Diving Around Bohol in Panglao, Pamilacan, Balicasag & Cabilao

Written on May 9, 2009 – 6:16 am | by Etravel |

Some of the finest diving sites in the Philippines are found in Bohol. These dive sites, apart from being beautiful and interesting, are also teeming with marine life that would surely delight first time divers and professionals alike. Below are the different dive sites in Panglao, Balicasag, Pamilacan and Cabilao islands.

Panglao Island Dive Sites

  1. Alona Beach Sanctuary
    One of the divesites in Panglao Island in the Alona Beach Sanctuary, which ia a five minute boat ride from Alona Beach. The site is shallow, with a maximum depth of 25 meters and has anemones and multicolored corals that are teeming with small fishes, scorpion fishes, frog fishes and nudibranchs. Sea snakes can be found in sandy areas. The site is best for night dives.
  2. Kalipayan
    The Kalipayan dive site is a 10 minute boat ride from Alona Beach. It is also a shallow dive that is good for night dives. The area has beautiful corals, bat fishes, lion fishes and a variety of nudibranchs.
  3. Bohol Beach Club
    This area ia a shallow dive and has a sandy area in the bottom where there is a small cave with schools of cardinal fishes inside. There are also frog fishes, flatworms and nudibranchs in the area.
  4. Doljo Beach
    This dive site, which is a 40 minute boat ride from Alona Beach, is usually visited when there are strong Habagat or southwest winds because the area is sheltered. Huge gorgonians abound in the area, as well as sponges. If you’re lucky, you might get a glimpse of a shark in the deeper areas.
  5. Napaling
    A 30-minute boat ride from Alona, this dive site is on a steep wall wit huge gorgonian fans and black corals. There is also a good chance to see young barracudas and banner fish. Great for shallow-water photography.

Balicasag Island Dive Sites

Balicasag Island is a small island south of Panglao. There is a resort on the island and there are a lot beautiful dive sites surrounding the island.

  1. Black Forest
    This site is a slight slope with black coral bushes. If you are lucky, you might get a glimpse of the resident solitary Napoleon and the large school of mackerels or barracudas. The reef-edge is also rich in small fishes.
  2. Balicasag Marine Sanctuary
    This site, located on the western side of the island, is a steep wall. Schools of jackfish accompany you on your dive.
  3. Divers Haven
    This site is a steep wall with mostly drift dives. The place has a beautiful corals and a cathedral-like cave. There are also turtles, sharks and fusiliers.

Cabilao Island Dive Sites

The island lies in the Cebu Strait. Although there are dive operators in the island, dive operator fron nearby Panglao and Cebu also make daily trips to Cabilao, which is just two hours by boat from the Alona Beach. There are seashores and stargazers in this area but one has to make a night to get a glimpse of these.

  1. Lighthouse
    One can possibly see hammerheads and white-tipped reefsharks in this area from December to April. Barracudas and jackfish schools cab also be seen here, as weel as ghostpipe fish, dragon fishes, crabs and seahorses.
  2. Cambaquiz Point
    This dive site is just in front of the village. It is a wall down to 30 meters with a small cave. Damsel fishes, fusiliers and parrot fishes.
  3. South Point
    This area is a steep wall covered with hard soft corals and sponges.

Pamilacan Island Dive Sites

Aside from being famous for the whaleshark and dolphin watching activities, the island is also known for beautiful dive sites.

  1. Snake Island or Cervera Shoal
    A sunken plateau about 18 meters deep in the south of Pamilacan. The site is covered with corals and lies in the middle of the ocean, which is why there is usually very strong current there. Good chance to see black-white banded sea snakes, moray eels, nudibranchs and bucket sponges.

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