I first went snorkelling when I was about 6 or 7 and growing up in Northern Ireland. But all there was to see in places like Castlerock, Portrush and Cloughy were crabs and shells. Here in Balicasag Island off the coast of Bohol and Pangalo Islands in the Philippines you can get a really good snorkelling experience. Here’s the low down on snorkelling at Balicasag Island in the Philippines.
How to organise snorkelling at Balicasag Island
Head to Alona beach on Panglao Island just before 6am and book a trip for the day. After booking a boat for the morning to do dolphin watching, they will offer you snorkelling, most likely to be at the tropical fish section on Balicasag Island.
This means you have basically two options:
1. Book it in advance on Alona beach and hire the snorkelling gear there.
2. Wait until you arrive at Balicasag Island and book it then.
OK so to save money, you need to opt for option 2. Wait until you are at Balicasag Island. Once you get there you will realise they try to add on numerous fees such as hiring a boat out to the tropical fish section, a fee to land on the island and a fee to hire the snorkelling gear. Don’t be fooled by them and use your bargaining skills!
How much does it cost to go snorkelling at Balicasag Island?
Don’t pay more than 150 Philippine Pesos per person for the entire snorkelling experience (you may get it even cheaper). I actually got ripped off slightly as I booked it from Alona Beach and I paid around 150 – 200 Philippine Pesos, so I’ve learnt through my mistake! Bargain the guys down as they make a mint doing these tours!! And don’t book in advance of your arrival on Balicasag!
Once you arrive at Balicasag Island, you can leave your bags and things with the guys on the main boat (the boat that brought you here from Panglao Island). You will then get a smaller boat out to the enclosed tropical fish section.
What do you see when you go snorkelling at Balicasag Island?
Fish, shells and a coral reef, plus gorgeous tropical blue waters. A lot of people go deep sea diving in the Philippines, but on this trip I only went snorkelling.
Once you get the gear on it will take you abut 30 minutes or so to do the snorkelling – to be honest you can just stay there longer as you’ve paid for it, so if you love it, stay for an hour!
Top tip for snorkelling at Balicasag Island:
Make sure you take an underwater camera to capture some great photo memories of your fabulous snorkelling experience. The Philippines is great for fresh, tropical waters!
Nationalities Met – Italian, Philippino
Cost – 150 – 200 Philippine Pesos
Key Song –
Smoke City – Underwater Love:
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Arrival at Balicasag Island in the Philippines:
Snorkelling at Balicasag Island in the Philippines: