Diving the Philippines
Bohol, Apo Reef, Apo Island, Palawan, Anilao, Malapascua, Mindoro, Boracay, Tubbataha, Visayas... those are a few names you should get used to, they're dream locations most divers fantasize about ! With so many dive sites and such diversity, it's fair to say that scuba diving is topping the 'to do list' in the Philippines. So much so that it's a real challenge to try and describe this incredible destination in a few lines ! Each and every single region of the vast archipelago is different from its neighbour, even the seasons can change and stand out from one to the other : it's an incredible, ever-changing show. No wonder people keep coming back, year after year !
So how to choose between 7107 islands ? There are 3 diving hotspots :
- The Sea of Sulu, which encompasses Palawan and Tubbataha Reef. Typical Pacific atolls with beautiful shallow reef and densely populated drop-offs. The visibility is usually over 25m... The region is well-known for its turtles and nesting beaches.
- Cebu and Bohol are probably the most popular regions for divers and photographers in search of the perfect macro shot! Pescador Island, off Moalbal, with its Giant Frogfish and Ghost Pipefish is a must-do and probably deserves a whole trip to itself ; Panglao, off Bohol, is very well preserved and diverse too ; and Anilao is the new up-and-coming destination for critter lovers and underwater photographers. This region is convenient for liveaboard trips departure ; it is also very central so a good place to be if you're in the Philippines for a long time !
- Busuanga is a destination for both wartime shipwrecks . Over 30 WWII wrecks have been found there and a dozen are easily accessible by experienced, recreational divers. Around Apo Reef, the atmosphere is one of drift diving, pelagics and big fish !
Now, we haven't even talked about Malapascua and its thresher sharks, or Ticao Island and the famous Manta Bowl... It really is difficult to describe such a rich and diverse destination! The only thing left to do is go there and see for yourself: needless to say, the Philippines do not disappoint, they deliver all year round... if you hop from one island to another, or if you go in 'low season' and have amazingly rich dive sites for yourself ! Enjoy !