It’s fair to say that, with more than 7,100 islands, the Philippines has its fair share of diving sites. Choosing the best among them can be a contentious discussion, but we may as well give it a shot!


  1. Tubbataha Reef. The Tubbataha Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage site, as the area has an amazingly high density of marine species. The water is astonishingly clean, and that means the marine life lives longer—and they can grow a lot bigger. Diving here means exploring a new world of colors with almost 400 different types of fish and 300 types of coral.

The visibility can reach up to 45 meters, so bring your underwater cameras. The depths range from just 5 meters to 60 meters.

  1. Puerto Galera. There are quite a few choice dive spots in Puerto Galera. Among the more famous ones include The Canyons, and the fish here can look truly strange and wonderful. Even the plant life look marvelous, especially the sea fans and sponges. The depth can reach up to 30 meters down, and the visibility ranges from 10 to 30 meters. It can get somewhat cold, though.

Another favorite spot is Sabang Bay, where the shallow waters offer novices plenty of unforgettable sights. There’s plenty of marine life around, and further down you can inspect the wrecks as well.

  1. Subic Bay. This place has one of the largest numbers of war-wrecked ships which can be accessed by divers. Some of the ships were scuttled back in WWII, while others went down more than 100 years ago. As of last count, there were 19 wrecks here which divers can explore. Some will require a bit of skill but others are shallow and easy enough for even novice divers. Many of the sites offer good visibility, which makes the place a favorite among underwater photographers and videographers.
  2. Anilao, Batangas. Divers who live in Metro Manila invariably congregate here for good reason. Those who love nudibranch are in for a treat, and colorful crinoid abound. Photographers also have a great time here, especially at night. When the sun goes down, truly strange marine animals come out to party. The best known dive sites here include the Cathedral, with its coral and a fish feeding station.
  3. Balicasag Island, Bohol. The marine sanctuaries here offer divers a great experience. You don’t even have to stray far from the resort.
  4. Apo Island, Negros Oriental. When it’s not typhoon season, the diving here is truly topnotch. It’s considered as the best diving site by some in the entire Visayas region. The waters are startlingly clear, and this enables you to get more than just a glimpse of the more than 600 types of fish and 400 types of coral.
  5. Malapascua Island, Cebu. Dive in Monad Shoal for an experience of a lifetime. In the morning, you can wait until the weird-looking thresher sharks make their appearance. Later, you can be there when the manta rays take center stage.

Which diving spots are your favorites in the Philippines?

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