Philippines

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

Philippines has some of the best diving that Southeast Asia has to offer. From the thresher sharks of Malapascua and exhilarating drift dives, to large pelagics of Bohol and a record number of critter species, to claim that the Philippines offers stunning marine diversity really is an understatement. We have hand-picked some of the best boutique resorts in stunning settings that offer an exceptional diving experience.

Puerto Galera

Situated approx. 100 miles from Manila, Puerto Galera is home to a record 3,000+ species of fish, over 400 species of coral, as well as in excess of 180 species of nudibranch. With its 30+ dive sites, there is something for everyone. Closely located to the Verde Island Passage, a day trip brings hope to see threatened species such as a variety of sea turtles including hawksbills, olive ridleys, and green turtles, humphead wrasses, giant groupers and giant clams.

Dumaguete

On the south-eastern tip of the island of Negros, you will find Dumaguete. If you’re looking for macro then Dumaguete should be on your bucket list – it is 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. Excursion are available to Apo Island, just 30 minutes away by boat, and famous for its stunning coral reefs, abundant marine life and turtle sanctuary.

Malapascua

A tiny, lush tropical island with the most beautiful beach, easily accessed from Cebu, and renowned for its year-round thresher shark encounters. At certain times of year, the dive sites around the island can be frequented by hammerheads as well as the majestic giant manta ray. Malapascua also offers superb macro diving, the rare blue ring octopus is often sighted in this area, along with colourful frogfish, ornate nudibranch’s and all your other critter favourites.

Moalboal

3hrs south of Cebu city and you arrive in the small town of Moalboal, boasting its own year-round sardine run, but that’s not all. The local reefs support an amazing amount of marine life, from schools of barracuda, jackfish and batfish as well as a huge diversity of smaller reef fish. A couple of miles offshore, the island of Pescador is a must! All of the above but with added tunnels and swim-throughs, amazingly natural light, makes this a wide-angle delight.

Bohol

Home to the famous “chocolate hills” but that’s not all it’s famed for… for us divers, it has to be its whale sharks! The Philippines has one of the biggest whale shark populations in the world! The chances of you seeing a passing whale shark during your dives on Bohol are pretty good. Bohol boasts from the XXS (black hairy frog fish & pygmy seahorses) to the XXL (whale shark and manta). Combine Maolboal and Bohol and you can tick all your boxes.

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