Diving in Balicasag Island 2023

Diving in Balicasag Island in Panglao is the highlight of any scuba diver vacationing in Bohol. It’s a beautiful small, inhabited island with a marine sanctuary, protected area limited to only 150 divers per day. It’s only 30 minutes by bangka boat from Alona Beach and our, Balicasag is on every divers must visit list and for very good reasons.

Balicasag dive sites offer you an incredible scuba dicing experience. From sandy slopes where turtles grave lazily on the sea grass to spectacular walls full of life, diving in Balicasag island very rarely disappoints! A huge ‘storm’ of Jacks has now made its home here and is seen almost every day. Whale sharks and other pelagic’s are also spotted here. Keep on reading if you want to learn more about diving in Balicasag, or check some more Panglao Dive Sites for you to explore on your vacation in Bohol.

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Booking your dives in Balicasag Island in advance is strongly advised. Tickets are limited to 150 divers a day. Don’t miss your spot on our diving trip to Balicasag and book now!  

Click on the booking button or contact us directly via the Messenger widget in this page if you’re interested in diving in Balicasag Island.

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Balicasag Dive Sites - the Best Diving in Balicasag Island

The dive sites in Balicasag Island are suitable for beginners and experts alike. Ranging from 5m-50+m there is something here for every dive level. Divers must hold a minimum of Open Water license or an equivalent scuba diving certificate. We suggest you to do your Scuba Open Water course with us, in case you didn’t do one yet. Read further for a full description of the available dive sites in Balicasag Island.

Balicasag has 5 dive sites surrounding it:

  • Divers Heaven
  • Black Forest
  • Rico’s Wall
  • Cathedral
  • Rudy’s Rock
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Our diving trips to Balicasag always involve Cathedral and Black Forest, as these two showcase the best the island offers – incredible coral formations and plenty of green turtles. Depending on our schedule we might have another dive in one of the other dives sites, or a third dive at Danao Wall on our way back. Please contact us via our contact page or directly via the Messenger Widget to inquire about our schedule or next trip.

Balicasag is also a great snorkeling destination as many snorkelers frequent it on their island hopping trips. When we have enough space on the boat we also allow snorkelers onboard. Don’t hesitate to inquire about bringing your friends and family with you while you’re diving if you want to have a fun day with them too, or even if you’re just interested in snorkeling alone. We’ll do the best we can to assist you with your trip to Balicasag.

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Diver's Heaven

Starting at 5m over a sandy/grassy area with a gentle slope leading to small crevices covered in soft and hard corals. Often home to the large storms of trevally and with turtles munching on seagrass. It really is a ‘diver’s heaven’ with almost everything a diver would want from a dive in terms of habitat and sea-life. If you look hard enough you can find all kinds of interesting life here, ribbon eels, scorpionfish, Spanish mackerel, barracuda, nudibranchs, stonefish, many anemone fish, and a huge variety of other tropical fish. Always have an occasional eye into the blue in case something interesting comes by.
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Black Forest

Like Diver’s Heaven, Black forest is named after the collection of black corals found at the deeper depths. It has an abundance of soft and hard corals with some beautiful coral gardens in the shallows making for eye-opening safety stops. Turtles and trevally can be found all the way along the slopes, often the green and hawksbill turtles are eating or sleeping around the shallow depths. The only problem with this site is the fish get in the way of your view of the other fish! A stunning dive site! A trip to Balicasag Island won’t be complete without diving in this dive site.        
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Ricos Wall

A wall with many large ledges. You begin your dive near the edge with great coral formations and drop down by a near-vertical wall that plunges to depths far beyond recreational diving. It is an amazing experience as you drop down with the small caverns and overhangs. Huge gorgonian sea fans and big clusters of soft coral where you can find frogfish, great macro, and the usual abundance of brightly colored tropical fish, this is a beautiful dive.
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Cathedral

One of our favourite dive sites at Balicasag. Some say it gets the name from the large overhangs that mimic the arches of a Cathedral and others say it is the way the sun shines through the majestic hard and soft corals on the top of the wall that exposes an otherwise hidden cavern. We always visit Cathedral when diving in Balicasag Island. You may have the chance to see white tip sharks snoozing in caves and often the Spanish mackerel swim by in huge schools that light up the blue like a galaxy of stars. A truly exceptional wall, Cathedral is nature’s version of Notre Dame, but with a lot more fish.
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Rudy's Rock

A truly great wall dive, some of the best coral gardens at shallow depths and fantastic swim throughs and caverns a little deeper. Often you have a slight current here so can just hang and watch this site drift by like a movie. You may find the trevally schooling like a tornado and some of the larger groupers, sweetlips, snappers, and turtles cruising around here. Not often visited by other divers so the dive is perfect for a spot of underwater meditation and the safety stop at the stunning shallow corals is a perfect way to end the dive.
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Last thoughts about diving in Balicasag

A diving trip to Balicasag Island is in the top of the bucket list of your Bohol Scuba Diving Vacation, and your visit to Panglao won’t be complete without it. We dive in Balicasag a few times a week and our schedule will surely match yours. Even though that it’s an amazing diving site, it’s only one of the numerous spots in Bohol. Don’t skip diving in Balicasag Island when you’re in Panglao!

We suggest the you check more of Panglao Dive Sites, and even diving in Pamilacan Island while you’re here in Bohol. Contact us now and we’ll assist you with your scuba diving, and to create unforgettable memories while diving in Balicasag and more.

How do you get to Balicasag Isalnd?

Most people get to Balicasag Island on their island hopping tours from Alona Beach in Panglao. This option is good for snorkelers who’re looking for a quick snorkeling session in Balicasag Island. However, divers will need to join an accredited diving center from Panglao in order to dive in its sanctuaries. It takes around 30 minutes to travel to Balicasag Island, but times may vary according to the changing weather conditions.

Where is Balicasag Island Located?

Balicasag Island in located in the Bohol Sea, just in front of Alona Beach. It’s situated about 10km from the southern tip of Panglao Island, and is about 30 minutes away.

What is Balicasag Island known for?

Balicasag Island is known for its spectacular dive sites and snorkeling spots. Balicasag is abundant in corals, turtles, jackfish and many other types of fish and marine life. Many tourists consider diving in Balicasag Island as the highlight of their trip to the Philippines, and even the best diving experience they had in their life.

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