Aside from our pristine white sand beaches, idyllic landscape, and crystal clear waters, the Philippines is also known for its colorful and diverse underwater world. Despite having traveled quite extensively here in the Philippines (both diving and lazing around on beaches), we never fail to be amazed by what we see. We’ve had many unforgettable underwater encounters from swimming with 30ft. whale sharks to millions and millions of sardines. If you are an avid diver, or even just fancy lazing around at some of the most stunning beaches, the Philippines has many spots to choose from. Here are 5 of them.
5 Amazing Dive Spots in the Philippines
photo source: alterra.cc
Known as the last frontier of untouched beauty, this UNESCO world heritage site is located in the Sulu Sea. It is a perfect example of a pristine coral reef with a remarkable 100m perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands. The dives here are truly one of a kind and a must do for every avid diver. Although most of the dive spots are only accessible by live-aboard dive boats, the rewards are worth it as white and black tip reef sharks, whale sharks, mantas, turtles and hammerheads are often spotted here. Naturally, since it is only accessible by live-aboard boats, the price tag on diving here is quite steep, but is well worth it as each dive boasts of amazing underwater bio diversity.
How to get there: Fly to Puerto Princessa, Palawan
4. Coron, Palawan
Photo source: adventureinyou.com
If the many uninhabited islands and amazing white sand beaches are not enough to make you want to go to Palawan, how about diving through WWII shipwrecks? Home to many wrecks of large Japanese supply ships that were sunk by American forces, diving here provides you with an unreal experience as you swim through dilapidated engine rooms next to large groupers. Don’t miss out on diving in Barracuda Lake, which will quite literally give you an out-of-this-world diving experience as swimming through it looks like a scene from outer space. Want to know what it feels like to do wreck diving? Check out this video.
How to get there: Fly to Busuanga, Palawan or take the 2GO Ferry from Manila
3. Apo Reef
photo source: photec.co.uk
This beauty is a 27,469-hectare natural Marine Park between Mindoro and Palawan province, home to the largest atoll in the Philippines and the world’s second largest continuous coral reef. If you dive here, you are bound to see plenty of shark sightings, manta rays and many more impressive animals like large groupers, schools of snapper and bumphead parrotfish. Some spots are limited to experienced divers due to the strong currents, though.
How to get there: Fly to San Jose, Mindoro
2. Moal Boal, Cebu
Photo source: adventureinyou.com
This place will always be special to me as this was where I first began my love affair with the underwater world. The diving spots here are very diverse as there are slopes and walls, small caves and canyons, and many bright and colorful coral reefs. Schools of jacks and tuna are often seen here alongside turtles. Take a trip to Pescador Island where you can find sharks and walls covered with soft coral, which is home to octopus, moray eels, snake-eels, nudibranches and many more.
How to get here: Fly to Mactan, Cebu
1. Anilao, Batangas
This is a haven for diving enthusiasts living in Manila as this dive spot is just a couple of hours away from the city. Despite being so close to Manila, Anilao boasts of great spots. It is particularly great for muck diving and underwater macro photography. Hairy Frogfish, Blue-Ringed Octopus, cuttlefish and loads of nudibranches can be found here. Night diving is also quite an experience here.
How to get here: From Manila, drive to Mabini Batangas or take a bus or shuttle to Lemery town proper where you can take a trike to the dive schools.
New to scuba diving? Check out this article about scuba diving in the Philippines. Between the beautiful white sand beaches and diverse marine life, the Philippines definitely has a lot of things to offer. Aside from small fish and other pelagics, awesome large creatures such as whale sharks can also be spotted while diving. This article about diving in Samal Island is the perfect example. Do you have any other favorite dive spots?