Lifestyle

These five pristine diving spots in the Philippines are now welcoming tourists

With quarantine restrictions gradually easing up in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces, it’s good to know that the country is on the way to fully reopening its biodiverse spots to tourists, with some of the country’s most breathtaking dive sites now back in business.

If you’re a diver raring to get back in the water or if you’re simply missing nature, here are five diving spots worth taking a swab test for:

Malapascua, Cebu

A diver swims with a thresher shark at Monad Shoal

The azure waters of Malapascua Island are one of the Visayas’ most popular places to go for diving, with plenty of sites accessible to both beginners and seasoned enthusiasts. Swim with the thresher sharks at Monad Shoal, go through the various underwater caves in the vicinity, or head for the famous resident whitetip sharks of Gato Island.

Boljoon and Alcoy, Cebu

A pufferfish spotted swimming near coral beds

Macro divers looking for a good, quiet spot should consider the municipalities of Boljoon and Alcoy in Cebu. The reefs scattered along these islands house a wide variety of rare marine life, such as green sea turtles and the Lembeh Seadragon. Admission to these underrated Cebu towns is now open for those looking for a getaway.

Moalboal, Cebu

School of purple anthias

The beautiful turquoise waters surrounding the islands of Moalboal, located in the south of Cebu, are home to a dazzling array of fish and other marine life! Swim with sea turtles, sardines, Frogfish, white tip sharks, and many more in waters accessible to beginner divers and veterans. The tours in Moalboal are available year-round.

Siquijor Island

Underwater photographer with colorful sea fans and soft corals

The small island of Siquijor is another must-visit diving locale, with over 10 different dive sites in the waters surrounding the isle. In addition, Siquijor hosts two marine sanctuaries, breathtaking walls to dive in, and spots for muck diving, all with their own sets of marine life, including reef fish, cuttlefish, barracuda, turtles, and so much more. One popular spot is the Sunken Island, which reaches down to 40 meters and is suited for experienced divers—though both beginners and veterans are welcome in Siquijor’s various dive spots.

Dauin, Negros Oriental

A sea turtle swims close to the surface of the shore near Apo Island

Half an hour away from the city of Dumaguete in Negros Oriental, this small municipality has 18 different dive spots, with five muck diving sites for those who want to search for life among the silt. Many attractions can be found off the coast of Dauin, including excellent reef fish, cuttlefish, sea turtles, shrimps, crabs, barracudas, and a lot more waiting for all divers. One interesting spot is the Ginama-an, an artificial dive site made up of old car tires that now house many marine life.

Divers and tourists concerned about safety will also be glad to know that businesses operating in these areas follow strict health and safety measures, such as constant disinfection and sanitization, limited capacity, and physical distancing.

Have you visited any of these diving spots? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Editor’s note: For a fun, safe trip, always check entry requirements in your chosen local destinations before your travels. For more information, visit www.tourism.gov.ph.

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