I'll admit it. I didn't come to Bohol for the beach, to dive or for other water activities. I came to see tarsiers. I'm an avid observer of wildlife and this 4- to 6-inch saucer-eyed relative of the lemur has been on my "to see" list for years. I almost was successful at the Tokyo Zoo, which features the cuddly-looking creature in its nocturnal hall. But all I saw in the dark was a sign indicating the animal's presence.
So the Tarsier Conservation Area was the perfect stop for me. I saw four tarsiers and they were not behind glass or bars. Instead, they nestled in natural foliage found in the conservation area, snoozing in preparation for an active night in the forest. A couple of them awakened briefly and gazed at me with wide eyes. But my presence did not seem to disturb them. They appear to be habituated to humans as the gorillas are in Rwanda. The two that awakened never moved elsewhere and returned to sleep fairly quickly. I was amazed by their long, rat-like tails, because I always focused on eyes and size when looking at tarsier photos.
Guides show visitors where the tarsiers are located, so seeing one is pretty much a sure thing. Photography is allowed without a flash and a quiet atmosphere is requested. The admission fee goes toward protecting the native tarsier population.