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bohol cabilao island
Cabilao Dive Site
bohol dive sites
Bohol Dive Sites
bohol clownfish anemone
Clownfish & Anemone
bohol balicasag island
Balicasag Island
balicasag dive sites
Balicasag Island
Pristine Bohol

Around Bohol, the most popular diving destination is Panglao Island, over the causeway from the capital, Tagbilaran. Of the four beaches on Panglao (Alona, Mormao, Doljo and Gikini), Alona is the only one with a sizeable diving infrastructure.

Dives around Panglao Island include Arco Point, near the Bohol Beach Club, which has a tunnel through the reef at a depth of 8-18m. A colony of sea snakes here can make life interesting. Other sites on the reefs on the north and west sides of the island have walls, drop-offs, coral gardens and impressive coral growth and marine life.

Balicasag Island - situated 20km from Alona beach-is one of the very best dives in the Visayas, and also one of the most popular. These days, it is normal to see over a dozen other dive boats originating from all across the Visayas, as well as liveaboard vessels that have increasingly taken to operating in the 'Visayan Safari Triangle'. Virtually anywhere you drop in is sure to be rewarding: the following are just a few of the more popular sites.

A black coral forest is one of the main attractions of Balicasag. This is especially true in this case as there is a rare outcropping of black coral-which normally grows at depths below 50m-at 30m. Moorish idols, batfish and other reef fish fin sedately through the forest, as can divers if they take care not to cause damage or create any disturbance.

Turtle Point is named after the turtles which shelter in the caves 18-20m down the wall. The wall itself is covered with feather stars and great numbers of tropical reef fish. The turtles are understandably shy and you have to be patient and perhaps a little lucky to see them. However, it's well worth the effort as some of them are huge. The dive itself is visually beautiful anyway, and so to discover turtles is an exciting bonus rather than essential to the enjoyment of diving at this site.

The Cathedral Wall is another excellent dive site with a profusion of cracks and crevices that require a flashlight to explore. Pelagics hang off the wall in the current, and clouds of reef fish dart in and out of the profuse hard and soft corals, and sponges.

Pamilican Island, about a one hour boat ride from Alona Beach, means 'resting place of the mantas' in the local dialect, and you may be lucky enough to see one. You will definitely get to see the impressive gorgonians, tunicates, sponges and anemones in the marine sanctuary on the northwest side of the island.

Philippine Islands Divers, Alona Divers, Sea Quest, Sea Explorers, Sharky's Divers, Atlantis and Genesis all visit the dive sites around Panglao as well as the other pearls of the Visayas close by, including Balicasag, Pamilican, Cabilao and Apo Island. Accommodation on Alona Beach is very reasonably priced, although relatively basic. The big developers liave so far left Alona alone, and because of this the area has a seductively rural appeal-but for how long? Go sooner rather than later.

The price of scuba and Nitrox courses, and of equipment rentals from the operators on Alona Beach are both fairly similar to the costs at Moalboal. To get to Panglao from Cebu, take a fast ferry to Tagbilaran-which runs quite frequently-then take a taxi or jeepney (much slower) to Alona Beach. As long as it's not high season, you can arrange accommodation when you get there.
Dive Sites


Maximum Depth
Duljo Point
Pungtud Wall
Balicasag Island-Southwest Wall/Rico's Wall Balicasag Island-Southeast Wall/Rudy's Rock
Balicasag Island-Northeast Slope/Black Forest
Arco Point (The Hole in the wall)
Cervera Shoal (Spaghetti Shoal)
Pamilacan Island-Northwest Side
Cabilao Island-Hammerhead Point (NW Point)
Cabilao Island-SW Point (Drifting North) Cabilao Island-SW Point (Drifting South & East)

15 meters
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15 meters
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10 meters
10 meters
15 meters
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30 meters
20 meters
20 meters

20 meters
35 meters
20 meters
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40 meters

The beaches of Panglao boast many dive sites: the Arco Point, near the Bohol Club, which has a tunnel through the reef from 8-18m, the Turtle Point and Cathedral Wall (see Cebu-Bohol text)

Other dive sites can be found at Pamilican Isalnd, a hour bout ride from Alona Beach. The Balicasag Island - situated 20km from Alona Beach - is considered one of the very best dives in the Visayas, and also one of the most popular.

There are several dive shops on Alona Beach: Atlantis Dive Centre, Genesis Divers, Quest Scuba Diving Centre, Sea Exlorers Scuba Diving Centre. A 5-day diving course (PADI) at the Atlantis Dive Centre costs US$275. Further prices include one dive at the drop-off for US$19, a dive from a boat fo US$25, and two dives from a boat for US$40.

Bohol Beach Club also has a diving facility.

How to Get There
The closest airport is at Tagbilaran in Bohol and there are three (3) times a week flights which will take you an hour. It's another 1/2 hours by taxi, jeepney or tricycle to Panglao Island.

Bohol is readily accessible by sea. High speed ferries run between Cebu City and Tagbilaran from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. The trip takes 1.5 hrs. This makes getting to Bohol from other dive areas in the Visayans quite easy.

* Photos and information from Department of Tourism
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