Balicasag Dive Site

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This is another fantastic set of dives in the Philippines and a dive on Balicasag Island can offer divers of all level, diving that feels like a visit to an aquarium.

One of the most popular sites to dive here is the Balicasag Marine Sanctuary which is the protected part of the island. The dive is a wall dive that has great numbers of fish and very good health corals. It is also well known for being a cleaning station that is used by wrasse, groupers, and Jack fish.

Tomatoe Anemonefish - Amphiprion frenatus, Bohol, Panglao Beach, Philippines, Visayas

Tomatoe Anemonefish – Photo Credit: Jamie Allan

The wall starts at about 3 metres and slopes down to about 60 metres before dropping into the abyss. The best part of the dive is around 15 metres and it has excellent levels of visibility from around 15 to 30 metres. It can be dived by divers of all levels, as the currents are normally mild. The wall has many nooks and crannies to be explored, small caverns, and some swim throughs.

This site is like an aquarium with many different types of fish and fish in large quantities. Divers can expect to see leaf fish, frogfish, nudibranchs, anemone fish, damselfish, wrasse, parrotfish, squirrelfish, scorpionfish, groupers, rock cods, anthias, and many triggerfish.

From May to June, the triggerfish are at their most aggressive and divers should take care when around the nesting fish. There is also the likelihood of spotting a school of big-eye jacks that is made up of thousands of fish. Divers also have great chances to spot turtles and Moray eels as well as large schools of barracuda and jackfish. As it is a protected area, it is very common to see many juvenile species and hatchlings in the area.

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Jamie Allan November 26, 2017

I would always recommend trying to dive Cathedral, Sanctuary and Black Forest as they have a real mixture of sandy slopes with lots of turtles and big drop offs with schooling jacks. Try and dive with an operator that heads out early as it can get very busy with snorkelers in the afternoon.

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