In Too Deep: 8 Best Places To Dive In The Philippines

best dive sites in the philippines
| 3 min read

You may have heard about how rich and beautiful the Philippines’ marine life is, but the amazement is totally different when you see it up close compared to when you see photos on a postcard or promotional poster. Diver or not, you can definitely catch a glimpse of this beauty in these 8 areas in the Philippines. Check them out!

1. Anilao, Batangas

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Herncar used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Dubbed as one of the world’s best scuba diving sites, Anilao is filled with resorts and hotels that offer basic and advanced scuba diving lessons, all at affordable rates. Aside from that, Anilao also offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the shoreline, and features biodiversity in its marine life unmatched by any other. It’s also quite near Metro Manila (it’s just a bus and jeepney ride away), so if you’re staying in Manila and are looking for a quick getaway to the beach, Anilao may be a great option.

Anilao, Batangas

Address: Barangay Bagalangit, Anilao, Mabini, Batangas, Philippines

Price: Rooms start at 90 USD, while diving rates start at 50 USD

Access: Ride a bus (e.g. JAM) going to Batangas Port, get off at Batangas Grand Terminal, then ride a Jeepney going to Anilao

Visited this place?

2. Tubbataha Reef, Palawan

tubbataha- lighthouse- table coral in red
Source: Photo by user q phia used under CC BY 2.0

Ranked among the top 8 best dive sites in the world by CNN’s travel website (, Tubbataha Reef in Palawan is a treat for any diver. It’s composed of two huge coral atolls in the form of the North Atoll and the South Atoll. Tubbataha Reef also contains the Jessie Beazley Reef, which is a coral structure 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) from the North Atoll and a nature preserve too. Aside from diving, you can also go snorkeling, and you can expect a bird-watching facility to be opened soon!

Tubbataba Reef, Palawan

Address: located near the middle of Sulu Sea, 150 kilometres (93 mi) southeast of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

Price: from 100 USD per person, 50% discount for repeat visitors within the season

Access: From Manila, take a regular flight to Puerto Princesa. Dive operators typically offer transportation for guests from the airport straight to the pier.

Website: Tubbataha Reef

Visited this place?

3. Barracuda Lake, Coron

Entrance lagoon to Barracuda Lake, Coron, Palawan - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user André Héroux used under CC BY 3.0

This charming freshwater lake is located inside a former crater, and isn’t your typical dive. While you may expect coral reefs and fish in other dive sites, Barracuda Lake instead gives you an experience amidst sharp limestone cliffs, and curious underwater rock formations. In Barracuda Lake, you can go diving or snorkeling, or even book your own private boat tour - all for a small entrance fee of 2.00 USD!

Barracuda Lake, Coron

Address: Northern part of Coron Island, Coron, Busuanga Island, Philippines

Price: from 2.00 USD

Access: Ride a plane or ferry to get to Coron, Palawan. Then, rent a boat to Barracuda Lake or get a tour package from Coron resorts

Visited this place?

4. Ticao Pass, Masbate

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

If you’re the type to look for adrenaline-pumping adventure, Ticao Pass may be a perfect dive spot for you. Ticao Pass houses “Manta Bowl”, the nickname given to an area that serves as the feeding ground of manta rays. This area contains water rich in plankton, making it the perfect place for whale sharks and thresher sharks to hang out. Diving here is perfectly safe though, especially if you are accompanied by a professional who can help you out. Ticao Pass has many activities for its guests: scuba diving, whale shark interactions, horseback-riding, kayaking, Firefly River tours, fishing trips with the locals, and several island tours too.

Ticao Pass, Masbate

Price: from 16 USD

Access: Take a bus or plane to go to Legaspi City, then take a van to Bulan or Pilar port. Ride a boat to Monreal, Masbate and ride a motorbike to Ticao Pass Resort

Visited this place?

5. Apo Island

Apo Island rocks
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user TheCoffee used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located in Dauin, Negros Oriental, Apo Island is famous for being one of the world’s best known community-organized marine sanctuaries. Apo Island is home to over 600 documented species of fish, and is also home to an estimated 400 varying species of corals. Biodiversity here is undeniable, but so is the community’s hospitality and care for the environment - it’s difficult not be charmed by Apo Island.

Apo Island

Address: Apo Island, Dauin, Negros Oriental

Price: from 6.00 USD

Access: Fly to Cebu, ride a taxi to Dumaguete Ceres bus terminal, then take a bus or Jeepney to Malatapay. Walk to the ferry station, and then rent a boat from Malatapay to Apo.

Website: Apo Island

Visited this place?

6. World War II Wreck diving in Palawan

best dive sites in the philippines | world war ii wreck diving in palawan
Source: instagram

Dubbed as the best wreck diving course in Southeast Asia, World War II Wreck diving at Coral Bay Beach and Dive Resort is perfect for history buffs and divers alike. You get to see 170-meter (557-foot) long ships underwater, surrounded by corals and filled with vast marine life. Located in Popototan Island, Palawan, this diving course is not one to be missed. Aside from diving, you can can go scuba diving, jungle trekking, kayaking, snorkeling, or island hopping.

World War II Wreck diving in Palawan

Address: Popototan Island, Palawan, Philippines

Price: from 6.00 USD

Access: Fly to Busuanga Airport, Palawan or take a ferry to Coron Port, then take a roundtrip island transfer from the terminal to the resort

Website: World War II Wreck diving

Visited this place?

7. Verde Island at El Galleon Beach Resort

Verde island Batangas2
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dastreetfilmer used under CC BY-SA 3.0

For those looking for more variety in activities - particularly activities on land - aside from diving, you can check out Verde Island at El Galleon Beach Resort. Accessible from Puerto Galera, Verde Island is filled with beautiful beaches and coves, and a historical museum too, that showcases artifacts collected from Spanish and Chinese shipwrecks. Aside from diving, you can go kayaking, snorkeling, or cruising by the sunset. If you prefer to be on land, you can play paintball, go beach-hopping, play volleyball or golf, or go trekking.

Verde Island Diving

Address: Small Lalaguna, Puerto Galera, Mindoro, Philippines

Price: from 30 USD

Access: Go to Batangas, then by banca boat or ferry from the Batangas port, head over to the island

Website: Verde Island

Visited this place?

8. Hinatuan, Enchanted River

Enchanted River - Hinatuan, Surigao
Source: Photo by user Bro. Jeffrey Pio... used under CC BY 2.0

Located in Surigao del Sur, Hinatuan, Enchanted River is a very deep spring river with crystal clear waters, where beyond lie areas still unexplored. For a minimal entrance fee of 0.60 USD, you can go diving or swimming - though it’s not advised to stay overnight, as the only places for rest available are picnic huts and tables for a day trip.

Hinatuan, Enchanted River

Address: Hinatuan, Enchanted River, Surigao del Sur, Mindanao, Philippines

Price: from 0.60 USD

Access: From Manila, take a flight to Butuan or Davao City. Then, take a bus from Butuan Bus Terminal bound for Mangagoy (Bislig City) and get off at Hinatuan Bus Terminal.

Website: Hinatuan

Tip from Trip101 local expert



Good Tip Good Tip Good Tip

📍 Enchanted River, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur

Step into a realm of enchantment at Surigao del Sur's Enchanted River! Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear turquoise waters that seem straight out of a fairytale. Marvel at the vibrant array of colorful fish as they gracefully glide beneath you. To make the most of your visit, arrive early to beat the crowds and secure a prime spot for swimming.

Don't forget to bring your snorkeling gear to explore the hidden wonders beneath the surface. Prepare to be spellbound by this magical river!

Visited this place?

Explore underwater beauty in the Philippines

The Philippines is bursting with natural gems - from breathtaking mountains to rich marine life, the Philippines doesn’t run out of natural wonders that can easily amaze anyone who pays a visit. So if you’re a diver looking for new adventures, the Philippines is definitely one of the best places to go.

Visited this place?
Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

A young Filipina passionate about seeing the world, understanding its people and creating new ways for them to explore their potential and lead more meaningful lives. Also a big fan of beaches,...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Philippines
Good things are meant to be shared!
Back to top
Visited any of these places? Click this button to activate our "Add a Tip" feature to share your experience.