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Best Diving Spots in the Philippines

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Dear Expatch readers,

The summer season might be over but it’s definitely not too late to go scuba diving! The Philippines’ pristine beaches offer divers a serene and diverse underwater paradise. Here’s a list of the best diving spots that will surely heighten your underwater experience. Add these to your bucket list or if use this if you don’t have any plans this weekend.

Happy diving!

1. Sabang Bay, Puerto Galera



It is one of the most famous dive sites in Puerto Galera and the photographers’ Mecca.

The three wrecks- a small steel yacht and two wooden boats in different stages of decay- host more life than you can see.  There is a school of batfish nearby that attract smaller damsels, butterfly fish and surgeon fish. There are also numerous camouflaged scorpion fish and stone fish living on the wrecks. Underneath you’ll find giant moray eels, lion fish, crabs and shrimps as well as catfish and squirrel fish hiding during the day. Other marine life like stargazers, snake eels, flounders, pipe fish and frog fish populate the area. With a great guide, you might also encounter some robust ghost pipe fish, ornate ghost pipe fish, moth fish, flying gurnards and leaf fish trying to blend in the sand. You can come back for a great night dive when the shrimps, hermit crabs, horse shoe crabs, sponge crabs, decorator crabs, cuttle fish, squids, pleurobranchs, flatworms and moray eels hunting for food.

Sabang Wrecks (Depth: 45-55ft, Time to Site: 1 minute)


2. Taiei Maru Wreck, Coron



This is the largest and most enjoyed wreck dive in Busuanga. The  200 meter long Japanese Tanker  is totally covered in  beautiful corals and offers a large variety of marine life. For wreck divers,  the dive trough the propeller shaft and the tank systems is awesome!  For beginner divers it’s a great wreck to explore at moderate depths. Depth ranges from 9 meters to max. 26 m. The deck is between 9 m and 16 m. There are many penetration possibilities for wreck divers as well. Always keep in mind that strong tide currents often affect this wreck. Recommended. education level: 1. Diving outside the deck with no strong current. Open Water Diver 2. Penetration and / or current. Advanced Open Water Diver, Wreck specialty Diver.


3. Yapak 2, Boracay



The waters are blue, and plunging into its depths is like entering another world. The biggest treats here are the marine life forms. Early morning divers will likely come across the manta rays. Other creatures you will see are the green sea turtles, eagle ray and white tip reef sharks. The red bass, sweetlips, tuna and other fish can be seen all around. The manta rays and sharks can be seen if you go as deep as 60 meters. The waters are very clear, and the visibility is very good. This means you can see the attractions without too much trouble.

The regular dive minimum depth is 30 meters. The maximum depth is 60 meters. You can only venture into the maximum depths if you possess a tech diver certification. The Yapak 2 dive site in Boracay is ideal for experienced divers with advanced diving certificates. The site usually has mild currents, but this can get strong. A guide is absolutely necessary for handling the stronger currents. Do not attempt this dive alone if you are a novice.


4. Sombrero, Anilao



Sombrero Island is named after its shape which resembles a sombrero(hat). This is one of the best locations for novices, under water photographers and experienced divers. It has thousands of different kinds of fauna including nudibranch,  where sometimes you see them mate, small caverns on the drop off side that are inhabited by  Red Toothed trigger fish,  Black Lion fish and annteas that turn the water red occasionally.On the mid water by the drop off side you will see schools of Rainbow Runner, Surgeon fish, Red Fusilier and some Gigantic Puffer fish. Sombrero has  a wide shallow area around the west side and the bottom is composed of hundreds of big boulders of rocks which is covered in many kinds of marine life. The dive here is usually one way for bigger and longer area coverage.

Depth: 8m.-25m./26ft.-82ft. in depth, about 15 minutes from the resort, visibility is from 10m.-25m./33ft.-82ft., with slight to moderate current that flows from any direction but occasionally no current.


5. The Pier, Dumaguete



The Pier is in the top 5 dive sites in Dumaguete,  Philippines. It is literally a pier that was used by a shipping company. With only a ten minute drive from downtown Dumaguete, you will find the Pier to be one of the most interesting places because you are diving into the pillars of a standing pier that reaches out towards the ocean. These pillars are full of micro organisms such as ghost pipe fishes and little fishes and crabs. This dive will astonish and probably scare you at the same time due to its structure.


6. Canyons, Puerto Galera



Probably one of the best dive sites in Puerto Galera. 3 canyons form this fantastic dive site. Normally a strong drift dive with a lot of action and fish. Sweet lips, batfish, trevally, groupers, drummers, snappers, etc. It´s all here and if you are lucky a turtle, octopus or maybe even a resting shark. Big gorgonian fans and pink soft corals cover the whole area. With a maximum depth of 30 meters/ 100 feet and strong current it is NOT a beginners dive. Nitrox strongly recommended.


7. Monad Shoal, Malapascua



Monad Shoal is a world famous dive site located in Malapascua. It is a sunken island at about 20 meters that is a well known cleaning station for Thresher Sharks. These rare and graceful creatures can grow up to six meters in length and can usually be seen during the early hours of the morning. Although dive schools in Malapascua cannot guarantee Thresher Sharks on every dive to Monad Shoal, you would be very unlucky not to spot them if you had a few days to dive there. On the other hand, if you are lucky you might end up seeing the Threshers and Manta Rays on the same dive


8. Coconut, Apo Island



Coconut Point is in the west center of the north side of Apo Island. With the deepest depth of 25 meters, it generally has a strong undercurrent which is also responsible for pulling in many kinds of fish. Its major appeal is the presence of white reef sharks and fabulous corals like the Sarcophython and the Dendrophylia. Mamsa Point, on the other hand, is named after the Mamsa fish, the local name for jack fish which teem in this zone. It has a depth of 15 meters where a bounty of gorgonians can be found and other fishes such as groupers, lion fish and scorpion fish.


9. Divers Heaven, Balicasag



Divers Heaven has a wall dive that starts about 10 meters, but does go as deep as 40 meters. There is usually a good chance of seeing large schools of jack fish and barracuda; as well as turtles and moray eels. Currents are usually mild meaning that the site is suitable for a wide range of divers. One will encounter many Gold Band Fusilier, Big-mouth Mackerel, Midnight Snapper, Red-tooth Trigger fish and turtles. Between 10 and 15m are great corals like Brown Daisy coral  and some big Bucket sponges.


10. Apo Reef



Apo Reef is the second largest contiguous coral reef in the world and the largest one in the Philippines. The Apo Reef Natural Park consists of the three islands. Apo Reef is the largest among the three islands. It has a shallow lagoon with a depth of 2 meters to 10 meters surrounded by mangrove forest which serves as source of food, nursery and spawning ground of several coastal and marine species of fauna and sanctuary of birds. Its diverse corals are approximately 34 sq. km. of reef where different species of fish, marine mammals and invertebrates thrive. It  is also  a platform that is a submerged of a 34 sqkm sub triangular northern m and southern atoll like reefs separated by a 30-m deep channel that is open to the west The channel runs east to west from 1.8 m to 30 m deep with a fine white sand bottom numerous mounds and patches of branching corals under the deep blue water.


11. Crocodile Island, Boracay



It has an enormous marine life which makes your diving expedition an outstanding experience. While inCrocodile Island, through diving or snorkeling, you will get the chance to see the beautiful collection of corals along with the wide diversity of fish. Some of the marine life you will encounter are schools of fish, nudibranch, lion fish, scorpion fish, moray eels, cuttle fish, sea snakes, gorgonian fan corals and a lot more. Fish life also includes wrasses, sweetlips, groupers, snappers and banded sea snakes




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