Sand, Sea, and Surf: The best diving spots in the Philippines

The first reason travelers like us go to visit the Philippines is cheap beach vacations. We’re not talking cheap because it’s not worth seeing, but because compared to other tropical vacations in the world, the 7,107 islands of this country is something you can appreciate without breaking the bank. But if there is a second reason that makes Philippines the ultimate destination for holiday travel, it’s the diving spots.

Travelers and tourists who consider themselves adventurers and beach-lovers are more often than not surfers or aspiring ones. If you’re one of these people, then we’re willing to bet you probably look for all inclusive beach vacations that offers not just pristine waters or powder white sand but also a view beyond what’s above sea level. No worries, Philippines is rich in aquatic wildlife that could paint you a kaleidoscopic, panoramic picture of the best underwater views ever.

1. Tubbataha Reef in Cagayancillo, Palawan

Declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO back in December 1993, the Natural Marine Park part of Cagayancillo Municipality of Palawan boasts of its world-renowned marine biodiversity. With over 600 fish species, 11 shark species, 13 dolphin and whale species and over 360 coral species, this amazing dive spot is everything a diver’s dream is made of. It may be 150 kilometers southeast of the white-sand beaches of Puerto Princesa (about 10 hours away if you go by boat) but believe us when we tell you, it’s all going to be worth it.

2. Yapak in Boracay

If you think Boracay is just fine sand and nightlife, you are wrong. This popular beach destination is also home to Yapak, one of the best dive spots in the world. This place is has built a strong reputation for macro photography with its colorful marine life that go from small to big. Catch a glimpse of Barracudas, Manta Rays, Dogtooth Tunas, and White Tip Sharks and get Instagram-worthy photos of its vibrant corals. And the best thing about it? It’s only 15 minutes away by boat from Boracay proper so you can easily go back to the pulsating night life right after.

3. Malapascua Island in Cebu

The beauty of Malapascua Island in the northernmost tip of Cebu is getting a steady reputation as being one of the most breathtaking islands in the Philippines, next to Boracay and Palawan. This dive spot is about a 5 hour travel from the city (4 hour bus ride and 45 minute boat ride) and is the go-to place in Cebu if you want a dive experience like no other. The pristine waters of this island is home to Thresher Sharks, rays (Manta, Devil, and Marble Rays) as well as turtles and whale sharks. Another islet near Malapascua is the Gato Island where you can also find a wide array of marine life from sea snakes, blacktip sharks, and harlequin shrimp to frogfishes and blue ring octopus.

Who says cheap beach vacations won’t have you going back home without fun-filled and colorful memories of the sea? Get your dream tropical vacation and adventure and head out to these amazing dive spots in Boracay, Palawan, and Cebu! See more here.