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The Philippines can offer divers of all experience some fascinating and exciting dive sites. Below we look at 10 of the most popular haunts for divers to explore in the Philippines:

Dive Anilao

Anilao is perhaps the best known and the most highly developed of the diving resorts in the Philippines.

Anilao is situated 2.5 hours south of Manila, the capital city of the Philippines and offers dive sites suitable for novice and experienced divers. The waters around Anilao feature sandy slopes, drop-off and walls and visibility is generally very good.

In fact, Anilao offers more than 25 dive sites, including those around the islands of Maricaban and Sombrero, which are a short boat trip away. Dives cost approximately £15 each on average and the best time to visit is between October and June.

Whaleshark
Whale Shark

Dive Subic Bay

Subic Bay is a smaller dive resort, situated 2.5 hours to the northwest of Manila. Subic Bay was once the largest US naval base in the Far East and features a number of notable shipwrecks, including the USS New York.

This wreck offers dives to a depth of approximately 90 feet, during which divers can see barracuda, grouper, lionfish and rays, among other species.

However, diving this wreck is potentially highly dangerous, so experience is necessary. Nevertheless, Subic Bay also contains numerous other shipwrecks within reach of the recreational diver.

Dive Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera, situated to the north of Mindoro Island, is another renowned Philippine diving resort. Puerto Galera is situated approximately 80 miles south of Manila, but just 14 miles, or about 2 hours, away from Batangas on Luzon Island.

Puerto Galera offers numerous dive sites with depths down to 250 feet or more. However, the waters around Puerto Galera are strongly influenced by the currents of the South China Sea. Currents in the area can be fierce – sometimes up to 6 knots – so some sites are for experienced divers only.

Dive Busuanga

The Busuanga group of islands, in the northern part of Palawan, is famous for its concentration of wrecked Japanese warships, sunk by US forces during World War II. Many of the wrecks lie in relatively shallow waters, less than 130 feet deep.

The wrecked Japanese tanker, known as the Okikawa Maru, is one of the largest and most enjoyable dive sites in the area. The tanker is covered from bow to stern with coral and offers a variety of marine life. Depending on the tide, visibility in the region can vary between 15 and 50 feet.

Planning a scuba trip to the Philippines? Then you should download the ultimate scuba dive checklist just like 5000+ other divers already so you will not forget to bring anything.

Dive Cabilao Island

Cabilao Island is one of the smaller Philippine islands, with an area of just over 3 square miles. Its location, in the Visayan Sea between the islands of Bohol and Cebu, provides some excellent dive sites for both novice and experienced divers.

Cabilao is designated as a marine reserve and, as such, is subject to conservation fees of approximately £1.50 per person entering the reserve.

Frogfish
frogfish

Dive Balicasag Island

Balicasag Island lies in the Bohol Sea, close to the island of Panglao. It is home to the aptly-named Divers' Heaven dive site, which features a vertical drop between about 20 feet and 130 feet for wall diving.

The shallower waters around Balicasag Island are dominated by hard corals. The diverse marine ecosystem includes angel fish, scorpion fish and wrasse, among other exotic species. Hammerhead sharks and whale sharks can often be seen during the months of December and January.

Dive Moalboal

Moalboal is a small provincial town situated to the southwest of Cebu Island. Moalboal offers over 30 dive sites suitable for novice and experienced divers.

One of the main features of Moalboal is Pescador Island, which boasts a wide variety of hard and soft coral and marine life. Whale sharks, thresher sharks, turtles and giant shoals of sardines are commonplace in the area.

Thresher_shark
Thresher Shark

Moalboal is approximately 2.5 hours away, by road, from Mactan-Cebu International Airport. The airport is well served by hourly flights from Manila, so no boat transfer is necessary.

Dive Apo Island

Apo Island, which can be reached easily from Dumaguete in the province of Negros Oriental, is a popular destination for experienced divers.

Vertical drop-offs on the northern, eastern and southern sides of the island and strong currents mean that Apo Island in unsuitable for beginners. Apo Island is surrounded by hard and soft corals and is home to over 500 species of fish.

Dive Malapascua

Malapascua is a small island located approximately 5 miles to the northwest of Cebu Island. Malapascua features a white sandy beach on one side and a rocky coastline on the other. The waters around Malapascua feature a variety of hard and soft coral. Thresher sharks and manta rays are often seen in the vicinity.

Dive Tubbataha Reefs National Park

The Tubbataha Reefs National Park is a World Heritage Site situated in the middle of the Sulu Sea. The National Park consists of two reefs, 4 miles apart, but covers a total of approximately 128 square miles. The conditions in the region dictate that the diving season runs from the end of March to June

Would you like to scuba dive the Philippines or have you been already? Let us know in the comments below

Feel free to contact us. We have multiple partners that offer dive packages + accommodation and scuba lessons in the Philippines too.

Planning a scuba trip to the Philippines? Then you should download the ultimate scuba dive checklist just like 5000+ other divers already so you will not forget to bring anything.

Pics by Neptune Diving Adventure and Thresher Shark Divers

Article written by Rutger Thole who is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.

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