Tiny Cabilao island sits just off the north-west side of Bohol and facing Cebu island. Many of the islands near Bohol are joined to it by bridges but Cabilao can only be reached by boat so has remained a quiet and traditional sort of place – there are no cars and local communities still farm and fish.
Scuba diving is the island's only tourism business and even that is a small industry with just three dive resorts. All are located on beaches that lead to the impressive surrounding reefs. Across the northern coast, reef tops are shallow with patchy seagrass and sandy areas that lead down to sloping reef walls. These are fabulous hunting grounds for small critters – one minute you can be eyeballing a tiny shrimp hiding in a mushroom coral and the next you realise a sea snake has slid beside you to do the same thing.
In contrast, the south west of the island is affected by strong currents that run through the channel so the reefs are thick with hard corals. It has been said that you can see schools of hammerheads here, but sightings are rare.