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Whale Watching Panglao Island


Class 2 Philippine Whale Watching Destination

Whale Watching around Panglao Island has become a popular activity for tourists and a welcome alternative income for the fisherfolk of the area - who previously hunted whales for the saleable body parts. Since the mid 1990's, all species of whales (and sharks) have been accorded the status of protected species under Philippine law. The whales have recognized the reduced threats from Man and now return each year in greater numbers to the waters around Panglao Island.

Panglao Island and its neighboring islands and islets are uniquely positioned along the northern perimeter of the main migratory route through the central Philippines, used by ocean going marine life including, whales, whale sharks, rays, sharks and turtles.

While whale watching around Panglao Island you are also most likely to see pods of dolphins and, especially in the late afternoon, devil rays or manta rays may be seen breaching.

Opportunities For Whale Watching In Panglao Island

The most popular location for whale watching is off the southern shores of Panglao and Bohol islands, especially in the waters near the diminutive, Pamilacan Island. It was here, off Pamilacan Island, that the most prolific whale hunting took place in the previous century. Almost any whale (or whale shark) was at risk until the creation of the Marine Protected Area that now virtually encompasses Pamilacan Island.

Today, Panglao, Pamilacan, Bohol and other islands, offer superb opportunities to photograph whales enjoying the freedom of passage, from the Pacific Ocean into the West Philippine Sea, the South China Sea and beyond, during their annual migrations.

The most frequently photographed and recorded whale species passing by Panglao Island are: large & small sperm whales, Bryde's whale, pilot whale, pygmy killer whale and melon-headed whale. But, if you are very fortunate, you may also see a mammoth sized blue whale. Off Pamilacan Island is one of the few places in the World where you have a realistic chance to observe a blue whale without traveling across vast oceans.

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Whale Watching Boat Rental In Panglao Island

Whale Watching boat rental in Panglao Island is relatively easy. Most resorts provide the service of hiring a whale watching boat, even if they do not have such a boat available themsleves. If you do come to Panglao Island for whale watching then ask specifically for a whale watching boat captained by a fisherman from Pamilacan Island. Boat captains from Pamilacan Island have the best knowledge of where whales are most likely to be found at different times of the year - it was once their livelihood to catch and kill the whales, now they are very happy to help you capture photographs of living whales to splash across the Internet.

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