Philippines – how to choose itinerary and when to go

/Philippines – how to choose itinerary and when to go

We have already talked about Philippines earlier “Explore Philippines on a liveaboard diving trip”. So now it’s time to have a closer look at diving destinations this amazing country has to offer. Do we all remember that it’s really diverse? So here is you guide to help you to choose your perfect itinerary and explore Philippines on a liveaboard.

Tubbataha Reef

Time to go: March to June

Philippines,Bonito IslandDS1This atoll coral reef situated in the Sulu Sea is made of two atolls that each have a small islet protruding from the water. The wide channel ( 8-km/5-mi ) in between with its diverse ecosystem is what attracts divers from all over the world.
The coral “walls” make it that popular. Here you will be taken by observing the shallow coral reef that suddenly gives its way to great depths. Tubbataha Reef with its unique fauna is a right location to encounter diverse colonies of fish. Be ready to meet hammerheads and manta rays, giant jacks and schools of barracudas, and many more like parrotfish, Moorish idols, moray eels. An absolute must see inhabitant in Tubbataha is the hawksbill sea turtle, which is an endangered species. What is good about this dive spot, it has something extraordinary for everybody. The reef with its dive sites of different complexity suits for all levels from new divers to experienced ones. Newbies will enjoy gentle dives around Lighthouse at the South Atoll, they are also welcome to explore the heaven for macro fans at Delsan Wreck. More experienced divers will meet sharks and manta rays when diving at North Atoll. Tubbataha Reef is famous spot for photographers, Malayan is the best place for shooting numerous crabs, shrimp, nudibranchs, and reef sharks. Unfortunately for its fans diving at Tubbataha is strictly seasonal. Due to the weather conditions in the Sulu Sea the best time to dive is from March through June. The best way to explore Tubattaha Reef is a liveaboard diving trip. Check liveaboards to dive Tubattaha:

  • Tubbataha Reef, Philippines

Visayan Islands

Time to go: November to May

The central tropical islands of the Philippines are most known for stunning beaches, relaxed lifestyle, and of course remarkable dive sites. Six main islands build the Visayas, those are: Cebu, Bohol, Panay, Negros, Leyte, and Samar. The most famous wall diving is at Panay Island, with a depth of 3-30 m (10-98 ft). There is also walls at Negros, however the featured dive sites here are on Apo Island where you can dive with large fish. Diving around Cebu is very different and more adventurous. If you are passionate about turtles and/or would love to encounter them, you should definitely go diving to Dolphin House or Tuble Point. Those who seek to dive with large pelagics and schools of fish should visit another popular location which is Moalboal. Oslob is the place where locals feed whale sharks, it’s situated on the opposite side of Cebu. And do not forget about famous Malapascua Island which is on the far northern point of Cebu, which is featuring dives with thresher sharks. Anothe place to spot pelagic fish and reef sharks is Bohol Island.

  • Visayan Islands, Philippines

Malapascua Island 

Time to go: December to April

This is one of the most famous scuba diving destinations all over Southeast Asia. It is mostly known for thresher shark dives and manta rays. However, it is also right place for finding some wrecks, bright coral walls, tunnels, and diverse fauna. Moreover, its amazing underwater scenery are perfect for photography with models. Philippine Siren is one of the liveaboards that often offers special photo tutorials on board.
This location is number one choice to encounter sharks. Here you can meet numerous whitetip sharks on the sandy bottom in Tunnels near Gato Island. A sunken island Kemod Shoal hosts hammerhead sharks each year from December to May. And unique cleaning station on Monad Shoal is one of the few places in the world where you can almost always find thresher sharks.

  • Malapascua Island