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Cliff Dive, aka Napaling Point, is one of the few places in the world where you can experience a “Sardine Run” at snorkeling depth.

Napaling Point is located at Tangnan, Panglao Island, Bohol in the Philippines. 

The site has a steeply sloping wall where you can see black corals and feather stars. 

At the foot of the island’s cliffs, you will snorkel among thousands of small sardines schooling together just below the surface. Do not miss this beautiful and spectacular phenomenon if you are visiting Bohol.

Stairways on Cliff Dive's cliffs.
Two of the main snorkel entries at Cliff Dive are the stairway from Molave Cove Resort (right) and the stairway from Panglao Kalikasan Dive Resort (left).

How to get to the Cliff Dive/Napaling Point snorkeling spot

Cliff Dive, also known as Napaling Point, is located on the northwestern coast of Panglao Island, south of Bohol. From Alona Beach, you can reach the spot in approximately 15 minutes by taxi or 10 minutes from Panglao Beach. The reef extends at the foot of a pretty high cliff, but there are several ways to access the water:

  1. From Molave Cove Resort: You can choose to rent a room for a night or more, rent a cottage for the day, or just pay the environmental fee of 300 pesos per person in 2023.  This is about $17 USD. Make sure you have local currency. Molave Cove Resorts has a platform that allows easy water entrance. This is the best option if you are not staying in one of the hotels offering direct access to the snorkeling area.
  2. From Panglao Kalikasan Dive Resort: The resort has a stairway from the top of the cliff down to the reef.
  3. From Almira Diving Resort: The resort also has stairs leading to the snorkeling area at the foot of the cliffs.

Boat tours including snorkeling at Cliff Dive are also offered by local operators.

Cliff Dive - Napaling snorkeling map, Bohol
Cliff Dive / Napaling snorkeling map.

Water entrance for snorkeling Cliff Dive/Napaling Point

If you choose one of the three access that are described above, stairs, and concrete platforms allow snorkelers to enter the water safely, a few dozen meters from the reef drop-off (entry 1: Molave Cove Resort; entry 2: Panglao Kalikasan Dive Resort; entry 3: Almira Diving Resort).

Cliff Dive/Napaling Point snorkeling tips

Cliff Dive is first and foremost famous for its Sardine Run. This is the name given to the spectacular aggregation of thousands of sardines along this section of the coast. The sardines gather in massive shimmering shoals, usually found right after the reef drop-off.

A massive school of sardines at Napaling.
A school of sardines in Cliff Dive.

Cliff Dive is the perfect place to snorkel with the sardines, as they can be seen at very shallow depths at this spot, sometimes just under the surface. Swimming among these mesmerizing waves of small silverfish is an incredible experience.

While the sardine run is Cliff Dive’s main underwater attraction, the reef is also nice to explore. Located 5 to 43 yards from the cliffs, a reef wall falls steeply towards the depths. The reef is covered with multicolored soft corals, sponges and sea lilies.

Reef drop off at Cliff Dive - Napaling
The reef drop-off at Cliff Dive is colorful and quite healthy.

Hundreds of chromis and sea goldies surround the reef wall, where surgeonfish, butterflyfish, Moorish idols, and pufferfish are also common. Anemonefish from several species are also easy to spot on the flat and at the reef edge.

To avoid accidents, do not snorkel in the area located right under the diving platform. Sea conditions are usually good at Cliff Dive, but the area can be very choppy some days. Do not get in the water if the sea is too rough.

A spinecheek anemonefish at Napaling
The spinecheek anemonefish is one of the several anemonefish species that can be easily seen at Napaling.

Restaurants and accommodation at Cliff Dive

Several hotels and restaurants are located around the spot, including Panglao Kalikasan Dive Resort, Molave Cove Resort and Almira Dive Resort. You’ll find in Alona Beach, about six miles from Napaling, many other accommodations and restaurant options.

 

  • Level required Intermediate
  • Maximum depth6ft/2m on the reef flat, >10m on the reef wall
  • Water entranceFrom a concrete platform
  • Visitor numbersMedium to high
  • Access costs300 pesos pp., or cost of a stay in one of the seafront hotels
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.