Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in the Philippines


The Philippines is a haven for underwater enthusiasts. You will discover anything from vibrant coral gardens to sunken wartime wrecks when visiting the islands. In this guide, you will find practical advice about the best scuba diving and snorkeling experiences in the Philippines.

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in the Philippines

You must know that all travelers are now required to fill out a etravel application. This is an easy online process. Make sure you do it before you arrive in the Philippines.

With that out of the way, we are ready to delve into the specifics of each scuba diving destination. We will cover how to get there, costs, accommodation, and more.

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1.Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

Why Visit:

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a dream destination for serious divers. This remote island ring features crystal-clear waters and is home to a dizzying array of marine life. You will likely spot sharks, turtles, and thousands of fish species. The isolation of Tubbataha means its underwater world is pristine and untouched.

Getting There:

The journey begins with a flight to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. From there, you’ll embark on a 10-hour boat ride, which is the only way to reach these remote reefs.

Costs:

A 5 to 7-day liveaboard trip typically costs between $1,000 and $3,000. It includes meals, many daily dives, and onboard accommodation.

Stay Duration:

Most divers opt for a 5 to 7-day trip to fully experience the area’s diverse dive sites.

Accommodation:

Your liveaboard vessel will be your floating hotel, offering a range of amenities depending on your budget.

2. Apo Island, Negros Oriental

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in the Philippines
Photo by Cris Tagupa on Unsplash

Why Visit:

Apo Island is a snorkeling paradise, known for its gentle sea turtles and vigorous coral reefs. The island’s community-driven marine conservation efforts have resulted in a thriving underwater ecosystem.

Getting There:

Fly to Dumaguete City, followed by a short drive to Malatapay Market. A 30-minute boat ride from there takes you to Apo Island.

Costs:

Boat rental from Malatapay to Apo Island is about $20-$30. Accommodation on the island varies, with options for every budget.

Stay Duration:

Spend 2 to 3 days here to soak in the serene island life and explore the underwater marvels.

Accommodation:

Choose from homestays, guesthouses, or small resorts. Prices range from budget-friendly to moderately luxurious.

3. Balicasag Island, Bohol

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in the Philippines
Photo by Olga ga on Unsplash

Why Visit:

Balicasag Island boasts dynamic marine biodiversity. The island’s surrounding waters are a sanctuary for schools of jackfish, barracudas, and a kaleidoscope of smaller reef fish.

The shallow coral gardens are ideal for snorkelers, while deeper areas offer thrilling dives for the more experienced.

Getting There:

After flying into Tagbilaran, Bohol, a drive and a short boat ride from Alona Beach will get you to Balicasag Island.

Costs:

Expect to pay $15-$25 for the boat trip. Accommodation on Balicasag is modest but comfortable, ranging from $30-$60 per night.

Stay Duration:

While day trips are popular, staying 1–2 nights allows for a more immersive experience.

Accommodation:

Options are limited, so booking in advance is advisable.

4. Coron, Palawan

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in the Philippines
Photo by John Hernandez on Unsplash

 

Why Visit:

Coron is a unique blend of stunning coral reefs and historical intrigue. The area is famous for its World War II shipwrecks, which have become thriving artificial reefs. The clear waters and abundant marine life make Coron a top choice for snorkelers and divers.

Getting There:

Direct flights to Busuanga Airport, followed by a short van ride, bring you to Coron town.

Costs:

Van transfers are about $5-$10. Various island hopping and snorkeling tours are available, typically costing $20-$50.

Stay Duration:

Consider spending 3 to 5 days exploring the many dive sites and enjoying the island’s natural beauty.

Accommodation:

From budget-friendly hostels to more upscale hotels, Coron offers a range of lodging options.

5. Anilao Batangas

Why Visit:

Anilao is a mecca for macro photography enthusiasts and muck divers. The area’s volcanic terrain has created a unique underwater landscape. It hosts various small and rare marine creatures.

Getting There:

A short drive from Manila, Anilao is the most accessible dive destination on this list.

Costs:

Day trips for diving, including equipment and boat fees, are around $100.

Stay Duration:

While popular for weekend getaways, a 3-4 day stay is ideal for diving aficionados.

General Tips for Your Diving Trip

Best Time to Visit: The ideal time for diving and snorkeling in the Philippines is during the dry season, from November to May.

Equipment: Most dive centers offer gear rental. Always inspect your equipment for safety reasons.

Environmental Responsibility: Be a responsible visitor by not disturbing marine life and coral formations. Take care of your trash and avoid littering. If you are a smoker, don’t leave your cigarette buds in the sand.

Health Precautions: Ensure you’re medically cleared for diving and familiarize yourself with safety procedures. Consider getting diving insurance.

Conclusion:

The Philippines is a treasure trove for underwater adventurers. Each destination offers a unique glimpse into the country’s underwater splendor.

Plan your trip with these practical insights. You’re now set for a journey through captivating underwater landscapes in the Philippines.

The success of your trip hinges on preparation, respect for the marine environment, and an eagerness to dive into Philippine diving spots.





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