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Review Highlights
Nice

Was a rainy morning from Dumaluan Beach Resort in Panglao Bohol the small boat we rented for... read more

Reviewed 28 August 2018
JieandJerry
via mobile
Careful With Your Travel Agents/ Tourist Guides

First, I would like to commend and acknowledge that the place is really worth visiting because of... read more

Reviewed 17 June 2018
CMortin
via mobile
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Reviewed 28 August 2018 via mobile

Was a rainy morning from Dumaluan Beach Resort in Panglao Bohol the small boat we rented for PHP2,400 took us for dolphin watching, then to the Virgin Island, lastly Balicasag Island for some fish feeding and snorkelling experience. When we arrived a guide catered us assisted us and because island hopping wasn't really planned in our Bohol trip we ended up having to rent snorkelling masks and underwater camera which were actually at a reasonable price of Php100 for the masks and Php1,500 for the underwater camera. The only thing when we were there, there were just few places where you can have something to eat. Food was pricey and was not really that great. I suggest its better to bring your own food if you plan to visit the island. But all in all it was a good experience that we enjoyed.

Thank JieandJerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2018 via mobile

Visiting the island of Balicasag is one of the activities that I could recommend for locals and foreigners to do.
Aside from its beautiful shoreline, you'll be amazed by different crystal shades of blue reflected by its waters.
It's the best place to snorkel, scuba dive and freedive because of its rich marine ecosystem.

Thank laurencedahab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2018 via mobile

This tour showed us the not beautiful place for snorkel. Not so many fishes to see. Just one or two turtles.

Thank Manzure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2018 via mobile

First, I would like to commend and acknowledge that the place is really worth visiting because of its natural beauty. Coral reefs, turtles, and islands are still at its best unlike other tourist destinations in the Philippines.

I am making this review for the awareness and consideration of those who wanted to make sure their island tours in Panglao Bohol will not be disappointing as ours, particularly in Balicasag Island where you might be victimised by taking advantage of the fact that it is your first time visiting the island.

Very important for you is to make sure you learn all the details of your payment and expenses to be incurred when you get to Balicasag Island. FYI, the island is great but the people managing it, or should I say the locals profiting from its resources, is downgrading it by overpricing everything.

Before we started our tour, we got a confirmation from our agency that: private boat is Php 2,500.00; snorkelling gears, fish watching, and entrance fees is Php 1,000.00; food is Php 1,500.00. All in all we paid 5k, INCLUSIVE as the tour guide said. Come after our dolphin watching, in Balicasag, the tour guide offered that we watch the reef and turtles in the island. However, as we were uninformed, additional Php 250.00 is needed per site within the island. If you wanted to watch turtles and reef, you have to add 1,000.00 for two.

I am starting to get irritated but continued the tour and agreed to take all the sites because we wanted to enjoy. Locals are very welcoming and will answer all of your questions regarding Bohol and its island. (Btw, I commend the guy in our little boat as he did i a great job. Thanks, Manong!)

After our snorkeling and others, we went to the shore for lunch. DISAPPOINTING. We paid Php 1,500.00 for the food but we only got small portion of Chicken Adobo and Sinigang na “Tulingan” (the young one, served cold) with two cups of rice and two 8 oz. soft drinks. We were not so happy eating a lunch that would worth less than 300 pesos if you were outside the island. All were fixed by our guide. Thanks to him, we were so unhappy of the result.

Lesson learned, make sure all details are known. Expenses to be incurred in the island as well as food for lunch.

The place is really great. I recommend it. Just find the best travel and tours package as you might end up like us, spending Php 6,000.00 for service that is not par to our expectation.

I would rate the place 5 for its beauty but when it comes to the tour per se, we were so disappointed because of locals overpricing scheme.

1  Thank CMortin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2018 via mobile

We didn’t read the reviews before hand, and booked this trip through our resort (JM Tours) for 500 pesos each because we wanted to see the dolphins. We thought that if it’s booked through the resort, there must be some quality control.. we were wrong.

It was a total disaster!!! We didn’t mind having to gather at 6am, but everything started wrong from there. The boat was not in good condition (extremely loud motor noise, holes in the cover) and my ears became uncomfortable without any earplugs.

There were lots of boats heading the in same direction, and the boatmen nonchalantly said there were no dolphins that day. It didn’t seem the boatmen tried hard to locate them, and in any case there were so many noisy boats we could actually have chased the dolphins away.

We went to Balicasag Island after that, and people had to pay as much as the tour price to get another boat to head out to snorkel. (Plus rental of masks and fins etc. the price just goes up). As divers, we had already dived at Balicasag, so we didn’t want to be cheated.

Beware the place is a huge tourist trap!!! There wasn’t much for us to do as there was no proper beach area or nice place we could just have a coffee. The local stalls were full of flies and peddlers swarming around trying to sell you things.

Next was Virgin Island, another tourist trap (check out my other review).

1  Thank zestyme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2018

Since the reefs are very shallow, the tourists tend to step on them. Government needs to supervise closely.

2  Thank jooooo_wan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2018

We skipped the dolphins part.

Once we arrived, they are very welcoming, they even let us sit at this covered area. Php250 per person to swim, and see the turtles, and another Php250 per person for the fishes. The boat is included at the payment, maybe because we got both. Those payments are for the "environmental" fee. I was with my husband. So we paid the total of Php1,000, and I asked for the receipt at the end of our activities, I even asked for a discount since we didn't see any turtles around, just the head that popped out of the water, that's all. They did not give us any. The big guy there, he lives in Balicasag according to him, who accepted our payment just vanished after us paying him. We did not see him anymore.

They look like money. I got shocked. Are all the money going to their pockets? I went to Lamanok Island, paid for the environmental fee, and got a receipt. Anyway, the guy who paddled our boat was stepping at the corals. I even told him that if you do step on a coral, it dies. He said, he knows it. I got pissed off as well when I was enjoying looking at the fish when the boatman told me to get out of the water because we are going to another island. Isola isn't that far, just 30 minutes from Balicasag.

Yes, there are dead corals. It seems to me that the locals from that island does not care at all. Maybe they feed the fishes there so that the fish will be coming right back to that area, I don't know. I feel sorry for the fishes there.

The locals who seem to operate there, with the boatman smokes cigarettes. They don't care about you anymore once you made the payment right after your activities. Wow. Good manners does not exist here.

I don't recommend going to Balicasag Island. Go somewhere else.

Recommended length of visit: Don't visit this island.

Thank Rdm D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

We went with a company “Valero” (I think, they have “German management”) and paid 700p/person. We started at 6, had to wait for some delayed and got to the boat at 6.25-ish. The motor is really really loud, i was so happy I had earplugs!! You go to look for dolphins and yes you find them, but with the 30 other boats and the all the boats chase after the dolphins. To sad and heartbreaking. I wanted to go back right away.
After long boat ride, you go to Balicasag where you are told to get off and nothing else. We stood and waited until finally a guy from the company came and gives you a old, bad mask and snorkel (if you don’t have your own which we did) and the you go to a turtle sanctuary to the left. There were so many jellyfish so we had to leave. To the fish sanctuary where there are a 1000 Chinese tourists with food and standing on the coral, feed the fish and kill the coral. So easy to see where the water got deep enough to not stand on and the reef wall was stunning. But tourist trap!!!
Then We waited uknowingly until we got in the boat to go to “Virging Island” but basically you just go the a sandy bar with water to the knees with lots of booths with food and people selling overpriced food with no cooler for fish and that kind of thing. Awful. we wanted to see the real island but I guess not. Then back and home by 12.
Don’t do a island hopping tour no matter which company if you care the slightest about the dolphins, the fish and the corals! Please don’t support this awful Chinese tourist trap (which we also sadly hit...)

1  Thank Anna C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2018 via mobile

I definitely do not recommend getting sucked into this tourist trap. It’s heartbreaking to see 1,000’s of Chinese tourists descend upon the reefs daily and kick all the coral with their shoes, feed the fish junk food and then throw the wrapper in the water, harass and touch the fish and get in their faces to take photos. I almost started crying into my snorkel mask it upset me so much.

There’s really no pleasure in the trip. We went from Alona beach and paid 600 pesos each (the starting rate is like 900-1000+ but you can get it cheaper if you haggle and I think we actually overpaid for our rate). They tell you to meet at 6am but you really don’t take off until almost 7. Then, it’s a looooong, slow boat trip on a loud boat with no muffler that hurts your eardrums. I mean, it’s deafening!! Think bombs away/ rock concert loud! For about 1 hour each way.

Once you’ve been deafened, you get told to sit at a table and wait, while people constantly harass you to buy overpriced food, drinks and trinkets. Then, you’re told to leave your bag unattended at the table while you go snorkeling. We told them we’d bring our things and leave them on the small snorkel boat and they reluctantly agreed.

Then, they try to charge you 100 pesos for fins you don’t need. Do you see a pattern? It’s pay pay pay, buy buy buy the entire trip. When it’s time to snorkel, you get 30 minutes of water time. After 2+ hours of travel time round trip. You go out on a small boat with a guy who sticks close and keeps time then paddles you back in.

As of January 2018, the reefs are awesome. Lots of fish and corals and variety, but I wonder how long this will be the case based on how poorly the reefs and tourists are treated. Stomping on the reef kills the coral, and no coral means no fish.

Oh and the dolphin watching is also deplorable. The boats all see the dolphins then they scream and charge towards them with their boats, recklessly about to chip up the dolphins with their motors.

The virgin island part of the tour is another tourist trap. You get there and there’s a bunch of locals haggling you to buy this, buy that for 5x the rate. For example, we bought banana Turon for 2 pesos on the side of the road but the lady wanted 20 on virgin island. The seafood they are selling is overpriced and who knows how old or fresh? There’s no refrigeration and guess what... they wash the dishes you eat off in the shallow sea water. It’s really gross.

Anyways, after taking this tour, I feel terrible bc I paid into these poor environmental practices, not knowing this is how it is. You decide if you want to feel this guilt and shame or skip it and go to another place. It doesn’t matter who you pay to take you there, all the tour operators on Alona Beach offer the same trip and terrible treatment. I’m including the guy’s info we bought our tour from so you can avoid him.

1  Thank Carrie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2018

I love the food and the chef doesn't only cook but a waitress . Very hospitable . The place is full of guest but it's not a noisy one.

Thank Yam V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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