The Philippines is known not just for the hospitality of the Filipino people but also its islands that make up some of the world’s best tropical destinations for dream holidays. Being an archipelago allowed this country to continuously capture the attention of tourists on a global scale with its breathtaking beaches, scuba dive spots and other natural wonders.
Of course, when it comes to booking a flight and spending a few well-deserved holidays to get your dose of vitamin sea, you’d probably want to create some new memories through adventures you either haven’t done before or want to do again. One of these sought out water thrills that consistently entices the market is scuba diving. Through this, you won’t just enjoy the clear blue waters of the sea, but you actually get to experience it while being introduced into this wonderful country’s underwater riches. To help you out, we’ve listed the top three must-visit dive destinations for your next tropical vacation:
1. Tubbataha Reef, Puerto Princesa
Scuba diving in the Tubbataha Reef in Puerto Princesa, Palawan is something you would surely not want to miss. Here, you can experience the ocean in multi-colors of marine biodiversity especially since Tubbataha Reef is part of what is called the Coral Triangle.
The Coral Triangle is globally-recognized as the center of marine life making up 75% of the world’s coral species and 40% of the world’s reef fish. Scientists who have been studying and visiting Tubbataha since the 1980s have found that this UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to over 359 species of corals, over 600 species of fishes, 14 species of sharks, 12 species of dolphins and whales. If you’re all about coral gardens, then you won’t be disappointed as the reefs boast of an amazing 100-meter perpendicular wall, two coral islands, and a few extensive lagoons. You can also expect to see over a hundred bird species, including migratory birds.
The best time to visit Tubbataha for a dive is during mid-March to mid-June and is reachable only by boat leaving from Puerto Princesa’s harbor at sunset for a 10 to 12-hour journey arriving at this marine sanctuary by sunrise.
2. Monad Shoal, Cebu
Considered as the number one dive site in Malapascua, Cebu, Monad Shoal is the only place in the whole world where divers can witness Thresher Sharks in their natural habitat. But there is more to this underwater island than that. Since Monad Shoal is part of the Coral Triangle as well, this wall is a marine protected area making it possible for visitors to still see its soft coral species as well as other pelagics fishes like Manta Rays. Critter lovers will also have a good time diving in Monad Shoal is home to various species of Nudibranchs, Mantis Shrimps, and Pygmy Seahorses, among others.
If you’re into underwater macro photography as well, it’s best to visit this during summer so you won’t have to worry about sudden rains ruining your plan to scuba dive. Visibility ranges from 10m to 15m, with a maximum depth of 24m. Currents can be strong but if you are an experienced diver, you’ll surely enjoy the waters.
One final word of advice, make sure not to sleep too late the night before so you can witness the magnificent Thresher sharks at early in the morning, which usually requires a 5 a.m. departure from Malapascua.
3. Panglao Island, Bohol
In Bohol, besides the world-famous Chocolate Hills, adventurers can also enjoy scuba diving at Panglao Island with an area that stretches to over 94 kilometers. Inside this island lies one of Bohol’s treasured beaches called Alona, popular for its white sand, clear blue waters, and rocky cliffs. Since Alona Beach is situated in close proximity to a house reef, water thrill seekers can expect colorful corals and fishes with or without diving gear. This makes Panglao Island famous for a number of underwater activities such as snorkeling, freediving, and scuba diving.
Alona Beach dive site boasts of colorful species of western clown-anemone fishes, angel fishes, Moorish idols, pufferfishes, and baby barracudas. Night dives are also possible here and is the perfect time to scuba dive if you want to see boxer shrimps, cleaner shrimps, moray eels, and decorator crabs.
Summer in the Philippines usually begins the moment the month of March steps in so if you want to experience this tropical destination has to offer in terms of adrenaline-pumping water activities, then we suggest you book now! If you’re a first time or amateur diver, no worries, Filipinos are known for being warm, welcoming, and accommodating so they’d gladly guide you as you discover the diver in you! Plan your trip with us now!