We recommend Bohol diving sites if you are looking for great water adventures in the Philippines. It is one of the most-visited tourist destinations in the country.
The Philippines is known for its rich biodiversity, most especially in terms of marine and aquatic life. It is also known for its white-sand beaches and amazing resorts. Off the top of my head, I can probably name a number of places which have white-sand beaches and fantastic dive sites but for now let us focus on Bohol island.
How to get there
Bohol is an island located in the Visayas, right in the middle of the country. You can either get a plane from Manila and Cebu directly to the provincial capital of Tagbilaran or you can go to Cebu and get a fast water craft from the Cebu port to Bohol island.
- Via air, Philippine Airlines flights go for P1,800.00 while Cebu Pacific tickets are priced at P1,400.00, and Zest Air Flights are about P1,500.00.
- Via sea route coming from Cebu, your best bet is the SuperCat for P500.00 which will get you to the island of Bohol in less than an hour.
Where to stay in Bohol
Once in Bohol, you can easily go to Panglao Island via the rental vans or public transportation. Panglao is connected to the Provincial Capital of Tagbilaran and is a perfect jump off point for your diving adventure. This is because Panglao is surrounded by a number of notable Bohol diving sites and the island has excellent accommodations and dive shops.
Try visiting the Panglao Island Nature Resort and Spa where the rooms have complete amenities, and the hotel has all the modern facilities including a gym, Wi-Fi Internet access and infinity pool. For two persons, rooms are around P7,100.00 a night. The resort can also organize tours for its guests.
One of the best Bohol diving sites around Panglao are Napaling, Acropoint and Doljo Point.
- Napaling is a wall dive site in the island which goes down to the depth of 30 meters, its waters are home to black coral growth visited by schools of barracuda, jackfish, small fish, moray eels and even reef sharks and other pelagic fish.
- Arcopoint on the other hand is a cave dive site with a depth of 18 meters. The shallow areas are home to angel fish and once inside the cardinal fish and Sergeant Major Fish are a regular site as well as Moray Eels, sea eels, scorpion fish, groupers, wrasse, and butterfly fish.
- Doljo Point is another great Bohol diving site characterized by a deep drop off which, if you’re luck, can put you in the perfect spot to see Manta Rays, whale sharks and even the occasional hammerhead.
March to September is often the best time to dive in Bohol, Philippines but then you can still opt to dive all year round.
A little distance from Panglao is Balicasag Island , another ideal spot for seeing more of the biodiversity that the Philippines has to offer. The most famous site in Balicasag is the Black Forest dive site so named because it features a site of the rare black corals at only 35. Where usually black corals are sighted 20 meters deeper, it has been hypothesized that the cold waters which pass through the area helped to cultivate these corals. When diving at the Black Forest, you can see tuna groupers, sea turtles, wrasse, scorpion fish, barracudas, tuna, grouper, trigger fish, and angel fish.
Cabilao Island is another great Bohol diving site, 6 kilometers from Panglao Island. Cabilao is a marine reserve and sanctuary with the Sanctuary dive site being the most recommended site to visit. Here at the western side of Cabilao Island you can find Moorish idols, barracudas and butterfly fish, the occasion hammerheads also appear every so often so it helps to keep your eyes open for these majestic predators. On the island is the La Estrella Resort which offers tours and packages for divers with reasonable room rates which are between P2535 to P3445 for 2 persons including breakfast and dinner.
Last of these Bohol diving sites is Pamalican Island. Once known for its trade in Manta-rays, dolphins and whale sharks, it’s residents have since stopped the practice as such, divers are treated to seeing Manta-rays, whale sharks, large napoleon wrasse, sting rays, and reef sharks. Take note that the open water dive sites of Pamalican island are for more advanced and experienced divers.
These are just a few of the place to go to get a guide and some of the more notable dive sites in Bohol islands. Simply go to the dive sites and they’ll tell you that there are probably more than 40 sites for you to choose from. I hope this helps you to find others things to do apart from lying around and frolicking in the soft sands of Bohol.