10 Best Diving Sites in the Philippines
Famous for having very high biodiversity, the Philippines has been attracting tourists, researchers, and scientists all around the world. They take interest in observing the natural beauty of the archipelago.
The country is bountiful with beautiful sceneries, and great flora and fauna. Both are found scattered on the land and sea. A lot of people are a huge fan of the Philippines’ underwater flora and fauna, in fact, bloggers and travelers often mention Philippine Diving Sites. Considering that 76% of the world’s coral species are found here in the country alone, underwater enthusiasts are really off to a great dive.
In case you’re planning for a visit to these sites, you might want to consider picking the best of the best, so feast your eyes on the ten best diving sites in the country.
1. Tubbataha Reef
Diving in Tubbataha Reef by Q Phia via Flickr
Currently listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Parks, Tubbataha Reef National Park will never miss the list of any scuba divers even when they are from the other side of the globe.
Home to roughly 360 species of corals and 600 species of fish, you will surely be blown away by the 10,000 hectares of this splendid ecosystem. Since its biodiversity is so rich, and it’s a certified protected area, there are specific rules and regulations to be followed by every diver who goes there to ensure the conservation of this area.
Located 150 km south of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, it’s easy to access given that there are motor boats that you could rent. It takes mostly 10 hours to get there from Puerto Princesa City, but the long wait is surely well paid at the end of the day.
2. Subic Bay
Diving in Subic Bay photo by Boardwalkdivecentre.com
The Philippines is not only rich in corals and marine animals, but it’s also quite rich in historical shipwreck sites too. This place is surely a great deal for people who fancy diving into the past.
A total of 19 shipwrecks can be found under Subic Bay, which is either from the 1890s or 1940s, a period when Spain, America, and Japan were in a tug-of-war for the Philippines’ ownership.
In totality, there are 14 wreck sites that feature all the shipwrecks, and 6 equally beautiful Reef sites, so you may choose whichever your diving heart desires.
3. Anilao, Batangas
Plectorhinchus Polytaenia in Anilao Batangas – by Jnpet – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Dubbed as the birthplace of diving in the Philippines, you will truly be amazed at the 40 diving sites located on this side of the country. It is regarded as one of the most amazing diving sites in the Philippines by several travelers and bloggers as well.
It’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the busy city of Manila and you may choose to stay in the hotels available near the beach area. There is a wide array of activities that you choose from upon staying here but most vacationers prefer diving.
4. Apo Reef, Mindoro
A yellow crinoid in Apo Reef – by Dr. Dwayne Meadows, NOAA/NMFS/OPR. – NOAA Photo Library: reef4318. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
Apo Reef is another crowd favorite, being the largest atoll in the Philippines, and the second-largest atoll in the world. It is home to several species of marine animals like manta rays, tunas, and sharks.
The place is very accessible and you can choose from either flying directly to Mindoro or traveling by bus from Manila and grabbing another 4-hour trip to Apo Reef National Park.
5. Busuanga, Palawan
Diving in Coron
Busuanga, Palawan is a haven for nature lovers. It is home to Calauit Safari Park, which is more known as Little Africa of the Philippines. But more than the rich fauna and flora on land, Busuanga offers a lot more underwater. Other the rich biodiversity, shipwrecks are also a plenty. Experienced divers may opt for an extra challenge, by diving into the deep to see different sunken Japanese ships.
Be mesmerized by the beauty of Busuanga Island. You may take an hour domestic flight in either Cebu Pacific, Zest Air, Air Philippine Express, or Sky Jet Air going to Busuanga Airport.
6. Moalboal, Cebu
Diving in Moalboal Cebu – by Per Edin Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
There are 10 diving sites found in Moalboal Cebu namely, Pescador Island, Panagsama Beach, Compton Point, Dolphin House, White Beach, Toble Reef, Talisay Wall, Tongo point, Kasai Point, and Marine Sanctuary.
A domestic flight from Manila to Mactan is to fastest way to get to Cebu. After getting to Mactan, catch a ride to any bus heading South Cebu then tell the driver to drop you off in Moalboal.
7. Donsol, Sorsogon
Diving in Donsol photo from Orpheusdive.com
Made famous by the “butanding” or whale shark, Donsol, Sorsogon also makes it to the must-see dive sites in the Philippines. There are two dive sites that you can find here: the Mantra Bowl and the San Miguel Island.
The best way to get here for backpackers is via bus since there are no direct flights to Sorsogon. If you’re coming from another country, then you can still choose to fly to Legazpi City, then take another ride (van) going to Donsol.
Diving in Camiguin by CamiguinIsland.net
This island ranks as the second smallest island in the Philippines. But it does island does not fall short of surprises. Currently, there are at least 20 dive sites listed here. Among which, Mantigue Island, Tangup Bay, Sunken Cemetery, and Old Volcano are listed as diver’s favorite spots.
Camiguin Island can be found on the Northern coast of Mindanao. You can directly fly here since it has its own airport. Cebu Pacific is the only airline with a regular flight if you are coming from Cebu City.
9. Puerto Galera, Mindoro
Dive Puerto Galera by Travel-Stone.com
This beach has been gaining popularity. It’s slowly ranking with the other Beaches in the Philippines like the ever famous Boracay, and The Twin Beaches in El Nido. But other than the beautiful coastlines, this beach also has 30 dive sites to fill any diving-lusting soul. The canyons and the Shark Caves are among the listed favorites, but with all those 30 sites to choose from, there would surely be a perfect dive site for everyone
Going here is easy peasy, just get a bus ride to Batangas Pier and from there, go for a ferry ride to Puerto Galera.
Sit tight, relax, enjoy the sea breeze, and the next thing you know you’re in Puerto Galera, basking in the sweet sun’s heat.
Diving in Bohol by diversiondivetravel.com
Upon mentioning Bohol, the first thing that would come to your mind is a pair of wide eyes, coupled with a small furry figure, clasping its small hands to a branch of a tree and several mounds of earth that vary in color depending on the season. But think again, because Bohol has so much more to offer.
For one, there is also a good number of diving sites here, enough to satisfy your cravings. Among the most famous are Turtle Point, Diver’s Haven Black Corals Forest, and Royal Forest in Balicasag Island, and the Cabilao Island, Habagat Shipwrecks, and Pamilacan Island.
The easiest way to get here is through air, and there are plenty of domestic flights you can board. If you are also into traveling by sea, then you may do so choose this.
These are the most breathtaking underwater places that the Philippines boasts as being a part of the coral triangle and as a highly diversified ecosystem.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your things, a good heap of cash, and a brave diver’s heart and plunge into the bounty of the sea.
See Also: Welcome Aboard the Discovery Fleet Dive Cruise