The Philippines… a country I consider very easy to love. With over 7500 islands scattered in the western Pacific Ocean, mostly characterized by azure waters with bright white beaches, emerald rice fields and some of the world’s best scuba diving, the islands make for an unforgettable holiday.
This area offers over 40 dive sites ranging from easy and relaxed to wild and unpredictable. Some of the site offer great chances to see white tip reef sharks, turtles, barracuda, tuna and even eagle rays. The area also has beautiful reefs with all the usual suspects and some great opportunities to spot interesting critters like ghost pipefish, Spanish dancers, various eels and numerous species of shrimp and nudibranch. Our favourite resort is Fishermen’s Cove.
Situated is situated in the province of Palawan, which in itself offers fantastic adventure sports and magnificent locations. Coron is special in that, during WWII, a fleet of 10 Japanese were sunk by USA air-raid in the bay. Most of these ships are at recreational diving depths and have been excellently preserved. Many of them still have fixtures and ammunition on board, and they have lots of marine life living in and around them. There are also some beautiful reefs in the vicinity, some great underwater caverns. Barracuda Lake also offers an unusual experience, firstly by climbing fully geared up over some limestone rocks, and arriving at a secluded transparent lake with three different thermoclines. Temperatures range from 30-37C. At 30m the visibility goes down to zero as there is a layer of sludge like jelly there. Fascinating to dive, although the wrecks are the real pearls of this bay. One of the fabulous resorts we recommend is Busuanga Bay.
One of the fabulous parts of choosing land based diving from Dumaguete is that there are so many different dive-able places near by. The coast of Dauin offers world class muck diving and constantly proves to be a firm favourite with underwater photographers. Apo Island, less than an hour away by boat, offers one of the most well preserved marine parks in the country. Here one is likely to encounter large schools of trevally, turtles, sea snakes and reef sharks to name a few. The coral is in excellent condition and together with walls, offers magnificent underwater views.
Diving around Bohol is a treat. Sites offer a variety of marine life, from beautiful coral gardens to superb walls, fascinating macro to numerous pelagics. Balicasag, a nearby small island and Marine Sanctuary features magnificent coral and loads if reef fish. Pangloa Island is well known for critter hunting and is loved by underwater photographers for its calm clear waters. Along the north eastern part of Bohol, in the Anda region is one of our favourite resorts in the area, Amun Ini. Here one enjoys complete seclusion and luxury, 5-10 minute proximity to most dive sites, beautiful corals and some of the regions best critter/ macro diving.
Tubbataha Reef National Park
Noted by UNESCO as one of the most remarkable reefs on the planet, situated in the Sulu Sea, this reef can only be accessed from a liveaboard. Known for dramatic topography (100m perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and coral islands), proliferation of fish and regular pelagic sightings, this is a must-dive destination. The season is short (mid-March to Mid June) but the vistas are spectacular and the chance of seeing manta rays, up to 11 species of shark including whaleshark, hammerhead, silky… turtles and schooling jacks and tune. Join this fabulous trip in 2017 Tubbataha and Anilao Safari.