Dive into Paradise: Explore the Best Scuba Diving Spots in the Philippines

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The Philippines is a scuba diver’s paradise, with its crystal-clear waters, vibrant marine life, and diverse array of diving destinations. In this article, we’ll share some of the best scuba diving spots in the Philippines.

This tropical paradise is renowned for its world-class scuba diving destinations that offer unforgettable experiences for divers of all levels. So, grab your snorkel, strap on your fins, and let’s dive into the best scuba diving spots the Philippines has to offer!

Table of Contents

  1. Diving Spots in the Philippines
    1.1. Tubbataha Reef Natural Park
    1.2. Apo Reef Natural Park
    1.3. Moalboal
    1.4. Anilao
    1.5. Malapascua Island
    1.6. Coron
  2. Types of Diving in the Philippines
  3. Diving Conditions in the Philippines
  4. Diving Safety in the Philippines

Tubbataha Reef Natural Park

Location: Sulu Sea || Best Season: March to June

Tubbataha Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a mecca for underwater enthusiasts. Located in the Sulu Sea, this remote marine park is home to an incredible array of marine species, including sharks, turtles, and manta rays. Dive deep into its pristine waters and witness nature at its finest.

Expected Expenses (in Philippine Peso): Approximately ₱30,000 for a liveaboard trip.
National Park fees: ₱2,500 – ₱5,000

Tip: Book your liveaboard trip well in advance as spots fill up quickly, especially during peak season.

Apo Reef

Location: Occidental Mindoro || Best Season: November to May

Apo Reef is the second-largest contiguous coral reef system in the world. This marine sanctuary is a haven for underwater photographers and marine enthusiasts alike. Pristine coral gardens, shark sightings, and underwater photography. The best time to visit is from November to May when the seas are calm, and visibility is at its best.

Expected Expenses (in Philippine Peso):

Day trips: ₱2,500 – ₱5,000 per person
Overnight stays: ₱5,000 – ₱10,000 per person

Tip: Don’t forget to bring your reef-safe sunscreen to protect both your skin and the marine environment.


Location: Cebu || Best Season: December to May

Moalboal is a paradise for macro photography enthusiasts and drift diving aficionados. Its vibrant reefs are home to an array of colorful critters, including pygmy seahorses and frogfish. The best time to visit is from December to May when the visibility is excellent, and the waters are calm. You can experience Sardine run, sea turtle encounters, and cave dives.

Expected Expenses (in Philippine Peso):

Diving packages: ₱1,500 – ₱3,000 per dive
Accommodation: ₱1,000 – ₱2,500 per night

Tip: Keep an eye out for Moalboal’s famous sardine run, a mesmerizing spectacle of thousands of sardines swirling in unison.


Location: Batangas || Best Season: November to May

Just a few hours’ drive from Manila, Anilao is hailed as the birthplace of Philippine scuba diving. Its rich marine biodiversity and stunning coral reefs make it a favorite among divers. The best time to visit is from November to April when the waters are calm, and the visibility is optimal.

Expected Expenses (in Philippine Peso):

Diving excursions: ₱1,500 – ₱3,000 per dive

Resort stays: ₱2,500 – ₱6,000 per night

Tip: Enroll in a photography workshop to improve your underwater photography skills and capture stunning shots of Anilao’s marine life.

Malapascua Island

Location: Northernmost tip of Cebu Island || Best Season: December to May

Nestled in the Visayan Sea, Malapascua Island is famed for its encounters with thresher sharks and vibrant coral reefs. The best time to visit is from December to May when the seas are calm, and the thresher sharks are most active.

Expected Expenses (in Philippine Peso):

Dive packages: ₱1,500 – ₱3,000 per dive

Beachfront accommodations: ₱1,500 – ₱4,000 per night

Tip: Dive with a reputable dive operator who practices responsible shark tourism to ensure the safety of both divers and marine life.


Location: Palawan Island || Best season: October through mid-June

In the province of Palawan lies Coron, a paradise both above and below the water’s surface. Explore its World War II shipwrecks, which have become thriving artificial reefs teeming with marine life. The best time to visit is from November to May when the seas are calm, and the visibility is excellent.

Expected Expenses (in Philippine Peso):

Wreck diving tours: ₱2,000 – ₱4,000 per dive

Island-hopping tours: ₱1,500 – ₱3,000 per person

Tip: Take a break from diving and hike up to the stunning viewpoints overlooking Coron’s picturesque landscapes for a breathtaking panorama.

Types of Diving in the Philippines

In the Philippines, divers can experience a variety of diving styles, including:

Recreational Diving: Perfect for beginners and experienced divers alike, recreational diving allows you to explore the colorful reefs and marine life of the Philippines.

Technical Diving: For advanced divers seeking deeper depths and more challenging dive sites, technical diving offers opportunities to explore wrecks, caves, and other unique underwater environments.

Macro Photography: The Philippines is a haven for macro photography enthusiasts, with its abundance of tiny critters and colorful underwater creatures waiting to be captured on camera.

Tip: Brush up on your diving skills and certifications before embarking on your underwater adventure in the Philippines.

Diving Conditions in the Philippines

The Philippines offers excellent diving conditions throughout the year, with warm waters, good visibility, and minimal currents in most areas. However, it’s essential to be mindful of seasonal weather patterns and dive responsibly to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Diving Safety in the Philippines

While diving in the Philippines is generally safe, it’s crucial to prioritize safety at all times. Be sure to dive with a certified dive operator, adhere to dive regulations and guidelines, and always conduct pre-dive safety checks. Additionally, stay informed about local weather conditions and be prepared for any emergencies that may arise.

With its breathtaking dive sites, diverse marine life, and warm hospitality, the Philippines is truly a paradise for scuba diving enthusiasts. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, there’s no shortage of underwater wonders to explore in this tropical archipelago. So, pack your dive gear, book your flights, and get ready for an unforgettable underwater adventure in the Philippines!