5 Don’t-Miss Dive Sites of the Philippines

5 Don’t-Miss Dive Sites of the Philippines

September 5, 2012951Views14Comments

The many islands of the Philippines are a mecca of underwater wonders, many of which have put the Philippines on the map for unique diving experiences. November to May is considered prime diving season, but with luscious food options, mild weather and pristine beaches, the Philippines can be enjoyed year round. Whether you are a beginning diver with your certification fresh in your hand, or a seasoned veteran looking for a new thrill, the Philippines will provide endless enjoyment and activities. Volcanic activity has created some of the most impressive and diverse marine ecosystems in the world, so if you are lucky enough to make your way to the Philippines, be sure to dip your fins into more than one of these 5 SCUBA hot spots.


Anilao Batangas

This dive site is located about 86 miles south of Manila, and runs parallel to a long peninsula in the Batangas province. Because it is relatively close to Manila, this site is heavily frequented by tourists, which can affect visibility in shallow waters. Still, the wide array of corals, sea life, and living gardens are enough to keep any diver busy for days, and with 24 sites to visit, there is surely something for everyone here.

Apo Island

A volcanic landmass at the the end of Negroes Island, the visibility is hard to beat in the dive sites just off of Apo Island. The clarity of the water serves divers well here, as the waters off of Apo Island are home to some of the larger animals that the seas of this nation have to offer. Whale sharks, mantas and hammerheads are not uncommon sights in these waters.

Coron Bay

Another popular site in the country is Coron Bay. Located on Palawan Island, it is most easily accessible by air from Manila. Coron Bay is best known for its collection of shipwrecks and is a fantastic dive for experienced wreck divers.

Subic Bay, Olongapo

Subic Bay is as well known for its pristine forests as much as it is for its excellent diving. Located about 3 hours north of Manila, Subic Bay is home to amazing shipwrecks. The nearby Subic Freeport was once home to an American army base.

Puerto Galera

Located in the Mindoro Oriental province, Puerto Galera is a great site for beginning divers. With a variety of coral and macro marine life, Puerto Galera diving is a feast for the eyes. Puerto Galera is a jumping off point for over two dozen dive sites, and offers diving for every experience level.


Images via Jeff McNeillUU.Nudi


  1. house reef in front of the Atlantis resort in Dumaguete – it’s just full of all kinds of critters. They have placed a bunch of tires there and they are growing some corals, but it’s amazing how many critters hang out around them.

  2. I’m from the Philippines born and grew up there till 17 then I moved here in Florida have been here for 11 yrs. finally got my scuba license now I think I’m going back to dive there and visit family..

  3. From October 1965 until April 1967 I was in the USAF stationed at Clark Field in Angeles City, Pampanga on the island of Luzon. I was not into SCUBA then but did do Skin diving in several places. One such place was down from Bagio in what was called Long Beach. I got a first hand experience of what jelly fish will do to a diver. There were so many small tropical fish there it was amazing. Many of them came right up to our masks. Another place we dove was near Subic Bay. The Marines had a base at Sangly [sp?] and we rode in Bonka [sp?] boats [like a large dugout canoe] to a small island where we got to swim with big rays. I’ll never forget those days. Oh, yeah. From that experience, I got certified in SCUBA in the late ’70’s. Now, I’m at it again.

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