Why I have mixed feelings about the Tarsier Sanctuary

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As part of our Bohol daytour, we went to the Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella, Bohol where visitors get the chance to see these small primates in the flesh. Touring the sanctuary was an enjoyable experience but do I recommend it to others? I’m not sure with my answer.

All About Tarsiers

Tarsiers are small primates that can be found in Southeast Asia like Borneo, Indonesia. In the Philippines, tarsiers are popularly found in Bohol. Some sightings were seen in Leyte, Samar, and some parts of Mindanao. Tarsiers are small carnivorous primates (like monkeys) with huge eyes and are nocturnal. They are extremely shy and sensitive. They also tend to commit suicide by banging their head on tree trunks after experiencing stress..

The BOHOL Tarsier Sanctuary

The Bohol Tarsier Sanctuary was established in 1996 by the Philippine Tarsier Foundation with the aim of the conservation and preservation of the habitat Philippine Tarsier.. The sanctuary covers an area of about 167 hectares, which includes a forested area that provides a natural habitat for the tarsier.

When you visit the Bohol Tarsier Sanctuary, you will be guided through an area where the tarsiers live and tourists will have the chance to observe them up close. The guides help tourists spot the tarsiers so you’ll can take photos or videos of them.

What not to do inside the tarsier sanctuary

Tarsiers are uber sensitive so tourists have to be extra careful in interacting with them. Guests are prohibited from doing the following:

  1. Take photos/videos with flash;
  2. Be noisy;
  3. Touch the tarsiers;
  4. Taking too long in observing the tarsiers.

How to get there

The Bohol Tarsier Sanctuary is located in Corella Bohol, 20 kilometers away from Tagbilaran City – the capital of Bohol and is a 30-minute ride from there.


Your starting point is in Tagbilaran in Bohol. There are daily flights from the capital, Manila, to Panglao (30 minutes rides to Tagbilaran) via the domestic airlines – Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific or Air Asia. If you want to book in advance, you may check out WayAway for flight deals or WayAway Plus where you can get 10% off on your booking using my voucher.


The most convenient way to get there is booking a daytour of Bohol’s tourist destinations for P1,235 or $22 (the price must have changed as of today). I booked my tour at I Travel Bohol. The Tarsier Sanctuary is one of the stop overs along with Chocolate Hills, Bilar Man-made Forest, Sipatan Hanging Bridge, and the Loboc River Cruise.

You can also rent a motorbike at Tagbilaran City for P300-P500 a day ($6-$10).

Where to stay

There are a lot of options for accommodations in Tagbilaran City from budget hostel dorms via Booking.com to mid-range and upper-range via Agoda.

My final take

While I understand Bohol Tarsier Sanctuary’s mission to protect these endangered primates thru eco-tourism, tarsiers are being subjected to stress everyday. A number of them are housed in a forested area where tourists interact with them putting them at constant risk. I enjoyed the tour around the sanctuary but I definitely won’t do it a second time so I won’t add up to the stress these tarsiers go through everyday.

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