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Travel Guide: Diving in Balicasag Island, Bohol

Your Guide to Diving in Balicasag Island in Bohol

Balicasag Island's school of jacks by Bo Mancao

Diving in Balicasag Island: Best Time to Go, Spots to See, and More

Bohol is one of the best places to start your diving adventure in the Philippines. From dive spots suited for beginners to the more advanced ones, you get all of these and more in Bohol, where you can also find Amun Ini, one of the Best Diver Centers in the Philippines by the UK-based Dive magazine.

Balicasag Island in Bohol
Balicasag Island in Bohol

In Balicasag, an island found off the southwestern end of Panglao, you can go on an exciting snorkeling and diving adventure with your fellow divers.

Best time to visit Balicasag Island

The best thing about Bohol is that you can visit it all year round, save for the rainy season from June to November. It’s best to dive on Balicasag Island from November to May, after the typhoon season, as it may be hard to dive with poor visibility.

How to get to Balicasag Island

From Manila

Direct flights from Manila (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) to Bohol (Bohol-Panglao International Airport) are available daily. You may take a taxi or van from the airport to Alona Beach. From there, it’s a 40-minute boat ride to Balicasag, making it accessible from the town.

From Cebu

You may ride a ferry from Cebu going to Tagbilaran City, Bohol. The estimated travel time is one hour and 30 minutes. From Tagbilaran, you can ride a jeepney to Panglao Island – the jump-off point to Balicasag.

What to Expect in Balicasag Island

Balicasag Island is definitely one of the best places to see in Bohol. Its underwater explorations will leave you in awe because of the rich and immaculate coral gardens and colorful marine creatures they have here. Its marine life is teeming with natural resources that you can discover when you do underwater activities such as snorkeling or diving.

Best Diving Spots in Balicasag Island

Balicasag Island's school of jacks by Bo Mancao
Balicasag Island’s school of jacks by Bo Mancao

Balicasag has six pristine diving spots to discover:

Black Forest

Nembrotha cristata at Balicasag Black Forest by Q Phia via Flickr cc
Nembrotha cristata at Balicasag Black Forest by Q Phia via Flickr cc

This dive spot is named the Black Forest because of the black corals that you’ll see in its area. The Black Forest is 40 meters deep, where you can find creatures such as barracuda, tuna, batfish, and groupers. It’s best for diving since it’s a steep slope dive. You’ll discover bright-colored triggerfishes here from May to July. Note: The dive here can be rough when the current is strong.

Turtle Point

A turtle of Balicasag Island (not part of tour) - Gabrielle M
A turtle of Balicasag Island – Gabrielle M

This point is excellent for both snorkeling and diving. As you may have guessed, you’ll spot lots of sea turtles here. You’ll see them freely swimming around you, underwater caves, and coral gardens. It’ll feel as if you’re in a turtle wonderland! Be careful not to touch them to not stress them out!

Royal Garden

This calm snorkeling macro spot is one of the best sites to go to when diving in Balicasag. It’s where you’ll find striking coral gardens and huge sea turtles. It’s a shallow dive at 18 meters, perfect for beginners. Traversing underwater at the Royal Garden dive site lets you see beautiful corals and colorful marine creatures such as anemonefish, moray eels, and bluefin trevally that give you a majestic view of what looks like an underwater palace for marine creatures!

Balicasag Island Entrance Fee

You need to pay a P250 Entrance and Environmental Fee upon arriving on the island.

Have you visited Balicasag Island before? How was your experience diving and snorkeling here? Let us know in the comment section below!


Written by Melo Villareal

Melo Villareal is the Online Publisher of He is an Accountant by profession who left the corporate world at the age of 23 to explore his beautiful country and the rest of the world. Today, Melo works as a part-time Social Media Manager for local and international clients. His full-time work focuses on discovering interesting culture, explore different cuisines and take memorable photos from local and international destinations he's visiting.

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