Carmen Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, food and drink, where to stay, and more in Carmen, Philippines. Read our comprehensive travel guide now!

Introduction to Carmen

Nestled in the heart of Bohol in the Visayas region of the Philippines, Carmen is a hidden gem that has remained unspoiled by commercialization and development. Known for its stunning natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and adventure-filled activities, this small town has a lot to offer for both domestic and foreign tourists.

List of Places to Visit in Carmen

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • The Carmen Church: Built during the Spanish colonial era, the Carmen Church is a landmark in the town center and is one of the oldest churches in Bohol.
  • Carmen Municipal Hall: This iconic building is a must-see for history and architecture enthusiasts. The hall has retained much of its original appearance, which is an excellent example of the province’s colonial architecture.
  • Carmen Heritage Park: Visit this park to learn about the town’s cultural heritage and see traditional Bahay Kubo, the native house in the Philippines.

Natural Attractions of Carmen: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Chocolate Hills: One of the most famous natural wonders in the Philippines is the Chocolate Hills in Carmen. From the town center, you can see the hills’ panoramic view, and they look like a giant of chocolate mounds growing out of the ground.
  • Lakeside Park: Surrounded by tall trees and lush greenery, this is a fantastic spot to have picnics, bond with friends, and paddle boat around the tranquil and peaceful lake.
  • Experience the riverboat ride: Get on a riverboat and experience the peaceful yet breathtaking view of the river’s serene natural beauty.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Carmen

  • Chocolate Hills ATV Tour: Ride an all-terrain vehicle through the Chocolate Hills, a unique and adventurous way to see this world-renowned site.

Best Things to Do in Carmen: Activities and Tours

  • Carmen Adventure: Go on a daring thrill ride or zip-line at Carmen Adventure, a private resort that provides an award-winning canopy ride and a wall climbing experience that visitors will never forget.

Week-Long Itinerary for Carmen

Day Activity
1 Visit the Carmen Church and Municipal Hall
2 Eat local delicacies and explore Carmen’s unique culture
3 Go on a riverboat ride and visit the Lakeside Park
4 Take an ATV tour around the Chocolate Hills
5 Try out the zip-line or wall climbing at Carmen Adventure
6 Go hiking or biking around the town
7 Relax and unwind in the town’s idyllic environment

Food and Drink Scene of Carmen

Must-Try Dishes

  • Peanut Kisses: A famous delicacy made from the finest peanuts in Bohol. This sweet dessert is an ideal snack for anyone with a sweet tooth.
  • Buko Pie: Carmen is also known for its sumptuous coconut pie made from fresh coconut milk and grated coconut meat.

Local Beverages

  • Calamansi Juice: A refreshing drink made from the local Calamansi citrus fruit, which is abundant in the region.
  • Tuba: A fermented coconut sap that is sweet and slightly alcoholic, a drink popular with locals in Carmen and surrounding areas.

Where to Stay in Carmen: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Some of the best places to stay in Carmen include:

  • Carmen Villas: This hotel provides guests with spectacular views of the Chocolate Hills and spacious cottages with all basic amenities needed for a comfortable and relaxing stay.
  • La Estrella Beach Resort: A perfect choice for those who enjoy comfort and tranquility, this resort features a restaurant, pool, and cozy rooms.

What to Buy in Carmen: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Peanut Kisses: Buy a box of Peanut Kisses to share with your loved ones back home.
  • Handmade crafts: Check out the local markets and shops for handmade crafts such as baskets, hats, and traditional fabrics unique to Bohol.

Local Culture and Customs of Carmen

The people of Carmen are friendly and hospitable, often willing to share their customs and traditions to visitors. The residents celebrate many traditional festivals throughout the year, including the town fiesta in honor of their patron saint.

Best Time to Visit Carmen

The best time to visit Carmen is during the dry season, officially between November and May. The peak tourist season is in January and February, but visiting during the shoulder months of November and May will help you avoid crowds and receive much cheaper rates for your travels.

Do’s and Don’ts of Carmen


  • Respect the local customs and traditions.
  • Try out the local cuisine and beverages.
  • Learn some basic Tagalog words and phrases.


  • Don’t litter, respect the environment, and keep Carmen safe for future generations.
  • Don’t disturb the natural ecosystems, be aware of the environment as you explore these scenic landscapes.

Safety and Health

Safety in Carmen

Carmen is a safe destination for tourists, but like any other place you visit, always be aware of your surroundings and belongings. Be mindful of local laws and customs, particularly in regards to drugs and alcohol consumption.

Health in Carmen

The town has public and private health care facilities, but it is still important to come prepared with any necessary medications and insurance for your travels.

Getting to Carmen: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Carmen

The nearest airport to Carmen is the Tagbilaran Airport, which serves both domestic and international flights.

Bus Stations Near Carmen

Most buses going to Carmen depart Tagbilaran City and vice versa to Carmen. You can take a public bus or hire a private vehicle from Tagbilaran City.

Other Options

You can also hire a motorcycle or e-bike to explore Carmen and surrounding areas on your own. Do ensure that you come prepared with your necessary driving license. Consider navigation apps and maps beforehand to make getting around the town quick and easy.

How to Get Around in Carmen

The best way to get around Carmen is by renting scooters, or taking tricycles or motorbikes when navigating narrower or remote parts of the town.

Where to Go Next from Carmen: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Some of the nearby destinations and excursions to Carmen include:

  • Loboc River Cruise: Travel down the Loboc River and admire the stunning scenery and waterfalls.
  • Panglao Island: Visit the famous Alona Beach, snorkel, dive, and enjoy activities on one of the most beautiful beaches in the region.
  • Tarsier Sanctuary: Visit the world-famous Tarsier sanctuary and learn about these tiny primates and their unique habitats.


Carmen is not just another tourist destination; it is a paradise for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and anyone looking for a unique cultural experience. With its natural wonders, rich heritage, and endless activities, the town is everything one could ever wish for in a vacation spot. Plan your travels to Carmen today and experience everything it has to offer!