The Philippines consist of more than 7,500 islands with 36,289 km/22,549 mi of coastline, which is the fifth longest coast in the world.
The Philippines is part of the Coral Triangle, which means that it has abundant marine species, from little seahorses and harlequin shrimp to thresher sharks and dugongs. The fauna includes hundreds of coral species, and the Philippines is one of the places richest in corals in the world.
When to dive
While the water temperature is constant all year round (not less than 27°C/81°F), the climate is divided into the dry and wet season. The dry season is between November and May, and April is the hottest month. The dry season is better for visiting because the visibility at all dive sites is great and there is a higher chance to see any species you want. Fall is the least recommended season for liveaboard diving, because the islands are most frequently hit by typhoons during this time. The common path of typhoons is over Samar Island and on to China and Japan, but Cebu Island can also be affected from time to time by overcast skies and rain that lasts for several days.
The history of the Philippines is rich in wrecks and battles, which makes it a perfect place for those liveaboard guests who love wreck diving and enjoy stories about great ships, such as the WWII Japanese fleet sunk at Coron Bay.
The Philippines is definitely the place for a diving safari. While some places are accessible from the shore, trips to the dive sites take time out of your underwater experience. The long distances between the best dive sites and rich selection of sites make liveaboard diving trips the best way to get the most out of your trip and see the largest number of marine species during your diving holiday.
Liveaboards come in a variety of sizes and packages depending on your needs and budget. The itineraries of the Philippine liveaboards vary a lot, because each route is created and chosen based on different themes, such as focusing on wreck diving at Coron Bay or having a shark weekend in the Visayas.
Most of the time the diving tours are for 7 nights, but trips of up to 10-14 nights are also available. If you choose an extended Philippine tour, make sure to check availability, because such trips are much rarer. You will visit at least 5 different islands in a trip, but the number may vary. You will be able to make 3-4 dives a day, but for crazy divers willing to get the most there are boats offering up to 5 dives a day.
Must-see spots in the Philippines
Philippines dive sites are diverse and frequently one-of-a-kind. The islands offer a wide range of opportunities for every type of diver, from beginners to professionals and photographers.
Divers can enjoy a very famous place called Puerto Galera. This is a group of wrecks where the blue throat triggerfish wanders in between the pink corals with white-tailed moray eels. Here you can also visit Apo Reef to see coral reef snakes and white and black sharks.
If you prefer wreck dives, then Coron Bay will be your best match.
Tubbataha is a well-known spot for photographers because of its diversity of flora and fauna.
If you like to see sharks, then Malapascua Island is the best place to start. It is a famous place to begin the day with awesome shark encounters, and you will almost always see thresher sharks at the Monad Shoal cleaning station.
More about Philippines itineraries is coming soon…