Pink anemonefish (Amphiprion perideraion) at Apo Reef. NOAA Photo Library / Creative Commons
As a buffet is to a hungry diner, so is the Philippines to the eager diver: a surfeit of remarkable options. Blessed with a thriving marine ecosystem flourishing in the midst of 7,107 islands, the country’s dive sites are touted as the best in the region.
Apo Reef and Tubbataha Reef, the two most popular, attract divers of all levels.
Located 33 kilometers from Sablayan, Mindoro Occidental, Apo Reef is an atoll measuring 34 square kilometers, the second-largest contiguous coral reef in the world.
Marked by many sheer drops ranging from 30 to 80 meters deep, the dive spots within the reef offer an abundance of underwater landscapes and sea creatures to marvel at, many of which are large pelagics -- sea turtles, manta rays, and hammerhead sharks, among others. A handful of uninhabited islands serve as outposts and camping sites for diving safaris lasting two to five days, which tourists can sign up for at Sablayan’s town proper.
The country’s most-favored dive site, Tubbataha Reef, sits about 150 kilometers southeast of Puerto Princesa City in Palawan. A protected marine and bird sanctuary, Tubbataha Reef and its smattering of islands span 97,030 hectares, home to no less than 600 fish species, 360 coral species, 11 shark species, 13 dolphin and whale species, and 100 bird species, according to research conducted in the ‘80s. The reef was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.
Tourists have plenty of diving operators to choose from at Puerto Princesa. Travel to the reef takes about 10 to 12 hours by boat.
Diver around Tubbataha Reef. Image courtesy of the Philippines Department of Tourism.
Similar Southeast Asia Experiences
Divers in Southeast Asia won't know where to start, with the overflow of diving spots they'll find across the region. Other key diving destinations include the waters off Brunei; Indonesia's part of the Coral Triangle; Koh Rong in Cambodia; Sipadan in Malaysia; and Phuket in Thailand.
Off the coast of Cambodia’s popular beach destination Sihanoukville, Koh Rong offers the complete tropical island exper...
Enjoy a 50 percent discount on cabin fare for two, applicable on selected two- to three-night cruises that explore the jewels...VIEW DETAILS
From your starting point in Singapore, you'll reach some of Southeast Asia's most modern (and most entertaining) them...VIEW DETAILS
Tour takes you down river currents and train tracks to Thailand and Cambodia's most authentic destinations both on and of...VIEW DETAILS
Conveniently located halfway between the town center and Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hotel's restaurant...VIEW DETAILS
Resorts World Sentosa Singapore 3D2N Hotel & Multi-Attractions PackageVIEW DETAILS
Rate includes 2-way transfer (El Nido Airport - LIO), daily breakfast, WiFi access,complimentary use of kayak, snorkeling and...VIEW DETAILS
Go on an epic Asean journey with AirAsia Asean Pass, a travel pass that allows you to book our base fares at least 14 days or...VIEW DETAILS
Rent a car for 2 days or more at participating locations in Asia and enjoy up to 15% offVIEW DETAILS
Experience the culture, beauty and history of Indonesia's capital city at the new Days Hotel & Suites Jakarta Airport...VIEW DETAILS
Book using the promo code “ASEAN@50”, and enjoy up to 10% off the best available rate on hotel stays in Dors...VIEW DETAILS
Experience your time at Tara Angkor Hotel by our multiple options are offered to suit all ages fun even your few days to rela...VIEW DETAILS