Top Diving Destinations in the Philippines

Cebu, Philippines — — Diving has been, so far, one of the many bucket list bullets that I was able to check finally this year. Being a hydrophobic ever since childhood years, I seldom venture out beyond neck high water. I had this very big trauma on the seas since I nearly got killed many times during childhood summer escapades with the family. I never thought I would venture out this far exploring the underwater paradise we have.

Hailing from the Queen City of the South, I grew up fully aware of the richness of the biodiversity we have here in the waters surrounding the Visayas group of islands. Not only that, it was very sad to note that these treasures are fast disappearing due to human interference. I grew up spending summers waking up to the soft orange rays of the sunrise at Camotes Island or in Oslob.

Just recently, I had tried a Discovery Scuba Course at Kontiki Marine in Maribago, Mactan Island, Cebu. I had set aside my fear and ventured on the water. But I had to learn snorkeling first before I carried my weights and my tank. I had to learn how to breathe underwater via the snorkel and kick using fins. I had to take the courage to swim and snorkel to prepare myself for the dive. And true enough, I discovered that the underwater world gave calmness and relief to a worried soul like me. The amazing seascape gave me a different perspective. It brought focus and new direction to my ideas and my creativity.

So here goes my list on the top diving destinations in the Philippines. These dive sites are part of my newly formed bucket lists that I need to go before I hit 35. :) Though, as Dive Philippines will put it, these are the top dive sites in the Philippines, however, below are my top dive sites to explore. :)

Luzon Area: [in no particular order]

  1. Puerto Galera in Mindoro: Under the waves, about 40 dive sites have now been charted, ranging from easy dives for novices to current-swept drift dives for experienced divers looking for a thrill

> Hole in the Wall: Stepped terraces of beautiful table corals lead down to a swim-though at around 15m. The entrance to the swim through is covered in soft corals, sponges and colourful crinoids and sweepers gather for protection inside.

> The Canyon: a series of three current swept ravines. Here, you will be taken by the current and propelled over the ravines, through schools of Snapper & Trevally, past hunting Tuna and over bustling coral reefs. Whitetip Reef Sharks and Hawksbill Turtles can be seen here too.

> Coral Gardens: easy, colourful dive that is also popular with snorkellers.

> Dungon Wall: with colourful corals and a profusion of reef-life

> Sabang Junk: a Vietnamese wreck sitting on a coral slope in front of Sabang Beach. Many macro delights call this wreck home, including Frogfish & Pygmy Seahorses.

  1. Batangas:

> Anilao, Batangas: It is not only ideal for poking around and observing marine life but also outstanding for macro photography. Multi-hued crinoids are prolific. The variety of nudibranchs is unmatched. Night dives are especially nice and often reveal unusual creatures like sea hares, sea goblins, catfish eels, ghost pipe fishes, blue-ringed octopuses, mandarin fishes, and snake eels.

> Nasugbu, Batangas: The area is only a short distance from Manila and has some excellent diving. About 15 km off the coast is Fortune Island. The island owes its name to the plentiful supplies of booty hidden here by pirates. Sadly the best of the booty is long gone, but the island has some interesting diving, including a Bat Cave, a penetrable wreck & the Blue Holes — three large holes in the coral that bring you to an underwater cavern with crystal clear water & Whitetip Reef Sharks. Cuttlefish are common in the area as they use the Bat Cave as a breeding ground.

> Sombrero Island: So named due to its striking resemblance to a hat, has a shallow wall down to 30m that is home to Turtles, Rays, Trevally, Snapper and many other species. There have also been sightings of Blue-ringed Octopus here. Currents can be quite strong due to its exposed location.

> Cathedral Rock: Back in the early days of Scuba-diving here, coral was transplanted onto a barren rock formation, against the wisdom of prominent scientists at the time. Suprisingly, the corals took hold and are now an excellent dive site, with colourful hard & soft corals and plenty of marine life. This site is home to another of the area’s diving oddities — an underwater shrine that has been blessed…… by the Pope, no less. As the Pope at the time was not acquainted with diving, it was blessed on land and then put underwater by General Fidel the fifth, who later became President of the Philippines.

> Verde Island: a very popular spot for divers from Puerto Galera. There are nice fringing reefs all round the island, but the most popular site is a superb wall dive. Huge corals of every hue & colour cling to the wall and reef-life is prolific. There is a great chance to encounter larger fish here as well. Napoleon Wrasse often cruise the wall, while Tuna & Reef Sharks patrol the blue. Eagle Rays and Mantas can be seen too.

  1. Subic Bay: World Renowned for its large number of shipwrecks. These shipwrecks make an excellent destination for history buffs and tech divers. A natural deep harbour, the bay has been a key strategic base of the US Navy since the Second World War. Now the US Navy has left and the area has been opened up to tourism.The main feature of the area are the numerous shipwrecks, a result of the area’s history. These wrecks, along with the other sites in the area, were completely off limits to divers until 1992.
  2. Albay: Home to the famous cone-shaped volcano, Mt. Mayon or locally revered as Daragang Magayon, this island is also home to quite a lot of dive sites. Their dive sites are characterized by falls, which make it unique from the rest of the archipelago.
  3. Sorsogon: Home of the famous gentle giants, the Butandings! In its rich biodiversity, one can greatly experience a deep sense of beauty that is by far, unmatched anywhere else. Here are the dive sites that are worth the visit when in Sorsogon.
  4. Tubbataha Reef National Park: Home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. Rising from the volcanic depths of the Sulu Sea in the western Philippines, these magnificent atolls encompass an astonishing diversity of marine life. The park is an underwater sanctuary where nature thrives. Tubbataha is the Philippines’ only marine natural park and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a place of global importance being preserved for future generations of humankind. Tubbataha supports an unparalleled variety of marine creatures. Colorful reef fish crowd corals growing in the shallows while sharks and pelagics haunt the steep drop offs to the open sea. A team of rangers are stationed on the reef year-round and, from March until June, divers visit Tubbataha to experience the wonders of this unique underwater world. Other sites included here.
  5. Palawan: is a fertile island province that offers outstanding tropical scenery, both onshore and offshore. Dugongs (large, seagrass-eating mammals that are relatives of Florida’s manatee) inhabit the Busuanga area north of Coron — if you’re lucky, you might meet one of these shy, peculiar animals. Check out its famous dive destinations here:

> Busuanga

> Coron

> Dimakya

> El Nido

> Port Barton

> Puerto Princesa

> Taytay Bay

  1. La Union:

> Research Reef is a popular spot for training dives & novices. The site is characterised by many ridges & gullies that provide shelter for many types of fish. There are lots of caverns & swim-throughs in this area for divers to enjoy. At the southern end of Research Reef are the remains of a Japanese WWII freighter, the Hashi Maru.

> Voice of America reef is another easy, enjoyable dive — a shallow reef sloping down to around 22m with plenty of colourful hard & soft corals. The area’s most famous dive is Fagg Tanks. Here, three WWII M10 tanks that were dumped at the end of the Second World War lie in around 39m of water and make an excellent dive for more experienced divers. A huge Moray Eel has made his home in one of the turrets. If conditions are right, when time is up, you can drift along Fagg Wall. The corals here are damaged but plenty of interesting species can be seen on the wall, including Whitetips & even the occasional Whaleshark.

  1. Apo Reef: Around 20km off the west coast of Mindoro Island is Apo Reef, a huge expanse of coral reef in the South China Sea. This reef is in fact the second largest single coral reef in the world. The geography of the reef has created two internal lagoons, with spectacular plunging walls around the outside, comprising a total area of 34sq km.

> Shark Ridge: Sloping down to around 25m, this ridge is an excellent place to find Blacktip & Whitetip Reef Sharks. Manta Rays often cruise the area as well.

> Binangaan Drop-off: This impressive wall, dropping down to great depths, has beautiful gorgonians sea fans and a huge amount of life. Large Groupers, schools of Snapper & Bumphead Parrotfish can be seen here. Just off from the reef, plenty of pelagics, including large Tuna, can be spotted.

> Apo Island: Again, dramatic walls adorned with impressive corals are the main feature. The reef is simply teeming with life — Turtles are a common sight and numerous species of Shark can be seen. Manta Rays are known to visit as well. [not be confused with Apo Island in the Visayas]

> Hunters Rock: This island is completely submerged, starting at about 10m. The reef here is excellent with similar life to Apo, but the main draw, especially in June & July, are the Sea Snakes, or Banded Sea Kraits, that come here to breed in their thousands.

> Merope Rock: also a submerged rock that has no shortage of big fish, including plenty of Shark action. Hunters Rock & Merope Rock are only for experienced divers due to the lack of protection from currents.

> Apo 29 is another underwater sea mound for the advanced diver with lots of big-fish action.

> Pandan Island: with gentle coral slopes providing shelter to all manner of interesting marine life.

Visayas Area: [in no particular order]

  1. Cebu:

**Mactan Area:

> Kontiki Reef: Kontiki is situated on the same reef as, and in between the other sites of Tambuli to the north, and Agus to the south.

> Tambuli Fish Feeding Station: Tambuli is known as a great macro diving site- a true calling for those photographers who love their close-ups. We commonly encounter nudibranches, anemone shrimp, tiny anglerfish, and angelfish.

> Shangri-La’s Mactan Marine Sanctuary: This stunning marine sanctuary is home to barracuda, parrotfish, lionfish, a beautiful school of jacks, and a huge school of silver batfish. The corals are abundant and healthy.

> Agus Bay: Agus, Mactan is yet another one of the spectacular divesites here in Cebu.

> Marigondon Cave: The Marigondon Cave is only called a cave because there is only a small area at its deepest point where you cannot see the mouth. For the most part it is a cavern. The terminus of Marigondon’s main tunnel ends in “the Grotto” where you may darken your torches and whach the show of flashlight fish

> Hilutungan Island Marine Sanctuary: The Hilutungan Marine Sanctuary is home to tens of thousands of fish. You will likely see damsel fish, anemone fish (nemos), parrot fish, and a school of large batfish- just to name a few. The Hilutungan Marine Sanctuary is one of the oldest in the area, allowing fish populations to grow dramatically.

> Nalusuan Island Marine Sanctuary: The Nalusuan Marine Sanctuary is a great dive for divers of all skill levels. The shallow coral gardens in 6m of clear water offer exciting opportunities for beginner divers.

> Thresher Point, Olango Island: Thresher Point is located just across from Mactan, Cebu on the northern tip of Olango Island.

> Talima Marine Sanctuary, Olango Island: Talima is known for it’s plummeting deep wall, abundance of tropical fish, and a small shipwreck at 18 meters. A wide variety of marine life including pipefish, frogfish, razorfish, and triggerfish populate a wide coral slope that abruptly ends at 18 meters deep- dropping down to 45–50m.

> Pawod Cave: The Pawod Cave Dive is a true cave dive, with most of the dive conducted in the dark zone. The Pawod Cave dive should only be undertaken by serious and well-skilled cave divers.

> Caubian Cave: These saltwater limestone caves are accessible at 40m. The cavernous (no pun intended) main theatre splits off into several smaller passageways and offers technical divers access to both a large cavern and small cavelets.

*Moalboal:

> Pescador: This small island has a huge variety of marine life and very interesting topography. The Cathedral is a funnel-shaped cave pierced by the sun’s rays. The shallow fringing reef gives way to an impressive drop-off, where Whitetip Reef Sharks and sometimes Hammerheads can be seen. Very occasionally, Threshers & Tiger Sharks are spotted too. Numerous colourful reef-fish call this island home and Spanish Dancers are sometimes spotted floating along the reef.

> Copton Point: The diving at Copton (part of the Ronda Bay Marine Park) is reliably good, but access is limited. The top of the reef is sandy and home to plenty of hard and soft corals.

> Tongo Point: The dive starts and ends with a deep wall going to endless depths. Small caves can be explored all along this dive so bring a dive torch to look inside the caves. Some parts of the reef are exposed during low tide. Be careful with your entry; make sure it’s deep enough if you make the roll backwards.

> Panagsama Beach [House Reef]: This a great dive site for night diving as entries and exits are straight from the beach. This used to be a really impressive reef, the drop-off a short swim over stunning corals off any point along the beach.

> Marine Sanctuary: This dive site slopes from 5m to 18m and then drops to 45m. In this area you can see a forest of huge sea fans. This site is good for both wide angle and macro photography. Hard and soft corals, leaf fish and the unusual ghost pipe fish await you here. Tuna and White Tip Sharks can be spotted occasionally.

> Dolphin House: The site is home to big shoals of Anthias and is filled with soft corals, especially pink leafy ones, and here is where the Turtles eat alongside the wall.

> Tuble Reef: The dive starts with a wall going down to 25m. At the bottom is a sandy slope; very special are the vertical wall canyons. There is a small cave at 27–30m; with an in-going current watch out for this as it can be hazardous.

> Kasai Point: The dive starts with a steep slope going down to 40m. Stay at 20m and come slowly up to 10m. Also on this dive site are many canyons and some small caves. There are great hard corals on the top and in deep water many big Black Corals.

> Talisay Wall: The wall has vertical canyons with wide deep slopes. The slope/wall profile keeps on changing all the time. Bring a diving torch to look in the small caves.

*Malapascua:

>> Wreck of Dona Marilyn: Wreck diving in Malapascua island can be quite an adventure. The big passenger ferry sunk in a strong typhoon more than 20 years ago. The ship was on traveling between Manila and Cebu. The ferry is over 100 meters long and lies on its starboard side.

>> Gato Island: One of the best dive sites in the Visaya Sea with a beautiful tunnel and many swim troughs. Big rocks are covered with soft corals. White tip reef sharks are almost certain to see during the dive.

>> Monad Shoal: The dive site which made Malapascua famous. The only place in the world where you can see the Thresher shark getting cleaned in the early morning.

>> Capitancillo Island: Capitancillo is a famous tourist destination that has a great treasure beneath its blue waters. The islet has a coral reef that measures around 2–3 kilometers from north to south. Its well preserved reef makes it a good spot for divers because of its pristine corals with colorful fish species and abundant marine life. A haven for divers and snorkelers.

>> Kimud Shoal: Kimud shoal is a much smaller plato compared to Monad shoal but the chances to see the hammerhead sharks makes it easy to get up even earlier in the morning.

>> Lapus Lapus: The nicest coral garden around Malapascua with a beautiful overhang.

>> Deep Rock: A beautiful rock, 20 meter wide covered in soft and hard corals.

>> Lighthouse: The dive site were we give the guarantee to show you the mating mandarin fish or seahorses.

>> Calamangan Island: A beautiful island with a great wall dive with soft and hard corals.

*Sumilon Island:

> Sumilon Marine Sanctuary

> Julie’s Rock

> Nikki’s Wall

> Coral Landscape

> Eel Garden

  1. Bohol:

> Panglao Island: there are shallow reefs that hide Nudibranchs, Ghost Pipefish, Frogfish & Stonefish. There is also good wall-diving at Napaling & Puntod. Banded Sea Kraits are common in this area.

>> Doljo Point: Doljo Point located at Barangay Doljo in Panglao Island, lies precisely northwest of the island and at its ultimate tip. The beach is acclaimed for its ethereal seashells, calm deep clear waters and its florid marine biodiversity. Its location and deep drop off provides divers a good chance of seeing hammerhead sharks, manta rays and whale sharks. The site has a breathtaking wall dive with multiple hard corals and sandy spots.

>> Danao Reef Beach: Danao Beach Reef is located off the southwestern tip of Panglao Island just down from Alona beach. It’s another nice reef and wall dive, with a nearby location for quick and easy access for the entire family.

> Balicasag Island: The small island’s reefs drop-off into oblivion (721 fathoms to be precise) and are a great place for big fish encounters. Turtles and Napoleon Wrasse are common and Schools of Trevally sometimes engulf the unsuspecting diver. Sharks are not uncommon and the wall has superb hard & soft corals.

> Pamilacan Island: Its unique distance from the mainland has fortified the dolphin and whale population, and is also known for its barracudas and manta rays. The island is a jump off to an area where at least seven species of marine mammals, including Bryde’s whale and sperm whales, have been sighted. This site boasts fascinating sloped reefs with soft corals and coral heads.

> Cabilao Island: The area has strong currents, which feed impressive soft coral gardens, but the real attraction here is the Hammerhead Sharks, which often gather around the island between December & April and make for quite a spectacle. The area has excellent macro life as well — with Pygmy Seahorses, Frogfish & plenty of Nudibranch’s hiding amongst the corals.

> Danajon Double Barrier Reef, Bien Unido

> Napaling: The dive site consists of a steeply sloping wall where one can see black corals and many feather stars. It is a good spot for snorkelling.

> Tangnan Wall: This is an easy dive site for Open Water Divers or higher; good for macro diving and macro photography at the shallow depth. This is a good alternative site for diving when the Habagat wind blows and is too strong at the Alona side.

> Kalipayan: The site is a wall dive in the beginning and slopes at the end of the dive. It is good for snorkeling and is an easy dive site.

> Arco Point: The cave you can find Cardinal fish, Sergeant major fish. Around the entrance of the hole (8m) are well hidden Raggy scorpion fish. Inside the cave at about 10m you can see White-eyed moray eel and Black finned snake eels. Along the wall you find Groupers, Wrasse, Butterfly fish and Cuttlefish.

> Cervesa Shoal: Cervera Shoal is commonly known as Snake Island or Spaghetti Reef due to the thriving amount of sea snakes found here. The site lies directly south of Panglao with a steep slope and a 300 meter wide sandbar.

> Garden Eels: The site starts off with a gorgeous bow-shaped cliff, followed by a beautiful coral garden on top of the wall. A myriad of small fish can be found here as well. Further down towards the bottom of the sandy slope, are some fascinating and splendid Sand Eels. The Garden Eels site is ideal for night dives.

  1. Negros:

> APO ISLAND:

> Largahan: Largahan is a very diverse site; it has Hard Coral formations separated by dark volcanic sand, ledges with deep undercuts, a fair-sized wall, and a Soft Coral garden in the shallows.

> Baluarte: This is another one of Apo’s dive sites where the volcanic nature of the island can be seen as steady streams of bubbles erupting from the sand, shimmering as they catch the sunlight. This is an easy dive site with minimal to no current and a varied topography.

> Chapel Point: Chapel Point gets its name from the Church that overlooks this site. It consists of a gentle slope of white sand and patches of Coral leading down to about 12m/40ft, where it suddenly drops off into an impressive wall. There are many colourful Tube and Finger Sponges along the wall together with Gorgonian Seafans that sprout from the volcanic rocks and golden coloured Leather Corals, whose polyps shimmer in the sunlight, making for an impressive sight.

> Katipanan: named after the small Cowry Shells often seen on this site. Situated on the Southern side of the island this is an easy dives site with little or no current. It is a gentle slope punctuated by colourful Soft Corals, huge Brain Corals and fields of Lettuce Corals all covered in tropical reef fishes.

> Rock Point West: The west side of Rock Point is a steep slope, which leads to a plateau at the tip of the point. Depending on the current, divers have the choice of continuing to the east side to explore the plateau or returning along the west slope.

> Coconut Point: This site is usually done as a drift dive because of the prevailing currents that are almost always present. This current, however, ensures prolific marine life so the is a high probability to see a large school of Big-Eye Trevally, solitary Giant Trevally out on the hunt for prey, Spanish Mackerel, Dogtooth Tuna, Midnight Snappers, Barracuda and clouds of Anthias and Fusiliers are always present.

> Cogon Point: Cogon Point is similar to Coconut in that it is often subjected to a strong current, making it an exhilarating drift dive that is only suitable for more experienced divers.

> Mamsa Point: Mamsa is the local word for Trevally and, as you would expect, this is an excellent place to see them.

> Kan-uran: This is another wall dive that has lots of undercuts, overhangs and ledges. There is very nice Hard Coral growth here, as well as beautiful Soft Coral gardens.

> Marine Sanctuary: This marine sanctuary is a ‘no fishing zone’ and a maximum of 12 divers, plus guides, are permitted to dive here at a time. This high level of protection benefits the whole of Apo Island, allowing fish stocks to regenerate.

> Rock Point East: Rock Point East is a large finger-shaped reef protruding from Apo Island’s South East corner. Its proximity leaves it exposed to stronger currents, which ensures incredible fish life and Coral formations, as well as the occasional visit from larger pelagic fish.

> DAUIN, DUMAGUETE, NEGROS ORIENTAL:

> Mainit: this exhilarating drift dive you’ll see yellow patches of sand that are hot to touch. This is due to the nearby thermal hot springs. The sloping patchy reef can have some strong currents and has a school of pretty big barracuda’s patrolling, as well as schools of Surgeonfish, Fusiliers and Yellow Snapper.

> San Miguel North: Just north of San Miguel tires and another great macro site. With Sea Grass beds in the shallows and a sandy slope at a gentle gradient, you can do long dives without the worry of your NDL’s getting low.

> San Miguel Tires: This dive site is critter heaven. It starts on a sandy slope that can seem bare at first but upon closer inspection you’ll see lots and lots of weird and wonderful critters.

> San Miguel Reef: Starting at the same slope as San Miguel Tires, this dive site ends in a beautiful sloping reef home to lots of Anemones inhabited by Clownfish, Shrimps and Crabs.

> Atlantis Reef House: Our house reef is located right out front of Toko’s Restaurant and is home to some amazing marine life. It has Sea Grass beds in the shallows where you can see schools of Razorfish and quite regularly a resident Green Turtle happily feeding on the Sea Grass. A sandy slope, full of well-camouflaged critters, leads down to some old car tires that are covered with 14 years worth of coral and sponge growth.

> Sahara Reef: This sloping reef can be a nice drift dive on the right tide. Lots of reef fish hang out here and Green Sea Turtles are commonly seen here feeding in the Sea Grass beds. There are a few coral heads; one normally has a Moray Eel living inside with some beautiful Scarlet Cleaner Shrimps.

> Sahara Deep: A deeper muck dive that for sure has something hiding that you’ve never seen before. Outrageously coloured Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Frogfish that can be as tiny as a grain of rice, Soft Coral Crabs, Spiney Devilfish and many more macro favorites.

> Punta: Punta’ means ‘Corner’ in the local dialect, and is situated on the far southern end of the beach that the resort is situated.

> Ceres: This site is in between Punta and Cars, so the topography is a mixture of the two. A sandy/rubble slope on one side that leads into a more ‘muck-like’ bottom as you head south towards Cars.

> Shallow Cars: Another great muck dive, where you can spend the whole dive in just 5m/15ft of water! As with most of the dive sites in the Dauin area, the sand or ‘muck’ is home to numerous spectacular little critters.

> Cars: One of our deeper ‘muck dives’, where the main attraction are two car wrecks that lay in about 30m/100ft of water.

> Dauin Norte: Our most popular dive site, once you dived it you’ll understand why. The start of the dive is a sandy slope with some mooring block that are home to Ghost Pipefish, Frogfish, different species of Shrimps and Crabs, Nudibranchs and much more.

> Dauin Sur: This dive site starts on a rich sandy slope and ends in a beautiful reef, which if you catch the current running in the right direction, can make a nice drift all the way through to Dauin Norte.

> Ginama-an: Ginama-an means ‘man made’ in the local language and the name befits, as this dive site is made up out of old car tires. These tires attract a lot of different reef fish and lots of crustaceans and are covered in colorful sponges and corals.

> Masaplod Norte: This dive can sometimes have a bit of current and turns into a nice drift dive letting you take in your surroundings while leisurely riding the current. Most of the time, however, it is current free letting you take your time and explore the reef in search of all sorts of critters.

> Pyramids: This site has something for everybody. You normally start the dive from the shallow mooring line that brings you down into the Sea Grass beds at around 5m/15ft, then swim down the sandy slope to the artificial reef made from a number of metal pyramid-like structures that stretch from 15m/50ft down to 22m/80ft. Down a bit deeper are some Black Corals where you can find Banded Tozeuma Shrimps and Xeno Crabs.

> Masaplod Sur: This site is made up of two patches of reef, with sandy gullies in between and an artificial reef made from old car tires.

> Bahura: This sloping reef is the site to see the cartoon-like Mandarinfish. They live on a shallow bank of Lettuce Coral and you can see them at dusk each evening, when the males attempt to entice the females into spawning by displaying their bright livery in their daily mating ritual.

> DUMAGUETE, NEGROS ORIENTAL:

> Tacot: This underwater seamount often attracts large pelagics, usually has great visibility (more than 20m) and always has strong currents. The reef is surrounded by a fair selection of fish life (groupers, snappers, puffers, parrotfish, and angelfish, among others), and the corals are healthy and large as a consequence of the nutrient-filled currents.

> Calong-Calong: A popular training site and reasonable snorkeling area, this large reef has some fair-sized corals sprouting from it, including table and basket corals and, of course, sea fans.

> The Pier: This dive is fascinating with the stands of the pier looming around you and covered in colourful soft corals. This dive site is a photographers and macro fanatics dream. As you swim in and around the pier schools of fish swim around you and the soft corals are full of small critters, juvenile clown frog fish, nudibranchs, flat worms, ghost pipefish, seahorses.

  1. Boracay: With lots of dive sites surrounding Boracay, including beautiful coral reefs, sheer walls and wrecks, there is something to entertain and excite every diver. Check out the dive sites here!
  2. Panay Island: Panay Island offers scuba diving opportunities for all levels, from absolute beginners to advanced divers. Snorkeling is also a very popular activity on Panay’s beaches. You will see rich colorful marine life and beautiful hard corals. The beautiful sites were formed by volcanic activities and are only minutes away from shore. Amazing finds await you on the following dive sites in Panay.
  3. Siquijor: The marine life in around Siquijor has everything to offer and this is what makes the Philippine Islands famous. Fantastic coral gardens for snorkeling and diving, abundant marine life, fast drift-dives and beautiful walls. Many dives can be done via shore diving and you will go with a small van to the dive-site. The Island is just too big to get to all sites via boat. So if you are a hardcore diver, you might consider staying a few days at the south coast of Siquijor and a few days in the north. Here are the list of their dive sites.

Mindanao:

  1. Saranggani Province: The bay has a wealth of good diving and the best location is the huge Tinoto Wall. This runs about 10 kilometers along the bay in front of the South Point Divers clubhouse. The wall drops off well over 50 meters about 10 to 20 meters from shore.
  2. Camiguin: Camiguin Island is a great place for Scuba Diving. Not only that there are plenty of dive sites very near to the tourist beaches, every dive site offers a complete different environment under water. Check out the stand out sites for diving here.
  3. Davao: A lot of Philippine treasures are found here. The tallest elevation, Mt. Apo and the Philippine Eagle as well as the Durian are only a few of the attractions for Davao. On top of this, here are also blog worthy dive sites that you should check when in Davao.
  4. General Santos: Also called Tuna City, this relatively recent addition to the Philippines dive circuit offers some of the most outstanding wall dives in the country. Much of the diving is in Sarangani Bay, where the massive drop-off and its colorful fringing reef run for kilometers just off the beach. Check out their cool dive sites here.

Whatever your reasons for diving will be, I am sure that you will have a lot of options to spend some bubble time underwater. These places listed above formed my new bucket list and may change anytime. These dive sites truly show that the Philippines is truly the Pearl of the Orient, where biodiversity and symbiosis are evident. Evolution and Adaption may take place but still, being a tropical country, we are blessed to have these treasures at our shores.

Planning to do some bubble time? Or perhaps would like to spend underwater time with your friends? Then its time to hit the water! Don’t forget to equalize and do mask clearing before hitting it deep!

See you underneath! :)

Sources:

http://www.tourism.gov.ph/sitepages/Diving.aspx

http://www.scubadivephilippines.com/SCUBAtopdivesites.shtml

http://www.islandsofthephilippines.com/2013/06/10-best-dive-destinations-in-the-philippines/

http://scubatechphilippines.com/scuba_blog/best-scuba-diving-philippines-destinations/

http://www.sportdiver.com/worlds-best-diving-resorts/philippines/2013-worlds-best-diving-resorts-philippines

http://divezone.net/diving/philippines

http://www.sipalay.com/diving/dive-sites/index.html

http://www.underwaterasia.info/dive-guide-philippines/luzon-west.php

http://www.kontikidivers.com/diveSpots_mactan_cebu.html

http://www.underwaterasia.info/dive-guide-philippines/bohol.php

http://www.divephilippines.com.ph/diving-in-the-ph-dive-destinations-in-the-ph/

http://www.divephilippines.com.ph/negros-oriental-dive-sites/apo-island-dumaguete-negros-oriental-dive-sites/

http://www.divephilippines.com.ph/negros-oriental-dive-sites/dauin-dumaguete-negros-oriental-dive-sites/

http://www.divephilippines.com.ph/cebu-dive-sites/moalboal-cebu-dive-sites/

http://www.divephilippines.com.ph/cebu-dive-sites/malapascua-island-cebu-dive-sites/

http://www.divephilippines.com.ph/bohol-dive-sites/

http://www.divephilippines.com.ph/siquijor-dive-sites/

http://www.divephilippines.com.ph/sorsogon-dive-sites/

http://www.divephilippines.com.ph/camiguin-dive-sites/

http://www.divephilippines.com.ph/davao-dive-sites/

http://lemlunayresort.com/about-lemlunay/

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