Panglao Island a small coralline island located near the south western tip of Bohol.
The north and western section of the reef are noteworthy, with a reef platform that is relatively narrow and shallow (15-20ft/5-6m) that has an edge terminating into perpendicular submarine cliffs, plunging down to depths 100-170 ft/33-56m. The reef is thickly covered with hard and soft corals, branching table, sacrophyton and lobophyton varieties. Near the cliff are schools of tuna, mackerel and surgeonfish. At 90-100 ft/30-33m depths are big snappers, groupers, and occasional black-tip sharks.
Farther seawards are schools of dolphins and pilot whales. Its coral gardens welcome you near the surface which is great for snorkelling. Its best assets are its steep walls with caves, overhangs and crevices home to abundant fish and invertebrate life.
Arco Point is a popular dive site, and often has good currents. It also boasts a swim through tunnel and numerous soft corals. Moray eels, frog fish and even sea snakes are common here.
The house reef is ideal for training and orientation dives there are a healthy variety of corals and numerous species of reef fish.
Panglao Island is a small coralline and limestone island, located off the southwestern tip of Bohol. It is connected to Bohol by two bridges. It has an area of 80.5 square kilometers, divided between two municipalities, Panglao in the southwest, and Dauis in the northeast.
Panglao Island is an increasingly popular tourist destination. Only about 25km long and 10km wide it is very easy to travel round. Lots of sandy coves and beaches fringe the island but it is Alona beach and the immediate surrounding area that attracts most holidaymakers in general and divers in particular.
Most divers, will probably select the white-sand Alona beach as their base and starting point for diving tours. Alona, apparently named after a mermaid featured on a TV series filmed at the beach, is a beautiful stretch of powdery sand on a sheltered bay fringed by palm trees. Running the length of the beach is a number of restaurants, dive shops and hotels. The emphasis is firmly on sunbathing and diving which means a very relaxed feel to the place. Evenings are generally spent chatting with new friends and watching the star filled skies.
The increasing popularity of Panglao means that an airport is in the planning stage but for now the island retains a nice gentle pace of life. You can spend time wandering around the island and the luxuriant green interior or hop over to neighbouring Bohol and visit the famous natural wonder the Chocolate Hills. You should also try to catch a glimpse of the famous Tarsier monkeys which are unique to The Philippines.