Bohol is one of the larger Visayan Islands and is located to the South East of Cebu. It has a beautiful lush green interior and is home to the stunning and iconic Chocolate Hills. These much photographed natural wonders are a must see for anyone vistig the area. The rare Tarsier monkey (smallest species in the World) can also be found on Bohol and the island is a fascinating place to explore combining a rich historical tradition with natural beauty.
Connected to Bohol by a small bridge Panglao is a lovely island fringed by warm clear tropical waters. Though increasingly popular with incoming tourists (and the soon to be built International Airport will enable faster and easier access) Panglao has continued to retain its warm friendly appeal and an easy pace of life reflects it's rural roots.
Traditionally much of the resort development onnthe two islands has been based on the white sand of Alona Beach on Panglao and it is here that many of the Dive Centers are also located. Accompanying them are a good selection of easy going restaurants and bars at which to unwind and relax after a day in the sun and water...
Away from the sea there are some fascinating sights to explore on neighboring Bohol and tours to the Chocolate Hills, river cruises and old churches are simple to arrange.
Alona Beach has a nice tropical feel and is a perfect place to dive, unwind and relax.
Bohol and Panglao are easily accessible by both air and sea. If coming from Manila there are daily direct flights into Tagbilaran which is the main city of Bohol. From here it is a short road journey over to Panglao Island and Alona Beach. If coming from either Cebu or Dumaguete there are several reliable fast ferries that sail into Tagbilaran on a daily basis.
Bohol is a year round diving destination. January through to June are arguably the best time to visit but seas are usually at their calmest in July, August and September which can also see a little more rain. November and December are popular with tourists as the weather can be a little cooler as the islands are fanned by gentle winds.
Surrounding Bohol are some of the most accessible and very best easy to dive reefs and walls in the Philippines making this a great destination for travelling divers and snorkelers. All sites are reached by boat from our featured Dive Centers at Alona Beach on single trips or all day excursions. With over 30 dive sites nearby the Dive Centers usually schedule a minimum of 4 divers per day.
Balicasag and Pamilican are tiny islands formed by raised limestone. Their reefs are shallow protected, flat coral tops that sit atop the edge of walls that frp down into the blue. Much of the diving here starts and ends on the reef whilst the middle section of the dive is spent swimming along the walls looking at the myriad of marine life residing there and watching out into the blue for passing larger species.
Alona Beach is a great place to vist for all levels of divers. Beginners will find this a fine place to start their dive training with the Dive Centers all having training pools and study and practice is at a comfortable pace in this relaxed destination. Experienced divers will hugely enjoy the clear waters and huge array of tropical marine life and creatures. Night dives are especially popular with a significant number of critters making nocturnal appearances. Be sure to bring a camera!
Away from the water there are some fascinating sights to explore on neighboring Bohol and tours to the Chocolate Hills, river cruises and old churches are simple to arrange.
Alona Beach has a nice unrushed feel and is a perfect place to dive, unwind and relax in the perfect tropical climate.
Balicasag Island lies about 6kms off the south west point of Panglao Island and is one of the Philippines best known diving destinations. There are actually 5 recognised sites here and journey time from Alona Beach is approximately 45 - 60 mins. Balicasag is usually dived as a 2 or 3 tank day trip.
Much of the island is a dedicated fish sanctuary and as a result the shallow reef tops here are hugely rich in the widest arrange of tropical fish species including fusiliers, antheas, wrasse, Moorish idols and parrotfish. The corals are enormously impressive and comprise huge table and star corals, whips and soft corals. There are feather stars, sea stars, crinoids and nudibranch everywhere.
The wall itself is decorated with enormous amounts of sponges and fans with moray eels and shrimps taking up residence in many of the crevices. Turtles are often seen hugging the wallside and reeftop. Just off the wall and on the edge of the blue might be seen the schools of barracuda and big eyed Jacks that are permanent residents of the island. Lucky divers might also see passing pelagics who on occasion call by to see what is going on! Diving at Balicasag is usually in drift dive format - often at very gentle speed but sometimes at an exhilarating faster pace. Visbility tends to range from 15 - 40m and dive depths from 5m to a very maximum of 40m (depending on certification)
Pamilican Island is approximately one hour journey time from Alona Beach and is another prtotected Marine sanctuary. It is alos generally dived as part of a day trip. The north side of the island comprises a wall usually dived on a gentle drift. A great number of Corals adorn the top of the wall whilst sponges and fans decorate the wall. The south of the island sees diving along an angles sandy slope with smaller reefs and bommies present. Fish life here is excellent and aside from the usual presence of tropical species keep an eye out for jacks, barracuda, large wrasse and tuna. You may well also see dolphins on the trip out or back.
The House Reef at Alona Beach is perfect for check-out dives, sunset dives and night dives. There is an outstanding array of small and critter life present and with the assistance of eagle eyed guides you might get to see mandarin fish, blue ringed octopus, crabs, eels and squid.
An arch in the reef gives nearby Arco Point (or Hole in the Wall) it's name. The arch is basically a swim through that provides shelter for large amounts of fish life and is a good place for photography.
Some 45 mins out from Alona Beach is another well known wall dive, Doljo Point. The wall top is home to really nice corals, fans and sponges. Giant frog-fish can be found here as well as angelfish and wrasse. The deeper blue along side the wall sometimes attracts Spanish mackeral, tuna and on occasion passing rays.
Snake Island is a sometimes fast drift dive that is generally for experienced divers. Whilst not particularly deep the water can be fast moving and diving the is something of an adrenaline rush. Look out for banded se snakes, moray eels, frog fish, surgeon fish and mackeral.