Dolphin and Whale Watching at Pamilacan Island
Pamilacan Island, also Pamilican Island, lies less than 30 minutes by boat from Panglao Island. It is only 17 kilometers (9 nautical miles) from our Scotty's Dive Center in Panglao, Bohol, heading 109° on the compass. Its name may originate from the word for "harpoon," as locals used to earn their livelihoods by hunting. But, there are other possible meanings.
Pamilacan Island is in the Bohol Marine Triangle. It has a base of corals and fossilized seashells. The shore has two kilometers of white sand beaches, plus a fringing reef for snorkeling. Because of its location, the blue water has strong currents.
Your package tour may take you to Pamilacan Island after a dolphin and whale watching tour. But, you should go to Pamilacan Island first. Pamilacan Island fishermen are experts! Plus, having few tourists on its 7-hectares gives Pamilacan Island a private feel. Stay overnight in a quiet hut on your virtual private island!
The Best Whale and Dolphin Watching at Pamilacan
Pamilacan Island fishermen used to hunt whales, sharks, and manta rays. But, the government banned hunting. So, they turned to dolphin and whale watching for their livelihoods.
Their hunting experience results in 100% sightings. Pamilacan Island fishermen find dolphins and whales better than scientific instruments. For one thing, they approach with caution to not scare the animals away. As a result, you may see 20+ large whales at a time, dolphins jumping in groups, or dolphins doing somersaults.
Also, because of the hunting history, Pamilacan Island has a unique decor. Locals have decorated their homes with the jaws and bones of whales and others.
Your Excursion to Pamilacan
Pamilacan Island is home to at least 13 cetacean species. Including dolphins and whales, while snorkeling you may see:
- black-banded sea krait (Chinese sea snake)
- bottlenose dolphin
- Bryde's whale
- cleaner wrasse
- crown of thorns (Christ thorn)
- Fraser's dolphin (Sarawak dolphin)
- manta ray (devil ray)
- melon-headed whale (melon-headed dolphin, many-toothed blackfish, melon whale, electra dolphin)
- moray (eel)
- nudibranch (sea slug)
- pantropical spotted dolphin
- pygmy killer whale
- Risso’s dolphin (Monk dolphin)
- sea snakes (coral reef snake)
- sea star (starfish)
- sea turtle
- short-finned pilot whale
- sperm whale
- spinner dolphin
For a little history, be sure to visit the 200-year-old, triangular Spanish fort. The Spanish built it to watch for southern enemies, such as Moro pirates. It formed a defensive network with structures in Baclayon, Loay, Panglao, and Tagbilaran.