When I think of Nuts Huts, I think of sitting in their large communal room on a covered deck two stories high, looking down into the milky green Luboc River.
If I pop my head of the hammock and look through the layers of thick green foliage, down the hill I can see a little lunch boat floating down said river, blasting 80s music while the middle-aged crowd on board eats the buffet table within an inch of its life. A karaoke cover of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” comes on, and sneaks up the hills to reach me in my synthetic cocoon.
I’m serene, here in my Nuts Huts hammock, with a fat, fresh roll, reading Amy Tan’s ‘The Opposite of Fate,’ while keeping one ear open for the pitter patters of rain starting to land on the fat banana tree leaves less than a foot away from my head.
Later, I’ll have to make it back to my hut before the sun goes down, or rely on my iPhone flashlight to guide me back down the steep, steep stairs (oh my burning thighs🔥), to my own little hut along the riverbank.
It’s paradise, but you have to work for it.
The bathroom was a water-flush toilet, so you fill your bucket with water from the house, then pour it into the toilet when you’re done. The gravity from the water flushes the toilet. The washroom was very ‘open’. So just know that. Depending on how comfortable you are with your traveling companions hearing you poop (teehee).
If you don’t like jungle humidity, well… you’re in the Philippines, you fool! Prepare to be damp most of the time, at least until you return to the air-conditioning blasting urbanity of downtown Manila. Do yourself a favour and pack more synthetics than cotton (please do this, for me).
If you love humidity, then I have good new for you: You can also relax in their pleasant herbal sauna! Just give them a heads-up at the front desk and they can literally light the fire for you. This would also be a convenient time to grab a massage. You can find a massage pretty much anywhere in the Philippines, even in the middle of the jungle. Literally. The front desk calls up someone and they’re over here in a jiffy. Once again, give them a heads-up please so they can call someone for you. It’s worth it.
Surprisingly, for those of us with our sad addictions to technology, there is a tiny bit of a cellular connection! (No wi-fi, what do you think this is?) I actually managed to send a couple emails for a dire freelance piece that needed my attention, so despite seeking respite, I was ultimately glad I could snag a few bars, email an editor, then relax.
The food here was excellent. Some of the consistently best food we had on our trip—a fusion of Filipino, Western European cuisine, and something else, it was honestly hard (especially with the favourable exchange rate) to decide on a SINGLE breakfast every morning. Some mornings it was just easier to eat two breakfasts than decide which I’d have to give up.
My favourites were: the fresh fruit shakes (banana, coconut, or mango – all good), the fresh-baked rolls, mami-papi (kind of like chicken noodle soup with egg), sotanghon (glass noodle soup with ginger), the morning muesli with fruit and FRESH yoghurt to pour over it (seriously, you gotta try the yoghurt. It’s potentially life-changing) and drizzle with golden honey, and the turmeric tea. The omelettes were also excellent when you have a full day of exploring ahead of you.
They make their rolls FRESH. DAILY. Are you getting this? And they give them to you WARM. It’s so pornographically delightful I can barely write about it. Just, so perfect. And then there’s also the hot turmeric tea they make. A spicy brew that’ll clean out your nose and keep your stomach straight. I love it. I love them.
Here are all the foods I ate there:
We also had some delightful lizard friends join us at our table. Can you spot the lizard in each photo? They are ninjas.
Activities around Nuts Huts
You’re a convenient motorcycle or bus ride from many of Bohol’s biggest attractions: The Chocolate Hills, the Tarsier Sanctuary, etc.
The front desk can easily call you a taxi if you need a ride into Tagbilaran, the main city/airport on the island from which you can organize pretty much anything, or catch a flight back to Manila.
You can also rent a kayak for a trip up and down the Loboc river to Busay Falls. Just try to make it out before or after the singing boats! These lunchtime cruises are super popular in town. Why? Can’t be sure. The front desk can recommend when you go, but generally it’s early morning and later afternoon, from what I remember. Lunch is especially busy with the buffets boats!
The area is super low-key and relaxing. If you take a canoe from Nuts Huts across the river, you can reach the town of Luboc by walking through the rice fields until you wind through the suburbs and then reach town.
This is not a party dorm. Do not expect to get your beers and then stay up late with your loud music. I will hate you forever. Please leave my jungle paradise.
They have a great book of activities you can flip through. There’s a map on the wall with your location and the distance to basically everything you can see on the island. They even have suggested multi-day itineraries all lined up. Just go to the front desk, say, “I’m here for three days – what should I do?” and they’ll fix you up and send you on your way. If all else fails: the front desk can always help you. They were amazing.
When we booked Nuts Huts, you could only book up to four weeks in advance, so if you’re planning your trip ahead of time, just put a big red circle four weeks out so you can reserve a room ASAP.
We had the Standard Rooms, at 900 PHP (pesos) per night, or about $23 Canadian. The room had a bed for each of us, with a fly screen, balcony, toilet, shower, and fan.
A note on accessibility: This hostel is not accessible. That’s just the way it is. It’s the middle of the jungle. You need to walk down a very steep set of stairs set into the mountain to enter and exit, after hiking about a kilometer down a dirt road (wide enough for like, a motorcycle, or very small/talented vehicle) that you enter off the side of the road. There’s a bamboo ladder up to your house. If you have mobility issues, this is likely not the place for you.
The only other way to get in and out is by taking a hollowed-out canoe across a river… also not accessible. You should also set some expectations with your luggage: no one is going to play sherpa for you. Don’t bring a big suitcase (unless you like pain). Backpack is definitely the way to go.
In a Nuts(Huts)shell
I loved everything about this place and wholeheartedly recommend it. From the food to the laid-back atmosphere, I even loved those goddamned stairs by the end of it, because I was so proud of myself every time I went up or down.
Big shout outs to Lauren Marinigh at Twirl the Globe who was my travel buddy and is an EXCELLENT travel planner. Read this post on the scariest things she’s ever done to read about her caving adventure in Bohol.
Find our whole itinerary for three weeks in the Philippines.