Made up of over 7,000 islands and with the greatest diversity of marine life found anywhere in the world, it’s little wonder that Philippines scuba diving holidays are widely regarded as some of the best in the world.
However, as well as the incredible natural diving conditions, the Philippines is also blessed with warm welcomes, lovely weather, warm water, great transport links and historical wrecks. All of which add to the reputation of Philippines scuba diving holidays as some of the best in the world.
Wildlife and warm waters
The year-round warm waters in the Philippines, with average water temperatures of around 28˚C, mean that you can book a diving trip to the Philippines at any time of year.
There are common sightings of some of the scuba diving world’s biggest draws such as whale sharks, thresher sharks, sardine balls and hawksbill turtles. So lucky divers can enjoy diving experiences in the Philippines that you rarely find elsewhere.
Philippines scuba diving holidays: Best spots
With a coastline longer than that of the US, there is no shortage of great diving spots in the Philippines. However, there are a few destinations with exceptional conditions that deserve a special mention.
Cebu is home to an international airport on Mactan – so is one of the easiest places to reach with great diving. Closest to the airport is the built up island of Mactan. It is known for extensive reefs, colourful fish and interesting airplane and ferry wreck dives. Check out Kontiki Divers: www.kontikidivers.com
More difficult to reach is Malapascua which is a less developed Island a ferry ride from the northern tip of Cebu. Here you will find more relaxing Philippines scuba diving holidays. It is known for great macro diving on colourful reefs, plus there are daily sightings of thresher sharks. Check out Evolution Dive Resort: www.evolution.com.ph
But the crown jewel of scuba diving in Cebu is Moalboal. It is just 2.5 hours from the international airport and on the main Cebu Island. It offers great variety of diving with many spectacular wall dives with stunning coral, there are also plateau and gentle slope dives for beginners plus caves and wrecks to explore.
In Moalboal the main draw is the abundant marine life, colourful coral and macro diving and the infamous Pescador Island. The Sardine balls have returned, which attract predators – especially schools of Jacks. The Big Eye Trevally is common along with Eagle Rays, Ghost Fish, Leaf Fish and turtles. Tuna and White Tip sharks can be seen on occasion and can dive with Whale Sharks just 77km away.
If you are visiting Moalboal we recommend you stay in Turtle Bay Dive Resort. It is 10 mins outside the main town, in a beautiful setting, providing laid back Philippines scuba diving holidays. The modern villas are set amongst tropical gardens and overlook a private cove with crystal clear waters lapping over the boat jetty.
The 28 rooms are furnished in traditional either English or Filipino hand carved furniture and all rooms have a ceiling fan, air-conditioning, ensuite bathroom, hot water shower and private balcony. There is a large restaurant with panoramic views of the bay and mountains.
For when you are not diving there is a large pool, a bar, mountain bikes to use, table tennis, pool table, table football and a spa for a relaxing massage. To find out more visit www.turtlebaydiveresort.com
In Palawan region you’ll find Coron a stunning area of outstanding beauty this is often described as Asia’s final frontier. Here there is an abundance of marine life and colourful reefs. But the big draw is the stunning WWII wreck site of a Japanese fleet. Check out Busuanga SeaDive Resort in Coron: www.seadiveresort.com
The volcanic island of Negros is another internationally renowned diving destination, with diving that’s not to be missed on Philippines scuba diving holidays. Its slow pace of life and stunning golden sandy beach makes life out of the water just as enjoyable. Check out Negros Divers: www.negrosdivers.com
Travelling in the Philippines
The Philippines is a welcoming country with excellent modern transport links. Readily available international flights and good local connections make getting around relatively easy. And with short visas not hard to come by, and extensions easy to get, it all adds up to a world-class diving destination.