Balicasag Island Bohol
Balicasag is a mere speck on any map of the central Philippines, lying some 60 kms to the southwest of a small island called Panglao, off the southwest tip of Bohol.
Although not quite deserted, it conforms pretty well to the desert island stereotype; a flat, circular island covered in palm trees and bouganvillea, and fringed by a shell and corraline beach.
There's a definite wilderness feeling about the place - which for many is part of the island's appeal. Most striking is its size: at just 25 hectares you can walk all the way around it in 45 minutes, and yet there is still room for much more than just the small lighthouse tower in the middle of the island.
There's a local community of about 100 families, many of whom make a living from collecting rare shells and selling them to tourists on the beach.
Balicasag Island Dive Resort, the island's only scuba facility, is on the south side. With only 20 traditional-style bungalows lining the beach, the island is never crowded, either above or below the water.
The Bohol Sea is home to a large variety of premier scuba diving locations, dive charter boats, and hotels that cater to divers. Around the area of Tagbilaran and Balicasag Island there are numerous wall dives that range from 30 to 100 feet. Water temperatures are very warm and most divers use a standard 3/2 shorty wetsuit to dive the location.
Sea life is abundant and includes such attractions as clownfish, lionfish, barracuda, dolphins, huge coral formations, and other common tropical sealife.
Situated on the roundish island of Balicasag off the south western end of Panglao island in Bohol province, this dive resort offers visitors a great destination to explore the rich marine life of Bohol.
The island resort lie at the western coast of Balicasag and is managed by the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA). PTA also offers a tour package that includes the accommodation to Balicasag and the tour to other destinations on Bohol.
To reach the island, one has to take a 45 minute boat ride from Alona Beach to the island of Balicasag.
As one approaches the Balicasag island, one will find it’s white sand beach and it’s crystal clear water very enticing. A few meters from the docking point on the island is the Balicasag Island Dive Resort.
BIDR has no white sand beach that fronts its property but rocky plates of corals. On low tide, one will see large mossy plates of bedrock that is covered with moss. On high tide, the sea covers these rocky shores. On the eastern side of the resort is a marine sanctuary where marine life and its coral garden is maintained and preserved for the natural ecosystem to flourish.
With coral gardens and rocky shores of the resort, this area has become a great spot for snorkeling and scuba diving which the resort mainly offers. BIDR offers diving lessons for non-divers and also facilities for licensed divers.
For non-diving visitors, the resort offers a great view of the sea and sunset while resting on one of their resting huts along the shore. Or, one may relax on any of its benches along the shore while sunbathing or simply enjoying the rejuvenating sea breeze.
Balicasag Island is where you will find a 400 meter Marine Sanctuary of healthy corals with plenty of pelagic visitors characterized by vertical walls over deep waters with strong currents. Balicasag Island Diving in December or January can offer treats of Hammerhead Sharks and sometimes Whale Sharks.