Padre Burgos is not yet a very famous place and yet it is one of the best destinations to make a diving with a Whale Sharks in season (December-May) at Philippines ! Far from the beaten track, the flora and fauna are magnificent, the macro superb and there are much less people than in the more famous sites (Apo reef, Malapascua, Apo island, Coron…). If you want plunge around Cebu, go direct!

Background: I spent more than a year in the Philippines and tried to do the best spots, especially those off the beaten path and Padre Burgos was on the list!

# Overview
# Presentation
# Diving with
# Dive with whale sharks
# Dive sites 
# Seasons and conditions 
# Dive centers
# Accommodation 
# Get to 
# My diving review

Padre 1-min


Padre 5-min

  • A little known place for dive with whale sharks in the Phillippines.
  • Whale sharks season : December to May
  • The coral is splendid and the macro very provided.
  • Apart from the whale shark, not famous for the big one.
  • No French diving club.
  • Access: by boat from Cebu and Bohol.
Logo-plongeur-baroudeurRecommendations by category of divers:

> New diver : the dives are beautiful, but there is easier access for you.
> Confirmed: to see whale sharks (rather than Donsol), but a bit complicated to access and not much else to do around.
> Experienced : to see whale sharks (rather than Donsol), still unknown, so without too many people and especially the dives around are beautiful.


Carte se rendre à-min

Where is Padre Burgos in the Philippines?

  • Padre Burgos is found in Sogod Bay on the island of Leyte.
  • You have probably never heard of it, but it's actually east of Cebu (6h of boat) and above Bohol (3h boat from the north).
  • Letre is a big island, still undeveloped, where people are still really authentic.


#Overview #Presentation #Diving with #Whale sharks #Sites #seasons #Dive centers #Accommodation #Get to #My diving reviews


How is diving in Padre Burgos and Sogod Bay?

I was pleasantly surprised! I found the diving very interesting, a mix of gorgeous coral, macro and the ability to see whale sharks!

Quality of the reef at Padre Burgos

Padre 17-min

  • The quality of the coral is among the most beautiful I have seen in the Philippines, a beautiful variety of soft and hard corals with a lot of sea fans.
  • A lot of life around the reefs, anthias, demoisselles, snapper beds, clown fish, parrots ...

Very good MACRO in Padre Burgos

Padre 3-min

  • Macro fans will be delighted!
  • Many very nice species to see: frogfish, seahorse, ghost fish, dozens of nudibranchs different, scorpion fish
  • Do not hesitate to go diving at night under the jetty, a lot of macro (cuttlefish, frogfish, octopus, ghost fish ...), and a lot of juvenile species.

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Big Pelagic

  • Padre Burgos and Sogod Bay are not known to house large pelagic (except for whale sharks), do not come here to see reef sharks, barracudas or tunas.
  • In some periods when the currents are stronger, the island of Limasawa is the best place for that, possibly with passages of eagle rays or even manta rays!

Padre Burgos diving video 

Diving photos Padre Burgos

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#Overview #Presentation #Diving with #Whale sharks #Sites #seasons #Dive centers #Accommodation #Get to #My diving review


Nobody knows this place (like me some time ago), but Padre burgos is the hidden corner of the Philippines to dive with whale sharks !! So I'm telling you how it's going.


Where can you see whale sharks in the Philippines?

The most famous places are Oslob and Donsol.

  • Oslob : I you strongly discourages going to Oslob, basically they feed them, so it completely disrupts their habitat, and there is too much people! I let you read this article to better understand.
  • Donsol : I do not recommend snorkeling with whale sharks, but you have the opportunity to see them in diving (the full article here).

The advantage of Sogod Bay: easier to access than Donsol!

  • The problem of Donsol is that it is not often on the road schedule of travelers, so going is often binding ...
  • Leyte is easier to access, at only 6h from Cebu boat and 3h from Bohol.

Whale shark season at Padre Burgos

  • Requin baleineLike Donsol, the south of Sogod Bay (where Padre burgos is) is a whale shark crossing point in season.
  • The season is November to April

How to dive with whale sharks in Padre Burgos?

  • In fact there is an area where you can see whale sharks (south east of Sogod Bay).
  • As at Donsol, they organize snorkeling excursions to go see them.
  • The trick is to go to the Sonok website who is the closest dive site to this area and hope to see them under water! In season it's almost guaranteed !!
  • The top is to organize with the center a diving trip with 2 or 3 bottles to maximize your chances! If you are a small group it should be possible.
    I tried but we were only two, so they did not want, but I know others have already done!
#Overview #Presentation #Diving with #Whale sharks #Sites #seasons #Dive centers #Accommodation #Get to #My diving review


Map of dive sites Padre Burgos

carte sites de plongee padre burgos philippines

What are the best dive sites in Padre Burgos?

  • Sonok


    • Of course one of the most famous sites will be the one where we have most likely to see whale sharks diving to Padre Burgos!
    • Located south east of Sogod Bay, Sonok also has a beautiful reef which allows to wait patiently until the meeting with a whale shark !!
  • Napantau (marine protected area)

Padre 7-min

    • One of the most beautiful sites of Padre Burgos for sure!
    • A magnificent reef composed of soft and hard corals, some damsels and anthias swarming everywhere, some snapper benches and a superb macro : frogfish, seahorse, ghost fish, different types of nudibranchs…
  • Limasawa island (Zach's Cove and Adrian's Cove):

Padre 4-min

    • A mixture of walls, falling walls, small caves, arches ...
    • This area is located southwest of the bay and is subject to many more currents, therefore during certain periods it is very common to see larger pelagics: eagle rays, manta rays, jacks, even see whale sharks in season !


  • Padre Burgos jetty (night dive)

Padre 45-min

    • If you are night dive and macro fan, do not hesitate to go to the jetty of Padre Burgos.
    • As often in this kind of place, you will find at night many rare creatures : frogfish, octopus, cuttlefish, sea horse, ghost fish, different types of crabs and nudibranchs, morays
    • Very nice to do!


  • Max's Climax, Voltaire's Rock and Bulawarte:

Padre 8-min

    • I did not do them, but normally a lot of action with a lot of power.
    • Opportunity to see pygmy seahorses, of the frog fish and turtles.


  • Medicare north and south (protected marine area):

    • I did not do them but normally best sites to see green and nested turtles.
#Overview #Presentation #Diving with #Whale sharks #Sites #seasons #Dive centers #Accommodation #Get to #My diving review


The best whale shark diving season in Padre Burgos is December to May.

You can almost dive all year round in Puerto Galera but the best diving season is of January to June.

When to dive in Padre Burgos?

Padre 7-min

  • Avoid the rainy season in Padre Burgos from July to September.
  • Avoid the cyclone season in Padre Burgos from October to December: diving trips can be canceled.


Diving conditions Padre Burgos:

  • Visibility in Padre Burgos : good, 20 to 30 m.
  • Padre Burgos water temperature : 27-29 ° on average.
  • Current Padre Burgos : not known to have strong currents.


The best dive centers Padre Burgos

Padre Burgos has only a few dive centers (which are also housing):

That's where I slept and dipped, nothing to complain about, everything is gone: the divemasters were pros, good equipment, lots of space on the boat, good general organization ...

French diving club in Padre Burgos

  • There are not to my knowledge of French-speaking diving club in Padre Burgos.
  • I advise you send an email before to check those who may have French speaking staff.
#Overview #Presentation #Diving with #Whale sharks #Sites #seasons #Dive centers #Accommodation #Get to #My diving review



It is still quite long to get to Padre Burgos and Sogod Bay, but you have ferries from Cebu and Bohol.

carte comment aller a padre burgos sogod bay philippines

Route Manila to Padre Burgos:

Manila to Padre Burgos by plane : direct flight to Tacloban 3 times a day + around 3 hours by bus (350 php) to Padre Burgos.

Cebu to Padre Burgos route:

  • Cebu to Padre Burgos by plane : direct flight to Tacloban twice a day + around 3 hours by bus (350 php) to Padre Burgos.
  • Cebu to Padre Burgos journey by boat (ferry with 2GB): several cities available (Maasin, Hilongos, Bato ...), about 6h.
  • I advise you to watch the schedules on 2go see see the one that suits you best.
  • It will take you 2 to 3 hours by bus to reach Padre Burgos depending on the city of arrival.

Route Bohol to Padre Burgos:

Bohol to Padre Burgos by boat (ferry with 2GB): from Ubay (North Bohol) to Bato or Hilongos + around 3 hours by bus to Padre Burgos.

#Overview #Presentation #Diving with #Whale sharks #Sites #seasons #Dive centers #Accommodation #Get to #My diving review


As often, I dive into these little-known places thanks to good advice from friends on the spot. Padre burgos is not at the level of Tubbataha or Apo reef, however he offers a solution for the chance to see whale sharks diving much closer than Donsol (6 hours from Cebu). In addition, the exceptional quality of its reef, the variety of its macro and the good visibility make Padre Burgos a destination still off the beaten track to discover!

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