The diving season in Bohol is year-round. Expect some
monsoon rains between July and September. But it is generally too far south
to be affected by the rainy season typhoons.
This eight-square-kilometer island jutting out into
the waters of the Cebu Strait and the Bohol Sea is the convergence point
of hammerheads sharks, tunas, dolphins, groupers, and mackerel that abound
around the island.
Chartered dive boats running from Mactan Island
on Cebu down Balicasag often include a stopover at Cabilao Island on their
itineraries. This spot is just off the west coast of Bohol, about 2 hours
out of Mactan (in fair weather) and 2 hours from Balicasag. Shark sightings
are generally rare in the Philippines - presumably due to fishing pressures
- but this site is sometimes patrolled by schools of hamerheads. Sightings
are common shortly after sunrise or just before sunset. The best dive is
on the edge of a sand-flat which projects westward from the point at the
northwest tip of the island. Go down 30-35 meters(90-105 feet) and work
your way along th e wall (it drops off to considerable depth). In addition
to the sharks, you may see large barracudas and game fish. Colonies of
garden eels live in the sand-flat. When they poke their heads out of their
hoels to feed, their upper bodies sway in the current like a living carpet
of long grass. As you approach they'll withdraw quickly into the sand.
Strong tidal currents run at up to 3 knots, which means you need a high
level of experience, a knowledgeable guide and proper timing in order to
guarantee an enjoyable diving experience here.
This site is located on the southwestern tip of Bohol
directly opposite Tagbilaran City. The northern and western sections of
this reef are noteworthy , with a reef platform that is relatively narrow
and shallow (4.5 to 6 meters). The reef has an edge terminating in perpendicular
submarine cliffs which plunge down to depths of 30 to 48 meters. The reef
is thickly covered with hard and soft corals. Water is crystal clear with
visiblity of up to 30 meters.
Click above for a detailed description of Balicasag
island and its divesites.