Diving Guide to the Philippines, Endless Destination
by Jorge Mezcua on Feb 23, 2023
More than 7,000 volcanic islands, 2,500 species of fish, an average temperature of 26 degrees Celsius, whale sharks, a paradise for underwater macro photography... all in the heart of the Coral Triangle. And with one of the most professional network of dive centers and resorts in the world, welcome to the Philippines!
The Philippines is one of those dive destinations that every diver puts on their bucket list and dreams of visiting someday... or repeating. And not only because of the incredible amount of species or the great visibility of its waters. In the Philippines we can find 25 wrecks with history, deep walls and reefs comparable only to those of the great Australian barrier reef or Indonesia. The Philippines alone hides up to 500 different species of coral.
Diving in the heart of the Coral Triangle
The privileged location of the Philippines, in the middle of the Coral Triangle, has made this vast archipelago one of the most sought-after destinations for divers. Both experienced and novice divers can dive among the abundant marine life that sustains healthy coral reefs. The Philippine seabed is home to more than 20,000 marine species, including the most sought after by divers. From hammerhead sharks, sea turtles (5 of the 8 existing species can be found in the Philippines), lionfish, sweetlips, batfish, blue-ringed octopus, dolphins, humphead wrasse, photogenic nudibranchs to a variety of toadfish or giant oysters, up to 12,000 different species of mollusks inhabit these seabeds!
The professionalism of the dive centers and resorts is also one of the strong points of these islands, as well as the different dives that can be practiced. Beach entries, individual and group departures, liveaboards for all budgets, spectacular night dives...
The Philippines is a paradise both under and above the sea. Its great white sandy paradise beaches or its very interesting colonial tourism framed in the world center of marine biodiversity. All this makes the Philippines a must for any diver looking for the best diving in the world.
3 of the best dive areas in the Philippines
Just a few numbers are needed to realize the size and value of Tubbataha Natural Park: more than 500 species of fish, 400 species of corals, 11 species of sharks, 12 species of whales and dolphins, and approximately 10,000 acres of coral reef.
Most divers visit this park for the opportunity to dive with large pelagic species. Sharks, mantas, rays, barracudas or turtles, but like the rest of the Philippines, it has some extraordinary small species. This reef is home to an enormous abundance and variety of fish and it is easy to find large specimens of angelfish, butterfly fish or parrot fish.
Puerto Galera is the destination for divers interested in the smallest underwater life. The big fans of macro and wide angle photography will find in this area of the Philippines an ideal place to develop their hobby to the maximum ... and where they can also enjoy wrecks, sharks or schools of spectacular species of reef fish.
In Puerto Galera there are dives like "Isla Verde" where you can dive among hard and soft corals, sponges and gorgonians full of colorful life. In Puerto Galera we can also dive in "The Shark Cave", a wall of 27 meters where we can find groups of white tip sharks along with trigger fish, different species of moray eels, reef rays or scorpion fish. Among the wrecks in Puerto Galera, the "Monkey Wreck" stands out, a cargo ship that lies at 40 meters and shelters angelfish, triggerfish and large clams. Also interesting is "El junco chino", an 18-meter wreck that hides spectacular species such as batfish, surgeonfish, lionfish, scorpionfish and the incredible crocodile moray.
Mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus). Pic by Noodlefish
The province of Batangas, located in the southwest of Luzon, holds the treasures that divers are always looking for: beautiful wrecks full of life, coral reefs, walls, drop-offs, caves, tunnels... In Batangas, you can practice all types of diving and it is suitable for beginners and snorkelers as well as for muck diving enthusiasts. And of course for those who are looking for strong emotions between currents and sharks. In this province we can find some of the most spectacular species in the area such as the mimic octopus or the blue-ringed octopus along with a variety of nudibranch species.
One of the main attractions of the province of Batangas is Anilao. This marine sanctuary enjoys great protection and is visited every year by the world's best underwater photographers who enjoy the perfect conditions for both macro and wide angle photography. In the 40 dive sites of this area we can admire a unique underwater life in the world. Extraordinary toadfish such as the hairy toadfish, the mantis shrimp and its mythical blow, reef sharks or the pygmy seahorse inhabit its seabed.