Bohol Diving and Dive Sites
People do not only visit the island paradise of Bohol for its famous Chocolate Hills or its historic sites. Other than all the water fun in the beaches here, visitors and enthusiasts also go for a slice of the dive scene. Bohol is also a haven for diving enthusiasts. Here, you will find that the place is a testament to the fact that tropical waters are not only beautiful when viewed from above.
What we have below are some of the must do dives among the different island chains in the province of Bohol. We also have a list of a few of the diving outfitters among the said islands.
Bohol diving spots are mostly coral-rich sites flourishing with various marine life. Even at shallow depths most of these Bohol diving sites can reveal tremendous sights.
Balicasag Island has some of the most awesome dives you will ever experience. A quick trip off the coast of the island almost immediately brings encounters with the province's underwater splendor. A notable dive site here is known as the Black Forest where one can encounter a horde of reef fish.
More about Balicasag Island...
Black Forest is near one of the government-owned resorts, which is quite convenient. The horde of reef fish you will encounter here include chromises, wrasses, and damselfish. Divers will see the familiar chevron barracuda spiraling about among other sea creatures.
More about Black Forest Dive Site...
Diver's Heaven is another excellent spot to dive into. It requires a wall dive that will end at a shallow reef. Diving at a depth of around 30 meters will bring you to the habitat of pygmy seahorses in shades of purple. Other marine animals here include scorpion fish, snappers, and schools of mackerel.
Another great dive here is called the Sanctuary. It will only take a slow drift dive along the wall of a resort on the island in a running current.
More about Diver's Heaven...
This island is a couple of hours away from Alona Beach by boat. There are some must do dive spots here as well. Since getting here isn't that hard, no one should miss the chance to try the dive sites in Cabilao Island.
More About Cabilao Island...
The Lighthouse in Cabilao Island is one of the interesting sites. The depth is around five to 50 meters and promises encounters with different reef critters and occasional sharks. Whitetips and thresher sharks are found here, however even experienced divers are cautioned from diving below recreational diving depths in search of these sea creatures.
More About the Lighthouse Dive Site...
On the western side of Cabilao Island is Three Coconuts. Major attractions to be found in this dive spot are large table corals. Like the Lighthouse, the depth for Three Coconuts is at five to 50 meters. Even though the corals take center stage in this dive site, other marine life also abound here as well.
More About Cabilao Island...
Dive Shops and Outfitters in Bohol
Since diving is a major attraction in Bohol, divers of all experience levels will have no problem looking for diving outfitters. If you're around Alona Beach some dive centers or outfitters you can go to include Baywatch Divers, Charlotte Diver, and Underworld Divers. However if you're on Cabilao Island you may choose from Cabilao Dive Center, Sea Explorers, and Polaris Beach and Dive Resort. Balicasag Island Dive Resort and Island Dive Resort are two options if you are on Balicasag Island.
Panglao Dive Sites
Alona Beach, near Tawala Town and Danao and at the southwest tip of Panglao is a popular white-sand tourist beach destination. Most divers use Alona as a Bohol diving base where they take pump boats to dive sites like Garden Eel, Arco Point, and Habagat Wreck. Alona has more than a kilometer stretch of shoreline dotted with resorts.
If there is one advantage that the dive sites in Alona Beach have over the others, it would be the ease of access to these dive sites. The House Reef is an interesting section of Alona Beach that is home to different species of eels, sea fish, and sea snakes.
More about diving at Alona Beach...
There is also a wreck site here where a local jeepney has an overgrowth of anemones and corals. The outline of this vehicle is still noticeable in spite of the overgrowth.
Shallow or deep dive spots, Panglao in Bohol has it. Bohol diving is always at its best when done in the waters of Panglao.
Habagat Wreck dive site at Danao Beach off Panglao Island in Bohol, being rated as an easy dive, is ideal for snorkeling. At only a depth of 8 to 12 meters this Bohol diving site reveals interesting cardinal, lion, and bat fish. Further down the steep slope, at 35 meters, a boat wreck appears, which sank in 2000, as well as some interesting crevices on the wall.
Read more about Habagat Wreck...
Another ideal snorkeling site along the coasts of Panglao Island is Garden Eel, about 4 kilometers from Alona Beach. Like Habagat, this is a steep wall rated as an easy dive. At a depth of only 8 meters this Bohol diving spot shows off fascinating nudi branches, wrasse, Groupers. At 25 meters it hits rock bottom where various remarkable eels, like sand and garden eels, flourish from the slope to the sandy sea floor. It is ideal for night diving.
Read more about Garden Eels...
Cervera Shoal, the farthest Bohol dive site directly south of Panglao, is popularly called Spaghetti Reef or Snake Island due to the abundance of sea snakes. It’s a steep slope with a 300-meter wide shoal. At 100 feet down divers begin to see sea snake colonies. This Bohol diving wonder has strong underwater current that can drag divers to deeper waters discreetly.
Read more about Cervera Shoal...
Bohol also has Pamilacan Island which is the farthest dive site southeast of Panglao. It is some 20 kilometers from Alona. Due to its distance, this tiny island is perfect for dolphin and whale watching, as well as spotting barracudas and manta rays. As far as Bohol diving is concerned, Pamilacan affords a deep dive that shows very interesting sloping reefs with soft corals and coral heads. It’s not an easy dive, though, and divers often have to go down to 20+ meters before something awesome appears.
Read more about Pamilacan Island...
Located at the southwestern end of Panglao Island is Duljo Point. Although generally calm, there are times when diving here is rough with accompanying strong currents. At a depth of 10 meters, the diving enthusiast will make a drift dive to a depth of 40 meters. Divers will feast their eyes on beautiful sponges, attractive corals, and huge sea fans. The strong current will have the diver side by side with pelagic fishes, surgeon fish, bat fish, to name just a few.
Read more about Duljo Point...
Napaling is perfect for indulging in underwater photography and snorkeling as well as some fantastic dive opportunities. A usual dive kicks off at 5 to 7 meters then goes down to a depth of about 20 to 30 meters. Divers will be awed with the spectacular overhangs as well as dazzling caves which abound with soldierfish and squirrelfish. During normal conditions, the currents are usually calm although there are occasionally strong tides.
Read more about Napaling...
Rico’s Wall is rich with coral gardens found on the shelf at 7 to 11 meters. At the end of the coral garden there is a wall which goes down to about 35 meters. The coral garden provides divers with nudibranches, sea stars, hydroids, small varieties of reef fish, sea anemones, and others. Below the wall there are various small caves and overhangs with plenty of lionfish and moray eels, to name just a few.
Read more about Rico’s Wall...
Located at its eastern edge, Rudy’s Rock is similar to Rico’s Wall. The two sites are connected to each other. This site is the favorite hangout of green turtles as well as a huge shoal of big eye trevally.
Read more about Rudy’s Rock...
Another diving spot in Bohol is Puntod Wall. Located at the western edge of Puntod Island, it is an excellent place to go snorkeling on ideal conditions. Likewise, it is the perfect site for shallow dives and underwater photography.
Read more about Puntod Wall...
Cambakis Point is an excellent dive spot in front of the village. Its walls drop to a depth of 30 meters with a small cave. In the sandy portion of the site, one can find a double-ended and an ornate pipefish.
Read more about Cambakis Point...
Heaven is the ideal place to go drift-diving. It provides a view of beautiful corals and a cathedral-like cave. Occasionally, there are turtles, sharks, and Napoleon wrasse.
Cathedral or Royal Garden
With a depth of 3 to 40 meters, Cathedral offers an easy dive spot for open water divers. This dive site is located at the south side of Panglao Island. Divers can get a chance to rub elbows with amazing creatures such as barracudas and mackerels.
Read more about Cathedral or Royal Garden....
Kalipayan also known as the Happy Wall located also in Panglao Island. An excellent diving spot for beginners with an average depth of 10m to 20m. It is an easy dive spot and is very much beginner-friendly but still gives a rewarding experience. It boasts of its biodiversity and beautiful coral reefs and limestones.
Read more about Kalipayan...
Diving in Bohol can be done throughout the year since it is not frequently visited by typhoons. The southern region of the province provides the most ideal season for diving.
In conclusion, Bohol is one of the best places to visit when planning to go on a scuba diving or underwater adventure.