Panglao Island is a small coralline island located near the south western tip of Bohol. The north and western section of the reef are noteworthy, with a reef platform that is relatively narrow and shallow (15-20ft/5-6m) that has an edge terminating into perpendicular submarine cliffs, plunging down to depths 100-170 ft/33-56m.
The reef is thickly covered with hard and soft corals, branching table, sacrophyton and lobophyton varieties. Near the cliff are schools of tuna, mackerel and surgeonfish. At 90-100 ft/30-33m depths are big snappers, groupers, and occasional black-tip sharks.
Farther seawards are schools of dolphins and pilot whales. Its coral gardens welcome you near the surface which is great for snorkeling. Its best assets are its steep walls with caves, overhangs and crevices home to abundant fish and invertebrate life. Listed below are the most famous among the dive spots in Panglao Island.
The Kalipayan Dive Site is located at Danao, Panglao Island, Bohol, Philippines. It is 2km from Belleview Rock Resort, approximately 8min. by pump boat or outrigger boat. This site is rated 3/5. GPS Coordinates: N.09°32.494-E.123°45.639 Baring: From the beach 251°. The site is a wall dive in the beginning and slopes at the end of the dive. It is good for snorkeling and is an easy dive site for PADI Open Water Divers or higher.
Arco Point is otherwise known as “Hole in the Wall” since a cave exists wherein one enters at 9m and exit at 18m. The cave is teeming with all sorts of fishes most of which are Cardinal fish and Sergeant Major fish. If lucky enough, one will encounter the Black-finned Snake eels, the Raggy Scorpion fish aside from the Groupers, Wrasse and Butterfly fishes.
Puntod Island Wall Dive
Puntod Island Wall Dive is located at the south west side of Puntod Island, 3 kilometers south west of Panglao Island. The dive site can be reached by native outrigger boat or “banca”, only 35 minutes from Alona Beach. The site is a beautiful coral garden, starting at 2 meters and then sloping down to about 20 meters. Soft, leathery and stony corals abound plus lots of small fishes such as angelfish, puffer fish, butterfly fish, wrasse, and more.
The Doljo Point is a dive site which can be rough with strong currents although relatively calm at times. It is located at the southwestern point of Panglao Island. Here, one will drift dive along the edge of a sandy slope at 10 meters to a drop off down to 40 meters. Because of the strong current, large pelagic fishes such as surgeon fish, jacks, bat fish, and trigger fish can be seen, while you also might come across squid and the occasional reef shark. The wall is covered with sponges, colorful corals, soft corals, and large sea fans.
Doljo House Reef
The Doljo House Reef is located at Doljo, Panglao Island, at its western side. Doljo beach is15 kilometers from Alona Beach; 35 minutes by native outrigger boat and 15 minutes by car. This easy dive site for Open Water Divers or higher consists of a wall dive which is beautiful with many kinds of hard corals and sandy spots in between within in the shallow area.
The Napaling Dive Site is a haven for underwater photographers and snorkelers because of its wonderful coral garden. There are black corals and many feather stars. The site has overhangs and small caves replete with soldier fish, scorpion fish, and anemone fishes. White-tip sharks are often spotted and moray eels. The wall has some very large table corals and plenty of anemones. Normally calm with some current, the visibility is up to 30 meters.
Cervera Shoal is otherwise known as "Snake Island" or "Spaghetti Shoal". The shoal is home to a large number of black and white-banded sea snakes and large pelagic fishes. It is situated 9 kilometers southeast of Alona Beach, about 50 minutes ride by native outrigger boat. The dive has an average depth of 15m and a maximum depth of over 60m.
Garden Eels is a good snorkeling site with a steep slope and a wall dive. On top of the wall is a beautiful coral garden with lots of small fishes. Located at Danao, Panglao Island, it is estimated to be on 3 minutes away by outrigger boat or roughly 110m from the beach. The dive is most interesting at 8-12m and not so much below 25m. The area is not affected by dynamite fishing.
The House Reef is found at Alona Beach. It is only 5 minutes away and is a good site for beginners and for those who love to snorkel. It is accessible by native outrigger boat yet one can also swim out to it from the beach. The site’s condition is relatively calm, without currents and with a visibility up to 25m. One will encounter the following: small Cathedral fishes, bat fish, frog fish, and garden eels, schools of barracudas as well as soft corals, pipe sponges, and nudibranches. Most interesting depth is at 22 meters.
BBC Dive Site
The BBC Dive Site is right in front of the Bohol Beach Club and is about 10 minutes away by motorized banca from Alona Beach which is 3.5 kilometers away. This is a good dive site for beginners and a lovely spot for snorkeling.
The Crystal Sanctuary dive site is located at Danao, Panglao Island at its south side. It is only 400m away from Alona beach which can also be reached by motorized outrigger boats. Travel time for the boat takes only 1 minute. By far, this is the closest dive site to Alona beach.
Momo Beach Dive Site
The Momo Beach dive site is located at Tangnan, Panglao Island, at its northern side. Momo Beach is 20km from Alona Beach and can be reached by motorized banca in 40 minutes or 20 minutes by car. The dive consists of a wall and slope dive with a depth of 40m. Snorkelling is possible and nice stuff can be seen at 3 to 4 meters.
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