Dive in seven world-class diving destinations: Malapascua, Moalboal, Pescador Island, Dauin, Apo Island, Panglao and Balicasag Island. See the richness and variety of the Philippines' islands, reefs and marine life.
The Philippines is in Earth's Coral Triangle, the area that includes the waters of Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea that is the center of our planet's marine biodiversity and species density. Cebu, Negros and Bohol in turn, can be said to form the Philippines' diving triangle – having the highest density of excellent diving destinations in the country. The amount and variety of diving in this relatively small area simply cannot be beat: Malapascua is home to thresher sharks and venue for the nightly mating ritual of mandarin fish; Pescador Island has giant clouds of sardines and dramatic wall formations; Dauin, with its seemingly barren sand bottom that is actually full of strange and wonderful creatures, is said to be best muck destination in Asia; Apo Island, visible from Dauin, has coral gardens that cover every inch of the sea floor with vibrant color.
This is the most comprehensive Philippine dive trip that you can do in 9 days. It is not a live aboard so you can enjoy beaches, local cuisine and other land attractions when you're not diving.
Highlights and activities
- Do 19 dives* in some of the best dive sites in the Philippines.
- Encounter sea turtles, frogfish, sharks, huge schools of jacks, seahorses and much more.
- Enjoy the beautiful beaches and islands of the Visayas.
- scuba diving
Day 1: Panglao (2 dives)
Your safari starts at the Tagbilaran Airport in Bohol Island and from there we take you to Alona Beach in Panglao Island. The dive sites around Panglao are interesting walls with swim through passages, ideal for getting back into the groove of diving. In your two dives you have a good chance of spotting anemone shrimp, nudibranchs , frogfish, garden eels, snakes and rays.
Day 2: Balicasag Island (3 dives)
Today you take a 45 minute boat ride to Balicasag Island, one of the most spectacular dive areas in the Visayas. Balicasag has walls that go down past 130 feet (40 meters) as well as slope dives and drift dives – all of them rich in marine life. The walls are etched with caves and small passage-ways and the corals in the shallows are very colorful with many kinds of fish and crustaceans hiding amongst them. You do three dives in Balicasag and it's almost certain that you will encounter sea turtles and big schools of jack fish.
Day 3: Dauin (2 dives)
You leave the island of Panglao and travel south to Dumaguete in the island of Negros. Our first dive destination is Dauin, famous for its muck dive sites. Dauin has no corals and the monotony of its gray sand bottom is broken only by a few pieces of debris. In this almost featureless environment there are few places to hide so creatures have adopted amazing camouflage techniques. With a sharp eye you can find the strangest, most wonderful creatures out in the open, blending into sand and debris. Muck diving is a unique experience and in your two dives you have a good chance of seeing octopi, seahorses, flamboyant cuttlefish, flounder, frogfish, robust ghost pipefish and many more interesting creatures.
Day 4: Apo Island (3 dives)
Today you take a boat to Apo Island, one of the world's first marine reserves. The area has been protected for over 25 years, making its coral garden extremely rich and vibrant. Apo Island is home to hump head parrot fish, huge schools of jackfish, barracuda, frog fish, sea snakes, leaf scorpionfish, nudibranchs and every color of the rainbow.
Day 5: Moalboal (1 dive)
You travel north along the western coast of Cebu Island to Moalboal. Moalboal is among the best wall diving destinations in the country, with sheer faces that start at 15 feet (5 meters) and drop to 100 feet (30 meters) and beyond. The marine life is extremely varied and in your first dive for the day it is possible to see leaf scorpionfish, pipefish, schools of razor fish, and turtles. If you choose to do a night dive* there's a good chance of spotting ghost pipe fish and pleurobranchs.
Day 6: Pescador Island and Moalboal (3 dives)
In the morning you take a boat to a Pescador Island just off of Moalboal. The island is famous for its dramatic drop-offs, overhangs and caverns. At times sardines are so plentiful that their school forms a cloud underwater.
In the afternoon you do two more dives in Moalboal. There are over 10 sites to choose from and you may just be lucky enough to pick one with a passing whaleshark!
Day 7: Malapascua (2 dives)
Today you travel to Malapascua, an island off the northern coast of Cebu. Your first dive will be at an easy but interesting site just off the island. At dusk you do your second dive at a site called Lighthouse where we observe the wonderful mating ritual of the mandarin fish.
Day 8: Thresher Sharks, Sea Snakes, tunnels and more! (3 dives)
For your last diving day you start very early and take a 30 minute boat ride from Malapascua to Monad Shoal, watching the sunrise from the boat. Monad Shoal is an underwater island that serves as a cleaning station for thresher sharks. Seeing these elegant sharks with their amazing tails being cleaned by wrasse is an unforgettable diving experience. After the dive you return to Malapascua for breakfast before going to Gato Island for two more dives. Gato Island is a sea snake sanctuary with fascinating underwater rock formations, caves and tunnels. Aside from the sea snakes there is a good chance of seeing seahorses, frogfish and white tip sharks.
Day 9: Back to reality
All good things come to an end and your Visayas dive safari ends today. You spend the day relaxing in the beach before traveling back to Cebu City to catch your evening flight back to Manila.
optional at additional cost
This adventure is offered throughout the year. Contact us to schedule your Private Tour.
- All land and sea transportation for the duration of the trip (private land vehicles, chartered dive boats and commuter ferries).
- 19 dives, all with a dive master or dive guide
- 8 nights accommodation at inns and resorts.
- 4 breakfasts.
- All fees associated with the specified activities.
- Air tanks and weights.
- Personal SCUBA equipment (rental options are available).
- Ferry transfer from Sibulan port in Dumaguete to Lilo-An port in Cebu Island.
- Food and beverage other than the meals specified above. Allocate around PHP9,000 (about USD205 – don't forget to change your money beforehand!) for food and drinks for the entire trip.
- Travel and dive insurance.
- Additional dives.
Price is already inclusive of VAT (value added tax).
- You must present your diving certification card. You will not be allowed to dive without this.
- Our dive masters/ dive guides are very service oriented and will be with you on every dive. Still, as a certified diver, you are responsible for your own safety.
- Respect the marine environment. Our dive professionals are conscious about marine protection and will not tolerate any destruction or abuse of marine life or habitat. To be safe, appreciate with your eyes and not your hands. This will also keep you from inadvertently touching a venomous creature.
- Be aware of your flight schedule – do not dive within 24 hours before a flight.
- Yellow fever vaccination is required for entry to the Philippines if you are coming from a yellow-fever infected country; if you are not, this vaccination is unnecessary. The following vaccinations are recommended:
- Hepatitis A and B
- Japanese encephalitis
- Measles, mumps and rubella
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