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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.