Facing the South China Sea, halfway on the coastal road between Mamburao and San Jose, lays the small fishing town of Sablayan. Off its coast, only a twenty minutes boat ride away, is Pandan Island, a 12 ha big tropical island. Having been uninhabited for many years, this paradise was “discovered” by a French adventurer, who established Pandan Island Resort in 1986.
Most of Pandan Island is still covered by primeval forest abundant with all different kinds of birds and butterflies. Two secluded beaches, Wild Lagoon and Spanish Nose, invite to spend an afternoon away from it all and feel a little bit like Robinson.
If you like to be more active you may go scuba diving, join a kajak trip to one of the jungle rivers nearby, play volleyball, pool or darts and of course petanque.
The resort consists of sixteen clean and simple bungalows, a restaurant, a beach bar and a dive center. The bungalows are all built from native materials and care has been taken to create a simple yet comfortable atmosphere, with a lot of privacy and nature around each cottage. There is no generator on the island, all electricity needed to run the lights is produced by a solar system (12V), installed in each cottage. 220 V are available for charging the batteries of your video camera or flash.
On Pandan Island you can choose betweenfour different types of accommodation:
- the family houses
- double standard bungalows
- the standard bungalows
- the budget rooms
All bungalows are built in native materials, like coconut lumber, bamboo, sawali, cogon grass to let them blend easily into their tropical surroundings. Care has been taken to provide a simple yet comfortable atmosphere with a maximum of privacy for all who need to get away from hectic life.
The bungalows are built directly by the sea separated from the beach only by palm trees and / or bougainvillea bushes.
Scuba Diving is the main attraction on Pandan Island / Philippines. The dive sites around the island vary from shallow coral gardens to deep drop-offs on the north side, ideal for all levels. Our fully equipped PADI dive shop offers dive courses of all level from Discover Scuba Diving to Divemaster.
Apo Reef can be reached with the big outrigger boat “M/B Pikoy” within ninety minutes. This forty square kilometer big atoll offers uncountable dive sites and a good chance to see sharks and other pelagics.
Another specialty are the four to five days safaris to Busuanga (Coron) to dive the Japanese wrecks from WWII.
All divesites around Pandan Island are within short distance from the beach or accessible by our custom built dive-catamaran. Below is a description of the main dive sites around Pandan and what you can expect to see:
House Reef. Depths between 2 – 20m. Ideal for beginners or a warm-up dive. A wide variety of coral fish such as parrot fish, butterfly fish, trigger fish and sergeant major can be seen. Nearby ‘lion fish den’ consists of a couple of rocks overgrown with soft and hard corals and teeming with lion fish.
Coral Garden East and West. Depths between 5 – 25m. Another easy but beautiful dive. In a lively garden of hard and soft corals all kinds of marine life can be observed such as surgeon fish, trigger fish, coral trouts, stingrays, moray eels, sand eels, cuttle fish and an occasional turtle. In the deeper parts of the dive, large gorgonians and Neptune cups are abundant.
Napoleon Wall. Depths between 30 – 40m. On the edge of the wall at 30 m big schools of snappers and mackerels can be watched, although the big attraction of this dive site are the big napoleon wrasses reaching up to 1,5 m in length, which often come for a visit. Tunas and trevallys are common visitors to this reef that is overgrown with gorgonians. In the right time of the month drift dives can bee made until Coral Garden east.
Neptune’s Land. Depths between 18 – 30 m. This dive is a flat plateau connecting Napoleon Wall and the Coral Garden east. As the name indicates Neptune cups to a considerable size can be found. Also turtles seem to favor this place.
Anchor & Christmas Tree. Depths between 25 – 42 m. On a underwater hill at a depth of 32 m, completely overgrown by corals, a huge anchor has come to rest at least 50 years ago. Snappers, barracudas and pelagic fish can be seen. At the bottom of the hill is a tree-like sea nettle, all white.
North Wall. A sheer drop from about 7- 35 m makes that place an interesting dive site. Although not as many fish as in other parts of the island can be seen, the overhanging corals create a very special atmosphere. Pelagic fish such as tuna and mackerel are frequent.
Barracuda Deep. Depths from 30- 45 m. Probably the most advanced dive around the island. A wall at 30 m depth facing the South China Sea is the place to see big schools of trevallys, fusiliers, surgeon fish, spanish mackerels and unicorn fish. Eagle rays and napoleons are often seen as well as barracudas up to a size of 1,5 m. The whole wall is overgrown with hard and soft corals and the gorgonians reach a considerable size.