Among the top diving destinations in the world, the Philippines has become the favorite of many seasoned scuba divers. World-renowned divers and underwater photographers can attest to the underwater diversity and richness of what is known to be the “Center for Marine Biodiversity in the World.” They contend that the most biologically diverse waters on the planet can be found in the Philippines. The Verde Island Passage, in particular, is considered as a site of unparalleled marine biodiversity.
Divers and non-divers enjoy the facilities and amenities from new resorts in up-and-coming island destinations alongside the tried and tested resorts. Add reasonable value-for-money, exceptional service, and unpretentious Filipino hospitality, a diving trip to the Philippines is truly epic.
Some remarkable reefs – Anilao, Calamianes and Cebu — are accessible by shore entry. Coron, Apo Reef and Tubbataha Reef offer clear water, vigorous corals, and intense drop-offs. Then there’s the trip to Malapascua, where you may see rare thresher sharks. Rare macro and muck critters are great discoveries in many marine-protected areas.
- Learn to Dive
Train and get your dive certification in the Philippines. With a variety of seascapes, sunken wrecks and secluded bays, the Philippines offer great options for your introductory dive, basic dive certification, specialty dive like wreck diving, rescue and deep diving, instructor and special tek training.
- Macro and Underwater Photography
The entire Philippines is inside the Coral Triangle, the global center of marine biodiversity and home to 76% of the world’s coral species, have rare species of fish, invertebrates and odd cephalopods like mimic octopus, blue ring octopus, frogfish and even harlequin shrimp. It is home to many critters including ghost pipefish, spiny seahorses and nudibranch.
- Recreational Diving
Divers come here to experience the diversity of the reefs and marine life, enjoy the premier facilities, cuisine, and genuine Filipino hospitality. Most dive destinations are a mix of shore dives and via outrigger or regular dive boats. There are also liveaboard operators that will take you to Apo Reef, Tubbataha Reef and other diving destinations.
Top Dive Destinations
This area, with over 60 dive spots, offer pinnacles, shipwrecks, coral gardens, seagrass and sponge, coralline algae as well as macro and muck sites. Only a few hours drive from Manila, this is a popular weekend diving destination by locals and visitors alike.
A leisurely boat ride will take you from Panglao to Balicasag island, a near round island of sand and palm trees. While also good for snorkeling, the island’s more challenging dive sites are home to barracudas, mackerel, and jacks.
Malapascua is one of the two places in the world where you can find thresher sharks within diving depth. It also boasts of wartime coral-laden wartime wrecks, manta rays, and blue ring octopus.
About 10 km off the town of Oslob, you can experience the Butanding (whale shark) dive encounter. Don’t let its size intimidate you. The Butanding may be the largest fish in the world (about 50 feet long),but they call it the gentle giant for a reason. Its daily diet consist of fish and planktons which means it isn’t interested in you for breakfast.
Witness a sardine run in Moalboal. The actual running isn’t the draw. Pescador Island offers some of the most spectacular dive experiences including the chance to see the swirling schools of sardines.
Negros (Dauin and Apo Island)
A few km from Dumaguete City, Dauin and Apo Island on the waters off the Southeast coast of Negros have been the one of the top diving destination popular among experienced divers. Dauin dive sites are ideal spots to start a dive excursion where you can find large shoals of snappers, groupers, grunts, barracudas, stargazers, cowfish, stingrays, sea turtles and giant scorpion fish.
Regularly crowned as the Worldd’s Best island is famous for its sites – both above ground and underground.
Palawan is world famous for the Tubbataha Reef Marine Park amongst divers. This 33,000-hectare UNESCO World Heritage Site has two small coral islands and two spectacular atolls with large internal laggons.
One of the top wreck diving destination, Coron is famous for at least 12 sunken WWII shipwreck
Other notable diving destinations are Pandan Island, Canon Island in Honda Bay and the El Nido Marine Reserve in El Nido. Sightings of manta rays, sharks and the extremely rare sea cows or “dugong” are awespiring.
A popular diving, holiday and nightlife destination, more than 40 Puerto Galera dive sites are known for reef, drift and muck diving.
Philippines’ Verde Island Passage, is considered to be the “center of the center” of marine biodiversity in the world. One of the most iconic dive site is in the Verde Island Wall where you can find countless arrays of corals, Whitetips and other sharks, mantas, easgle rays, tuna and jacks, rainbow runners, Napoleons, unicornfish, batfish, emperors, sweetlips and more than 800 species of nudibranch. Night diving is a must-experience – with every nook and corner packed with extraordinary marine creatures.
Read more about Diving in the Philippines.