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Philippine Scuba Diving Vacations

Philippine Scuba Diving

The Philippines is a top scuba diving vacation destination for many years now. Scuba diving is one of the most popular water sport activity in the Philippines. The country possesses a wide variety of major scuba diving vacation sites for both novices and experts from all over the world. Visiting underwater photographers almost always get enchanted with the underwater beauty of the Philippine seas.

The Philippines has one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world. More than 800 species of corals, small to giant fishes, various-sized and textured shells, and other marine life exist under its deep blue waters.

Moreover, there is a ongoing re-education of fishermen into the value of protecting life under the sea. Today, reefs are almost back to their full ecosystems. Fish numbers are up and any diver will surely see abundant and diverse species in the tropical waters.

The best Philippine Scuba Diving destinations are located in Subic bay, Anilao Batangas, Puerto Galera in Mindoro, Boracay in Panay Negros, Mactan, Malapascua and Moalboal in Cebu, Panglao and Balicasag in Bohol, Bacuit Bay or El Nido and Coron Bay in Palawan. The dive industry here is well run and there is no shortage of great and diverse dive destinations to choose from.

Philippine Scuba Diving:
Wreck Diving in La Union

In La Union, Research Reef is located about 10 minutes ride straight out from Ocean Deep. It begins in about 25 feet and drops gradually to 100 feet where it become sandy.
Tamayo Reef is the northern part of Research on the charts and it has many taller valleys and big coral heads.
Hashi Maru wreck is a Japanese freighter, which was sunk by US Bombs in 1941 and lies in 75 feet of water on the edge of the reef.
The Voice of America, the Wallace Lighthouse and the Radar Domes of Wallace all are located along the Poro Point Peninsula. The reef begins on the shore and extends out about 300 meters from shore.
The red buoy area is on the right side of the harbor on return where you can see several varieties of fish and eagle rays.
The black buoy on the northern entrance to the harbor have many tunnels and caverns containing lobsters, groupers, and jacks.
South Fagg reef begins about 20 feet and can drop off to 600 feet.
Fagg North has a well-defined wall, which runs north and south.
Fagg Tanks with the original 3 in. gun and an additional 2,500-pound counter weight in 200 feet of water along with other metal.

Philippine Scuba Diving
Scuba Diving Anilao (Batangas)

Anilao is only 140 km south of Manila making it a popular destination for weekend scuba diving trips. Even scuba diving excursions are ideal in this southern town because diving resorts are within short boat rides from excellent dive sites. It offers the best-known diving in the Philippines. it is best to dive here between November and June.

Diving is mainly in coral slopes and shallow gardens among sandy patches.
Choose from any of the 24 dive sites between the coast of Anilao and Maricaban Island. Ligpo Island has all the reef fishes but when the current is running various pelagic species can be seen out of the depths. The most popular site is the Cathedral (average of 60 ft.), a roofless cavern with a blessed cross flanked by two large sea mounts. The Cathedral is a Marine Park Sanctuary and probably the best known Philippine dive site. Eagle Point has plenty of small reef fish, sponges, nudibranchs and feather stars.

Koala is a good dive for novices with soft corals, some big boulders, small reef fish and anemones with clownfish. Arthur's Rock Offers small coral heads on sand, plenty of small reef fish, sponges, feather stars, soft corals, hydroids and anemones with clownfish.

Twin Rocks sometimes provide sights of shoals of barracuda and squid. Mainit Point has a cave at 23ft in which sharks have been seen resting. Red Rock is an underwater coral with lots of feather stars, nudibranchs, soft corals, hydroids and small fishes. Beatrice Rock is heavily populated with reef fish.

Sombrero Island is located north of Sepok Point, the northern end of Maricaban Island. Bahura consists of slopes, small drop-offs, overhangs and swim-throughs teeming fish life and fierce currents. Layag-Layag teeming with marine life and often has very good visibility. Kirby's Rock is an ideal dive for photographers. Caban Cove is a good dive for novices, with mixed corals and lots of small fish. Daryl Laut is interesting for beginners for it has plenty of the smaller reef fishes.

Philippine Wreck Diving
Wreck Scuba Diving Subic Bay, Olongapo

Outstading historical wrecks in beautiful waters await you in Subic Bay Philippines! Just a 2 1/2-hour drive north of Manila, Subic Bay boasts of interesting wreck dives. Subic wreck scuba diving offers a formidable combination of wrecks like the 19th century Spanish gunboat San Quintin, Japanese luxury liner Oryoku Maru, and the ex-USS New York. The average depth for the six wreck sites is 45 ft.

Situated between Alava Pier and the northern end of the runway, the USS New York lies on its port side in 27 meters (85 feet) of water. The marine life on this site consists of barracuda,talakitok, lionfish, lapu lapu, spotted seet lip, lobster, and spotted rays.

The AN LST vessel is situated between Grande Island and the southern tip of the runway, this landing craft lies in 32 meters, sitting upright with its door open. El Capitan is a small freighter situated near the inner channel marker of Ilanin Bay and inside one can expect to encounter the average tropical fish species of the shallows in this area.

The Oryoku Maru was an outbound passenger ship carrying families as well as 1600 American prisoners of war when it was attacked by American aircraft. The marine life on this site is of a more varied tropical assortment due to the shallow depth.

As you swim through cavernous holds the Japanese cargo vessel Seian Maru, you will encounter talakitok, spotted sweet lip, coral trout and other species of marine life found in this area. Sitting upright the Patrol Boat wreck is a great dive with visibility from 7-13 meters (20-40 feet)and plenty of marine life.
The LCU Landing wreck is a great dive for the underwater photographer.

Philippine Scuba Diving Puerto Galera
Oriental Mindoro

Using Batangas Pier as jump-off point, Puerto Galera is a natural harbor with fine beaches, green scenery and sheltered coves. Puerto Galera has grown to become a diving haven due to its marine diversity, complemented by other activities. The coral reefs that are found in Puerto Galera are alive and vibrant. It has also been regarded as an ideal place to study the ecostructure of plants, animals and micro-organisms.

At least two dozen sites have been identified, each providing good opportunity for photography. Most of the deeper dives are along walls and drop-offs and currents can be strong. All dives are treated as drift-dives; the banca follows your bubbles.

Puerto Galera is also a good place to learn to dive. A novice can explore coral gardens the equal of any in the world. Most divers prefer to go to Puerto Galera from March to October.

There are two recommended dive sites at Escarceo Point (Light House Point), the Canyons and Shark Cave. The Canyons start off from the "hole in the wall" at a shallow 40 feet (12 meters) descending to 90 feet (27 meters) where large pelagic fish are plentiful. The Shark Caves, a series of caves about 80 feet(24 meters below), are so named because whitetip sharks breed and sleep in the dark crevices.

Interesting scuba diving sites: Manila Channel, Coral Gardens, Batangas Channel, The Hill, La Laguna Point, Sabang Point, Monkey Wreck, Monkey Beach, Ernie's Cave, Dungon, Wreck Point, West Escarceo, Hole in the Wall, The Fish Bowl, The Canyons, Shark Cave, The Big Rock, Pink Wall, Kilima Steps, Sinandigan Wall, The Boulders, Verde Island, The Washing Machine, Verde Island - West Point.

Philippine Scuba Diving
Scuba Diving Boracay Island

Boracay, as a magnificent national marine preserve, is one of the most popular diving areas in Southeast Asia with currently eighteen state-of-the-art dive schools offering the entire range of dive activities from basic demonstrations through to advanced level certifications.

Boracay is a great scuba diving vacation location, simply because it combines a wide range of dive activities with one of the best beaches in the world plus the numerous good quality resorts, restaurants, bars and nightlife events.

Boracay is also a good place to start your diving lessons. It has a wide variety of diving, from gentle slopes for the inexperienced to deep drop-offs for the experts. Here, a diver has a big chance to encounter big different fishes. There is a wide variety of colorful corals and shells, big and small corals like the mushroom, table, stony, bubble, cup corals. There are also urchins, starfishes and sponges. Deeper dives may have a close encounter with large sharks.

Diving is good all year round but the best time is around November until June of the year.

Interesting scuba diving sites: Bel-At Beach, Yapak 1, Yapak 2, Punta Bonga, Baling Hai Beach, Friday's Rock, Lobster Rock, Greenyard, Angol, Crocodile Island, Laurel I, Laurel II, Channel Drift, Unidos Point, Nasog Point, Dog Drift, Buruanga, Black Rock, Carabao Island - Cathedral, Carabao Island - Village Reef, Carabao Island - Village Mountain, Carabao Island - West Wall, Maniguin Island - North Face, Maniguin Island - South Face


Philippine Scuba Diving
Cebu Diving

Cebu, "the Queen City of the South", is the oldest and second largest metropolis in the country. It is famous for its fine sandy beaches, ancient forts, exciting nightlife and friendly, hospitable people. Cebu diving offers fantastic divesites just a few minutes away from the Mactan International Airport. Cebu offers luxurious accomodations, plus excellent diving facilities and services.

Mactan has several beach resorts with complete diving facilities. Divesites along the edge of the island are very convenient for beginners and advanced divers alike. There is a slight curernt and a perpendicular drop-off which goes down 30 to 50 meters.

Opposite Mactan is Olango Island where great coral gardens and colorful fishes can be found. The western edge of this reef facing Hilutangan Channel opposite Mactan Island presents beautiful coral gardens and a dense fish population. The eastern side has better coral corners and more game fish. Because of strong currents, this divesite is recommended for experienced divers only.

Diving is possible all year round although the best diving months are December to June.

Interesting Mactan and Cebu diving sites : Capitancillo Island, Talong Island, Olongo Island - Mabini Point, Olongo Island - Mabini Pt to Baring, Olongo Island - Sta Rosa and Poo, Mactan Island - Tambuli, Mactan Island - Amboucuan Point, Mactan Island - Marigondon, East Side of Panganan Islet, East Side of Caohagan Islet, East Side of Lassuan Islet, Kansantik

Philippine Scuba Diving Malapascua,

Malapascua must be one of the least spoilt tourist spots in the Philippines. Tourism is still relatively new in Malapascua Island although it has a handful of resorts and a couple of dive operators. But for the locals life is much as it always was. The island takes about 3 hours to walk round and fantastic views can be seen from the lighthouse.

Malapascua Island has been labeled as the next Boracay by the Lonely Planet. Malapascua has everything for the traveling diver. The island is a lesser-known diving vacation destination but it has an excellent wall that promises early morning sightings of thresher sharks and also regular encounters with devil and manta rays.

A Malapascua Story


Philippine Scuba Diving Moalboal, Cebu

Pescador Island diving site is directly across from Panagsama Beach, about 20 minutes banca (outrigger) ride away. The site offers some of the finest diving to be had in Moalboal. Even the uninhabited island itself guarantees and incredibly wide variety of marine life to view.

Whale sharks have been spotted in open waters south of the island, and one is almost certain to see anywhere from 20 to 30 hammerhead sharks around the northeast edge of the reefat around 33 to 40 meters(10 to 120 feet). It was here at Pescador that the 500 millimeter long Spanish Dancer [Hexabrancha nudibranch] was captured on film by photographer Bob Yin.

Divers can traverse the series of apertures of the Pescador Cathedral, an undersea formation resembling a giant funnel which drops to 115 feet. The Lionfish Cave on the northern edge of the reef was so named as it is the best place to spot lionfish and scorpionfish. Jacks and pelagic fsh as well as schools of sweetlips abound all around the reef.

Bas Diot and Sa-Avedra are dive sites recommended for their good coral coverage and a wide variety of large fish. Particular points of interest in Bas Diot include underwater caves at around 24 to 30 meters (80 to 100 feet) and sea snakes. Sa-avedra, on the other hand, features giant sea fans and gorgonians which dramatically jut out from the reef wall.

Tapanan diving site, with its undersea cliffs and coral arches and Tongo Point are even better diving sites and the easiest to dive during amihan, the northeast monsoon from November to February, when the waters are slightly rough but comfortably cool and exceptionally clear.

Philippine Scuba Diving Bohol

Bohol has a great wide variety of dive sites. It has everything - the reefs, different kinds of corals, walls, big and small fishes, starfishes, and other life forms under the sea.

A good point to start is Panglao, a small island known for its quiet beach resorts and several dive sites.

Another great place is the island of Balicasag Island . This small island lies about 10 km south-west of Panglao and is one of the very best and popular dives in the Visayas. Dive boats from across the Visayas will come here inclusing liveaboard vessels that are operating in the 'Visayan Safari Triangle'.

Virtually any drop point rewarding. Balicasag Island is where you will find a 400 meter Marine Sanctuary of healthy corals with plenty of pelagic visitors characterized by vertical walls over deep waters with strong currents. A dive in December or January can offer treats of Hammerhead Sharks and sometimes Whale Sharks.

Another island connected to the west coast of Bohol which has some of the best diving sites in the Philippines is the Cabilao Island. The sea surrounding the island is remarkably clear, very suitable for diving and snorkelling.

Interesting scuba diving sites: Napaling, Duljo Point, Pungtud Wall, Southwest Wall/Rico's Wall, Southeast Wall/Rudy's Rock, Northeast Slope/Black Forest, Kalipayan, Arco Point (The Hole in the Wall), Southwest Wall/Rico's Wall, Southeast Wall/Rudy's Rock, Northeast Slope/Black Forest, Cervera Shoal (Spaghetti Shoal), Pamilacan Island - Northwest Side, Hammerhead Point (Northwest Point), Southwest Point (Drifting North), Southwest Point (Drifting South and East)

Palawan Diving

Palawan is already an established international diving destination. Palawan scuba diving captivates everyone who comes. Palawan island offers lovely beaches, its impressive walls, beautiful coral reefs and exiting wrecks in crystal clear waters. Palawan diving is particularly renowned for its eight World War 2 wrecks, lakes and caves. The wrecks are from a Japanese supply fleet; all lie in 20-40m of water and measure between 152 and 213 metres long.

Some of the best Palawan diving are offshore where the proximity to deep water and currents means more chances of sighting pelagics. Around the northern islands of Palawan are strong currents which bring in the big mantas looking for food. Even the south of Palawan, where few divers venture, the reefs are in good condition and support abundant marine life.

Attractive underwater colors and abundant marine life make divers come back for more in Palawan diving waters. Photographers can take shots of different colorful big and small fishes, swim with schools of fishes, touch the rough and smooth corals, and more.

Palawan's bonus attractions include Coron bay's limestone cliffs and tiny isolated beach coves along with freshwater lakes. One lake features hot springs and can be accessed by a short climb over limestone pinnacles from the sea. A hidden cavern with an underwater entrance to the sea can be explored. Pearl farms are added attractions.

Palawan diving is best from October to May.

Interesting Palawan scuba diving sites: Black Island Wreck, Taiei Maru, Akitsushima, Gunboat at Lusong Island, Olympia Maru, Kogyo Maru, Irako, Mamya Maru, Tangat Wreck, East Tangat Wreck, Coron Island, Cayangan Lake, Coral Garden, Gunter's Cathedral, Delian Island, Framjee Bank, Brown Rocks, Tara Island, Kyokuzan Maru , Dumunpalit Island


Philippine Scuba Diving
Sarangani Bay Sulu Sea Diving

Sarangani Bay offeres a very exciting dive thanks to its walls, blue water and offshore reefs. Large palegics, sharks and rays swim in the waters and huge coral and sponge formations dominate the seascape. Sarangani Bay is not only excellent for Scuba but with fresh winds most of the time should also be good for Wind Surfing and Sailing. Most of the diving is directly off the beaches as many of the reef structures are only 50m from shore or closer.

The Sarangani Bay area is one of the "frontiers" of scuba diving activity in the Philippines For divers who like to dive in unexplored areas, this may be the place you've been looking for. Diving and other water sports are just beginning to become more popular with both local and foreign tourists.



Philippine Scuba Diving

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The best scuba diving vacation destinations in the Philippines are located in:

Anilao diving

Apo Island diving

Bohol diving

Boracay diving

Busuanga diving

Coron diving

Donsol diving

Dumaguete diving

Mactan diving

Malapascua diving

Moalboal diving

Puerto Galera diving

Palawan diving

Verde Island diving

Subic bay diving

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