With more than 7000 islands and a coastline twice the length of that of the United States, the Philippines can claim to be Asia’s Beach Capital. Visitors can enjoy the warm crystal blue waters of both the China Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
From scuba dives in strong currents and the deep sea, to ship wreck dives for history’s sunken glory, the Philippine archipelago offers plenty of unforgettable and rewarding dive experiences. There are close to 25 shipwreck dive sites in the country. Underwater divers can explore the sunken wreckage of century-old Spanish galleons and World War II vessels in Subic Bay, one of the best wreck diving sites in Asia, as well as the remarkable wrecks in Busuanga and Malapascua.
Just a short hop from Manila, at the heart of Oriental Mindoro sits Puerto Galera, which literally means Port of Galleons; its sheltered bays have been a safe haven for sailors for centuries. On the Puerto Galera peninsula diving is a year round activity to be enjoyed by all, from rare critters to sponges, crinoids, anemones, hard and soft corals, cutlefish, rays and from time to time sharks! The coastal town is alo well known for its numerous beaches, amongst them Sabang Beach and White Beach, which have an active nightlife with numerous bars and restaurants. The diving here is a combination of shallow corals reefs and all the macro life you can dream of.
Atlantis Puerto Galera Dive Resort boasts 40 air conditioned guest rooms and suites all elegantly designed to give you maximum comfort & privacy throughout your stay. There are 30+ dive sites within a 10 – 15 minute boat ride from their beach. Dive groups are kept to six or less and are always lead b experienced guides. Five scheduled dives are offered daily.
El Galleon/Asia Divers – Located on Small Lalaguna beach, El Galleon’s cottages offer peace and tranquility with private rooms nestled amongst palms trees and views of the crystal clear waters of the Philippine Sea only a stones throw away. The resort has 12 poolside rooms, 3 family rooms, 11 seaview rooms and 1 pent house. Asia Divers, the in house dive operator, offers one of the most complete diver training programs on Puerto Galera and is also one of a few PADI CDC’s in the Philippines. Four scheduled dives are offered daily, night dives are available on request.
Easily accessible from Puerto Galera are the walls of Verde Island. Be sure to ask about day trips out to Verde Island from either resort. The waters around Puerto Galera were declared a marine sanctuary several decades ago which has allowed the already vibrant corals reefs to explode!
The city of Dumaguete is located in the Philippine province of Negros Oriental. It is the capital, principal seaport and largestcity in the province. Just outside the city lies the gateway to the diverse coral reef ecosystems the Philippines are famous for. The most popular is Apo Island, known for its drift diving and magnificent soft coral dive sites.
Bahura Resort & Spa – Located in the town of Dauin, Bahura Resort & Spa is a 25-minute ride by car from the Dumaguete airport, and an hour’s drive to spectacular cave explorations, cascading waterfalls and whale & dolphin-watching centers. This tropical garden resort has 8 luxuriously-appointed villas and 32 modern-detailed hotel rooms. The villas offer intimate personal spaces for you to relax, soak in the sun and enjoy the panoramic vista. The house reef offers a window to the underwater world of corals and vibrant fishes, while the dive sites in the area features some truly world class diving. From day dives to night dives, the PADI dive center provides complete equipment rental, fully qualified PADI Dive master guides and boats to and from the dive sites.
Atlantis Dumaguete Resort is just a twenty minute drive from the local airport, a sixty minute flight from Manila. Situated on a long peaceful stretch of beach, Atlantis Dive Resort is surrounded by an amazing tropical garden with some of the rarest plants to be found in the Philippines. Not to mention it is just a short trip to some of the most renowned dive sites in Asia – Balicasag reef, the local Dauin Marine Sanctuaries and Apo Island.
Apo Island offers the best diving around. On the southeast, the sanctuary is a gradual slope with a shallow wall. Thousands of tiny fish cluster around the bushes of black corals in crevices. Here you will find lapu-lapus, surgeons, beautiful stony corals and a collection of various species of clownfish and anemones.
Tubbataha Marine Park
The Tubbataha reef system is located in the Sulu Sea and is home to some of the Philippines most impressive diving. Tubbataha was named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 for rich marine environment and the prolific marine diversiy located in the area. Accessed by live-aboard only and due to weather conditions, the Tubbataha Marine Park is only diveable for three months of the year, mid March – mid June. During these months the seas are at their calmest, the waters are warm and the visibility is amazing!
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