Balicasag Island is located in the the island province of Bohol, an hour plane ride south of Manila. For years, the elements helped shape the islands’ economy and culture. Balicasag Island is a 1.5 acre island that is famous as a marine sanctuary and place for snorkeling and diving. Balicasag Island is known for its world-class wall, abundant and colorful pelagic fishes, excellent visibility, and easy access for travelers and has become one of the most popular and best dives in the Visayas
Balicasag Island is a 30-45 minute boat ride from Alona Beach, Panglao Island in Bohol. Panglao is most noted for its pristine white beaches, diving sites, and world-class resorts..
To go to Balicasag Island from Tagbilaran airport, one may get a taxi or a van for rent or a tricycle to Alona Beach. Tricycles charge only Php 250 (or about US$ 6). The trip from Tagbilaran Airport to Alona Beach, Panglao Island usually takes about 30 minutes.
Balicasag Island is where you will find a 400 meter Marine Sanctuary of healthy corals with plenty of pelagic visitors characterized by vertical walls over deep waters with strong currents. Balicasag Island Diving in December or January can offer treats of Hammerhead Sharks and sometimes Whale Sharks.
A sandy shell coral line beach surrounds the island, which in turn, is fringed by a narrow reef shelf, 30-165 ft/10-55m wide. The shelf, which is 15-25ft/3-8m deep, terminates into a perpendicular underwater cliff down to depths beyond 250ft/83m on the north and northwest face of the reef.
The top of the submarine cliffs are covered with the hard coral while lower levels are covered with sponges and gorgonians.
A thriving fish community is found around the cliff area. Here, jacks, mackerel and barracudas are seen in abundance.
On the south and southwest portions of the shelf are wider and grades down to 60-70ft/20-23m. The slope is covered with wide patches of hard and soft coral.
The submarine cliffs are indented with caves and overhangs where large groupers, napoleon wrasses and snappers hide.
Stunning black coral, giant barrel sponges, bright orange elephant ear sponges, and other corals make great canyons, chimneys and swim-throughs. In addition to the coral, divers also enjoy colorful schools of fish, eagle rays and sting rays, sea turtles, barracuda and an occasional black-tip shark.
Best Diving Months: November through May.
Water Temperature: Water temperatures range from 34°C to 39°C but a light wet suit is a good idea for deeper dives.
Underwater Visibility: Usually ranges from 75 to 100 feet.
Airport Info: Tagbilaran International Airport routinely serviced by all major airlines in the Philippines with flights 8 - 10 times a day. There is also a ferry service between Cebu CIty and Tagbilaran City.
Documents and Customs Regulations: A passport is preferred and most visitors get a landing visa upon arrival at the Philippines. All travelers should have a round-trip or onward ticket.
Hotel Information: Hotels in Panglao Island, Bohol
Recommended Hotels in Panglao Island: