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Philippines, Far East & Australia

The Philippines offers scuba diving holidays with some of the most diverse coral reef scuba diving in Asia. Located on the island of Mindoro, in the famous 'Coral Triangle', Puerto Galera offers some of the best scuba diving in the Far East, suitable for all levels with great value accommodation. Dumaguete, situated on Negros Island, hosts some of the rarest and most unusual marine species you are likely to see, and is a must visit for macro photographers. Diving in the Philippines is not only limited to an abundance of natural beauty however, with Japanese WWII wrecks waiting to be dived from Sangat Island in Coron. As an island nation, with over 7000 islands, the Philippines is bordered by the Pacific to the east and the Sulu and South China Sea to the south. Consequently, the feeding currents produce an outstanding diversity of marine life. For those looking for the thrill of diving with Thresher shark, Malapascua is the place alongside superb wall, reefs, much and macro dives. 

The Philippines is well established for diving holidays, largely due to its numerous scuba diving locations. Many dive sites are situated in designated UNESCO nature reserves and,  as a result, many of the reefs are in pristine condition. There are three distinct seasons that affect diving conditions in the Philippines, although it can be dived all year round with constant warm water and air temperatures. With over 15,000 square miles of coral reef, and more than 3000 varieties of fish - that’s roughly 50% more than the Red Sea, the Philippines offers something for every diver - from novice to advanced, with shallow dive sites to suit new divers and a marvellous variety of deep dives, drift dives and wreck sites to satisfy the more experienced. The majority of dive sites are easily accessible by land, but there are also stunning locations further afield, such as the Apo Reef and Tubbataha Reef, better suited to a Liveaboard holiday.

Puerto Galera
Based on the island of Mindoro, Puerto Galera is located approximately 110km south of Manila. Puerto Galera was designated a Man and Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO in 1973. Located at the very heart of the 'Coral Triangle', dive sites are easily accessible by land, where you can drift dive along the spectacular walls, explore the swim-through or just marvel at the schools of snapper, emperors, Eagle rays, barracudas, turtles, tuna and the occasional shark. The most remarkable feature of Puerto Galera however is its abundance of macro life. Pristine corals support a whole host of weird and wonderful creatures, such as frogfish, giant and colourful nudibranch, Pygmy seahorses and even the rare flamboyant cuttlefish, along with a whole host of others. Puerto Galera Dive Sites >

There is plenty to do when not diving - kayaking, snorkelling and sunset cruises, golfing, trail mountain biking or trekking the Tukuran river, Tamaraw falls and visiting Mangyan village on a day trip. The area also features numerous pocket beaches and stunning tropical scenery to explore. Puerto Galera museum chronicles the history of the Spanish colonial era. Close by you’ll find the local town of Sabang, with numerous bars and restaurants to suit all tastes. Puerto Galera and Sabang are noted for their nightlife throughout the Philippines. This is an ideal location for a combination shore based activities and liveaboard itinerary, to maximise your diving with more time to relax in between.

Dumaguete is world renowned for its muck diving and the astounding diversity of macro life. There is a host of rare critters to be discovered for diving enthusiasts and underwater photographers alike. Many of the sites can be dived from land, with Dauin alone offering 30 dive sites close to shore and the house reef at the Atlantis Dive and Spa Resort offering night fluro dives. A highlight is nearby Apo Island, one of the first ever protected marine sanctuaries and arguably one of the most biodiverse dive locations in the whole of the Visayas. Take the opportunity to explore Apo’s stunning white beaches if you get the chance. There are also superb dive sites at Siquijor, approximately an hour by boat from Dumaguete. The Visayan Island is incredibly rich in marine life and is also a well-regarded night diving location. Check out our guide to the Dumaguete Dive Sites >

Known as the “City of Gentle People”, Dumaguete has a population of around 120,000 and has a relaxed, small town vibe. This friendly destination provides the perfect setting for travellers who wish to combine superb diving with the opportunity to experience the Filipino way of life. Most diving resorts are located in the town of Dauin, where you can go trekking and visit the hot springs. There is a small airport served by daily flights from Manila around 1.25 hours, making Dumaguete one of the most easily accessible dive locations in the Philippines.

Wrecks of Coron
Wreck divers often pass over the Philippines on their way to dive world famous wreck sites such as Truk Lagoon, without realising the island has its own world class wreck diving location – Coron Bay which can be dive from the Sangat Island dive resort. A relentless airstrike by the US military sank 24 Japanese vessels in 1944, and now many have been rediscovered and are regularly dived. Corals and marine life now thrive on the wrecks, and some are even shallow enough to be snorkelled. The visibility can vary, but at around 15m creates a memorable dive. The variety of marine life is extensive, and many of the wrecks are still intact and penetrable.Technical diving is popular here with many courses offered. Wrecks are not all there is to see on Coron; indeed it used to be one of the best locations worldwide by which to photograph Dugongs, a close relative of the Manatee. Spotting this shy, retiring "sea cow" is rare, but still well worth keeping an eye out.

Located in the very north of Coron Bay, Sangat Island is just one of over 90 islands and islets which make up the Calamian Island Group in the northern sector of Palawan Province. Known for its pristine natural beauty, the surrounding tropical seascapes of Sangat Island are protected, providing a thriving safe haven for countless varieties of plant, animal and aquatic species endemic to the area. Edged by limestone cliffs and dense jungle forest and a 455m mountain peak, with spectacular bird life, flora and fauna. Sangat Island also features its own tropical fruit and nut plantation, a twisted maze of evergreen mangrove thickets lining much of the western coastline, a natural geothermal hot spring and two vibrant and flourishing marine eco-systems: the Sangat House Reef, and the Sangat Coral Gardens. Year round water temperatures are between 28-30C with visibility up to 30m. Sangat Island and Coron Dive Sites >

Malapascua Island
Malapascua Island, much like the rest of the Philippines offers a variety of excellent diving, with great wall diving, colourful reefs, sandy muck dives and superb macro life. The main attraction in Malapascua however is the Thresher Shark, with sightings possible on an almost daily basis during the season at Monad Shoal, one of the few locations worldwide where this is possible. The frequent appearance of these elusive creatures has turned Malapascua into a world famous dive destination. At Monad Shoal, the threshers have a cleaning station on top of the seamount, and often make an appearance around sunrise. Set your alarm!

Malapascua is truly an island paradise, with pristine white sandy beaches and palm trees swaying in the wind. The island is located in the Visayan Sea, less than 7km from the northern most tip of Cebu Island, in a prime location to access a number of world class diving sites. There is also plenty to keep you occupied besides diving, especially in the evening when the inner maze of the island really springs to life. There are stalls of various foods and exotic fruits, as well as carved ornamental thresher sharks – a perfect memento for your trip. There are also plenty of small bars serving cold beer, where divers can meet and share diving tales. Indeed, the nightlife is certainly worth checking out in Malapascua – if you can keep your eyes open after a 5am thresher encounter! Malapascua Dive Sites >

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Fact File

Diving Conditions

House Reef Shore Diving Boat Diving Liveaboard Wreck Diving Tech Diving






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Best Time: Year Round (Oct-May - dry season).

Average Air temps: 30°C

Average Water temps:  21-24°C Dec-Feb, 25-30°C Mar-Nov.

Visibility: 15-40m.

Top Dive Sites: Superb drift diving at The Canyons in Puerto Galera, incredible marine diversity at Dauin Norte in Dumaguate, dive with Thresher Sharks at Monad Shoal in Malapascua, and dive the numerous Wrecks of Coron at Sangat Island.  More >

Philippines Dive Centres:
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Great Reasons to Dive in the Philippines

  • Over 3000 species of fish.
  • 15,000 square miles of reef.
  • Plenty of dives for new divers.
  • Drift dives (some 5 knots+)
  • Numerous critter sites.
  • Whale shark and Giant Pacific mantas (Feb-May) at Donsol & Reef shark
  • Nesting & hatching turtles.
  • Photographers heaven.
  • Wrecks of Coron 'Mini Truk'
  • Thresher Shark diving in Malapascua.



Dive Holidays Sportif

Sportif Dive is a specialist tour operator offering a wide range of diving holidays all over the world. Our choice of destinations is extensive from established locations in the Red Sea, Maldives, Caribbean and the Far East to the exotic and unusual such as Rodrigues Island in the Indian Ocean, Wakatobi, Truk, Palau, South America & the Pacific. Whether you are looking to for a Learn to Dive course, group expedition or trip of a lifetime we can help. With over 30 years experience and a personal approach, we can advise on the ideal location to suit your needs, at a price to suit your budget.

Our extensive knowledge of the destinations means we can recommend the right location for you. Our diving centres are selected for their excellent standards of service and safety. Whatever your priority, whether starting out or wishing to dive a technically challenging site we can recommend a range of options offering the best diving for when you wish to travel. We can organise all your travel arrangements for you, pre-book equipment and diving packages in advance to maximise your time when you get there.

As an independent tour operator, we select only the hotels, liveaboards and diving centres that offer the best standards and quality of service but at the right price. Without the overheads of a large mass market operator, we can offer the best value diving holidays often with great discounts and special offers.

Our consultants have many years experience in travel and are divers. They are able to closely match your needs and take time to recommend from a carefully selected range of accommodation and diving packages. With first hand knowledge, they are passionate about diving and travel and providing the perfect holiday for you.

Sportif also have a specialist multisport division offering instruction and rental packages for windsurfing, kitesurfing and surfing. Our specialist centres are located in some of our diving resorts, often minutes from the Dive Centre for easy coordination of activities. Packages offered included taster and learn to right through to intensive coaching weeks up to expert level. Children can start from 8 years.

Sportif Dive are an ATOL bonded operator which means that every element of your holiday is secure. With the worry of disruption to your holiday plans from weather disruption or airline failure you can be sure that we will be there to help every step of the way.

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