilaran: Take a tricycle to the Dau terminal and then take the ordinary bus to Danao (P85). From the Danao terminal, ride a habal-habal (motorcycle) to the Danao Adventure Park for around P30.
From Tubigon: If you’re taking the ferry to Bohol from Cebu, go to Pier 1 and take the Tubigon ride. It’s nearer Danao. From the Tubigon port, take the bus to Danao (P60) and the habal-habal (motorcycle) to the Danao Adventure Park. If there’s no direct trip, go to Sagbayan (bus) for P30, and then another bus to Danao for P30.
Of course, you can rent or bring your own vehicle too. Well, when are you going to Bohol to try these out?