Balicasag Island Snorkeling
The 27th most popular snorkel dive spot in Philippines.
Wednesday 21 February 2018 07:01 GMT
Off the southern tip of Bohol, the snorkeling at Balicasag Island is truly a paradise. This small island is encircled by coral and is protected by a marine sanctuary. It is considered one of the best dives in the Visayas region and has healthy coral with diverse marine life. However, it can be very crowded with day trippers from Bohol. It is encircled by the Balicasag Marine Sanctuary that extends 200m offshore. The water depth ranges from 5m to 15m and the visibility is typically about 15m. While snorkeling Balicasag Island, you may encounter wrasse, snapper, jacks, lionfish, bannerfish, moorish idols, parrotfish, clownfish, blue chromis, nudibranches, sea cucumbers, anemones, table coral, tube sponges, sea whips, star coral and sea stars.
Balicasag island is located about 6km southwest of Panglao Island. It takes about 45 minutes by a bangka boat.
The Philippine archipelago consists of over 7,100 islands stretching 1,840km and presents a snorkelers paradise. The warm, crystal clear waters are a haven for diverse marine life. With visibility up to 60m, the waters of the surrounding Pacific Ocean, Celebes Sea and South China Sea are habitat to 400 species of coral and over 2,000 species of fish including sharks, rays and turtles.
Overall, the Philippines are divided into the three main tourist regions, from south to north, of Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon. Each region has numerous tropical beaches and shallow reefs. The best time of year for snorkeling in the Philippines is the cool and dry months of December through March. The months of June to October are the rainiest months and are known to have typhoons.
To reach the Philippines from other countries, most people fly into Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) located on the south side of Manila in the Luzon region. It is served by 30 international airlines. Alternately, there are five other smaller international airports including Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB) in Lapu-Lapu City (serving Australia, Singapore and Japan), Davao Airport (serving Indonesia and Singapore), Clark Airport, Subic Airport and Laoag Airport. Once in the Philippines, the main inter-island airlines are Cebu Pacific Air and Air Philippines. In addition to inter-island airlines, many of the 7,100 islands are interconnected by small ferry companies (usually very crowded). Recently, a newer high-speed SuperFerry has started to connect some of the islands and is known to be less crowded.
Overall, Balicasag Island is the 27th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 30 snorkeling dives in Philippines.