Bohol Diving Sites
Bohol has long been regarded as one of the best dive sites in the Philippines, especially along the southwest corner. Most of the dive sites are located on the four islands that are easily reachable from the mainland. Bohol is an Island Province in the Visayas region. Its capital is Tagbilaran and it is the 10th largest island in the Philippines.
Bohol has a great wide variety of dive sites. It has everything the reefs, different kinds of corals, walls, big and small fishes, starfishes and other marine life under the sea. The diversity of diving here makes Bohol attractive for all – from novices to the more experienced. Night diving, in certain areas, is especially good.
The diving season in Bohol is year-round. Expect some monsoon rains between July and September. But it is generally too far south to be affected by the rainy season typhoons.
Balicasag Island is all you would imagine a tropical island to be: vast deserted white sand beaches, stately palm trees scattered all around, flowering bougainvilleas adding vivid colors to the never ending blue seas and skies. The island’s crystal blue waters provide a clear, vivid view of its corals, fishes and other marine life. Balicasag is a haven for all divers From scuba diving to deep sea diving and beach bums.
Diving in Pamilacan Island
Meaning literally “resting place of mantas”, this island is 23 km east of Balicasag and as the name suggests, you may be lucky enough to find yourself swimming with one of these creatures. There is a marine sanctuary on the northwestern side and coral formations, together with anemones, sea fans and sponges are particularly impressive.
Another site, Cervera Shoal, is quite often combined with an outing to Pamilacan. It is a sunken island with a sea mount rising to 15m. There is a colony of banded sea snakes here, leading to its other name, “Snake Island”. Corals are not so good, but large pelagics more than make up for this. Regular visitors include whitetip sharks, butterflyfish, scorpionfish and surgeons.
Diving in Panglao Island
Panglao Island is a small coralline and limestone island, just out off Tagbilaran City on Bohol. Renowned and celebrated for its stunning coral reefs, dive spots and a manifold of islets fitting for sun worshippers. This island has gained a reputation as one of the most top choice destinations in the Philippines. Panglao is connected to Bohol by two bridges. It has an area of 80.5 square kilometers, divided between two municipalities, Panglao in the southwest, and Dauis in the northeast. Most divers, will probably select the white-sand Alona beach as their base and starting point for diving tours.
Panglao Island is located on the southwestern tip of Bohol directly opposite Tagbilaran City. The northern and western sections of this reef are noteworthy , with a reef platform that is relatively narrow and shallow (4.5 to 6 meters). The reef has an edge terminating in perpendicular submarine cliffs which plunge down to depths of 30 to 48 meters. The reef is thickly covered with hard and soft corals. Water is crystal clear with visiblity of up to 30 meters.
Cabilao is a small island on the west side of Bohol, facing Cebu Island. Its about 3800 friendly inhabitants survive on fishing and some agriculture. It is a government protected area with 8 square kilometers and suitable for people who like it away from mass tourism and commercialization. Among divers the island is famous for the very rich underwater life.
Cabilao is a paradise for divers. Almost the entire island around the reef drops off steeply to approximately 50 meters. Noteworthy diving area is South Point, Fallen Tree, Gorgonia Wall and Cambace’res.Only a few places are gently sloping hillsides, the underwater landscape. On the island itself there are 2 dive center that Cabilao Dive Center in La Estrellea Beach Resort and Dive Center Polaris in the same resort next door. Cabilao is a true Diver’s Paradise!
Getting there: The fast ferry from Cebu City brings you to Tagbilaran in approximately 2 hours. From there you go by taxi or jeepney to Sandingan, where you go by outrigger boat directly to Cabilao.
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