8 Spots for Scuba Diving in the Philippines - The Complete Guide

The Philippines is considered to be one of the best diving destinations in the world. Scuba Diving in the Philippines is a diver’s paradise boasting of an extravagant aquatic life. An exotic variety of marine animals, aquatic life and aquatic architecture, make for a beautiful diving experience, and it should be on the bucket list of every marine lover.

8 Spots for Scuba Diving in the Philippines

1. Coron Bay 

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Coron Bay is considered to offer one of the best wreck diving experiences in the world, with a large number of wrecks packed in relatively a small area. Most of the wrecks are still intact and can be explored with ease. The visibility is slightly low due to the constant flow of planktons, but it still makes for a beautiful diving experience.

In addition to the wrecks, a large variety of marine and coral life attracts divers from around the world. The most famous wreck of the lot is Okikawa Maru, a 160m tanker. Tourists can enjoy themselves getting lost in the stories while looking at them firsthand.

Dive Type - Wreck          
Difficulty Level -  Beginner 
Watch out for - Macro-critters hidden in the wrecks

2. Tubbataha Reef

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This is one of the most secluded and visited spots for scuba diving in the Philippines. It is home to the Tubbataha Reef Natural Park, which is Unesco World Heritage Site. It is accessible and open only from March to June. The untouched waters here make for a serene diving experience, with the reef boasting a variety of coral and marine life.

The most attractive attraction here is Amos Rock which is a gorgonian-covered wall covered with corals. With more than 600 species of fish and 360 species of coral, this place makes for the most exciting and wonderful diving experience one can hope for.
Dive Type - Reef       
Difficulty Level -  Intermediate           
Watch out for - Reef sharks and big schools of Reef fish.

3. Anilao

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With exuberant marine life, this place boasts of an exotic and diverse range of fishes and corals. The calm waters make for a comfortable diving experience. It offers a range of things to see, including wrecks, coral gardens and coral-patch muck sites. The region is the most biodiverse in the area and is considered one of the more popular scuba diving spots in the Philippines. An attraction to not miss here is Manit Muck at night to see the fauna and flora come to life.

Dive Type - Muck
Difficulty Level - Beginner to Intermediate      
Watch out for - Mantis Shrimp, Octopus and SeaHorse

4. Puerto Galera

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One of the most easily accessible scuba diving spots in the Philippines is, Puerto Galera located close to Manila. It is characterized by clear waters and exotic and diverse marine life. The increased visibility increases the chances to spot rare marine life and enjoy the beauty of the corals. A large variety of species of fishes and corals make for a diverse diving experience. The highlight of this place is Canyons where divers can explore through three gorgeous canyons covered in a variety of soft corals and sponges.

Dive Type - Drift    
Difficulty Level - Beginner to Intermediate         
Watch out for - Barracuda, Batfish, Snappers and Trevally

5. Donsol

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This is one of the main migratory routes of the ocean and thus is a hotspot for exotic and rare marine life. The untouched waters make for a spectacular diving experience. A mild current flows through this site and thus is home to a large plankton life. It also boasts of a diverse aquatic life with several aquatic plants growing in the area. The highlight of this diving site is the large number of Manta Rays present in the area due to the large concentration of planktons. Another reason for it being famous is the presence of Whale Sharks which are magnificent creatures to admire.

Dive Type - Drift 
Difficulty Level - Intermediate   
Watch out for - Manta Rays and Whale sharks

6. Malapascua

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This is the best shark sighting dive site in the Philippines and is home to many Thresher sharks. In addition to these sharks, a large number of Manta Rays can also be spotted in this area. The crystal clear waters make it easy enough to spot these creatures without even diving. The diving experience is a very peaceful one with the calm water and these magnificent creatures swirling around. The highlight of this diving site is the Monad Shoal which is a flat-topped submerged seamount. A large number of sharks roam about this area.

Dive Type - Shoal  
Difficulty Level - Advanced   
Watch out for - Thresher sharks
7. Apo Reef
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This is the second-largest coral reef in the world and is also a Unesco World Heritage Site. It is the Apo Reef Natural Park home and is known for its exotic and diverse marine life. This is one of the most challenging dive sites, and prerequisites include at least 100 dives done before diving here. The most commonly spotted marine life here includes reef sharks, thresher sharks, hammerheads and manta rays. The clear water also enables beginner divers and tourists to watch the marine life from above. The most attractive attraction of this place is the Apo 29.

Dive Type - Seamount        
Difficulty Level - Advanced    
Watch out for - Thresher sharks, Manta rays, Reef Sharks and Hammerheads

8. Boracay

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The diving experience here is one of the most unique diving experiences one can imagine. The untouched waters make for an enthralling diving experience. The diverse aquatic life includes the likes of Tuna and sharks. The highlight of this place is Yapak which is a 106ft wall. Divers can explore and go down the sides of these walls, enjoying the soft sponges and corals growing upon them. With luck, it is also possible to see the rare Mola Mola.

Dive Type - Wall 
Difficulty Level - Advanced     
Watch out for - Tuna, Pygmy Seahorses and Nudibranchs

Cost and Training

The average cost of a diving session is 4000 PHP, which is inclusive of transportation, guide and diving equipment. The divers can get trained at any of the local diving trainers available in every area where this is conducted. Usually, these schools accompany the tourists in their dives and arrange for all necessary equipment and items required.

Best Time for Scuba Diving in the Philippines

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The best time to engage in scuba diving in the Philippines is from March to June, which is the summer season. Characterized by clear skies and warm temperature, it makes for the perfect conditions to dive. The temperature of the water is ideal for a dive not being too cold or too warm. The weather ensures calm seas, and the clear skies ensure good visibility underwater, thus making it the perfect time to dive.

This post was published by Naman Chindalia

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