Scuba Diving in Philippines

The Philippines are a great choice for those who love diving. The combination of a hot tropical climate with the refreshing Pacific breeze and exotic resorts have been attracting tourists for many years. Placed within the Coral Triangle, the Philippines offer the diver jaw-dropping diversity, kaleidoscopic reefs and picturesque coral architectures. The most interesting and well-known diving experiences include the visiting World Heritage site of Tubbataha, seeing thresher sharks at Malapascua and exploring the wrecks of Coron. These places let you experience the true magic of meeting a shark. The Philippines boast hundreds of diving spots lying along the sea beds around the islands. They vary in complexity, but are all amazing and picturesque. There are plenty of wreck diving sites near the islands — quite a lot Japanese warships sank here. Cave diving is also a possibility. People often visit the Philippines for the fabulous diving spots and destinations.

Reasons to Visit

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Underwater flora in the Philippines includes sea fans and Hydroids, barrel sponges and many types of stony and soft corals. Multi-colored sea lilies sway in the water, and small clownfish and Siamese fighting fish snoop among them. Here you can take the best macro photographs of tiny ocean dwellers: shrimp, seahorses, stars and Nudibranchs.
Wreck enthusiasts have a chance to discover the historical Japanese World War II wrecks. This place offers easy access shallow gun boats, huge freighters and other vessels of the Japanese supply fleet that found their watery grave in local waters. Experienced divers can get inside a 150-meter refrigerated cargo shipwreck. For the best wreck diving adventures visit Subic Bay and Coron Bay.
In the waters around the Philippines, divers will meet unusual inhabitants: giant oceanic manta rays, large turtles, barracudas. You will also get a chance to meet tuna fish weighing up to 100 kg. Negros Island and Apo Island are considered to be the most interesting places for swimming with turtles. Be aware that there can be strong undercurrents.
Divers will meet hammerhead sharks, whale sharks and fox sharks. Silvertip sharks, which got their name for their spectacular silver spots at the end of the tail and dorsal fin, live on coral reefs near Balicasag Island. These species are safe for humans, but you get an adrenaline rush when you find yourself surrounded by dozen of sharks.
Known for its thousands of colorful marine species, the famous Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park has been named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It is a real highlight of the Philippine Islands. The reefs occupy almost 100 thousand hectares and are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Tubbahata reef offers access to world-class dive sites and the most amazing variety of marine life in the Philippines. Here you can see 75% of all known corals and 40% of coral reef fish. There is also a good chance to observe 11 species of shark (silvertip sharks, blacktip sharks, reef sharks, hammerhead sharks etc.) and 13 species of other marine mammals, including dolphins and whales.

Diving Destinations in Philippines

There are more than 7,000 islands making up the Philippines that has become the number one choice for divers in search of beautiful natural marine resources. Panglao provides many interesting dive sites, which contain more marine species than anywhere else in the world. Busuanga island is a treasure trove for wreck diving lovers. On the Balicasag island underwater cliffs go down to a depth of 250 m, and silvertip sharks inhabit local coral reefs.

Memo Notes
Currency PHP - Philippine Peso
Languages Tagalog, English, Spanish
Timezone UTC +8
Phone code 63
Emergency Help 166
Electricity

Type A - 220 V, 60 Hz

Type B - 220 V, 60 Hz

Type C - 220 V, 60 Hz

Dive Shops in Philippines

There aren't many dive shops in the Philippines. They are mainly located on the large and popular Panglao, Coron, Malapaskua Islands. They offer dives off a small boat or yacht tours. There are dive shops with Russian-speaking staff.

Сlimate & Seasonality
Spring

Spring is the hottest season of the year. The temperature rises to 34 °C during the day and does not fall below 25 °С at night. However, the soft breeze makes it easier to stand the heat of the day. Water warms up to 28 ° C. During this period, the visibility under water reaches its maximum of 50 m.

Summer

The rainy season begins in June and lasts until the end of autumn. It brings heavy showers that occur every day, often at the same time. The air temperature is about +32 °C but high humidity makes the heat unbearable.

Autumn

The autumn in the Philippines is not much different from summer. It is still a rainy season with an air temperature of 32 °C and humidity of 100%. Early November is much less rainy. It's a good time for diving, so this is when the diving season begins.

Winter

Winter in the Philippines is a cool and dry season. The northeast monsoon brings cold air to the Philippines' shores. The air temperature does not exceed 27 °C. In the period from December to the end of February rain is extremely rare.

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The Best Dive Sites

Visit the coast of Busuang Island to explore the most interesting Philippine wrecks. Discover the populous coral reefs in Panglao, Boracay and Sablayan. Do not miss the opportunity to try cave diving on the Bohol island. Panglao and Bohol Islands both offer night dives.

Health & Safety

The Philippine Islands are famous for the beauty of their nature and wildlife. Medical services in the Philippines are overal of a high standard. Medical staff are expertly trained and medical equipment meets international standards. You will be pleasantly surprised by the low prices for medical services and medicines low cost in compared to Britain or America. You are recommended to vaccinate yourself against malaria, hepatitis A and B. You need to know that you should not use tap water, it is better to use bottled water even for brudhing your teeth. Whilst visiting the Philippines, it is necessary to follow the usual safety rules for tourists: criminals also live in this corner of paradise.

Dangerous Marine Life

Blue-ringed octopuses are often spotted in shallow coastal waters. Despite its small size, the blue-ringed octopus is quite aggressive and extremly venomous. If it is provoked, it quickly changes color from yellow-brown to bright yellow with blue spots.

Eat & Drinks

The combination of Korean, Indian and Spanish cuisine gives tourists the opportunity to taste truly unique dishes: sinigang — seafood in tasty sour broth; spicy chicken curry, adobo — a local version of meat marinated in spices.
Popular beverages include coconut milk Buko, tropical fruit drinks and local beer. It is not recommended to drink tap water. Bottled drinks are safe and sold in every store.