Diving in Filipijnen

With 7,107 islands, the Philippines offers opportunities for every level. Advanced divers can enjoy deep wrecks, while beginners will appreciate easy beach entries. 1,200 macro and pelagic species await.

Diving in Filipijnen

Quick facts

The Philippines has thousands of dive sites. These are spread out mostly around the Luzon and Visayas regions. Whatever your dive experience, you are sure to be spoilt for choice.

In the Luzon region, nearby Manila, Puerto Galera is the perfect place to begin your scuba adventure. With easy beach entries and plentiful macro life, thousands of divers use the area to get certified every year. For those in the Manila region and looking for wreck diving, Subic Bay offers divers the chance to get up close and personal with sunken WWII warships.

Further south in the Luzon region, wild Palawan has long been considered one of the best and cheapest places to gain an advanced certification. A variety of WWII warships and planes lie at depths of 66 feet (20 meters) and more. Today, soft corals, turtles, a plethora of fish species and sea snakes call the wrecks home.

Divers interested in pelagics should make a point of heading to the central Visayas. In Malapascua, visitors can see skittish thresher sharks. While Oslob has a resident population of whale sharks. The biodiversity doesn’t end there. Moalboal, Balicasag and Apo Island are world-class dive sites rich in marine life such as schools of jacks, sardine balls, rays and the occasional shark.

The Philippines is the perfect destination for gaining and perfecting new scuba skills while enjoying a wide array of underwater life and an easygoing vacation above the water.

Recommended training

Take the AWARE – Coral Reef Conservation, AWARE – Fish Identification and PADI Digital Underwater Photographer courses to understand and to capture the beauty of the marine life. With walls, currents and wrecks, it’s a good idea to take the PADI Deep Diver, Drift Diver and Wreck Diver courses. Technical diving on the deep wrecks requires special training, look into PADI TecRec courses, including the PADI Rebreather Diver course, if interested.

When to go

You can dive year-round in the Philippines, but there are three distinct seasons that affect dive conditions. December through March is the northeast monsoon that can bring strong winds. April through June is usually dry with warm days and little wind. July through November is the southwest monsoon, which is wet but the water is warm. Air temperatures average 25-32°C/78-90°F with high relative humidity.

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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Where to dive

USD 672Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
USD 737Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
USD 1.503Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
17 Reviews
USD 1.439Per trip
4 Reviews
USD 2.820Per trip
145 Reviews
USD 2.080Per trip

What to see

With over 1200 marine species and 400 of the world’s 500 coral species, the question isn’t what will I see diving in the Philippines; it’s what won’t I see.

The Philippines is a great area for spotting barracuda, emperor fish, scorpion fish, moray eel, tuna, batfish, Moorish idol, trevally, and flute mouth. On the more unusual side of things, the Philippines is also home to lionfish, triggerfish, pygmy seahorses, trumpet fish, mantis shrimp, unicorn fish, wrasse, squid, parrot fish and octopus.

Pelagics are plentiful in the Philippines, too. Sightings may include whale sharks, manta rays, eagle rays, devil rays and sharks such as hammerheads and thresher sharks.

Wherever you are, you’ll be filling up your dive logs faster than you can say, “It’s more fun in the Philippines.”


For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.

Most likely sightingsPossible sightings


The Philippines, known as the Pearl of the Orient Seas, is located in Southeast Asia, just across the South China Sea from Hong Kong and south of Taiwan. The tropical climate includes three distinct seasons. From July to November, the southwest monsoon brings wet weather and warm water. December to March is the northeast monsoon which is associated with strong winds. While April to June is usually dry with little wind. Water temperatures vary between 73-86°F (23-30°C) while air temperatures range from 77-90°F (25-32°C).

After being occupied by Spain, the United States and Japan, the Philippines gained independence in 1946. Today, the island nation enjoys relative stability, although Islamic rebels in the Mindanao region sometimes create conflict. Be sure to check your country’s travel warnings before heading to the region.

With only 2000 inhabited islands of the 7107 in the Philippines, the country offers both tourist hotspots and deserted destinations. A wide range of accommodation is available from ultra-luxurious dive resorts to budget bungalows. Liveaboard dive adventures are also available to allow for the opportunity to visit more than one island in only a few days.

During high season (November-April), dive sites and resort areas may be very crowded. However, low season (June-October) brings hefty discounts and bartering power. Whatever the season, diving from Bankas (traditional Filipino boats) into the diverse Filipino waters is sure to impress.

Other attractions

When you aren’t diving, the Philippines has a plethora of activities to keep you active. Sun and sand are the name of the game in this island nation. With some of the best white sand beaches in the world, a beach day should be on every visitor’s itinerary. Island hopping tours (both boozy and family-friendly) are a great option for enjoying uninhabited islands. Other water sports include sea kayaking and windsurfing. For more terrestrial adventures, visitors can hike the Taal Volcano, gape at gorgeous rice terraces in Banaue, tour historical churches or seek out rare wildlife such as the gremlin-like tarsier. Of course, a day spent sleeping in, eating delicious Filipino BBQ and watching the sun sink into the water while dreaming of your next dive is also a worthy option.

Getting there

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL, Manila), Clark International Airport (CRK, Manila), Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB, Cebu) and Kalibo International Airport (KLO, Boracay) are all well-connected by international flights originating in Europe, North America and Australia. Once in the country, visitors can use local ferries to travel locally. Cebu Pacific and AirAsia offer low-cost inter-island flights.


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Calling code

220 V

Electric volt




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Main airport
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.

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