Scuba Diving for Beginners – The Philippines Edition

The Philippines is one of the most beautiful locations for scuba diving in the world. There are picturesque seascapes and landscapes everywhere you look; each hiding wonders.

The diving adventures in the shallow aqua waters of this beautiful country offer up-close views of paradise in the form of brilliantly colored coral reefs, shipwrecks, lazy turtles, thresher sharks, and countless other wonders of this paradise. Scuba diving in the Philippines is all that you could ever hope to find and more.

Best Scuba Diving Spots for Beginners in the Philippines

Whether you are eager to spot serene and unique sea life or sunken shipwrecks in the beautiful waters, there are several spots for scuba diving for beginners in, Philippines. We’ve listed some here for you to help make your search easier.

Coron, Palawan

Imagine yourself diving, nestled between towering hills, diving in aquamarine waters, and searching for some of the most magnificent shipwrecks in Southeast Asia. This area is rich in natural beauty and rests off Palawan, where limestone cliffs lie among the jungle scape.

Some of the stunning shipwrecks in the Sulu Sea are Japanese supply vessels that were sunk in 1944 by US bombers. Most of the shipwreck locations are shallow enough for recreational divers to explore. 

The highlights of this dive include the Kogyo Maru wreck and the Okinawa Maru, a 525-foot-long ship that rests a mere 32 feet below the water. What’s more, you can take in some sea creatures that call this paradise home, such as coral reefs, sharks, turtles, parrotfish, and more.

Puerto Galera, Mindoro

Puerto Galera has incredible, white sandy beaches, but it also boasts some of the most beautiful diving locations with unbelievable sea life. There are stunning rock formations, spectacular coral, not to mention pufferfish, parrotfish, snapper, and several other unique creatures.

Dauin, Dumaguete

Dumaguete is a favorite spot of divers because of its spectacular beauty and rare encounters with sea life such as barracuda, turtles, tropical fish, seahorses, blue-ring octopuses, and various other crustaceans and brightly coloured fish.

The waters of Dauin, Dumaguete are perfect for beginners as they can swim through calm, shallow waters, but for the active critters beneath the waves. Take your time exploring the smooth ocean floor or go to the car shipwrecks that serve as a home to pipefishes, frogfish, and more in the submerged vehicles.

Apo Island, Negros Oriental

Off of Negrow Oriental, Apo, there is a marine sanctuary surrounding a 70-hectare volcanic island. In this ocean-filled serenity are over 400 species of coral (hard and soft) and more than 600 various types of fish.

This spot is a perfect scuba diving spot for beginners with its shallow waters, but you need to be aware of the strong currents that tend to move quickly. Here you will see some amazing sea creatures such as sea turtles, sea moths, moray eels, anemones, and other bright fish. 

Largahan dive is great for those new to scuba diving because the slopes are shallow and lead to a wall covered in bright color growth that stretches below the sandy bottom. The coral species include bubble corals, brain corals, gorgonian sea fans.

Panglao Island, Bohol

Close to Panglao Island are many dive sites perfect for divers of all experience levels, lining the shores of stunning beaches. For beginners, there is a shallow depth of 30 feet. For more advanced divers, it goes up to 130 feet in depth.

Swim with barracudas, jacks, manta rays, dolphins, turtles, whales, and other sea creatures and giants. Diver’s Heaven is among the most popular, where spotting white banded snakes, sea urchins, morays and more, will be more than majestic.

Tubbataha Reef, Palawan

Tubbataha Reef, a marine sanctuary and a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Sulu Sea. The only way to access it is from Puerto Princesa, a Palawan boat ride that lasts 10 hours. The reefs are composed of two enormous coral atolls, pristine coral walls, and vast lagoons.

While beginners will do well in this scuba diving location, currents can be challenging. Be sure to have your buoyancy down before diving. You will witness many beautiful and vibrant species such as barracudas, scorpionfish, boxfish, and turtles. 

If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the stunning hammerhead shark, guitar sharks, whale sharks, and more spectacular species of sharks. You may also be lucky enough to see some green sea turtles or hawksbill nesting here.

How Much Does Scuba Diving Cost in the Philippines?

The cost of a diving excursion depends very much on the number of dives, location, and if you are renting equipment or bringing your own, but you can expect to pay roughly the following in USD:

  • $60 – tanks, all gear, diving master service, marine sanctuary fees, drinking water
  • $30 – for diving 

Individual gear cost:

  • Entrance fee: $5 per day
  • Equipment rental: $4 GBP per dive
  • Equipment rental: $8 GBP per day
  • Dive Computer rental: $7 per dive
  • Enriched Air (32% Nitrox) tank: $7 per tank
  • Torch rental: $5 per dive

Best Times to Scuba Dive in the Philippines

Before you book a scuba diving excursion in the Philippines, know what time is best to go. Typically, the diving season goes from October to May, but diving is throughout the year.

For the most optimal months, and with a greater chance of beautiful weather and calmer seas, the best time to scuba dive in the Philippines is from March through May.

Final Word

These top six diving destinations for beginners in the Philippines offer stunning sea life, spectacular island scenery, and countless critters swimming below the ocean depth. From the colorful schools of fish to majestic giants like the whale shark, there is magnificent everywhere you look.

As a beginner, you would do well to hire a company to take you out scuba diving. They will make sure you have the best equipment, professional guidance and will be able to take you to the most sought-after locations. Once you have done your research and chosen a scuba diving company to guide you, the ocean is yours to explore.  

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