The Philippines, with over 36 000 km of coastline and over 7000 islands, is an unmistakable gem of the diving world. Forming part of the celebrated Coral Triangle – an area that contains the widest variety of marine species in the world – diving the Philippines offers many spectacular dive sites teeming with rich marine life.
Image from flickr
Explore below more details about scuba diving in Philippines.
Table of Content
- Underwater pictures
- Dive Types Overviews
- Puerto Galera
- Cebu and Bohol
- Best dive season
- Temperature and visibility
- Dive centre or liveaboard?
- Travel tips
- Best dive destinations
- Philippines Liveaboards
- Dive advices and reviews
Underwater Pictures of Philippines
Dive Types Overviews
Diving in Tubbataha
The exceptional Tubbataha reef is a World Heritage Site that spoils divers for choice with over 300 coral types and more than 370 fish species, a fact that earns the title of most biodiverse destination in the Philippines.
Marine life is nothing short of impressive here with regular sightings of lion fish, clown fish, manta rays and box fish as well as turtles, sharks, dolphins and barracuda.
Diving in Puerto Galera
It is the perfect destination to begin your diving holiday in the Philippines due to its close proximity to many dive sites just a few minutes from the beach and an abundance of dive tour operators willing to assist with arranging your dives.
For underwater photography enthusiasts, the dive site known as Hole in the Wall is ideal for picture taking. A number of colourful marine species call this area home including puffer fish, parrot fish, frog fish and snappers.
For the more experienced divers, there are a number of exhilarating drift and wall diving experiences to be had thanks to strong currents in the Verde Island channel. The dive site known as Canyons is a very exciting experience allowing divers to drop down into a number of 30 meter-deep canyons teeming with marine life of all shapes and sizes. As you descend, notice the beauty of these canyons which are covered in pink soft coral and gorgonian fans.
Diving in Mactan (Cebu) and Bohol
Diving at Cebu is as simple as booking a day trip from Mactan Island which offers superb diving for advanced divers as there can be strong currents.
If you’re looking for macro diving, Bohol should be at the top of your list. A large reef stretches the 14 kilmometer distance between Anda and Guindelman and offers sightings of humpback parrot fish, pipefish, nudibranchs, seahorses and sea turtles.
Pamilican and Balicasag Islands
The dive sites around Pamilican Island and Balicasag Island will provide you with endless underwater photography opportunities and offer an abundance of marine life variations that you simply need to experience.
One of the most popular dive sites off Balicasag Island is called Diver’s Heaven, and for good reason. The vertical wall at Diver’s Heaven is covered in coral and starts at a shallow 6 metres, but soon drops own to 40 metres. This site offers experienced divers the chance to spot lion fish, barracudas, angel fish and Napolean wrasse.
Diving in Boracay
This small island has a lot to offer in terms of diving, with a variety of options such as wreck dives, thrilling wall dives and beautiful reef dives all within a 10 minute boat trip over the magnificent turquoise waters.
Suitable from beginners levels, Crocodile Island in Boracay is a superb sloping reef that is home to a wide variety of reef fish such as box fish, sweetlips and scorpion fish.
For experienced divers, there are two wall sites known as Yapak 1 and Yapak 2. Both offer exhilarating experiences at a starting depth of 30 meters that quickly changes to a 70 meter drop. Trigger fish, reef sharks and tuna are known to be seen at these dive sites.
Best Season to Dive in Philippines
For a diving holiday, your best bet is to visit the Philippines between the months of November and June. The remainder of the year can be wet with possibility of typhoons, however this doesn’t have too much of an impact on diving enthusiasts.
Temperature and visibility
Water temperatures are warmest in the summer, reaching bath-like status at a balmy 30°C, whereas during the year the temperature can drop to about 24°C.
Dive Centre or Liveaboard?
Dive centres are plentiful in the many popular touristic areas of the Philippines, making it easy to organize a dive. Note that the safety standards of some dive centres may differ from what you are used to, so it’s always best to select carefully.
Feeling inspired to visit the Philippines? Check out our Philippines travel guide and start planning your next diving trip!
My name is Mahmood and I would like to explore your options with regards to doing my PADI Rescue Diver course in terms of costs and how much would you charge for pleasure dives as I plan to do few of those as well.
It would be highly appreciated if you could let me know as much details and what kind of budget accommodation that you would recommend.
I shall be in the Philippines for roughly a couple of weeks starting by the 8th of September,
I shall be looking forward to receiving your information and please do not hesitate to let me know if you would like to know further information.
Thanks and regards,
I’m Kim, and PADI instructor from Korea.
our member is 3 person.
and our schedule is 12th Aug to 15th Aug.
we want 4D/3N. 3Days Dive. (15th is just check out)
is it a possible to dive and accommodation?
(1 twin bed room / 1 single room)
Hi is it possible to do the open water diving course today or tomorrow morning? we are already here in mabini batangas. Thanks
Dear Ma’am / Sir,
Please quote for the overhauling of BAUER Compressor MOD:I12.14-7.5-5 SN:4203 09391 & 4203 09392.
Thinking about doing a divemaster internship to see if I want to go pro.
I’m rescue diver, but need to do EFR, no equipment. About 250 dives, but only 40 odd logged in the one dive log I can find. Will have that up to about 80 by end September.
Only dive once or twice per year at the moment on liveaboards.
I’m up in Angeles and looking to do it this year some time. Want to spend 30-60 days on it, ideally. Although if I can do it in subic in 3 or 4 weeks I could do it next month.
Can you let me know prices, best times and basically anything I need to know in terms of cheap accomodation, other expenses etc.
Hi, Can you email to me the dive rates in Siargo?
I am looking to complete my Padi rescue diver qualification in the Philippines this summer (in order to eventually become a dive master and instructor), it is short notice but would course dates somewhere between 8/27 and 9/12 be suitable?
I currently have a Padi advanced open water qualification but in order to complete the rescue diver I would also need to do an EFR course as haven’t done one recently enough. It has also been some time since I last dived, although I am confident I will pick it up quickly again, will I need to do a refresher course?
Besides the course I also want to dive recreationally as much as possible between the dates given (as far as my budget will stretch). I need to hire equipment as I am currently travelling in Japan without any diving gear, and I would also need accommodation nearby (as cheaply as possible!)
Would you be able to quote me for the rescue diver course and gear hire (if you offer that) and also please suggest accommodation? Including the cost of accommodation for the period, as well as the course and equipment rental, how many recreational dives could I get for a total budget of approximately $1000?
Thank you for your help,
I am in Siargao until Tuesday.
I would like to do 1 dive with you on Sat or Sunday. Hopefully Cathedral.
I am Divemaster, with 230dives.
I will need full kit.
How much will this cost?
What time/ day could I do this?
Di you pick up? I am staying at Buddha.
Hi! This is Emio from DRT Show team. DRT Show (Diving, Resort and Travel Show) is the largest gathering for dive enthusiasts, and it’s going to be held at Megatrade Hall from 8-10 Sep., 2017. Hope you won’t miss out on this hottest event!
My name is Irene and I am very much interested on taking a diving certificate.
I wonder what the process would look like? Do I need to book several months in advance? How many days does it usually take and so forth?
Thank you in advance
We’re going to Siargao this Sunday until Tuesday and we would like to know how much is the rate per dive per person?
I already know you’re charging 1200 per dive per person without any gear and the boat. Can you let us know how much would it be for everything?
good day, we’re from Cebu and we’re planning to visit Siargao on the 3rd week of November. The diving rate of 1,200 is inclusive of complete gear? thanks
I’d like to enquiry for IDC course program details