10 Diving Destinations Around the Philippines
Trying to decide where to go on your next dive holiday? Choose a destination and find a resort with our handy list.
The Philippines is recognized as one of the world's best diving destinations, and for good reason. The Philippines' tropical waters are renowned for their rich marine biodiversity, harboring a wide range of coral reefs, macro species, and pelagics. Our seas are also the final resting place for several American and Japanese wrecks from World War II, most of which are very well preserved. Many locales have gained prominence specifically as diving destinations, with full service dive resorts cropping up in these areas as a result. Here are ten destinations where divers will find everything needed for a complete dive holiday.
Batangas, particularly Anilao, is one of the Luzon's most frequented diving destinations, as it is very close to Manila and accessible for day trips from the country's capital. Anilao is a favorite destination for macro diving, with a spectacular range of nudibranch species. The diving is appropriate for novices and experienced divers alike. Aside from Anilao, which is located in the town of Mabini, the neighboring town of Bauan and the towns of San Juan and Nasugbu are thickly populated with dive resorts. Click here to find dive resorts in Batangas.
In Bohol, the best dive sites are located around Panglao Island, particularly the Balicasag and Pamilacan Islands. Balicasag has a marine sanctuary with a steep vertical walls and a good range of hard and soft corals. Both islands are accessible on day trips from Panglao, which has a wide selection of resorts. Click here to find dive resorts in Bohol.
Boracay Island in Aklan is mostly known for its beaches and nightlife, but there are also many dive sites around the island. A number of the resorts in Boracay have dive shops and offer both introductory dives that require no certification, as well as certification courses and fun dives for certified divers. Click here to find dive resorts in Boracay.
The volcanic island province of Camiguin has a few dive sites, with sites like the reef at Cabuan Point just recently discovered. The Sunken Cemetery, one of the island's historical attractions, is also a popular site, though the area only has a reef with soft corals, and there are no ruins but the cross marker that tops the site. Click here to find dive resorts in Camiguin.
Cebu's beaches have many resorts which offer diving, but the most popular areas for diving by far in the province are Malapascua and Moalboal. Malapascua Island in the north is known for its thresher sharks, while Pescador Island in Moalboal is the site of the recently observed sardine run phenomenon. Click here to find dive resorts in Cebu.
Perhaps the Philippines' most internationally known beach next to Boracay is Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro. There are a number of good dive sites just off the coast of Sabang Beach, and around Verde Island, which is located between Mindoro and Batangas. Occidental Mindoro, on the other hand, is home to Apo Reef, the world's second largest reef and a center of marine biodiversity, with hundreds of different types of corals, as well as sharks, mantas, and sting rays. The reef is located in the open water and can also be accessed through Busuanga in Palawan. Click here to find dive resorts in Oriental Mindoro and here to find dive resorts in Occidental Mindoro.
The seas around the coast of Negros Occidental and the nearby island province of Siquijor are rich in marine life. The world renowned marine sanctuary at Apo Island is recognized as a successful community driven effort to restore a depleted marine habitat, and is popularly known as Clownfish City for the large population of different species of clownfish. Most of the dive resorts in the area are clustered in the town of Dauin, but there are also some resorts on Apo Island itself. Click here to find dive resorts in Negros Oriental.
Palawan offers a wide range of diving destinations, the most notable of which are Coron and Tubbataha. Coron and Busuanga are known for their wreck sites and reefs, while Tubbataha, a pelagic zone which is accessible through liveaboard, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its rich marine life. Click here to find dive resorts in Palawan.
Sorsogon's coastline is dotted with dive sites. Though not one of the more popular dive destinations as of yet, a number of dive resorts have begun to appear around the province. Click here to find dive resorts in Sorsogon.
The site of a US military naval base, the bay in Subic is rich in shipwrecks, including the Japanese ships Oryoku and Seian Maru and the American wreck USS New York. Click here to find dive resorts in Subic.