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Some Philippines abound with superb diving destinations. One of the great strengths of this country is the diversity of the type of dives: whether it is the splendid reefs of Tubbataha reef, the thresher sharks Malapascua, the whale sharks Donsol and Padre Burgos, the macro exceptionalAnilao and of Puerto Galera, the fantastic wrecks of Coron, the huge sardines Moalboal, There is something for every taste !! We could spend a year exploring all the Site (s ! In addition, the dive prices in the Philippines is more than affordable. You will therefore find below the presentation of best diving destinations in the Philippines.

Background: I spent almost 2 years in the Philippines, I worked as an instructor at Malapascua and Bohol, then I was manager of French Kiss Divers Coron for 1 year. So I had time to dive wherever I could and harvest as usual all the good info !!

WHERE TO DIVE IN THE PHILIPPINES?

Some best dive sites in the Philippines :

  1. TUBBATAHA REEF : Top 10 worldwide, exceptional dives!
  2. APO REEF : Sharks and big pelagics!
  3. Malapascua : thresher sharks and macro!
  4. BOHOL (PANGLAO) : The best value for money !
  5. PUERTO GALERA : Beautiful reefs and macro!
  6. APO ISLAND : Great dives and turtle!
  7. CORON  : One of the best places for wreck diving in the world!
  8. PADRE BURGOS : Whale sharks and beautiful reefs!
  9. Anilao : Top 5 of the world macro!
  10. Donsol  : Diving with whale sharks!

DIVING PHILIPPINES REVIEW AND INFO

meilleure plongee philippines tubbataha

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PRESENTATION OF THE PHILIPPINES

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  • Made up of more than 7000 islands, the Philippines contains 10% of the world's marine biodiversity and much are full of beautiful dive sites !
  • We can dive all year in the Philippinesbut depending on the destinations there are seasons or at least the best periods (species, better visibility, access to the best sites ...), I let you keep details by destination.

For a full presentation of diving in the Philippines (all destinations, species, seasons, diving cruises, flora and fauna, etc.)
The full article on all the PHILIPPINES destinations here

THE BEST DIVES IN THE PHILIPPINES

What are the best dive sites in the Philippines?

1.Tubbataha 2.Apo reef 3.Malapascua 4.Bohol 5.Puerto Galera 6.Apo island 7.Coron 8.Padre Burgos 9.Anilao 10Donsol

1. DIVING REVIEW TUBBATAHA: A MIX BETWEEN SPLENDID REEFS AND LARGE PELAGICS

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Tubbataha Reef Liveaboard Reviews

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  • Tubbataha is clearly the best destination in the Philippines ! This marine park classified as a Unesco heritage is simply exceptional!
  • There is everything one could dream of seeing, a just breathtaking reef of beauty, schools of fish everywhere (jacks, barracuda, snapper, fusilier, surgeon, etc.), sharks on every corner, a cleaning station for manta rays, manta rays, eagle rays and marble rays…
  • You also have the possibility of seeing rarer species with a site frequented by whale sharks in migration and sites where you can have the chance to meet hammerhead sharks (solo) and tiger sharks !!
  • Please note, Tubbataha is only accessible by liveaboard and from March to June!

The full article on diving at TUBBATAHA REEF here

Information to Organize your Liveaboard at Tubbataha Reef

  • 6-Tubbataha-reefTubbataha Marine Life:
    • Sharks : white-tip, black-tip, gray reef.
    • Possible Rare Sharks : whale, hammerhead, tiger.
    • Big Pelagic : Napoleon, bumphead parrotfish, tuna, bigeye trevally, grouper, turtle.
    • Schools of Fish : trevally, barracuda, snapper, fusilier, surgeon.
    • Rays: : manta, eagle, marble.
  • Tubbataha Diving Season : March to June.
  • Best Tubbataha diving sites: Delsan wreck, Black rock, Washing machine.
  • Visibility : 25-30 m.
  • Temperature : 28-29 °.
Logo-plongeur-baroudeurTips : the best liveaboards for TUBBATAHA REEF here

Tubbataha Reef Diving Prices

Diving video Tubbataha reef Philippines

1.Tubbataha 2.Apo reef 3.Malapascua 4.Bohol 5.Puerto Galera 6.Apo island 7.Coron 8.Padre Burgos 9.Anilao 10Donsol


2. APO REEF DIVING REVIEW: SHARKS AND LARGE PELAGICS EVERYWHERE!

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Apo reef diving reviews

meilleure plongee philippine apo reef

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site (as Tubbataha), Apo reef is in my opinion the second best destination in the Philippines in terms of diversity (it is often called the “mini-Tubbataha”).
  • We can see schools of fish (barracudas, trevallies, snappers ...), large pelagic (napoleons, humphead parrot, giant trevallies ...) and reef sharks (white tips, black tips), gray sharks and sometimes Thresher sharks.
  • Along his vertiginous walls we can also have the chance in season to cross hammerhead sharks (rather December-January) and manta rays (rather April-May).
  • We can dive all year, but the best season for Apo reef is from november to may. This destination is mainly in liveaboard of a few days (2 to 3 days) to a week when it is compiled with dives to Coron.

The full article on APO REEF here

Information to organize your diving stay at Apo reef

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  • Apo reef marine life:
    • Lone hammerhead sharks possible from January to March.
    • Manta ray possible from February to April.
    • Eagle ray possible.
    • Reef shark : gray, white tip, black tip.
    • School of pelagics: barracuda, kingfish, tuna, grouper, snapper, fusilier, batfish, triggerfish.
    • Large pelagics: giant trevally, napoleon, tuna, grouper, sweetlips, humphead parrot.
    • Tortoise.
  • Best diving period Apo reef : January to June.
  • Hammerhead shark season : January to March.
  • Best Apo reef dive sites: Apo 29, Shark airport, SE corner, Ego wall, Mabouti, Aladin.
  • Visibility : 30 m.
  • Temperature : 27-28 °.
Logo-plongeur-baroudeurTips : the best diving cruises for APO REEF here

Apo reef Philippines diving video

1.Tubbataha 2.Apo reef 3.Malapascua 4.Bohol 5.Puerto Galera 6.Apo island 7.Coron 8.Padre Burgos 9.Anilao 10Donsol


3. MALAPASCUA DIVING REVIEW: THRESHER SHARK AND MACRO!

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Diving Malapascua reviews

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  • Malapascua is worldwide famous thanks to his website Monad shoal and the exceptional possibility of being able see the very rare and so unique Thresher Shark at a recreational depth (30m).
  • Malapascua has also a little paradise of the macrowhere you can find frog fish, ghost fish, seahorses, fish pipes and for the luckiest of blue ringed octopus, mimic octopus and flamboyant cuttlefish.
  • There are also the sites of Gato island (and his famous shark cave) and Kalaggaman island are worth the detour. The best conditions to dive are from  January to June.

The full article on MALAPASCUA here

Info to organize your diving trip to Malapascua

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  • Marine life :
    • Thresher shark (Monad shoal only)
    • Reef shark (only at Shark cave Gato island
    • Macro: seahorse, ghost fish, frogfish, nudibranchs, blue ringed octopus.
  • Best time to dive Malapascua: January to June.
  • Best Malapascua dive site: Monad shoal, Gato island, Shark cave.
Logo-plongeur-baroudeurTips : the best liveaboards in the VISAYAS (Malapascua, Bohol, Padre burgos) here

Diving video Malapascua Philippines

1.Tubbataha 2.Apo reef 3.Malapascua 4.Bohol 5.Puerto Galera 6.Apo island 7.Coron 8.Padre Burgos 9.Anilao 10Donsol


4. BOHOL DIVING REVIEW (PANGLAO): BEST DIVING QUALITY-PRICE RATIO IN THE PHILIPPINES!

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Diving Bohol (Panglao) reviews

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  • The dives in Bohol, and more particularly in Panglao and the island of Balicasag, are superb, without a doubt the most beautiful dives in the Visayas.
  • Value for money (not everyone can afford Tubbataha or even Apo reef), it's really what I did best in the Philippines (with Puerto Galera).
  • Dives in Panglao are top, it's teeming with fish (young ladies, angel fish, surgeon fish, butterfly fish, triggerfish, snapper ...), the coral is splendid, varied, colorful and healthy and the macro is at the rendez-vous (frogfish, nudibranchs, seahorses, etc.).
  • Do not miss Balicasag, have the best dives in Panglao! There is the largest amount of fish, sea turtles and a huge school of jacks who wander around the island.
  • Finally, the site of Napaling possesses a sardine bowl almost as big as the one in Moalboal and also easily accessible!

The full article on BOHOL dives here

Information to organize your diving stay in Bohol

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  • Marine life: turtles, frogfish + all the classic fish of the tropics.
  • Possible marine life : school of trevallies, school of sardines, ghost fish, seahorses, blue-ringed octopus.
  • Best Bohol diving period: January to June.
  • Bohol diving cruise
  • Best dive sites : Black Forest (Balicasag), Santuary (Balicasag), Pontod (Virgin island), Gak-ang, Doljo point, Napaling (bench of sardines), Arco.
Logo-plongeur-baroudeurTips : the best liveaboards in the VISAYAS (Malapascua, Bohol, Padre burgos) here

Bohol Philippines diving video

1.Tubbataha 2.Apo reef 3.Malapascua 4.Bohol 5.Puerto Galera 6.Apo island 7.Coron 8.Padre Burgos 9.Anilao 10Donsol

5. DIVE REVIEW PUERTO GALERA: BEAUTIFUL REEFS AND MACRO!

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Diving Puerto Galera reviews

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  • A team of California marine scientists said in 2006 that the Philippines was the center of marine biodiversity of the world and that the Verde island passage was the "Center of the center " Well, Puerto Galera is located just outside this strait!
  • Marine life is abundant with many tropical fish (damselflies, angel fish, clown fish, butterfly fish, triggerfish, batfish), the coral is beautiful and the macro at the rendez-vous with in particular dozens and dozens of kinds of nudibranchs.
  • On some sites it is also possible to see reef sharks, barracudas, tuna and sea turtles.

The full article on dives at PUERTO GALERA here

Information to organize your diving stay in Puerto Galera

  • Marine life: turtle, frog fish, seahorse, nudibranch + all classic tropical fish.
  • Possible marine life : shark, school of jacks, ghost fish, blue-ringed octopus, mimic octopus.
  • Best diving period in Puerto Galera: January to June.
  • Best site Puerto Galera : Verde Island.

Diving video Puerto Galera Philippines

1.Tubbataha 2.Apo reef 3.Malapascua 4.Bohol 5.Puerto Galera 6.Apo island 7.Coron 8.Padre Burgos 9.Anilao 10Donsol


6. APO ISLAND DIVING REVIEW: SUPERB DIVES AND TURTLES!

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Diving Apo island reviews

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  • Like Panglao in Bohol, Apo Island surely offers one best value for diving in the Philippines.
  • The quality of the dives is superb: a beautiful coral garden surrounds the island, all the common fish of the Philippines present in number (damsel, angel fish, surgeon fish, butterfly fish, trigger, snapper ....), sea turtles, of the macro (frogfish, nudibranch, hippocampus ....) and a school of jacks who always strolls near the Coconut site.
  • The side East of the island, which contains the best dives, was closed for regeneration after a violent cyclone in 2014.

The full article on diving at APO ISLAND here

Information to organize your diving stay in Apo island

  • Marine life: turtles, frogfish + all the classic fish of the tropics.
  • Possible marine life : school of jacks, ghost fish, seahorses.
  • Best dive period Apo island: January to June.
  • Best Apo Island dive sites : Coconut point, Cogon, Masma, Rock point east, Sanctuary point.

Apo Island Philippines diving video

1.Tubbataha 2.Apo reef 3.Malapascua 4.Bohol 5.Puerto Galera 6.Apo island 7.Coron 8.Padre Burgos 9.Anilao 10Donsol


7. CORON DIVING OPINION: ONE OF THE BEST SHIP WRECK SITES IN THE WORLD!

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Coron diving reviews

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  • Coron offers a few the best wreck dives in the world.
  • In 1944, a dozen Japanese ships of the second world war were sunk by an American air attack. Today these ships are splendid dive sites, covered with coral and attracting marine life. There are some for all tastes, from beginner to experienced diver who wants to enter wrecks. After Truk lagoon, Coron is probably the world's best known site for wreck dives.
  • In Coron, there is also Barracuda lake, a beautiful place surrounded by cliffs. In this lake we can experience a crazy thermocline as one goes down from 28 ° to 40 °, dive into an environment that looks like the moon and may be lucky enough to see THE barracuda in the Lake!
  • There is also a protected area where there are still some dugongs (type of manatee or sea cow).
    Finally there are departures for Apo reef.

The full article on CORON dives here

Information to organize your diving stay in Coron

  • Marine life: giant trevally, trevally, scorpion fish, crocodile fish, grouper, snapper, sweetlips, clown fish, lion fish, turtles.
  • Possible marine life : shark (north busuanga), dugong (north busuanga).
  • Best coron shipwrecks : Irako, Kyokuzan, Akitsushima, Okikawa, Morazan.
  • Best Coron Dive Period: January to June.
Logo-plongeur-baroudeurTips : the best liveaboards for APO REEF from Coron here

Coron Philippines diving video

1.Tubbataha 2.Apo reef 3.Malapascua 4.Bohol 5.Puerto Galera 6.Apo island 7.Coron 8.Padre Burgos 9.Anilao 10Donsol

8. PADRE BURGOS DIVING REVIEW: WHALE SHARKS AND BEAUTIFUL REEF!

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Diving Padre Burgos reviews

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  • Padre Burgos is not yet a very famous diving destination in the Philippines and yet it is well worth the detour!
  • Again off the beaten track, the coral is magnificent, the macro is super and there are a lot fewer people than in the more famous sites.
  • It is also above all an unknown place and rather accessible to dive with whale sharks in season (December - May) !! If you are a diver and you are close to Cebu, go live!

The full article on dives at PADRE BURGOS here

Information to organize your diving stay in Padre Burgos

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  • Marine life : frogfish, seahorse, ghost fish, dozens of different nudibranchs, scorpion fish…. + all classic tropical fish.
  • Best diving period Padre Burgos: January to June.
  • Bira whale shark Padre burgos: December to May
Logo-plongeur-baroudeurTips : the best liveaboards in the VISAYAS (Malapascua, Bohol, Padre burgos) here

Diving video Padre Burgos Philippines

1.Tubbataha 2.Apo reef 3.Malapascua 4.Bohol 5.Puerto Galera 6.Apo island 7.Coron 8.Padre Burgos 9.Anilao 10Donsol


9. ANILAO DIVING REVIEW: TOP 5 OF THE WORLD MACRO!

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Anilao diving reviews

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  • Anilao is part of world's best macro and muck diving sites (with Lembeh and Ambon in Indonesia).
  • Each of its sites (around ten in all) contains very rare creatures : blue ringed octopus, mimic octopus, octopus wonderpus, scorpion fish, ghost fish (ornate, rustic ...), several species seahorses, dozens of nudibranchs different ...
  • By cons, if you do not like the macro, do not go!

Information to organize your diving stay in Anilao

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  • Marine life: frogfish, nudibranchs, hippocampus, ghost pipefish, scorpionfish.
  • Possible marine life : blue-ringed octopus, mimic octopus, wonderpus octopus, flamboyant cuttlefish.
  • Best Anilao diving period: January to June.
  • Top Anilao Sites : Cathedral Rock, Ligpo Island, Anilao Pier.
1.Tubbataha 2.Apo reef 3.Malapascua 4.Bohol 5.Puerto Galera 6.Apo island 7.Coron 8.Padre Burgos 9.Anilao 10Donsol


10. DONSOL DIVING REVIEW: DIVING WITH WHALE SHARKS!

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Donsol dive reviews

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  • The dives near Donsol are not the most beautiful in the Philippines.
  • In contrast, Donsol is a well-known crossing point for whale sharks (from December to June).
  • The Manta bowl site (close to Ticao) offers thean exceptional opportunity to cross these nice giants during a dive. On the same site, you will also be able to see manta rays and reef sharks. That is sure the cheapest place in the world where you can dive with whale sharks !!

The full article on DONSOL dives here

Information to organize your diving stay in Donsol

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  • Possible marine life : whale sharks, manta ray, reef shark.
  • Best Donsol diving period: January to June
  • Donsol whale shark season: December to May
  • Best Donsol Site : Manta bowl.

Donsol Philippines diving video

1.Tubbataha 2.Apo reef 3.Malapascua 4.Bohol 5.Puerto Galera 6.Apo island 7.Coron 8.Padre Burgos 9.Anilao 10Donsol

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BEST DIVING SPOTS IN THE PHILIPPINES BY SPECIES

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MY DIVING REVIEW ON THE PHILIPPINES

Some Philippines is a really great country for diving! There are a lot of choices : a lot of macro, some big stuff, some beautiful corals, wrecks and unique species or very rare (Thresher sharks, whale sharks, hammerhead sharks…). It is true thatIndonesia offers prestigious destinations (Raja Ampat, Komodo, Lembeh…) but for me the Philippines is just behind in terms of variety and of possibilities. From my experience, the dives are much better than in Malaysia (except Sipadan and Layan Layan) and only in Thailand. If you want dive in Asia and whether you have already done Indonesia (or not), don't hesitate to go to the Philippines!

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