Home to 7,107 islands, the Philippines is an ideal destination for both seasoned and beginning scuba divers. Apart from the picture-perfect beaches, the Philippines features numerous dive spots that can be termed as centers of biodiversity.
When faced with numerous choices, deciding where to explore can be tough. To make things easier for you, we have done our research to determine the Philippine dive spots which feature marine diversity, the best visibility, and warm waters. If you are preparing for your dive holiday, read on to learn the Philippine dive spots you should visit.
Philippine Dive Spots You Should Check Out
1. Tubbataha Reef, Southeast of Palawan, Sulu Sea
When compared to other dive sites, the Tubbataha is one of the best spots for diving in the Philippines. The spot’s remoteness has managed to keep it well preserved. The Philippine dive spot is home to approximately 90% of all the coral species in the Philippines. If you are planning on grabbing your drysuit and heading to Tubbataha Reef, it is crucial to understand that the ideal time to visit is between March and June, by liveaboard.
The spot for diving in the Philippines has over 11 shark species. It features approximately 479 fish species and large pelagics. Some of the large pelagics include manta rays, whale sharks, and jacks. The Philippine dive spot features the highest population of the white tip reef sharks.
Choosing the specific dive spots to explore in Tubbataha Reef can be tough considering a large number of dive sites available. However, some of the best sites include Shark Airport, Washing Machine, and Amos Rock. When exploring Amos Rock, you should be prepared to marvel at the stunning gorgonian and whip corals, large groupers, mackerels, and white sharks.
Shark Airport is home to green sea turtles and white tip sharks. The Washing Machine, as the name suggests, features some strong currents. Naturally, in diving sites where there are currents, you should be able to spot large pelagics and other sea animals drifting close by.
2. Malapascua Island, Bantayan, Cebu
If you do enjoy scuba diving with the sharks, this spot for diving in the Philippines should be an ideal destination for you. The Philippines dive spot will offer you an opportunity to dive with the elusive thresher sharks.
Home to approximately 20 dive sites, Malapascua is an ideal destination for divers from all parts of the world. The spot for diving in the Philippines features unbelievable diversity, stunning landscapes, and warm tropical water conditions.
Some of the best dive sites in Malapascua include Monad Shoal, the Cave, and Kimod Shoal. If you carry your best diving camera while navigating the Monad Shoal, you should be able to photograph manta rays, various varieties of sharks, and the devil rays.
The cave features a 30 meters tunnel which has loads of fish. Whitetip sharks circle near the end of the tunnel. The Kimod Shoal attracts approximately 200 hammerhead sharks. if you would like to see the sharks, the ideal time to visit the Kimod Shoal is between May and December.
3. Moal Boal, Cebu
This spot for diving in the Philippines has playful turtles and a stunning house reef. It is also home to a large number of sardines. On most dives, millions of sardines will join you. Often, huge pelagics do visit the Philippine dive spot.
The house reef features a shallow coral plateau that leads divers to an exceptional drop-off with a steep wall that plummets to a depth of more than 170 feet (60 meters). The reef is covered with both soft and hard-soft corals. It is also inhabited by numerous typical reef dwellers.
When in Moal Boal, you can grab your scuba gear package and take a 15-minute boat ride to Pescador Island. The island is famous for the cathedral cave. The spectacular swim through starts at approximately 30 meters below the surface. The cave has several exits at around 18 meters.
4. Apo Reef, Occidental Mindoro
This Philippine dive spot is considered to be the second-largest atoll reef in the Philippines. The spot for diving in the Philippines features a 34 kilometers reef with a narrow channel that runs east to west. The channel divides the reef into 2 lagoons (south and north). The shallow lagoons serve as ideal breeding spots for numerous sea creatures.
If after wearing your best scuba mask you decide to dive in this spot, you should be able to see approximately 500 species of hard and soft corals. The diving site features approximately 400 fish species.
Some of the fish species you may come across include tuna, jackfish, the snapper, groupers, barracudas, tropical fish, napoleon wrasse, and the stingrays. The Philippine dive site has a wide variety of sharks. Some of the shark species available include whale shark, gray reef, hammerhead, and the white tip. Regularly, the Hawksbill and the Green turtles are seen on the dive spot.
The dive site offers magnificent drop-offs and overhangs. The site also has vertical walls that can go up to 262 feet (80 meters).
This spot for diving in the Philippines is stunning both below the water and above. The Palawan archipelago is made up of 1780 islands which stretch from Mindoro in the northeast to Borneo in the southwest. Due to its distance from other islands and a small population, the archipelago has managed to stay largely pristine.
Fringed by coral reefs, Palawan is an ideal destination for anyone who owns a scuba dive safety gear package. If you happen to visit El Nido, which is located at the northern tip of the Palawan island, you should be able to enjoy navigating approximately 20 dive sites. El Nido features a diverse range of marine life, including eels, shoals of snapper, and nudibranch.
If you decide to head further out to the Cuyo area in the Sulu Sea, you should be able to spot huge turtles on the sloping sand bottoms. The Cuyo area features the eagle ray, the stingrays, huge schools of jack, and a wide variety of reef fish.
If you do enjoy shipwreck diving, you should head north to the waters which surround Coron Island. Here, you should be able to explore up to 11 world war II vessels that sit on the sandy bottom of the sea.
6. Canyons, Puerto Galera
This spot for diving in the Philippines features a wide variety of marine life and crystal clear waters. While there are numerous dive sites in Puerto Galera, the most popular dive site is known as the Canyons. The coral reef is pretty healthy in this Philippine dive spot. The maximum dive depth in the Philippine dive spot is approximately 30 meters.
The current present in the site provides food to the marine species which inhabit the ocean in this site. This means that if you carry your best lens for underwater photography, you should be able to capture a wide range of sea animals.
You should be able to spot both soft and hard corals when navigating this dive site. Numerous tropical fishes have already decided to make the reef their home. When exploring the Canyons dive site, you are likely to come across damselfish, anthias, butterflyfish, snapper, sweetlips, batfish, cod, scorpionfish, eels, stonefish, wrasses, and even sea snakes. Whenever the current turns into a high-density drift, it brings out a wide range of pelagics, including giant trevally, jacks, and schools of tuna.
Apart from the sea animals, the dive site has 3 gorgeous canyons. The canyons are generally covered in a wide variety of sponges and soft corals.
7. Manta Bowl, Ticao Pass, Donsol
If you are already familiar with scuba diving safety tips, you should consider visiting this spot for diving in the Philippines. Between May and December each year, the whale sharks gather around the diving spot to feed on the rich plankton filled waters. If you learn how to take pictures underwater, you should be able to capture some nice pictures of the whale sharks while exploring the Philippine dive spot.
The site does have other shark species, including the tiger sharks and the hammerheads. Other sea animals you may come across while navigating the Manta Bowl are the Manta rays. Similar to the whale sharks, the manta rays have made the site their feeding spot.
8. Yapak, Boracay
If you have been to Boracay, you are probably familiar with the white sandy beaches. There is more to Boracay than the beaches. This site is also an ideal place for diving.
The best spot for diving is Yapak. The spot for diving in the Philippines features a 32 meters (106 feet) wall. While navigating the Philippines dive site with your best freediving fins, you should be able to spot a wide variety of sea life.
The wall features macro life, including the pygmy seahorses and the colorful nudibranchs. As you drift along, you may come across sharks and tuna which float effortlessly in the dive site. If you are lucky, you may get a glimpse of the rare mola as it ascends from the depths.
9. Divers’ Heaven, Balicasag
Balicasag features 4 major dives sites whose depth ranges from 5 to 60 meters (16 to 196 feet). Among the 4 major dive sites, the most popular spot for diving in the Philippines is the Divers’ Heaven. The divers’ heaven features a wall dive whose depth ranges between 10 meters (32 feet) and 40 meters (131 feet). The Philippine dive spot offers divers an opportunity to enjoy a drift dive.
The ideal time to scuba dive at Divers’ Heaven is between June and December. However, armed with your best scuba tank, you should be able to dive all year round. The average water temperature is approximately 27 to 30 degrees centigrade, throughout the year.
Apart from the walls, the Philippine dive spot features overhangs, drop-offs, and caverns. The sea life in the dive spot is quite diverse. You should come across hard and soft corals, sea turtles, and even sharks. Some of the fishes you are likely to come across include barracudas, groupers, mackerels, scorpionfish, frogfish, and batfish.
10. Manit Muck, Anilao
If night diving appeals to you, you should consider visiting Manit Muck. The dive site, which is also referred to as the Secret Bay, has several ideal dive spots. Most sea life is concentrated between the depth of 3 and 21 meters (10 and 70 feet).
At any time of the day, you are likely to come across scorpionfish, wondrous octopus, ghost pipefish, nudibranchs, and the mantis shrimp. On a night dive, you should watch out for frogfish, Bobbit worms, seahorses, the Coleman shrimp, and the gobies. The ideal time to visit this spot for diving in the Philippines is between May and October.
Globo Surf Overview
If you are considering making diving in the Philippines your next big adventure, you won’t be disappointed. The Philippines features some of the best dive spots in the world. The Philippine dive spots feature a wide variety of sea animals. If you do love to explore shipwrecks, you will be able to do this while exploring the waters in the Philippines.
Both beginner and advanced scuba diving spots are available in the Philippines. If you are a beginner, it is crucial that you only dive in areas that do not require too much diving experience. This will guarantee you a great time and safety.
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