Diving sites & places
We have collected information on various dive sites and locations we visit on our dive trips. Every dive and every day is special and different, nevertheless we have tried to provide you with a rough guidance on what you might expect at the different dive locations and spots in Balicasag Island, Cabilao Island, Alona Beach, Doljo and others. We frequently visited these dive sites and will let you know of any special sightings while you are diving with us.
Balicasag Island is located to the West of Panglao Island and is a boat trip of about 25 min boat trip from Danao Beach. Balicasag Island has several dive spots and can be be considered one of the best diving areas in the Visayas. Dive centers come here even if the trip takes a full day. The sites are also frequently used for snorkeling.
Black Forest is a coral covered slope starting at roughly 5m depth going down to 30 and more meters. It is famous and named for the black corals (outside they are light green to yellowish, but the inside is black). Sometimes in the deeper parts, sometimes just very shallow we can see schools of Jack fish (big-eye trevally) and barracudas as well as the individual turtle or the small family of Napoleon wrasse. Towards the end of the dive you will encounter a multitude of small colorful fish and wonderful corals.
The fish sanctuary of Balicasag Island lies in the West and is a deep coral wall starting at 3m depth and going down to up to 60m. This location is famous for the cleaning station of Jack fish and other larger fish, e.g. grouper and wrasse. The wall offers a good chance to find various nudibranch, eels, frog fish, scorpion fish, leaf fish and other amazing animals.
Compared to the Balicasag Sanctuary, this coral wall has more overhands and indentations and is not that deep. A nice sight are the whip corals and the thousands of small reef fish in the shallow parts. Like Black Forest this is typically a drift dive. We look out for turtles, a giant barracuda and passing blue fin trevallies.
A 15 minute boat ride from Danao Beach is Arco Point (also known as Hole in the Wall. It is typically a shallow dive spot with maximum 25m depth. This spot is a wall dive with a nice and lively sandy area at the bottom. The Hole in the Wall is a small cave(let) that can be dived through and usually has some interesting creatures in and around it. A common inhabitant are Giant frog fish, nudibranch & slugs and the continuous lessee are moray eel and snake eels sharing a hole.
15 minutes to the East of Danao Beach, two Jeepney wrecks were sunk on purpose. This is a very shallow dive, since (rumor has it that accidentally) the wrecks were sunk in roughly 8m and 12m respectively. The wrecks are hardly visible since they have been overgrown with corals for many years know. The dive site is absolutely worth the trip, if you are interested in macro life.
Kalipayan / Alona Beach
Just East of Danao Beach is the sanctuary of Kalipayan and the Alona Beach house reef. Kalipayan offers many different dive profiles, from the deep dive to the shallow dive. The deeper end has a sandy slope with coral blocks while the shallow is a nice wall with an amazing top reef. This is the area of several flamboyant cuttlefish, blue-ring octopus, real stone fish and leaf fish sightings. Almost considered a common sight are seagras (a.k.a. robust) and harlekin (a.k.a. ornate) ghost-pipe fish hiding amongst feather stars and close to the seagras areas. Night dives are often done here.
About 5 minutes to the West of Danao Beach an old outrigger dive boat (named Habagat) was sunk on purpose. This is a dive spot for experienced divers, since the wreck (what is left of it) is at 35 to 38m of depth. Making it here will allow you to see plenty of dancing shrimps, big lion fish and often a Giant frog fish. The site is perfectly made for this deep dive, as it offers an interesting coral wall that will occupy you and you will not notice the slow accent required to make this dive safe.
A dive where we can marvel at the beauty of a 40m deep wall. Hard corals in different colors blend with assorted soft coral for half of the dive. Afterwards, a gigantic field with whip corals follows mixed with soft coral on a big sandy area. A gaze into the blue water always is worthwhile at this dive. Best depth 20m.
Towards the West, about 30 minutes by boat is Puntod. It has wonderful steep walls with gorgonians and soft corals, trevally, squids and from time to time sea snakes.
This place is about 40 min away by boat from Danao Beach. This dive site is sheltered from the strong South-West wind. A deep coral wall with giant gorgonians at 35m depth. Going slowly along the wall will occasionally let you find Giant frogfish, plenty of nudibranch and other wonderful creatures. Sightings of reef sharks have been reported in the deeper parts of Doljo.
Napaling is 30 minutes of the Danao Beach with the boat. This is a steep wall dive with big gorgonians and black corals. Also a school of barracudas and Jack fish can be seen here from time to time. In the shallow of the wall, beautiful table corals are found with a variety of small fishes.
Cabilao Island lies in the North of Panglao in the strait of Cebu. From the Danao Beach, a 2 hours trip with the boat is required. Cabilao Island used to be very famous for its hammerhead sharks (unfortunately hardly seen anymore) and still for the special sea creatures to be found like: Sea moth, Seahorses and Stargaze
A wall down to 25m depth, followed by a plateau followed again by a further wall. This is a drift dive with typically strong currents. This site is know for the occasional sighting of hammerhead and white-tipped reef sharks in the late winter months. Barracuda and Jack fish schools are often found. Ghost-pipe fish, Sea moth, Seahorses and various nudibranch & slugs and Pygmy Seahorses make this also a dream for the macro diver.
A terraced wall covered with hard & soft corals. Huge table corals are found on the top reef. This is a site to just enjoy the underwater scenery.