Scuba Diving In The Philippines
Early last year, the Sunday Lifestyle section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer published a list of the country’s Top 10 Scuba Diving Sites. If you are a scuba diving enthusiast, a trip to the Philip...
The Philippines is an archipelagic country and has so much to offer in terms of marine biodiversity. In 2006, the Dive and Travel Awards named the country as one of the top three dive sites in the world. That is very impressive. Among the internationally recognized dive spots in the Philippines (some are included in PDI’s Top 10) include Tubattaha Reef in the Sulu Sea, Malapascua in Cebu (which offers you a chance to catch rare Thresher Sharks), Subic Bay (wreck diving), Balicasag Island just off Bohol, Anilao in Batangas, Boracay Island, Puerto Galera (colorful corals and big fishes abound), Apo Island in Dumaguete, and the islands surrounding Palawan.
From World War II wrecks, colorful tropical fish, diverse corals, and a host of others, Philippine scuba diving has a lot to offer even to the fussiest diver.
One of the factors that make the Philippines an ideal diving spot is the year round warm waters. Being a tropical country, the water temperature in Philippine diving spots is nothing short of divine. All throughout the year, water temperatures range from 22 – 28 degrees Celsius. These comfortable temperatures allow divers to wear thinner, more moveable wetsuits on their dive explorations. This makes for a more comfortable experience and allows the diver to have more freedom in exploring the sites under the sea.
Dive trips operated by both big international resorts and small family-run businesses exist in the Philippines. Usually, diving is done from smaller boats (bancas). These dive centers usually have what is called a house reef which is accessible from the beach. These dive sites are suitable for snorkeling or for more relaxed diving trips throughout the day. The house reef is also suited for night dives.
Liveaboard scuba diving expeditions are also done in the Philippines, but mostly in the Tubbataha region. A liveaboard is a boat for tourist scuba diving where the guests sleep on board a boat. This allows the people to reach more distant dive sites and have their diving equipment ready where they are.
It is pretty much scuba diving season all year round in the Philippines, though some places have shorter dive seasons due to trade winds. You have to take note also that the wettest months are from June to August (typhoon season in the Philippines) so diving during those times is not recommended. Best times to go are between the months of October to June, with April to May being the calmest among those months.
Average visibility on Philippine dive sites is generally an excellent 30 meters (98 feet), depending on the season, currents, and weather conditions.
Scuba diving in the Philippines is everything you want it to be and more. Your expectations will be exceeded, and the possibilities are definitely endless.
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