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Scuba diving in Philippines

With 7107 islands, the Philippines offers opportunities for every level. Advance divers can enjoy deep wrecks, while beginners will appreciate easy beach entries. 1200 macro and pelagic species await.
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Diving in Philippines

Quick facts

The Philippines has thousands of dive sites. These are spread out mostly around the Luzon and Visayas regions. Whatever your dive experience, you are sure to be spoilt for choice.

In the Luzon region, nearby Manila, Puerto Galera is the perfect place to begin your scuba adventure. With easy beach entries and plentiful macro life, thousands of divers use the area to get certified every year. For those in the Manila region and looking for wreck diving, Subic Bay offers divers with an advanced certification the chance to get up close and personal with sunken WWII warships.

Further south in the Luzon region, wild Palawan has long been considered one of the best and cheapest places to gain an advanced certification. A variety of WWII warships and planes lie at depths of 66 feet (20 meters) and more. Today, soft corals, turtles, a plethora of fish species and sea snakes call the wrecks home.

Divers interested in pelagics should make a point of heading to the central Visayas. In Malapascua, visitors can see skittish thresher sharks. While Oslob has a resident population of whale sharks. The biodiversity doesn’t end there. Moalboal, Balicasag and Apo Island are world-class dive sites rich in marine life such as schools of jacks, sardine balls, rays and the occasional shark.

The Philippines is the perfect destination for gaining and perfecting new scuba skills while enjoying a wide array of underwater life and an easygoing vacation above the water.

When to go

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Where to dive

  • Bicol

    Paradise awaits in Bicol where you can dive with whale sharks and manta rays every morning and relax on pristine beaches every afternoon. Suited to all levels, Bicol is the perfect diving getaway.

  • Bohol

    With superb wall dives, colorful coral and calm currents, Bohol has become an increasingly popular diving destination in the Philippines. From macro to pelagics, the marine life of Bohol awaits.

  • Cebu

    Cebu boasts spectacular diving with unique experiences like thresher shark dives at Malapascua, mighty schools of sardines at Moalboal and whale shark sightings.

  • Leyte

    With superb corals and the allure of the ever-elusive whale shark, Leyte has become one of the Philippines’ premier destinations. From graceful pelagics to macro oddities, Leyte is sure to delight.

  • Luzon
  • Mindanao

    As the Philippines’ last diving frontier, Mindanao offers dive sites for every level. Advanced divers can enjoy deep wrecks, while beginners will appreciate easy beach entries. 1000 species await.

  • Mindoro

    With 75% of the world’s coral species, the second largest coral reef in the world and a huge variety of dive sites, Mindoro is a diving paradise that offers the ideal dive for every skill level.

  • Negros
  • Palawan

    Palawan will impress the most jaded diver with its beautiful reefs, stunning World War II shipwrecks and the glory that is Tubbataha Reef.

  • Panay
  • Romblon
  • Siquijor

    Seemingly made for underwater photography, Siquijor is a macro-lover’s dream with walls full of coral. Adventure seekers will also enjoy the island’s world-class night diving opportunities.

  • Sulu Sea
USD 2,635Per trip
USD 3,495Per trip
USD 1,880Per trip

What to see

With over 1200 marine species and 400 of the world’s 500 coral species, the question isn’t what will I see diving in the Philippines; it’s what won’t I see.

The Philippines is a great area for spotting barracuda, emperor fish, scorpion fish, moray eel, tuna, batfish, Moorish idol, trevally, and flute mouth. On the more unusual side of things, the Philippines is also home to lionfish, triggerfish, pygmy seahorses, trumpet fish, mantis shrimp, unicorn fish, wrasse, squid, parrot fish and octopus.

Pelagics are plentiful in the Philippines, too. Sightings may include whale sharks, manta rays, eagle rays, devil rays and sharks such as hammerheads and thresher sharks.

Wherever you are, you’ll be filling up your dive logs faster than you can say, “It’s more fun in the Philippines.”

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