Philippine waters are home to some of the most stunning and naturally diverse underwater environments in the world.

From underwater caves to shipwrecks, and beautiful corals with dazzlingly colored sea creatures, it’s obvious why the Philippines has some of the most beautiful diving spots in the world. Here is our list of the top 5 scuba diving spots in the Philippines.

Anilao, Batangas

Image: iamaileen.com

Only a couple hours away from Manila, Anilao in Batangas is one of the most popular scuba diving sites for beginners in the Philippines. There are more than 50 dive sites throughout Anilao and they’re mainly located in the southern part of the town. By exploring the area’s underworld, you can encounter turtles, barracudas, and sharks, as well as beautiful soft coral and the little, colorful nudibranchs and shy pygmy seahorses.

It wouldn’t be difficult for you to find a place to stay here as there is a wide selection of resorts with great food and amenities, outstanding roads and some of the most vibrant diving on this part of the country.

Apo Reef, Occidental Mindoro

Image: Flickr/Rong

Apo Reef is he Philippines’ biggest contiguous coral reef and the world’s second largest next to the Great Barrier Reef. This marine utopia has an astounding range of corals and an imposing amount of fish. Scuba diving here will give you the chance to meet a variety of sea creatures like tuna, turtles, barracudas, and eels, and if you get lucky, you can see some dolphins swimming around!

Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro

Image: atlantishotel.com

Puerto Galera boasts over 35 dive spots with various species of fish, on the top of coral gardens and spectacular rock formations. The usual jump-off point for most dive schools is from Sabang beach. There are 3 remarkable canyons covered in soft corals and sponges that can be accessed through a stream when you do a drift dive. Try to get inside a canyon and you will see large schools of jacks, sweetlips, snappers, emperors, batfish, as well as barracudas.

Subic Bay, Zambales

Image: mangosdivecenter.com

Subic Bay is situated approximately 120 kilometers northwest of Metro Manila and it is famous for wreck diving sites. You can see ships and Japanese cargo vessels that sunk during the WWII. Most of these wrecks are only 5 to 15 minutes by boat. You’ll enjoy exploring the reef by diving. The site has a very diverse sea life; you could easily spot tropical fish such as gobies, wrasses, lobsters, spotted sweetlips. 

Ticao Island, Masbate

Image: bicoldivecenter.com

Ticao Island is a tropical haven of aquamarines, blue and luxurious green, powder blue skies reflecting to clear waters of the sea. From Donsol, Ticao is a short boat ride throughout the strait of San Bernardino. The water where Ticao lies is famous for the plankton rich water and strong constant current. Such traits make the waters of the island an alley for other pelagic such as thresher sharks, whale sharks, tiger sharks, and hammerheads. If you are into macrophotography, then you should head to the Udoc Islets and San Miguel, which they are mostly known for.