Aside from the reopening of Danao Adventure Park, where one can brave the world’s highest canyon swing, travelers have regained interest in the mountain municipality of Danao, Bohol for a whole new reason. A scenic natural phenomenon occurring in town, located three hours’ drive away from Tagbilaran City, has been popularized by social media and persuaded curious travelers to pay a visit to this off-the-beaten-track destination in the central highlands of the island province. If you want to combine a visit there with the province’s more famous attractions, there’s a travel agency that does just that. Just visit philippinestravelpackage.com!
On our second day, we woke up at 4 am the next morning to take a chilly pre-dawn motorbike ride to a village on the other side of town. Our habal-habal zoomed through winding roads enveloped in thick fog from the adventure park to a hilly lookout in Barangay Concepcion, just outside the poblacion or town centre. The mist began to clear when we drove uphill. From here, it’s only a 10-minute walk to the first of a series of grassy knolls called Laguna Hills. Our guide brought solar-powered lamps that softly illuminated the path. Emerging at the top in no time, we were greeted by a momentous view: the golden sunrise over a sea of clouds concealing the valleys below. I couldn’t believe my eyes; it was a magical sight.
I walked over to the highest of the hills for the best views over the fog-shrouded valley, and was truly captivated by the scenery. The view reminded me of the ocean of clouds I saw from the summit of Mt. Pulag in Benguet, a climb which required us to spend the night on the mountain. The lookout over the sea of clouds here, on the other hand, was only a short walk from the highway. The billowy blanket stretched westwards to the distant Chocolate Hills, a geological wonder of more than 1,700 grass-covered limestone domes — the iconic landmark of Bohol. Mountains peeked above the ocean of fog, looking like islands, before the cottony layers lifted away and dissipated as the sun reclaimed the sky, revealing glistening streams and rice paddies between coconut groves beneath. The sunrise flooded the landscape in golden light.
This accessible viewpoint overlooking the sea of clouds was discovered by local photographer Reil Cenabre only late last year while searching for an elevated spot to photograph the sunrise over the poblacion or town center. “I was very surprised to discover that such a sight — which can usually only be admired from the summit of very tall mountains — would occur just off the highway in my hometown,” shared the Cebu-based IT professional, who vacations in Danao to capture its beauty through his photography. “Amazingly, I’m told the phenomenon happens throughout the year when the weather conditions are right,” he enthused.
His images and time-lapse videos on Facebook quickly became viral, prompting curious travellers to flock the site and establish a new tourist attraction in town. Since the adventure park opened, Danao has been a popular destination for day-trippers, but an opportunity to witness the sea of clouds gives a compelling reason for visitors to spend the night in this faraway town.
How to Get There
From Tagbilaran City, take a bus or van from Dao Integrated Bus Terminal to Danao town, where you can transfer to Danao Adventure Park by habal-habal (motorbike) or tricycle. Total travel time takes roughly three hours to the nature park, which has its own restaurant and basic accommodation. A visit to the sea of clouds may be arranged in advance through the park staff. For travel packages in Bohol, visit philippinestravelpackage.com.
An entrance fee of PHP 25 per person is collected at Laguna Hills, after registering your names in the logbook. A guide is provided to accompany visitors to the lookout points.