scuba diving sites Philippines

The 7 Best Scuba Diving Sites In The Philippines

With over 7,000 tropical islands and some of the best reefs and lagoons in the world, it’s no surprise that there’s some bucket list-worthy scuba diving sites in the Philippines. Plus, you can dive year-round in the Philippines.

Diving is one of the world’s greatest pleasures – an activity where you can truly be at one with nature and enjoy this gorgeous planet that we all get to call home. Only people who have been lucky enough to learn and practice diving will know the magical feeling that it brings.

As well as white sandy beaches, in the clear waters you’ll find coral reefs, deep drop-offs, wrecks and walls. It’s a diver’s paradise….

Best Scuba Diving Sites In The PhilippinesHow do these rankings work?

1. Malapascua, Cebu

While there’s many amazing dive sites here, Malapascua is the top diving destination in Cebu. The highlight of this island is by far the thresher shark dives in Monad Shoal, which is an easy dive for all levels.

Diving here is either a “swimming dive” or on a stationary line waiting for the sharks to approach.

2. Calibao Island, Bohol

With superb wall dives, colorful coral and calm currents, Calibao Island off of Bohol is one of the top scuba diving sites in the Philippines. It’s just a 15 minute boat ride from Bohol and surrounding the island is a coral reef, which has a steep depth of a huge 50 meters.

Scuba Diving Sites In The Philippines

3. Tubbataha Reed National Park, Palawan

Since divers discovered Tubbataha in the late 1970s, it has become recognised as one of the most remarkable coral reefs on our planet. With 600 species of fish, 11 species of shark, and 13 species of dolphin and whale, it’s a superb diving spot.

Because of its isolated location, Tubbataha can only be visited on a liveaboard boat. Keep in mind that dive season is just three months long, running from mid-March until mid- June.

Tubbataha Reefs

4. Crocodile Island, Boracay

Boracay is a Filipino tropical paradise and its dive sites certainly don’t disappoint. Crocodile Island has colourful soft and hard corals, sea fans, anemones and plenty of marine life. Highlights include schooling redtooth triggerfish, large groupers and interesting tiny critter for macro photography fans. It’s also a popular site for night diving.

Scuba Diving Sites In The Philippines

5. South Miniloc, El Nido

This is El Nido’s most famous dive site for a reason – the marine life here alongside the beautiful coral gardens make it a dive to remember for life. Keep an eye out for turtles swimming beside schooling big-eye snappers, yellow tail barracuda and smaller schools of chevron barracuda.

6. Leyte

Leyte has four major diving sites and all are well worth exploring. Panaon Island and Sogod Bay are the main pull for the area, as it’s here that you can spot whale sharks every November until May. The current can be strong, so you need to be a strong diver but you’ll have the reward of barracuda, turtles, reef sharks, dolphins and even manta rays.

7. Mindoro

Did you know that Mindoro has 75% of the world’s coral species and is the world’s second-largest coral reef? If that doesn’t convince you it’s one of the must-visit scuba diving sites in the Philippines then we don’t know what will! There’s a range of dives here for all levels, with both shallow reefs and walls that drop hundreds of feet to the sea floor.

scuba diving sites Philippines

Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

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