Balicasag Island in Bohol
Balicasag Island is a 1.5 acre island that is famous as a marine sanctuary and place for snorkeling and diving. Balicasag Island is a 30-45 minute boat ride from Alona Beach, Panglao Island in Bohol, Philippines. 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.
At Alona Beach, you will find a number of motorized boats for lease. One round trip fare costs Php 1600 (US$36). The boat can ferry ten people at a time so if you go to Balicasag Island as a group, you can divide the cost among yourselves.
Because the island is small, you can explore all of it in 45 minutes flat. The island is covered with bougainvilleas and palm trees. The sands are white and there’s a lighthouse tower in the middle of the island. There is only one resort in the island--- the Balicasag Island Dive Resort--- and a community of just about 100 families. These families used to live mainly on fishing. Today, though, people live off picking shells to sell to tourists or work in the resort as waiters, chefs, and such . Women also weave souvenir items to sell to tourists.
In Balicasag Island are some of the best dive sites in the Philippines. It is also declared as a marine sanctuary. On shallow waters, one can spot corals and fishes.
There are many things that one can enjoy when in Balicasag Island. You can dip in the water or watch countless colored fishes as the swim by the shallow water.
If you want to see the underwater beauty of Bohol seas, go snorkeling or scuba diving. You can rent snorkeling or scuba diving amenities from the resort. Balicasag is perfect for snorkeling because of the water is shallow and beautiful corals are everywhere.
About a hundred meters away from the shoreline, the water suddenly runs deep and this makes the area fit for scuba diving.
Another popular activity in Balicasag Island is dolphin watching. There are many dolphins seen between Balicasag Island and its neighboring island, Pamilcana.
If you want to spend the night at Balicasag Island, you can stay in one of the bungalows or cottages that the resort offers. The bungalows are very affordable, just Php 1800 per night.
If you’re ready to leave this diver’s paradise, just take the motorized boat again back to Panglao Island, Bohol which is also considered another diver’s haven.