Discover the Best Scuba Diving Spots in the Philippines: A Diver’s Paradise

Discover the Best Scuba Diving Spots in the Philippines: A Diver’s Paradise

The Philippines, an archipelago of over 7,000 islands, is a dream destination for scuba divers from around the globe. Its crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and diverse marine life make it one of the top scuba diving locations in the world. From the breathtaking Tubbataha Reefs to the historical shipwrecks of Coron Bay, the Philippines offers a multitude of underwater adventures waiting to be discovered. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best scuba diving spots in the Philippines, showcasing why this country is a diver’s paradise. In November of this year, we will be traveling to the Philippines for our first group trip to the region aboard the Aggressor Liveaboard. Full details here.

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

Overview: Located in the heart of the Sulu Sea, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its spectacular biodiversity. This remote and protected area is a must-visit for serious divers.

Marine Life: Divers can expect to see a wide array of species, including various types of sharks (such as hammerheads and whale sharks), manta rays, turtles, and a multitude of colorful reef fish. The coral formations here are among the most pristine and diverse in the world.

Dive Sites: Some of the most popular dive sites in Tubbataha include Amos Rock, Washing Machine, and Shark Airport. Each site offers unique underwater landscapes and abundant marine life.

Best Time to Dive: The best time to visit Tubbataha is from mid-March to mid-June when the weather conditions are optimal, and the seas are calm.


Overview: Boracay, famous for its white sandy beaches, is also home to some excellent dive sites. Diving in Boracay is a great choice for divers of all levels, offering a mix of reef and wreck diving.

Marine Life: Divers can encounter a variety of marine species, including colorful reef fish, octopuses, and nudibranchs. The coral reefs around Boracay are teeming with life, providing a beautiful underwater landscape.

Dive Sites: Popular dive sites in Boracay include Yapak, known for its deep walls and pelagic sightings; Crocodile Island, with its vibrant coral gardens; and Camia Wreck, a sunken cargo ship that has become an artificial reef.

Best Time to Dive: The best time to dive in Boracay is from November to May, when the weather is dry and the seas are calm.

Apo Reef Natural Park

Overview: Apo Reef Natural Park, located off the coast of Mindoro, is the second largest contiguous coral reef system in the world, second only to the Great Barrier Reef. It’s a haven for divers seeking to explore expansive coral gardens and vibrant marine ecosystems.

Marine Life: The reef is home to a plethora of marine species, including schools of jacks and barracudas, manta rays, and various shark species. The coral gardens are teeming with life, offering a colorful and dynamic underwater experience.

Dive Sites: Key dive sites within Apo Reef include Shark Ridge, Manta Point, and Binangaan Drop Off. Each site promises thrilling encounters with marine life and stunning underwater vistas.

Best Time to Dive: November to May is the ideal period to dive at Apo Reef, with the best visibility and sea conditions.

thresher shark malapascuaMalapascua Island

Overview: Malapascua Island, located in Cebu, is world-famous for its thresher shark sightings. It’s the only place in the world where divers can reliably see these majestic creatures almost daily.

Marine Life: In addition to thresher sharks, divers can encounter manta rays, nudibranchs, frogfish, and various other macro life forms. The island’s dive sites are rich in biodiversity, making it a popular destination for underwater photographers.

Dive Sites: Monad Shoal is the prime site for thresher shark sightings. Other notable sites include Gato Island, known for its sea snakes and underwater tunnels, and the wreck of the Dona Marilyn, a former passenger ferry.

Best Time to Dive: Diving in Malapascua is great year-round, but the optimal conditions are from November to May.


Overview: Anilao, situated in Batangas, is often referred to as the birthplace of scuba diving in the Philippines. It’s particularly renowned for its macro photography opportunities.

Marine Life: Anilao’s waters are teeming with macro life, including nudibranchs, pygmy seahorses, and frogfish. The diversity and abundance of small marine creatures make it a hotspot for underwater photographers.

Dive Sites: Popular dive sites include Cathedral Rock, a submerged pinnacle with a cross at its peak, and Twin Rocks, known for its rich coral and fish life. Each site offers unique experiences and a plethora of photo opportunities.

Best Time to Dive: The best time to dive in Anilao is from November to May when the visibility is at its best and the seas are calm.

Coron Bay

Overview: Coron Bay, located in Palawan, is famous for its collection of World War II shipwrecks. This historical diving destination offers a unique combination of wreck diving and stunning natural beauty.

Marine Life: The wrecks are now home to a rich variety of marine life, including colorful corals, schools of fish, and occasional sightings of larger pelagic species.

Dive Sites: Notable wrecks include the Irako, a Japanese refrigeration ship; the Akitsushima, a seaplane tender; and the Okikawa Maru, a tanker. Each wreck offers a glimpse into history and an exciting diving experience.

Best Time to Dive: The ideal time to dive in Coron is from October to June, with the best conditions typically found in the dry season.

Puerto Galera

Overview: Located in Mindoro, Puerto Galera is renowned for its vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life. It’s a popular destination for both beginners and experienced divers.

Marine Life: The area boasts a variety of marine species, from colorful reef fish to larger pelagic visitors. The diverse coral gardens are a highlight, offering beautiful underwater landscapes.

Dive Sites: Key dive sites include The Canyons, known for its thrilling drift dives; Verde Island, often referred to as the “center of the center” of marine biodiversity; and Sabang Wrecks, which are teeming with life.

Best Time to Dive: November to June is the best period for diving in Puerto Galera, offering good visibility and calm seas.

Dauin and Apo Island

Overview: Dauin, located near Dumaguete, is famous for its muck diving opportunities, while nearby Apo Island is known for its marine sanctuaries and vibrant coral reefs.

Marine Life: Dauin is a macro diver’s paradise, with frogfish, nudibranchs, and octopuses among the many critters found in the sandy bottoms. Apo Island offers a different experience with its colorful coral gardens, sea turtles, and schools of fish.

Dive Sites: In Dauin, notable sites include the Dauin North and South, while Apo Island’s highlights are the Chapel and Coconut Point.

Best Time to Dive: The best time to dive in Dauin and Apo Island is from November to May, offering optimal conditions and visibility.


Overview: Moalboal, located in Cebu, is renowned for the Sardine Run, where millions of sardines gather, creating a spectacular underwater display.

Marine Life: Apart from the sardines, divers can encounter turtles, reef sharks, and various reef fish. The vibrant coral walls add to the underwater beauty.

Dive Sites: Pescador Island is a must-visit for its dramatic underwater cliffs and diverse marine life. The House Reef is also popular for night dives and macro photography.

Best Time to Dive: Diving in Moalboal is excellent year-round, but the best visibility is typically from March to May.

Siquijor Island

Overview: Known for its mystical charm, Siquijor Island offers serene and beautiful diving experiences. The island’s underwater landscapes are as enchanting as its folklore.

Marine Life: Siquijor’s waters are home to soft and hard corals, a variety of reef fish, and interesting macro life. The clear waters make for excellent visibility and enjoyable dives.

Dive Sites: Key sites include Paliton Wall, known for its drop-offs and diverse marine life, and Tubod Sanctuary, which offers beautiful coral gardens and abundant fish life.

Best Time to Dive: The best time to dive in Siquijor is from November to May, ensuring the best conditions and visibility.

The Philippines offers some of the best scuba diving in the world, with each location providing unique underwater experiences. Whether you’re exploring the pristine reefs of Tubbataha, encountering thresher sharks in Malapascua, or diving the historic wrecks of Coron Bay, there’s something for every diver in this beautiful archipelago. At Saguaro Scuba, we’re dedicated to helping you plan the perfect diving trip, providing top-notch equipment and expert guidance to ensure your underwater adventures are unforgettable. Dive into the Philippines, and discover a diver’s paradise like no other.

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