For a few years now the diving industry has been exposed to the term “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” through social media, newsletters, and at dive exhibitions and we could not agree more. Amongst the team here at Ultimate Diving, we have visited the Philippines over a dozen times and can never get enough of what it has on offer above or below the water. Our 2020 Philippines diving holidays are sure to impress.
We know that all adventure-seekers and underwater enthusiasts will fall in love with this green archipelago the moment they arrive. With its bustling cities, picture-perfect beaches, breath-taking reefs, pelagic action, exhilarating wrecks, cascading waterfalls, mountain ranges, volcanic lakes, UNESCO World Heritage sites and winding rivers. It offers everything the seasoned traveller could wish for.
When to dive the Philippines?
The typical diving season for the Philippines runs from October to May but diving is possible all year round. If you are seeking all round tropical blue skies, good visibility, and nice dry and hot weather then March to May are the months to visit.
5 reasons to visit the Philippines
1) Great diving: As already mentioned the Philippines boasts some of the best diving holidays and finest dive sites with colourful reefs, pelagic action and sunken shipwrecks. The diversity of the islands is reflected underwater with the vastly diverse marine live, home to 2,000 species of fish and 400 coral species. Choose to dive with dugongs at Dimakya Island, get up close and personal with thresher sharks in Malapascua or be in the midst of the fluoro diving or dancing sardines in Moalboal, the choice is yours!
2) Friendly locals: Expect a friendly welcome when you arrive anywhere in the Philippines. Filipinos have been voted amongst the friendliest nations in the world and their smiles are just contagious.
3) Breath-taking landscapes: When you are not diving there will always be something waiting for you to explore. Depending on where you have selected to spend your holiday you will have waterfalls and trekking trials, world-famous rice terraces, chocolate hills and stunning lakes. The team here at Ultimate Diving understands the logistics of these places and will happily assist planning some of these trips into your once in a lifetime diving holiday.
4) Great food: Just like many other South East Asia countries, food is a huge part of the Filipino lifestyle and this also includes one of our local favourites, street food. Just imagine yourself grabbing succulent meat dishes on skewers or a bowl of stew with amazing, sweet, or sour sauce and a handful of local rice to go. Hmmm, takes us right back to one of our trips here.
5) Good weather: The Philippines is one of those places in the world where all you need to pack is shorts, t-shirts, sun hat and off course your diving gear. The air temperature ranges between 29 and 34 degrees Celsius and the typical diving season for the Philippines runs from October to May but diving is possible all year round. If you are seeking all round tropical blue skies, good visibility, nice dry and hot weather then March to May are the months to visit.
Our Top Diving Picks
1) Malapascua lies in the heart of the Visayan Sea offering a mix of sweeping sandy beaches and picturesque bays. This charming island also offers an all-round diving experience including wrecks, many amazing marine species on its coral reefs and the elusive Thresher Shark encounter, making it one of the only places in the world were daily sightings is almost guaranteed! The Exotic Dive & Beach Resort is the pioneer dive resort in Malapascua, established in 1998 Exotic has grown over the years and now is the largest dive resort on the island. It offers dive enthusiasts the perfect place to holiday and enjoy underwater delights including colourful mandarin fish, thresher sharks, mantas and pygmy seahorses to name but a few, without compromising its original laid-back charm and outstanding service.
Other highlights include the fantastic swim-throughs and underwater rock structures found on nearby Gato Island, also home to the fascinating Donna Marilyn and Pioneer wrecks.
2) Dauin in Dumaguete located on the south coast of Negros Island is a world-class location for muck diving. Here you are sure to have countless encounters with different species and sizes of frogfish as well as other small and weird creatures. From here, Apo Island is an absolute must on a day trip, you will get to experience beautiful drift dives and huge schools of pelagic fish as well as multiple encounters with turtles.
The luxurious Atlantis Dumaguete is located on a long peaceful stretch of beach with out of this world diving close by including Apo Island, Siquijor and Dauin marine.
3) Tubbataha was the first National Park within the Philippines and it is undoubtedly one of the best diving destinations in the world comprising of over 100,000 hectares of protected reefs. Not only is this home to half of all the coral species in the world but the area is only available to divers during a very short season between Mid-March and Mid-June which means these healthy reefs are isolated from divers for the rest of the year.
Due to the remote access and diving exposure to this area, demand for trips is always very high so we recommend always planning ahead for this trip of a lifetime. The Atlantis Azores is highly recommended. This luxury 33 metre boat allows you to experience the finest diving in the Philippines by offering 4 route options including Tubbataha Reef.