Magic diving at Balicasag in the Philippines


A great place to dive in the Philippines

If on a trip to the Philippines you’re staying on theislands of Bohol or Panglao, you should try scuba diving onBalicasag Island. This island is simply considered one of the best diving spots in the Philippines and boasts one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world!

Why dive Balicasag?

Balicasag has four main (and different) dive sites, which means that on any given day you won’t discover the same type of underwater scenery, and will have the impression of diving in two different places.

diving balicasag

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On the map above, you can see the 5 sites surrounding the island (you’ll be diving the most important ones). The coral wall is absolutely impressive, dropping vertically from a depth of 6 to 40m. On the site you’ll encounter numerous species such as turtles, impressive schools of barracudas, scorpion fish and many others. The water is perfectly clear, so visibility is not a problem.

How to get to Balicasag

From Panglao, you’ll take a banca, the traditional local boat, and reach Balicasag in around 30 to 45 minutes. From the Bohol Bee Farm, where I stayed, it’s more like 2 hours. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen, as the sun is very strong here. Ideally, you should leave around 7 a.m. (which is what is usually planned) so as to be on site before 10 a.m., and thus only dive among a small group of boats. For such a beautiful site, not many people come here to dive.


Flickr – mayrpamintuan

You can eat on site

Once you’ve made your first dive, you’ll certainly be hungry. Why not try some of the island’s fresh local cuisine before diving back in for the afternoon? Having eaten there, I can tell you it was a delight. With a small group of friends, we asked for an assortment of all the fish caught that morning, along with squid and chicken. It was a real treat! Think about it if you ever plan to make little sandwiches…

What’s the budget for diving in Balicasag?

Diving in the Philippines is a very good compromise. It’s home to some of the most beautiful dive sites in the world, and Balicasag is one of them. And since diving here isn’t very expensive, it’s all the more enjoyable. Expect to pay between 1,800 and 2,200 PHP (between €30 and €36) for an underwater tour of the Balicasag reefs.

Where to stay in the area?

Here’s a good place to stay in Panglao or Bohol: the Bohol Bee Farm in Dauis on Panglao. This hotel is self-sufficient. In other words, it produces its own food, skincare products, etc. In the restaurant, you’ll enjoy delicious, natural dishes. You can also buy local products (including honey) in the store. As the resort is located on the water’s edge, you can be picked up to go diving in Balicasag. Prices are not at all excessive, and the staff are at your service. Nearby, you can admire the Chocolate Hills.
Bohol Bee Farm

Flickr – supafly

Have you dived in the Philippines? Did you know Balicasag? Tell us about your experience!