Diving Panglao Island


Panglao and surrounding dive sites have some of the best diving in the Philippines. People flock from far and wide to experience the underwater world this location has to offer. But luckily the Philippines is still a discovering tourist destination. So if you want amazing diving, uncrowded waters and turtles upon turtles head to Panglao island, Bohol for some diving!

How to get there from Bohol (Tagbilaran)

Panglao is accessible by bridge from Bohol in the Philippines and can be reached by a short drive from Bohol’s biggest town Tagbilaran that has an airport and a ferry port. It takes around 40 minutes from the airport and 20-30 minutes from Tagbilaran depending on traffic. The island of Panglao is 80,5 square kilometres and has a lot of attractions on land and in the water. If you don’t scuba dive the snorkelling is amazing around the island. I would recommend taking this route because it is the most comfortable and the quickest and sometimes depending when you travel this could also be cheaper then coming in from Cebu, it is at least worth checking up the prices.

Getting there by ferry from Cebu

If you want to come by ferry you can take it from Cebu and the price is normally 400 pesos for the fast one.  The trip takes two hours but in the Philippines you should always calculate that it’s going to take an extra hour. After getting to the ferry port you can either take a tricycle for 200 to 300 pesos, a motor bike taxi for a little less or a taxi for 500 to 600 pesos.

For more accurate prices and info visit the links below.




diving panglao island
Moray Eel, Panglao

Getting there by flight

There is a airport in Bohol in Tagbilaran that is only 40 minutes away from the main beach Alona in Panglao. After you arrive at the Tagbilaran air port you can take a motor bike(200-300 pesos), tricycle(200 to 300 pesos) or a taxi(Shouldnt be more than 700 pesos). I would recommend taking a tricycle because it’s cheaper and it’s more fun. You could also take a flight to Cebu and take the ferry like mentioned abow.

Everybody that comes to Panglao for scuba diving often goes to Alona beach, as finding a scuba diving shops is easy due to the high variety so that divers can find the best deal and dive centre for you. Around Alona beach there is a bustling nightlife, jet skiing, kit surfing, caves, cliff dive, dolphin watching, underground river and much more

Dive site near Panglao

Map of Panglao and parts of Bohol


Diving Panglao


Kalipayan Dive Site
Rating 2/5
Difficulty Easy
Distance Swim from the shore of Alona beach or a 6 minute boat trip
Depth 10-20 meters
Kalipayan dive site is only a short ride from Alona beach on a boat or a swim of 100 meters minimum from the shore of Alona. This dive site is also known as ‘Happy Wall’ as the site starts with a 3-meter soft and colourful coral wall and drops to about 20 meters. The conditions are easy to dive or snorkel as there is normally little currents and water conditions are usually calm with visibility up to 25-meters. At the dive site it is common to see lots of coral heads, sea fans, small groupers and young barracudas.



Acro Point Dive Site
Rating 2.5/5
Difficulty Easy
Distance 12 minute boat trip from the south east side of Panglao
Depth 10-25 meters
This dive site is also known as ‘Hole in the Wall’ due to its vertical tunnel that you can enter at 9 meters and exit at 18 meters. The conditions are easy for divers as there is little current and calm waters with a visibility of up to 30 meters. At Acro Point you can come by small groupers, trigger fish, wrasse, butterfly fish, sea snakes and moray eels.



Pungtud Wall Dive Site
Rating 4/5
Difficulty Average
Distance 35 minute boat ride from Alona beach
Depth 10-20 meters
This site is great from diving and snorkelling as you will normally go there when the conditions are calm and with little current. The wall stars at 2 meters and the deepest part is up to 20 meters with continuous coral gardens the whole way down. At Pungtud wall you will see corals with a lot of small fish, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, sea star, angelfish, puffer fish, butterfly fish, wrasse and anemone fish.



Duljo Point Dive Site
Rating 4/5
Difficulty Average
Distance 35 to 50 minute boat ride from Alona beach (depending on the tide)
Depth 20-35 meters
This dive site may have strong currents which make this site a usually drift diving spot at 10 to 40 meters deep. But the conditions can be calm and with little current. At his site you will see colourful coral, large sea fans, surgeon fish, jacks, pelagic fish, bat fish, trigger fish and less likely squid and reef sharks



Napaling Dive Site
Rating 4/5
Difficulty Average
Distance 45 to 60 minute boat ride from Alona beach
Depth 15-30 meters
This site is ideal for photography and snorkelers. A dive here is usually a drift dive along the coral garden, which starts at 7 meter and goes to a depth of 25 meters. On your dive will you come by some small caves, underwater cliffs, large table coral, anemones, soldier fish, moray eels, scorpion fish, squirrel fish and possibly whitetip reef sharks.



Cervera Shoal Dive Site
Rating 3/5
Difficulty Average
Distance 50 minute boat ride from Alona beach
Depth 15-60 plus meters
Also known as ‘Snake island’ or ‘Spaghetti Shoal’ gets its nicknames form the large number of black and white banded sea snakes that can be seen. There is no coral but expect to see sea snakes and large pelagic fish


diving panglao
nudibranch, panglao


Balicasag Island

Around 6 kilometres off the southwest of Panglao is another island called Balicasag Island. The island is very small and can be completely explored in less than an hour. Balicasag has all you would expect, lush jungle, palm trees, a small light house, white beaches and great diving, some argue the best in the Philippines. There is one dive resort on the island and only 100 families. On the south side of the island there is 400 meters of protected marine sanctuary, so when diving here there is a national park fee of a 150 PHP.


diving panglao island
Box puffer fish, Panglao 
Ricos Wall Dive Site
Rating 5/5
Difficulty Average
Distance 45 minute boat ride from Alona beach
Depth 15-50 meters
At 7 to 11 meters there is a coral garden. In the garden you will find nudibranches, sea stars, crinoids, hydroids, reef fish, clown fish, anemones and further along the edge of the garden you can find fusiliers, jacks, snappers, banner fish, pennant fish, Moorish idols, anthias and chromis.


After the garden to a depth of 35 meters is a wall which includes caves and cliffs. Along this wall you can see basket sponges crinoids, elephant ear sponges, sea fons, loin fish and possibly grey or white tip reef shark or barracuda.


From this dive you can continue onto Rudy’s Rock.



Rudy’s Rock Dive Site
Rating 5/5
Difficulty Average
Distance 45 minute boat ride from Alona beach
Depth 15-50 meters
Rudy’s rock is very close to Rico’s wall therefore very similar. Here you have a change of seeing large green turtles or big eye trevally.



Black Forest Dive Site
Rating 5/5
Difficulty Difficult
Distance 45 to 60 minute boat ride from Alona beach
Depth 20-40 meters
This sight is normally calm but can have very strong currents and become very rough. At this site you can find forest of black coral, large groupers, napoleon wrasse, barracuda, tuna, snappers, bat fish, star fish, sea cucumbers, crinoids and lots of other fish.


 I would definitely recomend diving in Panglao island


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4 thoughts on “Diving Panglao Island

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