The Best Diving in the Philippines
The Philippines is an excellent destination to fit any diver’s needs. The Pacific waters have it all: dive sites fit for new and advanced divers, great sights for macro and wide-angle photographers, and anything from wreck diving to blackwater diving. Not only that, but the land is stunning with white sandy beaches and dense jungles. Here are some of the top destinations in the Philippines for divers.
Malapascua Island, Cebu
Malapascua Island is a small island located just north of Cebu’s mainland. Malapascua’s waters are unique as they are the only waters where thresher sharks roam daily. The sea is part of a marine park and divers are able to watch the sharks be cleaned by the schools of fish. The sharks lurk in the early morning to avoid direct sunlight, so divers often start their day before the sun rises. As divers travel to the Monad Shoal, they will get to watch the sunrise over the calm waters. The island is also home to plenty of macro marine life such as nudibranchs, seahorses, scorpionfish, and more that are perfect for macro photography. Photo courtesy of Hugh Ross.
Located in the province of Negros Oriental, Dauin is ideal for photographers and lovers of macro life. Underwater creatures often seen include seahorses, pipefish, nudibranchs, blue-ring octopuses, mandarin fish, and more. Not only that, but there is a unique collection of experiences that will be sure to excite any visitor such as muck diving and pristine coral reefs. Diving in Dauin is great all year long with the dry season lasting from December to May and the wet season lasting from June to November. Dauin is famous for its often cheap, always luxurious beachfront resorts. Photo courtesy of Dumaguete.com
As a vibrant town with diverse waters, Puerto Galera is perfect for any level of diver. The diving experience can vary greatly — ranging from canyons to wrecks to muck diving and just about everything in between. The location is also perfect for macro and wide-angle photographers alike due to the coral reefs’ rich biodiversity. Some of the reefs are even considered to have the most biodiversity in all of Asia. The town is also home to plenty of dive schools that are perfect for beginnings and advanced divers looking to expand their skills. Guests have just as much to explore on land as they do in the water as there are stunning mountains and waterfalls to explore. Guests are often able to see creatures such as nudibranchs, frogfish, seahorses, cardinalfish, and more. Photo courtesy of Asia Divers.
Subic Bay, Luzon
Nestled just about 100 kilometers away from Manila Bay is Subic Bay on Luzon Island. The bay has a history of serving as one of the largest US Naval Bases in Asia and is thus home to more than 20 interesting shipwrecks. These wrecks are unique due to the volcano Mount Pinatubo that has coated the wrecks in ash. The USS New York is perhaps one of the most well-known wrecks in Subic Bay due to its pristine condition and canons. The ship is only available to explore during select times due to its proximity to the pier. For technical divers and divers experienced in deep water diving, the F-4 Phantom wreck is a dream. At 45 meters deep, the plane is often teeming with fish in the calm waters. Diving in the bay is great all year round but is ideal during the November to May dry season for greatest visibility. Photo courtesy of Arizona Dive Shop, Philippines.
World Heritage Site
With the most biodiversity in Asia, divers can encounter 600 species of fish and 360 species of coral in the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park. Tubbataha is the largest marine park in the Philippines at 970 square kilometers. Guests can only experience the lively waters on a liveaboard during the calmer months of March to June. Diving experiences often include wall diving as well as exploration of the two atolls, Jessie Beazley Reef, lagoons, and coral cays. Perhaps the most exciting experience from exploring the park is the chance to see large marine life such as whale sharks, tiger sharks, and manta rays. Photo courtesy of Philippine Tourism USA.
Famous for its muck diving and blackwater diving, Anilao is an ideal destination for those looking to get up close and personal with the smallest of critters. Macro photographers will love swimming through the pinnacles, walls, and coral gardens to get the perfect shot. Some of the critters include elusive subjects such as the Ambon scorpionfish, Bobbit worms, and stargazers. The best time to dive in Anilao is from October to June, and April and May are considered to be the peak of the season. However, diving is available all year long with colder temperatures from December to March and rainier weather from July to September. The location is extremely convenient as it is just two hours away from Manila and has access to all of the dive sites from Balayan Bay, Batangas Bay, and Maricaban Island. Photo courtesy of Mike Batrick / Crystal Blue Resort.
Bohol, Central Visayas
Located in the Central Visayas region, Bohol is an island most well-known for its coral reefs and the unique Chocolate Hills. The Chocolate Hills are perfectly rounded hills that turn brown during the summer, leaving them to look like drops of chocolate amongst the dense green jungle. However, the land isn’t the only distinct quality of the island as it is also known for some of the best diving in the world. Divers can find both hard and soft coral along the stunning coral reefs or find large marine life such as the blacktip shark. Certain dive sites, such as those found off of the nearby Balicasag Island’s shore, are perfect for more advanced divers. There are strong currents with steep walls and even hammerhead sharks from December to January. Although Bohol itself is a popular tourist destination, Anda is the perfect spot for visitors who want to experience the amazing Bohol dive sites and be set away from busy tourist life. Diving in Bohol can be done all year long but is best from January to May. Photo courtesy of Dive-Bohol.com.
Six Awesome Liveaboard Destinations
Liveaboards provide a one-of-a-kind experience for travelers looking to fully submerge themselves into a diving adventure. Guests are able to spend a week (or more!) filling their days with diving and their nights watching the sunset across the open water. Liveaboards can provide all of the same luxuries as a typical on land resort such as spa treatments, snorkeling, gourmet meals, and excursions. Here are our picks of some of the six best destinations for a liveaboard vacation.
1) Galápagos Islands - Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands are scattered across the equator and have warm weather year-round. While diving in the Pacific waters surrounding the islands is great all year, December to May is the warmest season with the calmest waters and highest visibility. Divers during this season most often see hammerhead sharks and manta rays. July to November is ideal for more advanced divers hoping for more intense, choppier waters. Although the ocean is generally a bit colder during this season, it is known for nutrient-rich water that attracts all kinds of sea life, specifically whale sharks. Diving in the Galapagos is done on liveaboards from tenders or Zodiacs, and guests are able to have a unique experience living out on the open waters.
2) Socorro Island - Mexico
Socorro Island is the largest island in the Revillagigedo Archipelago and is famous for its vibrant wildlife, both on and off the shore. The volcanic island does not have an airport, making it a popular spot for liveaboards. The diving season lasts from November to May as that is when the water is at its calmest. Throughout this season, divers often get to see hammerhead sharks, manta rays, whale sharks, and humpback whales. From January to March, there are even frequent sightings of bottlenose dolphins. In addition to these, sightings of silky sharks, Galapagos sharks, whitetip reef sharks, and silvertip sharks are possible as well. Getting to the Socorros requires an open ocean crossing about 22 hours from Cabo San Lucas, Baja California.
3) Raja Ampat - Indonesia
Located off the coast of Bird’s Head Peninsula in West Papua, Raja Ampat is an Indonesian archipelago that is known for its extensive biodiversity. The islands form part of the Coral Triangle — an area known as a home to 76% of known coral species. In Raja Ampat’s waters, there is countless marine life and stunning coral reefs to see. The most popular sights include manta rays, reef sharks, walking sharks, turtles, nudibranchs, and so much more. Diving in Raja Ampat is ideal from October to April as it has the driest weather with calm seas that make for smooth liveaboard sailing. The clear waters consistently have a visibility of 80-100 ft all year long, which is perfect for spotting even the smallest of critters.
4) Tubbataha Reef - Philippines
Tubbataha Reef is a protected marine park in the Philippines’ Sula Sea. It is known for being a nesting ground for green sea turtles and is made up of a northern atoll, southern atoll, and the Jessie Beazley Reef. Visitors can only explore the clear waters from a liveaboard as it is located over 10 hours away from land. The diving season takes place from mid-March to mid-June as that is when the water is at its calmest and clearest with a visibility of up to 114 feet. The reef is known for its vast biodiversity as it is reported to have over 1,200 species — 181 of which are threatened.
5) Solomon Islands - Oceania Pacific
Diving in the Solomon Islands is perfect for visitors hoping for a more private, secluded experience with untouched reefs. There are nearly a thousand islands in the archipelago, and almost all of them are uninhabited. The water temperature is consistently in the low to high 80s, making it comfortable to dive in year-round. However, January through April is monsoon season, which brings the greatest amounts of wind and rain that could disrupt diving. What makes the Solomon Islands so unique is that their waters hold a time capsule that sends divers back to World War II with its numerous plane and shipwrecks at various depths. In addition to these one-of-a-kind wrecks, divers can also explore reefs, walls, slopes, pinnacles, and more. Visitors can choose to spend their time in the Solomon Islands on a liveaboard or from a resort on land.
6) Chuuk Lagoon - Micronesia
Chuuk Lagoon is a mountainous island that was once a former Japanese naval base during the second world war. The island’s history has been kept alive in its own waters with its array of sunken treasure, submerged ships teeming with marine life, and even human remains. Divers in the Lagoon’s Pacific waters get to explore part of this history, and often even find artifacts such as ammunition or guns. The wrecks vary in their depth, making them accessible for just about any level of diver. The temperature is consistently warm year-round; however, December to April is ideal due to the lack of rainfall and wind during this season.
Rocio del Mar Liveaboard
Sea of Cortez 2021 Trips
Awesome Dive Adventures
Saturday to Saturday
$2,845 per person, double occupancy
Liquid Diving Adventures Price $2,645 - SAVE $200
Called "The World's Aquarium" by Jacques Cousteau, the Sea of Cortez provides a world-class international dive experience with a domestic flight. Simply fly to Phoenix, Arizona, and, in just a few hours, guests are boarding the boat in Puerto Penasco, Mexico.
The Sea of Cortez is a breathtaking destination for scuba diving, snorkeling, and exploration. Dive on untouched walls and reefs abounding in marine life. Encounter large and small whale species, snorkel with whale sharks, dive with playful sea lions, and see countless eels, octopus, fish, and jumping mobula rays. It's a macro photographer's dream with nudibranchs, colorful blennies, dancing jawfish, and sea horses.
Between dives, guests hike and explore remote uninhabited islets and at night gaze at the Milky Way. Give the Rocio crew one week and they will create a lifetime of memories while forging new friendships aboard Rocio del Mar. Guests will dine on incredible cuisine and enjoy the friendly service that has made the crew famous.
July 3-10, 2021 - July 10-17, 2021 - July 31-August 7, 2021 - August 7-14, 2021
August 28-September 4, 2021 - September 4-11, 2021
Cayman Islands Re-Opening to Divers - Forecast to June 2021
While our entire team is eager to welcome you back to our resorts, the Cayman Islands Government announced on February 4th that the borders will not reopen to international travelers in March as previously targeted.
No timeline has been given for the Cayman Islands to reopen the borders to international visitors. The Cayman Government has announced that the path to reopening is contingent on much of the Islands’ population having received a full COVID-19 vaccination regimen. The vaccination program is off to a good start but the endpoint to allow reopening has not been defined. Despite this uncertainty, we are working towards reopening Clearly Cayman dive resorts in June 2021. This timing coincides with the Cayman Islands General Election in May 2021 as we believe a reopening plan is unlikely to be announced before then.
We plan to reopen our resorts at the very first opportunity when it is allowed by the Cayman Government and practical for our guests to return. We hope that the June 2021 timeline is realistic but will continue to keep you informed as we receive additional details.
The Maldives is Now Open to International Travelers
Scubaspa Ying Liveaboard
Get Our 10% Discount
The Scubaspa ships are as much a floating resort as they are dedicated scuba diving liveaboard ships. The unique concept combines exceptional spa experiences with unforgettable scuba diving. The Scubaspa has been designed for divers who travel with non-diving partners, and guests with a desire for an exceptional spa experience. Scubaspa’s purpose-built yachts explore the picture-perfect islands and divers explore the reefs in the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean.
The liveaboard diving yachts Scubaspa Ying and Scubaspa Yang have been designed to accommodate up to 40 guests. The ships feature 10 cabins and nine suites on each yacht, and are tastefully decorated, all with panoramic sea view or port lights. The cabins are configured with queen, king or twin bed combinations. One suite and one cabin sleep up to three people. All cabins have air conditioning, en suite bathrooms with shower, personal safe, and mini-fridge.
Diving takes place from a tender. Approximately 20 meters in length, the dive boat carries all the equipment, including air compressors and state-of-the-art nitrox; purpose-built for comfort, each has adequate seating, multiple entry points, stern platform, and on-board toilet facilities. Both yachts are the only vessels in the Maldives awarded PADI 5 Star Dive Resort status. Nitrox is available but Scubaspa does not support technical diving or rebreathers.
Contact us today to book an amazing dive and spa retreat holiday to the Maldives and get our 10% DISCOUNT.
Blackwater Dive Adventure
February 5-15, 2022
* * 4 Bungalows Available * *
NAD-Lembeh Resort and the Lembeh Strait are famous all over the world for the peerless macro and muck diving. NAD-Lembeh is expert in photography, nitrox, rebreathers – this resort does it all. The dive team is second-to-none, with 15 full-time dive guides who between them have over 100 years of experience diving in Lembeh. NAD-Lembeh offers a 2:1 diver to guide ratio, and is handicap friendly. We have selected the Beachfront bungalows because of the easy access for our mobility-challenged divers.
Lembeh Strait offers a stunning variety of dives and there are more than 70 individual named dive sites. Divers visiting Lembeh are likely to see a vast list of critters. Frogfish, rhinopias, a huge array of nudibranchs and octopus, the Blue-Ringed Octopus and Mimic Octopus, being a highlight. Lembeh is not just muck diving though! On this adventure we will explore all around the island and beyond to find some of the best reef diving in South East Asia.
This trip is timed to coincide with the new moon phase in February to offer the best opportunities for spotting critters during the Black water Night Dives. Our unique adventure offers 10 nights Beachfront bungalow accommodation, 3 meals a day (plus snacks, water, coffee, espresso, tea), evening dinner on day of arrival and breakfast on day of departure, 3 dives per day (total 26 dives), unlimited house reef dives, nitrox for certified divers, airport transfers, and all taxes. There is the option to upgrade the 3rd dive of the day to a Night/ Mandarin Dive for an additional $20 (not applicable for Blackwater Night Dives).
Cost: $2,102 USD per person double occupancy includes our 5% DISCOUNT
Fort Young Hotel & Dive
Now a PADI-Approved Resort..!!!
We are pleased to announce the Fort Young Hotel & Dive has been approved as a PADI Dive Resort! One more reason to fall in love with the island, the resort and the diving especially !
The Nature Island of the Caribbean, Dominica, is home to some of the best diving in the Americas and Fort Young Hotel & Dive Resort is the premier hotel on the island. Boats depart directly from the Fort Young Hotel marina, dive guests enjoy the ultimate convenience and best quality dive sites just minutes from the dock!
Just a reminder about the AMAZING Pre-DEMA specials: Contact us for special discounted dive show deals...!
* * * Cozumel Closes Marine Park Southern Portion * * *
The southern part of Cozumel Marine Park will be closed beginning October 7 until at least January, seriously limiting where dive boats can go. If you’re thinking about a trip to Cozumel, you may wish to reconsider. If you already have plans, you may wish to contact your dive operator to see how the closures will affect your diving.
The Marine Park includes the southwest quadrant of the island’s coast. The harder-to-reach northern and eastern sites will still be open, but, because of strong currents, only experienced divers prepared to make what can be lengthy and arduous boat journeys in rough water should consider diving these sites. These include the sites from El Mirador on the more exposed east coast, to Baja de Molas at the most northerly point.
The areas where most diving in Cozumel occurs -- from Palancar Gardens (on Cozumel’s southwest quadrant) to Maracaibo, and Playa Bosh in the extreme south (including dive sites Columbia, Punta Sur, and El Cielo) will be closed so government scientists may investigate the causes of ‘white syndrome’ affecting hard corals there and gauge the amounts and effects of pollution discharged by the large hotels that border the marine park.
Local dive operators say popular sites that can still be accessed by dive boats include Barracuda Reef on the extreme northwest coast, the wreck of the C-52, Tormentos Reef, San Francisco Reef, Santa Rosa, El Cedral, and Punta Delila on the west coast.
White syndrome starts with the coral showing well-defined areas of whitening, which then expand and, apparently spread to all other coral colonies by contact, mainly through divers touching infected coral during dives. Otherwise known as stony coral tissue loss disease, it’s affecting reefs in Florida too.
August 24 to September 8, 2019
CONTACT US NOW...!
We have 4, 7, 10 and 14 night packages from
$1039, $1709, $2399 and $3239
- Hotel room
- 3, 5 or 11 dive days (2-tank)
- Participation in photo contest
- Seminars and workshops
- Evening Media Presentations
- Shark split photo
- Land/culture Photo opportunities
- Private Beach BBQ
- Land, culture & island tour
- Local dinner buffet/meal;
- Roundtrip airport transfers
- Free Wi-Fi in public areas
- Hotel Taxes
- Wake-up service with coffee and tea
Amazing Tawali Resort and Liveaboard Package
9 Nights, 2 resorts, 1 liveaboard, all meals, amazing dives
PLUS domestic flights on PNG Air...!
Contact us via email for availability...!