Lighthouse Dive Site
Rich underwater vertical coral walls plus exotic seashells in abundance—The Lighthouse dive site in Bohol offers these and definitely more. It is a mere 6 kilometer boat ride from Duljo Point south of Panglao Island to this island dive resort. If we take a leisurely banca trip we get to the Lighthouse in 45 minutes.
From Cebu we can take a plane to Tagbilaran airport (about 1 hour and 30 minutes) and travel by land to get to Panglao in 30 minutes. From Manila we can take a ship to Tagbilaran which ordinarily takes from 19 to 23 hours. An Oceanjet takes 1 and half hours from Cebu to Tagbilaran.
The Lighthouse is an old edifice in the middle of the Balicasag Island. One can roam the 25-hectar island and explore its enchantment in just 45 minutes. It’s like being lost amid a quiet island of palms and shrubberies in the tropics. But the underwater scenes are something else.
The island boasts of a 400-meter boundary of protected marine haven prolific with natural coral formations, reefs, and sea life. There are hammerheads and whale sharks haunting the site periodically in the cool months of December and January.
The old lighthouse was a ziggurat-like concrete structure with 5 levels that grew narrower as it reached up to the heavens. A new lighthouse has replaced it and a resort hotel—the Balicasag Island Dive Resort—stands right beside it. We can enjoy the surrounding beach of sandy shell.
There are cozy-looking duplex huts along the shore fully air-conditioned (Php 2,500/net). There are also dormitories available with 8 beds each room (Php 6,500/net). Enjoy great-tasting native and foreign cuisines at the open-air resort restaurant.
Lighthouse’s deep sea life is something else. As we descend the sea water we discover a part where an abrupt perpendicular drop reveals a magnificent wall of corals and gradually slopes at a certain depth. The slopes are rich with soft and hard corals and the depths are a haven for deep sea sponges and a host of other underwater creatures in their quiet environs—barracudas, jacks, gorgonians, mackerel, among others.
Not far from the Light house island, visible within a depth of 8 feet, is a sunken Japanese vessel. Nearby are yawning submarine land forms accentuated by caves and cliff edges where huge wrasses, snappers, and groupers lurk secretly.
It would be terrible thing for divers to miss the Lighthouse. It is boasted as among the top dive sites in the world.