Who said paradise had to be big? A tiny island with a mere area of 1.75 square kilometers begs to differ.
Pamilacan Island is a small island that boasts a big character with its white sand beaches, renowned snorkel and dive sites, and cultural heritage sites. Located bout 15 kilometers from Panglao, the island barangay is a tropical paradise with loads to offer!
Bountiful beach and wonderful waters
Pamilacan island is embraced by a gorgeous white sand coast that curves all around the island. Clear glass-like waters and refined sand line the coast, surrounding the island with a beautiful beach that can be accessed from anywhere!
The beauty of the island does not stop at its shore. In fact, a big part of the allure of the island can be found under the waters. Pamilacan Island is renowned for dolphin and whale watching, as well as its dive sites teeming with colorful marine life.
Hiding just under the coastal waters are turtles, sea snakes, eels, and angelfish – just to mention a few. One famous dive site is Snake Island (or Cervera Shoal), a sunken plateau 18 meters below the surface covered in corals and habited by impressive marine life like nudibranchs and bucket sponges.
Fishing and tourism village
Life in this island barangay is simple. Days are slow and quiet and it’s peaceful year-round. The inhabitants’ – just over 1,000 of them! – livelihood mainly revolves around dolphin and whale watching as well as subsistence fishing.
Pamilacan Island is a haven for dolphins and whales, and here you can find more than 11 species of the lovable marine mammals thriving in the waters of the island.
In the early mornings, you can find pods of dolphins playfully leaping out of the water. Other times, you can get lucky and witness whales breach as they breathe air before plunging back into the deep blue.
If you’re a seafood lover, then you’ll be in paradise! All around Pamilacan, fisherman haul in catches every day, and can find the freshest bounties of the sea: urchins, octopus, and a rich variety of fish available within the island. Just prepare some vinegar and some steamy hot rice, and you’re set to have a feast from the sea.
National Cultural Treasure
In the northeast part of Pamilacan, a 200-year-old Spanish fort still stands. It served as a watchtower for the Spaniards to look out for intruding pirates or enemies since the island has a clear view of the surrounding sea, especially towards the south.
This historic structure was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines on August 29, 2011. It’s a spot you’ll definitely want to visit.
- Entrance fee: none
Where to stay in Pamilacan Island?
There are only a handful of places offering accommodation in the island. A few notable ones are Liwayway sa Bohol, Pamilacan Island Paradise Hotel and Pamilacan Island Tourist Inn and Restaurant (Mary’s Pamilacan Cottages).
Liwayway sa Bohol
Pamilacan Island Paradise Hotel
- Contact no.: (038) 501-7421
Pamilacan Island Tourist Inn
- Contact no.: 0919-730-6108; 0946-249-1748
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarysPamilacanCottages/
- Email: [email protected]
Alternatively, you can always show up at the island and ask around for available accommodation. Since the island is small, you’ll have no trouble getting around.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Exact location: Pamilacan Island, Baclayon, Bohol
BY BOAT: From Baclayon boat station, you can ride a pump-boat or outrigger to Pamilacan Island. The trip will take about an hour, depending on the waves. Rental of pump-boat Baclayon to Pamilacan Island can cost upwards of ₱1,500 per boat, good for 15 persons.