The Philippines is a perennial favorite among scuba divers. It’s easy to see why. With pristine coral reefs, historical wrecks, clear, warm water as well as some of the best flora and fauna found anywhere in the world, the Philippines boasts something for every interest. There’s drift diving, reef diving, deep diving and pelagic encounters to look forward to. Many believe the Philippines is one of the best places to gain an Open Water certification due to its lack of heavy currents and colorful environments. However, advanced divers will find plenty of deep wrecks and remote pinnacles to prevent boredom. Liveaboards ferry divers between untouched reefs and welcoming beaches. On the other hand, world-class dive resorts mix relaxation with easy-to-access dive sites. Between the Visayas, Luzon and Mindanao, choosing just one dive area is difficult, but no matter where your destination is, you’re guaranteed a trip to remember during your Philippines scuba diving vacation!
The Philippines is a vast island nation in Southeast Asia. It’s located just south of Taiwan, east of China and north of Borneo. The democratic country has a welcoming population of 102 million with faster growth than any other Asian country. It’s the twelfth-most populated country in the world and the seventh-most populated Asian country.
- The Philippines contain 7107 islands, but only about 2000 are inhabited, leaving plenty of deserted islands to explore. These thousands of islands form three main island groups including Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.
- The islands of the Philippines are located on the Pacific Ring of Fire making them prone to earthquakes and typhoons. Many of the dive sites feature fascinating formations from ancient lava flows.
- The Philippines represents the northern edge of the Coral Triangle. As such, it’s home to astounding biodiversity with 1200 marine species and 450 species of coral.
- Of the eight known species of giant clams in the world, seven are found in the Philippines.
- In addition to great marine biodiversity, the Philippines also features 1100 terrestrial invertebrates, 100 mammal species and 170 bird species, making it one of the ten most mega-diverse countries. Every year new species are found above and below the water. In the past ten years alone, 16 mammal species have been described.
- Tubbataha Reefs National Park, just southeast of Palawan, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It boasts 75% of the world’s known coral reef species and 40% of the world’s reef fish including 11 shark species and 13 dolphin species.
- When it comes to shark diving, the Philippines is one of the best places in the world. It’s one of two locations where you can regularly see thresher sharks. Head to Monad Shoal in Malapascua to see these graceful sharks.
- The Philippines has been the center of several wars including the Spanish-American War and, more recently, World War II. Because of this, two natural harbors in the Philippines host several wrecks within recreational limits. Subic Bay, near Manila, is home to American warships, both intentionally scuttled and sunk during battle. Coron, on the other hand, was a Japanese naval base that suffered a sustained air attack in 1944. Both are perfect destinations for wreck lovers!
- Because of the Philippines’ long colonial history, Filipinos display a unique mix of culture. You’ll find pieces of Malay, Chinese, Spanish, American and Pinoy tradition. In addition, the Philippines is the only predominantly Christian country in Asia.
- The Philippines is considered the text capital of the world. Every day, 35 million Filipinos send about 450 million SMS messages. This is more than the total number of daily text messages sent in the U.S. and Europe combined.
If you’d like to learn more, click here to read more about Philippines scuba diving.
Ready to discover what lies beneath the waves in the Philippines? To get the most diving for your dollar, book a liveaboard trip through the islands. Check out these amazing options.
- The Atlantis Resort Dumaguete
- The Atlantis Resort Puerto Galera
- Dive Solana
- El Galleon Resort
- Atmosphere Resort
- Crystal Blue Resort
Moving between islands in the Philippines will give you the best diversity of diving. But booking domestic flights and worrying about the connections can be troublesome. Take a load off your shoulders and let us make the arrangements. Click here for our pre-packaged dive vacation option called Independent Journeys to experience the best of Philippines scuba diving!