Best Diving Spots in the Philippines: 10 Destinations for an Unforgettable Underwater Adventure
If you’d ask scuba divers where’s the best place to dive in the world, for sure, the Philippines is on their list. With 7,641 islands to explore, it makes sense that the Philippines is one of the best diving destinations in the world because there are many great diving spots in the Philippines.
What invites the divers across the world is the Philippines’ water treasure. They have spectacular reefs, whale sharks, mantas and underwater UNESCO World Heritage sites. No wonder the Philippines has been recognized as the world’s leading diving destination in the 2019 World Travel Awards.
Here are the top 10 best diving spots in the Philippines!
1. Tubbataha Reefs, Sulu Sea
Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Palawan, in the heart of the Sulu Sea. It is rich with such great underwater creatures and reefs that’s why many would agree that Tubbataha is the best diving spot in the Philippines.
However, Tubbataha is only for experienced divers as the currents can be dangerous. The rewards are great, though—sightings of white and blacktip reef sharks, whale sharks, mantas, turtles and hammerheads.
This definitely tops the 5 diving spots in the Philippines.
2. Anilao, Batangas
One of the country’s most popular diving spots is Anilao, Batangas. Anilao is rich with beautiful sightings of colorful coral reefs, fishes, turtles, sharks, barracuda, pygmy seahorses, and rare critters. It’s a great diving spot in Batangas because it’s literally a heaven-on-earth for muck diving, blackwater diving, and macro photography.
3. Coron, Palawan
If you’re the kind of diver who seeks history underwater, then Coron is the best place to be! Coron is home to several World War II wrecks; Japanese supply ships that were sunk by American forces in the battle of Coron Bay in September 1944.
Vessels like Akitsushima, Iraku and Olympia Maru are big, ghostly and fascinating to visit. And to add to Coron diving spots, make sure you also dive the famous Barracuda Lake and Gunter’s Cathedral.
4. Apo Reef, Mindoro
Often referred to as “little Tubbataha,” Apo Reef Natural Park is a 27,469-hectare natural marine park between Mindoro and Palawan provinces.
Apo Reef is home to the world’s second-largest continuous coral reef, and the largest atoll in the Philippines. You’ll see plenty of sharks, turtles, bumphead parrotfish, huge schools of snappers and tuna, manta and eagle rays, as well as other pelagic species. That’s why many divers consider this as one of the greatest diving spots in the Philippines.
5. Dauin, Dumaguete
Another world-class diving spot in the Philippines is in the province of Negros Oriental. Most of the best diving spots in the Philippines are located along the coastline of Dauin in Dumaguete City.
The place is best known for its excellent muck diving, great coral reefs nearby, and its assortment of luxurious beachfront dive resorts which are relatively affordable compared to other diving destinations in the world.
Dauin closes the list of our top 5 diving spots in the Philippines.
6. Moalboal, Cebu
Don’t be surprised when millions of sardines welcome and swim with you when you dive in Moalboal. Seeing the huge school of sardines is the highlight of diving there, making this one of the best diving spots in the Philippines.
Another great diving spot in Moalboal is Pescador Island, just a 10-minute boat ride off the beach. There’s also a sunk Cessna plane wreck at Rhonda Bay with some massive gorgonian fans at 30 meters best for morning dives.
Moalboal delivers a good array of great diving with little effort required to access it. This is perfect for backpackers and scuba diving newbies.
7. Malapascua Island, Cebu
Aside from being one of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines, Malapascua is also a great Cebu diving spot.
It is most famous for the almost certain chance to see Thresher Sharks. You can also see whitetip reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, manta rays, devil rays, mandarin fish, pygmy seahorses, ornate ghost pipefish, frogfish, blue-ringed octopus and a huge variety of nudibranchs and shrimps.
The best diving spots in Moalboal are Monad Shoal, Gato Island, and Kemod Shoal.
8. Donsol, Sorsogon
Swimming with the whale sharks is the most famous activity in Donsol, Sorsogon but it is now emerging as one of the top diving destinations in the Philippines. It boasts of an impressive mix of corals, rock, and sandy bottom formations.
Donsol has become famous to the tourists because of its abundance of marine life and fish species. There are also some wrecks in the area but only those with technical diving experience can go there.
9. Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
Just like the diving spot in Batangas, Puerto Galera is just close to Manila. It’s just a 2-hour drive which makes it frequented by tourists in search of diving spots without hopping on a plane.
Puerto Galera is a diving paradise boasting its crystal clear waters and abundant marine life. While there are several dive sites worthy to be noted, the most sought after spot is Canyons where currents sweep divers through three beautiful canyons covered in a variety of soft corals and sponges. And while inside these structures, you’ll find large schools of fish including barracudas, batfish, snappers, emperors, and trevally.
Bohol is mostly known because of its Chocolate Hills but aside from this, the province is also becoming famous for its great scuba diving spots that include the islands of Balicasag, Cabilao, and Panglao.
What attracts scuba divers there is the great diversity of marine life there. You can find eels, octopus, sea snakes, many different species of fish, hammerhead sharks, and of course, the coral reefs.
Suba Lagoon, Siargao
To complete the list of diving spots in the Philippines, we’ll close it with Siargao’s Sugba Lagoon. It is a famous Siargao diving spot because of its great view and turquoise waters. Although it’s one of the famous diving spots in the Philippines, tourists go here just to take photos for the fear of heights. Whatever the case is, Sugba Lagoon is a great place to be!
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