Philippines Diving Holidays

Destination Overview

The Philippines is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia consisting of over 7000 islands. The area has a tropical climate with three seasons, a hot dry season that runs from March to May, a rainy season from June to November, and a cool dry season from December to February. This destination is world famous for its exceptional scuba diving, with everything from WWII wrecks to exhilarating drift dives, and large pelagics to record numbers of nudibranch species. If you are looking for a holiday that promises diversity, both in landscapes above and below the water, then look no further.

Manila, the capital, is a wonderful mix of impressive skyscrapers and Spanish colonial architecture. Intramuros, known as the Walled City, is the oldest district and historical centre of Manila, there are many attractions to see and an interesting way to explore is either by horse drawn carriage or bamboo bike! The beach lover’s paradise of Cebu wows visitors with its white sand coves, turquoise waters, and dramatic cliffs, and at the heart is Cebu City a bustling metropolis renowned for its nightlife, and abundance of fantastic restaurants.

Colourful fiestas take place across the Philippines throughout the year, with Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo being the biggest, this weeklong street party runs from sunrise to sunset every January and dates to the time of the Borneo settlers. For wildlife lovers and families, the relaxed vibe of Bohol makes it a great holiday choice, you are guaranteed to get a sighting of Tarsiers, the attractive wide-eyed little primates that are endemic to the Philippines. Combine this with a tour of the iconic Chocolate Hills where you can enjoy panoramic views of an extraordinary landscape of over 1200 conical hills that turn from green to brown in the dry season, hence the name.

The Philippines has so much to offer, with an island to suit every taste. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway on a deserted strip of sand in the middle of the ocean, an adrenaline filled activity holiday with friends and family, or an adventure exploring volcanic landscapes and untamed wilderness, this destination has it all. An island-hopping tour will give you an insight into the wonderful history and culture, and a chance to experience some of the beauty of the Philippines which will no doubt leave you wanting for more. For those looking for something extra special we can combine a diving holiday with a city stopover where you can enjoy a wide array of sightseeing and culinary delights along with superb diving and snorkelling.

Average temperatures in the dry season (November-May) Air 25-27°c / Sea 24-28°c

Average temperatures in wet season (June-October) Air 26-28°c / Sea 26-28°c

Diving Information

The Philippines has thousands of dive sites offering incredible diversity meaning that whatever your dive experience and interest you will be spoilt for choice. Below are just some of the highlights of this fantastic destination that draws divers from all over the world.

Coron Bay has, without a doubt, the best wreck diving in Southeast Asia. In September 1944 US bombers blew apart a Japanese supply fleet that were hiding amongst the islands leaving many wrecks packed into one relatively small area. Depths range from 12m to 40m and each ship is as intriguing as the last, mostly intact, and full of interesting artifacts. With coral encrusted decks and an abundance of marine life, divers will enjoy both exploring the exterior of the shipwrecks as well as penetrating deep inside where passageways lead to lower levels where you will find engine rooms and workshops filled with tools, and kitchens complete with pots and pans.

If you are critter crazy then Dumaguete should be on your bucket list, world famous for its muck diving and critter life but also home to stunning reefs and passing pelagics. The list of critters is almost endless with flamboyant cuttlefish, seahorses, frogfish, blue ring, Mototi and coconut octopus, to name but a few. Apo Island is just 30 minutes away by boat and has an exciting drift dive called the Washing Machine!

Puerto Galera is another destination where macro subjects can be found in abundance. With over 30 world class dives sites just minutes from shore you can be promised schooling reef fish, including jacks, snappers, trigger fish, groupers, trevally and barracuda, there are also some beautiful coral reefs to explore. A day trip to Verde Island should not be missed, and Canyons is another popular area, where currents sweep divers through three spectacular channels covered in sponges and soft corals.

Malapascua is famous for having some of the best shark diving in the Philippines, the area is known for being the only place in the world where the thresher shark can be seen within recreational diver limits on a regular basis. Monad Shoal is a flat-topped seamount used as a cleaning station by thresher sharks, divers will need to be there at dawn for the best sightings, and encounters with manta ray are likely here too. The macro diving at Malapascua is also first class, you can hope to come face to face with many weird and wonderful creatures including various species of nudibranch, sea horses, octopus, pipefish and frog fish.

Moalboal and Bohol combined make for scuba diving holiday that is quite unforgettable. Experience Mandarin night dives, huge walls with ledges and overhangs, tunnels and swim throughs, colourful corals, gorgonian sea fans, turtles, sharks, dolphins, and even passing whale sharks. There is also macro in abundance including nudibranch, frogfish, blue spotted ray, and octopus.