Balicasag Island is a lovely tropical Island just off Panglao Island in Bohol. Not only has it amazing beaches, it has some fantastic snorkelling and diving, some of best in the Philippines. There are many different types of marine life you will experience. For snorkelers there is a marine sanctuary, which you can see an amazing amount of fish. The most I’ve seen in the Philippines. This part of the island can become quite busy as this is where the day trippers come to snorkel. Not far from here is Turtle Point where you’re almost guaranteed to see turtles swimming around (see video for more details). When I did it, the turtles were so close to the boat I was able just to stick the action camera into the water from the side of the boat and get some decent video. For divers there are number of places to dive around Balicasag. Black Forest – Here you can see Napoleon and mackerels and some small fish. Divers Heaven – For corals and there is a cave. It has a steep wall.
If you do not want to stay on Balicasag Island Resort it’s easy to organise the day trip back on Alona Beach in Panglao Island, Bohol. Touts will constantly be offering island hopping/dolphin watching trips all along Alona Beach. These trips will include early morning dolphin watching, Virgin Island and a Balicasag stop over for some snorkelling. The first time I actually went to Balicasag I did it this way. I didn’t know back then there was even a resort on the Balicasag Island. What I liked most by staying on the island was having more freedom to do snorkelling at the times I wanted to do it. It wasn’t set by any schedule.
Getting to Balicasag Island
If you are staying on Alona Beach (the main tourist drag on the island) there will be plenty of touts offering day trips as I mentioned above. These guys will also be able to arrange a special trip to the island. From asking around I mostly was getting a rate of 1800PHP. The resort actually offers 1500 one way (their contact details below) and will pick you up on Alona Beach. Or you could also direct to a captain of a boat you should get around 1500. I booked my stay on Balicasag Island Resort through Agoda which didn’t give really many details on how to get there. The ride takes between 30 -45 minutes.
The rooms in Balicasag Island come in 4 types. The rooms are pretty simple. The start from the Standard which is the most common room type with 16 cottages. The Deluxe Rooms (4 cottages) come with mini bar and cable TV. There are 2 family rooms which are good for up to 8 people and 4 dormitory rooms good for up to 10 people. I stayed in the Standard Room which for me was adequate enough. The rooms are a bit on the pricey side, for a standard room it was about 80 AUD.
Balicasag Island with its amazing diving and snorkelling understandably has its own dive shop. I had my own snorkelling equipment so I didn’t really use the dive shop. I did talk to the staff there and organised a boatman (a relative of his from the village behind the resort) to take me out to Turtle Point one day and the next to the Marine Sanctuary. He was charging 250 PHP, which wasn’t too bad and he was really helpful and friendly. You can see in the video the marine life I did get to see, the highlight would have to be seeing the turtles.
The front of the resort is a lovely beach area, good for swimming or just lazing about. If you have time, try to walk around the island, there are some real pretty spots to visit. There is a small village behind the resort, which is nice enough to check out. The locals are so friendly. The dirt trails and village did remind me when I was in Malapascua Island. There is one part on one of the beaches which is set up with lots of restaurants that cater for the day trippers (see video). They are open for lunch. I didn’t eat here since I only at the resort’s restaurant but it gives you another option if you want to eat lunch somewhere else other than the resort.
My Review of Balicasag Island Dive Resort
I really enjoyed staying here. It’s kind of peaceful (except for the roosters) and it was a nice change from the touristy Alona Beach. The resort is pricey for what you get, but it’s the only resort on the island and it’s a wonderful way to spend a vacation. The food was generally ok at the restaurant, and I found the staff friendly and helpful.
Overall I would give this a rating of GOOD
If you want more idea on what to do and see in Bohol please visit my blog.
[Not a valid template]
|Wifi is Free||No|
|Check-In Time||2:00 PM|
|Check-Out Time||12:00 Noon|
|Room Rates||When I stayed in March 2014 room rates at Balicasag Island Dive Resort were as follows: Standard Room PHP 3200.00 Deluxe Room PHP 3700.00 Family Room PHP 7500.00 Dorm PHP 5000.00 *All rates subject to change without notice|
|Room Amenities||Standard Room Air-conditioning Cold water shower Deluxe Air-conditioning Mini bar Cable TV|
|Franchise or Chain||No|
|Free Breakfast||Not Specified|
|Main Currency||Php - Philippine Peso|
|Price Category||Rooms Start from Around 3200 PHP|
|Agoda Link||http://www.agoda.com/balicasag-island-dive-resort/hotel/bohol-ph.html?cid =1459429|