Diver's Heaven in Bohol

Just southwest of the town of Panglao on Panglao Island in Bohol (and northeast of Balicasag Island) is a sunken Eden of a dive site divers call “Heaven.” If we want everything the deep sea can reveal all in one spot, it’s got to be Heaven.

Heaven is among world class dive sites littered around Balicasag Island in Bohol. These are small spots on the sea map between Balicasag and Panglao islands and are quite noted by expert divers. They say, if we want total diving experience with little effort we go to this place. And Heaven is among their favorite hangouts.

Suba Diving - boholJust some 5 meters down and we see a reef rich in soft and hard corals. It’s what they say a wall-dive; just plunge straight down and we stare at a wall of coral and deep sea wonders before us. Nothing but deep sea ecstasy with Heaven from 5 meters down to 50. Big yawning cracks on the wall greet us with occasional overhangs to step and rest on.

When we hit rock bottom, Heaven is nothing but undulating sand and armies of crawlers and gliders—groupers, snappers, different types of bat fish, angel fish, tunas, trumpet fish, rainbow runners, nudi fish, mackerel, some turtles, and a school of whirling jacks.

In a sense, it’s a heaven of swirling angels. It’s an easy dive site and safe heaven fit for even novices accompanied by dive instructors, and which has good visibility even at 25 meters.

Getting to Heaven is easy. From Tagbilaran we cross the bridge to Panglao Island. It’s a 40 minute travel crossing the island up to the Panglao Poblacion. From here it’s a 20 to 30 minute travel by motored banca to Balicasag Island—the ideal base for a dive trip. From this island Heaven is just 10 to 20 meters away. There’s a cozy lodge-resort on Balicasag we might want to stay in.

Average public land travel cost is less than $1 per person. Boat rides may cost more than a dollar each. Lodging around the vicinity (Balicasag or Panglao) is available. The usual lodge fee is from $50 to $200 for 2 persons a night. Additional beds cost $5 per bed to a maximum of 6 persons per room. These are rates from classy, tourist-worthy dive lodges and resorts. Meals, usually breakfast, costs from $15 to $25 per person.

Anyway, costs like the above are nothing if we’re talking of going to Heaven. Many travelers would pay any amount just to get there.