Touring Bohol Part 4: Dolphin Watching and Boat Tour

On our second day in Bohol, we started out early for our boat tour.

A typical boat tour package includes dolphin watching early in the morning followed by a snorkeling experience in Balicasag Island’s marine sanctuary then a short visit to Virgin Island.

Dodong

Our boat guide Dodong. This shot was taken in Virgin Island.

We woke up at around 5:30 AM to have our free breakfast before heading out to the motorized boat at around 6 AM.

The resort’s boat tour rate is P2,500 and this includes a set of mask and snorkel per person. Life vests are also provided.

If you want to save money, you can talk to boat guides directly the day before to arrange the same tour. No snorkeling gear but their rate is only P1,500 per boat. Here’s Dodong, our guide’s number; 09081534117.

Dolphin Watching

It took us around 30 minutes to reach the site where the dolphins are and that’s considering Dodong’s skillful maneuvering (riding the waves) of his boat. There are already plenty of motorized boats in the vicinity chasing dolphins but luckily, there are still lots of dolphins around.

dolphins

This dolphin is a show off.

Our guide said that dolphin numbers start to dwindle at around 7:30 AM to 8 AM so don’t be late.

We didn’t spend a lot of time watching the dolphins and after about 30 minutes and our fair share of dolphins, we head out to Balicasag Island which is a 20-minute ride.

Balicasag Island

Balicasag Island is marine sanctuary and offers plenty of dive spots around it. It was about 9 AM when we reach the beach near the fish sanctuary and dropped our things in one of the cottages. The beach is not that impressive with its rough sands and small rocks but you will definitely love the sanctuary.

balicasagisland

Rough beach. Don't walk barefooted.

Dodong told us that we were to ride a small rowboat (2-3 people capacity) to where the coral bed and fishes are for our snorkeling. We left our things on a cottage (Dodong assured us that nothing will get lost) and just brought our snorkeling gear.

They will offer you rental of aqua shoes for P200 per pair but I personally think it’s not needed. Even though it is shallow in the coral bed, you would want to swim on the edge of it where the fishes are and your feet won’t touch the corals.

We’ve snorkeled in Palawan before but never on a marine sanctuary. I really wished that we brought an underwater camera with us here because the sights are really mind-blowing. This is the first time I’ve seen a school of medium-sized fishes up close (from jackfish to barracudas).

A school of jackfish

This school of jackfish is a common site when you snorkel. Photo lifted from Tommy Schultz's site during his dive. Click to visit.

Bring an underwater camera! If you can’t dive you can ask your guide to take pictures from below. Ask him to take a picture of you snorkeling too while he’s at it.

After almost an hour, we got tired from snorkeling and asked to be brought back to the beach for an early lunch.

Lunch at Balicasag Island

You can opt to have freshly cooked lunch at Balicasag Island. There is a cooking station near where the cottages are and you can choose from their fresh catches of the day and some meat.

lunchbalicasag

Lunch at Balicasag is not fancy but the food is fresh and their cooking is good.

There is a cooking fee of P100 aside from the price of your food but they can do different kinds of cooking.

We ordered half a kilogram of Yellowfin which is some type of tuna and had it grilled. With 2 cups of rice our bill reached P300.

Lunch at Balicasag Island is cheap if you’re in a group but if there’s only two of you, I’d suggest bringing some snacks and just have a late lunch in your resort (if it’s cheaper there).

We were done with our early lunch at around 11:30 AM and got ready to go to Virgin Island.

For Scuba Divers

Balicasag Island has a private dive resort that is suitable for scuba divers and those who enjoy underwater photography.

balicasagdiveresort

Photo courtesty of Pinoy Lakwatsa

If you’re willing to spend a lot of time diving around the island, better check in at Balicasag Island Dive Resort. They have professional diving classes and organize dive tours around the island.

You can go to some of the best dive spots in the world: Cathedral, Royal Garden, Black Forest, Diver’s Haven, Turtle Point, and the Marine Sanctuary.

Check out Pinoy Lakwatsa for info and rates.

Virgin Island

From Balicasag Island, Virgin Island is a 40-minute boat ride. It is an uninhabited boomerang-shaped island and according to our guide, this is one of the location where Cesar Montano shot his movie Muro Ami.

Virgin Island

Those dark area makes the island unsuitable for swimming.

We saw a group having lunch here so I guess you can arrange that with the tour guide. Not much to do here other than enjoy walking on the fine sand and taking pictures. The water here is full of sea grass so it’s not really ideal for swimming.

Virgin Island

But the sand is fine and the place is good for photos.

At around 12:30PM it’s time for us to head back to our resort and spend the rest of the afternoon swimming at the beach.

Snorkeling on Balicasag Island makes this day the highlight of our whole trip. Next part will be all about our Panglao Island Tour.

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59 Responses

  1. patty says:

    Aside from the boat rental fee, do we have to pay Dodong extra? Another thing, where can we rent snorkel gears?

    thanks! :)

  2. ria says:

    hi calvin,tanx for your informative blog.got a pen and paper while reading it and writing all d tips and names and numbers which i will surely need on our trip to bohol dis march..just want to ask about d dolphin watching tour,does kuya dodong provides lifevest..di kmi masyado marunong magswim and we have our 4 year old son wd us..u think its better instead to arrange d dolphin tour wd d hotel? tanx so much..

    • Calvin says:

      yup. may vests provided. hindi naman kayo magswiswim with the dolphins. hehehe. pero yeah they do have vests sa boat. kelangan talaga yun ng mga boat operators.

  3. Lei says:

    Hi Calvin,

    Is Dodong’s number still updated? I plan to contact him for our Bohol trip too! Thank you! :)

  4. dodong boatman says:

    halu sir/mom…..kumosta naman kayo dyan????
    that address its not mine…but its oke you send me and email of that..coz thats may best friend its oke for him…

  5. Tangerine says:

    Hi Thank you so much for the info. Is this still the # of Dodong the boatman. We intend to go to Bohol on November. Ayoko na kasing mag-avail ng mga tour packages we’re on a budget na kasi. :)

  6. merge says:

    Hi,

    Just want to leave a note to say that your detailed blog is very helpful. We’re visiting Cebu and Bohol next week and the tips and the info are far more useful than any websites.

    Thanks!

  7. mae says:

    hi.. how much did u spend for the whole part4?

  8. rose says:

    hi calvin, thanks for the info…just want to ask if how many persons can the boat accommodate?

  9. Beige Mercurio says:

    hi :) we will be going to bohol next week. ndi na kc ako kukuha ng tour guide mejo mahal na kc. cno pwede contact person to rent for a boat? do you still have contact # niya? thanks much!!

  10. sky says:

    hi! may kasama kami na kids ages 2, 7 and 10, ok lang kaya sila sa dolphin watching? thanks!

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