Panglao’s most famous diving destination. A beautiful small, inhabited island and a marine protected area limited to only 150 divers per day, it’s only 30 minutes by banca boat from Alona Beach, Balicasag is on every divers must visit list and for very good reasons. The diving at Balicasag marine park is very special indeed. From sandy slopes where turtles grave lazily on the sea grass to spectacular walls full of life, diving at Balicasag 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.
Booking in advance is strongly advised.
Ranging from 5m-50+m there is something here for every dive level. Divers must hold a minimum of Open water or equivalent and to enjoy to its best we recommend if you have not dived for a while that you do you do a quick refresher dive before you go to get the most out of the day.
Balicasag has 5 dive sites all-round the island:
- Divers Heaven
- Black Forest
- Rico’s Wall
- Rudy’s Rock
An optional 3rd dive is available at Danao Wall on the way back.
When space allows on the dive boat snorkellers are welcome to join us for the trip.
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.
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 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 coloured tropical fish, this is a beautiful dive.
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. 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.
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.