Traveling gives us unique experiences that stay with us for the rest of our lives. The rewards that come with the newness and fulfilling learning experiences of travel are irreplaceable, and these benefits can be enhanced through ecotourism.
Ecotourism is an ideal option for exploring all of the natural treasures the Philippines is blessed to have. The small town of Aloguinsan, in Cebu’s southern part, is often referred to as "Ecotourism Capital of Cebu". As a region where diverse landscapes are ubiquitous, locals are keen to preserve this town’s natural beauty. A rich biodiversity and incomparable natural attractions make this place an extraordinary ecotourism hot spot. If your notion of a perfect trip is getting up close and personal with the natural world, this destination allows travelers to see one of the Philippines’ great wonders.
Bojo River is a 15-minute drive from the Municipality of Aloguinsan. This award-winning ecotourism destination provides visitors with an inspiring yet environmentally conscious ecotourism experience. Bojo River embraces ecotourism by adhering to principles that assist in promoting sustainable tourism and responsible travel around the community.
Promising an undiluted nature experience of indigenous forest and pristine gorge, this nature reserve features many paved and well-designed pathways for you to explore the area. Even so, make sure you come in a comfortable pair of footwear. Immerse yourself in the iconic surroundings and find yourself enchanted by the stories and adventures on offer.
Saunter along the perimeter of Bojo and enjoy nature’s tranquillity with scenic photo opportunities along the way. Bojo River takes precautionary measures against mosquitoes and other insects to guarantee they don’t present a problem. However, to make sure you don’t get any unexpected bites, have some insect repellent handy.
Bojo River is under the stewardship of Bojo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association (BAETAS). This organization endeavors to elevate the lives of Bojo residents and visitors of all ages by providing them with a recreation destination that allows them to learn, develop, play and build a sense of community through nature. The knowledgeable and zealous workforce aims to exceed expectations of service providing a welcoming environment for all.
BAETAS’ mission is to conserve the river and forest of Bojo while empowering the local community members, including the native Cebuanos, to play leading roles in this effort for their own economic, educational, health and well-being. Their institution has made all efforts in maintaining the ecosystem of this destination. The use of eco-friendly materials is evident everywhere. Each lodge is built with local lumber and recycled materials. All cleaning products and toiletries are biodegradable. Bojo River staff allows guests to truly discover the place while protecting the environment.
Constant care and protection, carried by the village’s inspection team, are the reasons why this land’s rich resources are still intact. Both very experienced and young specialists work extremely hard to forfend the delicate nature of this place. Their wisdom and techniques are regularly being tested in order for them to be prepared for any situation that may arise.
Explore the Bojo River in the comfort of one of their four seater paddle boats, with life vests provided. Unwind and rejoice as they guide you through the history of this incredible area. The Bojo River Nature Reserve is a place where man's role is crucial in the sustainable transformation of the landscape. Here, man and nature live side by side, harmoniously and responsibly.
Clothe yourself in traditional Filipino garb for your protection from the heat or sudden rain. Salakot is a wide-brimmed native hat in the Philippines and is a common symbol for Filipino identity. It is made out of local materials such as of either rattan, reeds, or bamboo. I suggest you to embrace the cultural differences that make a place peculiar. Get to know the locals and how they view life. You might be surprised at the things you’ll learn when you open your mind to new ideas!
Set sail on an exciting adventure known as the Bojo River Cruise! Step aboard the Bojo River Cruise and listen to nature's polyphony of gently lapping water, the chirping of the birds as well as the rustle of the trees. The journey begins with a quick orientation about the cruise and the ancestral ritual believed to keep tourists away from harm. After that, you can behold the stunning view of the Bojo River.
When you step onto Bojo River Cruise, your breath will be taken away by the magic that separates you from everyday life on dry land. You'll glide past imposing cliffs, lush riverbanks, and remarkable ancient wonders on your Aloguinsan river cruise. Every gentle bend of the river reveals another fascinating sight as your river cruise boat winds its way through scenic landscapes, delivering you right to where many of the Philippines’ most astonishing islands were born.
Not your ordinary tour, cruising Bojo River is also an educational trip fishermen take turn in giving short lecture which makes you appreciate old-growth mangrove forest and its ecological significance. Don’t be alarmed, the lectures won’t bore you as you will be busy admiring the exuberant foliage around you and watch some villagers along the bank doing their daily chores. Tour guides and hosts are educated on a deeper level in order to share their mastery while tourists come to appreciate the beauty of new surroundings.
While most of the park is sheltered, it’s a good idea to bring sunglasses or visors to protect your eyes from the solar glare, especially on the Bojo River boat ride. If you're prone to sunburn, I advise using sunblock or sunscreen as well.
The water in the river is saline, a mixture of fresh and saltwater. There are minerals under the river that gives the greenish color of the water. Greenish as it may be, the water is guaranteed to be clean and safe. On the other hand, these aquatic vegetation provides the foundation for a healthy ecosystem upon which fishes, birds and the entire food chain depend. Learn more fascinating facts about them while savoring the cruise in Bojo River!
Their friendly presenters will share experiences and stories you can’t get anywhere else as you watch these adorable mangrove trees. This area was once a hiding place of the locals during the World War II. However, after the war, the people started cutting the mangroves for daily use. Now, they are slowly replanting and restoring it to its former glory! I must say, the more that you know about a place, your love and admiration grows. As you sail at a pleasingly easy pace, you’re cocooned in comfort. One incredible journey, a hundred magical sights!
Bojo River is one of the most iconic places to see majestic creatures powering through the sky. A 400-meter long boardwalk that cuts across the mangrove forest provides the option of going on a trek along the river. The bamboo boardwalk connects to a 150-step natural trail carved on a hillside that leads to a gazebo overlooking the river landscape. To better appreciate the whole trip, you can bring additional materials with you, say binoculars, cameras and such. This is an exploration that is not only brimming with beauty and sensation but is also loaded with information and enlightenment!
The cruise does not only enlighten visitors on the history, but also introduces them to the folklore of the locality. The mouth of the river used to be the place where the natives and the foreign merchants would meet to trade goods. When the Spaniards came, they used the term “bojo”, a Spanish word which means coastal sailing or trading. Aside from that, there’s a small opening in the cliff where locals believed led to the realm of Maria Tang-an, a benevolent engkantada (forest nymph), who lent valuable items to villagers for special occasions. The townspeople would write on a piece of paper the things they needed and insert their letters into small openings on the side of a rock close to the mouth of the river. They would find the requested items at the same place a few days after. Away from all enchantment, guests can snorkel in incredibly clear, green water surrounded on both sides by 330-foot-tall limestone cliffs! Fantastic, isn’t it?
The river system exits into the sea, where marine creatures can be found. The entire area hosts a plethora of snorkel and dive opportunities. Sharp rocks at the shore can make entering this area a little difficult, but as soon as you pass the rocky area, you’re bound to discover a beautiful, incredible, underwater world. With calm, shallow water and rich sea life, swimming in its waterways is a bit like diving right into a natural tank of colorful aquatic life.
Bojo River Cruise is a great way to see the destination you’ve been dreaming about. As you embark on your journey, you’ll get to enjoy a rare blend of exploration and relaxation while a team of people who are passionate about travel and dedicated to first-class service tend to your every need.
This is definitely a must-see for souvenir-starved tourists! The souvenir shop brim with fresh produce, pottery, hand-made baskets, masks, traditional fabrics, soapstone carvings and beaded jewelry. As an eco tourist, aid a community by purchasing local artisan handicrafts. Bring home unbearably cute stuff and exclusive memorabilia to remember your visit to the Bojo River. Buying local produce is a great way to support their natural environment. Not only will you be traveling more sustainably, you’ll also have an awesome, authentic reminder of your vacation!
How have you been inspired by the power of ecotourism? Voice your opinion below! Join me in spreading the word so your friends can support ecotourism while learning about amazing destinations around the world!