Snorkeling in Bohol offers travelers the chance to experience every kind of marine wildlife. Located in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines, Bohol is comprised of Bohol and more than 70 smaller surrounding islands, offering dozens of world-class scuba diving and snorkeling sites. The large number of snorkel sites makes a liveaboard cruise an idea means to explore the countless marine sanctuaries that are spread out. Bohol is surrounded by other islands on all sides so snorkeling and scuba diving in the region are protected from the heavy rains and typhoons that can notoriously plague other islands in the Philippines at certain times of the year. Bohol snorkeling is a must have Philippines experience.
MARINE LIFE IN BOHOL
Sea life is abundant for both scuba diving and snorkeling trips in Bohol, particularly around Tagbilaran and Baliscasag Island. Dolphins, clownfish, lionfish, barracuda, large coral formations and other typical tropical marine life are flourishing. Jellyfish, Pacific Tang, Damselfish and Anthias are bouncing back at incredible rates from a time when the locals didn't know to appreciate the rare natural wonders in their backyard. Today, many areas are now protected marine sanctuaries. The Bohol region also brings in snorkelers hoping to catch a glimpse of the king of the ocean, the Blue Whale. Snorkeling in Bohol, you may encounter octopus, sea snakes, and lucky guests may even be greeted by rays or sharks.
BEST SNORKELING SITES IN BOHOL
PANGLAO AREA: If you came to snorkel Bohol, you can't leave without submerging in one of the many snorkeling spots outside of Panglao island. Snorkelers commonly see Sea Turtles, trevallies, giant clams and colorful parrot fish. Various snorkel sites throughout Panglao are unique for night snorkel trips as well.
BALICASAG ISLAND MARINE SANCTUARY: Balicasag Island near Panglao is famous for endangered what and dolphin encounters, especially early in the morning. As a marine sanctuary, it's a snorkeling mecca known for white, sandy beaches and beautiful coral ranging from very shallow to very deep. Jacks, angel fish, reef fish and many more hang about dazzling reefs. The island is 600 meters in diameter, so it makes for a nice 45-50 minute snorkel spot.
PAMILACAN ISLAND: For a snorkel site off of the beaten path, visit the less frequented Pamilacan Island. Pamilacan means 'resting place of the mantas'. Like the name suggests, Bohol's Pamilacan Island is abundant with manta rays but also whale sharks and whales. Snorkelers can be certain, to host this much marine mammal life, the reefs are teeming with lots of other underwater species.
BEST TIME TO SNORKEL IN BOHOL
There is no real rainy or dry season to consider in Bohol. Weather can be unpredictable, so it's best to check with your Philippines liveaboard or boat operator before making snorkeling trips at any point in the year. March through July is the hottest season with temperatures frequently at 38 degrees Celsius. Rains are a bit more likely in this period. Typhoon season is considered June through December. Snorkelers enjoy a tropical climate year round with great visibility year round, and water temperatures in Bohol tend to be very warm, so only a 3/2 shortie is recommended.
HOW DO I GET TO BOHOL?
Traveling from outside of the Philippines, visitors can take any number of international flights to arrive in Manila or Cebu, before hopping on one of several domestic airlines including Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, PAL Express and Air Asia. Domestic flights are offered daily from the capital of Bohol, Tagbilaran City. Flights from Manila to Tagbalaran will take about an hour and fifteen minutes. If you're on a budget and have a day to spare, you can also arrive in Bohol from either Manila (24 hour trip) or Cebu (4 hour trip).