31 May 2021
The Philippines is an archipelago of 7107 islands in Southeast Asia. It is east of Vietnam, west of Palau, south of Taiwan and north of Indonesia. It comprises the apex of the area of sea called the Coral Triangle, named for the stunning number of corals it contains. The Philippines doesn't only feature diverse marine life, it also has many wrecks from WWII and earlier.
With around 36000 km of coastline the archipelago has lots of options for diving and many, many dive shops - but which to choose? Read reviews and ratings below.
Click over map to find a dive operator there
Most of the dive guides speak English as it is one of the Philippines official languages (the other being, unsurprisingly, Filipino).
Luzon Dive Operators: Puerto Galera Subic Bay Anilao
Visayas Dive Operators: Apo Island Cebu Bohol Boracay Malapascua Nogas Island Leyte Island Palawan Siquijor Samar
Further Reading Accommodation Your Comments
Pair of Gobies in the Philippines, photo credit: Graham Collins.
For more on the best dives in the Philippines, see our dive sites page.
Philippines Liveaboard Deals - Buy now, Pay later
Accomodates 16 passengers in 8 rooms. Routes include Tubbataha Reef, Bohol, Apo Reef and Wrecks of Coron. Twenty four Japanese ships were sunk in Coron Bay during WWII.
The Atlantis Azores liveaboards trips depart from a variety of locations. Tubbataha: Boat departs from Puerto Princesa. You can fly here from Manila or Cebu. Bohol: Departs from Atlantis Resort in Dumaguete. You can fly here from Manila or Cebu. Apo Reef and Coron: These cruises depart from Atlantis Resort in Puerto Galera. After arriving in Manila this is a land transfer (2.5 hrs) to Batangas and a ferry ride to Puerto Galera (1 hrs). Malapascua and Cebu: These safaris depart from Atlantis Resort in Dumaguete You can fly here from Manila or Cebu.
40 meters liveaboard with sails. Visit Tubbataha Reef, Malapascua, Visayas, Moalbol and Cebu. A crew of 12 serves up to 16 divers.
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25 m boat that offers diving safari on around the Tubbataha Reef and the Visayas. Accommodates 16 guests in 8 cabins. Rebreather friendly and offers Nitrox filling on board.
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"All of our vessels are long-range adventure cruisers, custom designed for diving with cozy interiors, well-stocked bars, efficient staff and impeccable service.
We operate the following liveaboard dive vessels:
1. MV Oceanic Explorer with 14 cabins - based in the Philippines
2. MY Stella Maris Explorer with 10 cabins - based in the Philippines
3. MY Apo Explorer with 8 Cabins - based in the Philippines
4. MY Borneo Explorer with 10 Cabins - based in the Philippines
Destinations reached by local tour operations include Apo Reef, Coron Wrecks, Tubbataha Reefs, Visayas etc.
Dive charters to specific locations may be arranged."
Amy of Expeditionfleet Liveaboards
Worldwide Dive and Sail Philippines
Cebu Yacht Club
Lapu Lapu City
Tel: +63 (0) 32 494 0544
Siren Fleet liveaboards bring you 7 and 10 night dive safaris to Anilao, Coron Wrecks, Cebu, Dauin and Apo Island in the Visayas, Leyte and Tubbataha Reefs. They move their yacht with the best of the seasons so you can enjoy Philippines diving year round.
The province of Cebu comprises Cebu Island plus many neighbouring smaller islands, including Mactan, Bantayan, Malapascua, Olango and the Camotes Islands. Malapascua is famous for its thresher sharks but it also has plenty of other life, not least many different types of nudibranch. Pescador island near Moalboal is a marine sanctuary with lots of life. Cebu is dry and sunny most of the year with occasional rain from June to December.
We started out as a private dive operator catering mostly locals, particularly the human capital of the BPO, IT and Call Center companies around Cebu until recently when we decided to set up a physical presence in Maribago, Mactan, Cebu to cater to visiting friends and guests from out of town and out of the country.
We understand the value of personalized service, quality instruction, safety and convenience. Our fees and rates are very competitive and our dedication to your satisfaction is our strategic advantage. We do not cut corners, we are not a certification mill, we are small and organized, so expect to get a service beyond what you paid for.
We look forward to diving with you soon.
"Conveniently located, just about 30 minutes away from Cebu City. The dive team are passionate about diving, not for the money. Transparent dealings, no hidden costs, no sugar coating.
Operators and owners are serial enterpreneurs, with extensive corporate background in the service industry, as well as dive professionals highly qualified to train, certify and conduct dive programs.
Worth checking out."
Lapu-Lapu City Mactan,
Tel:+63 32 4953496
"SiDive specialises in excellent value PADI and SSI Diving courses from Discover Scuba Diving and the Open water Diver course all the way through to Assistant Instructor. Certified divers can also avail themselves of extremely competitive rates. SiDive courses are usually between 30-50% cheaper than the major resorts in the Mactan area. All my courses take place in Mactan which boasts half a dozen well maintained Marine Sanctuaries and about 25 dive sites in total.
Simon Timmins (SiDive), 2012
"The diving instructor is Korean named Mr. Jeon, he is very professional and very kind to any nationalities and apart from that is it is very affordable. The shop offers different types of diving, from Beginner, intermediate and Professional diving. They offer night diving as well. It was my first time to try diving and even if I can't swim very well and even without any experience I had fun and I feel very safe. I went to 3 different islands near that area to dive and i was mesmerised by the view under that crystal clear water. They will have your lunch for free as well! I saved some money for this and I'm telling you, it's all worth it! You have to try it as well!
Marigondon Vano Beach
6015 LapuLapu City
"Just got back from the Philippines and thought the diving was loco, scenery on Apo was the apitomy of paradise, Panagsama beach offered the cheapest diving i came across at around ten pounds, that was at ocean globe. I thought the diving at balicasag was also cheap considering the diversity of coral and marine life.
"I dived with Neptune Divers and they proved to be pretty average. I was their only customer so several of the dive centres pool their customers and go out on the same boat. This is a good idea, as it saves unnecessary fuel use in low season, but it does mean that you dive with more divers than perhaps you had imagined. Prices are US$ 20 per dive. The boat is a typical Philippino bangka, with rubberised flooring. It seems designed for Asian guests, as there are no seats except those on the floor. Divers kit up and don their scuba units whilst sitting on the floor, which makes standing up again impossible, unless you are Asian of course! There were no life jackets on board, nor any oxygen, nor any boat briefings. Dive briefings were available on request, it seems. For a PADI 5 Star IDC Centre, this is some thing to be expected, as PADI conduct no third party verification of their centres’ standards.
Sheldon Hey, Dive the World
"I have had several great experinces with Nelson's. They trained me and now mga kaibigan tayo, they always have a dive buddy if I need. I enjoy hitching a ride on the banka boats, even though I usually find myself the only American amongst Japanese tourists...just another chance to make new friends...They could use more night life...maybe another disco and karaoke bar...tired of playing scrabble, haha!"
Tel: 63 09226850766
"SSI center open all year round.
Mark Russell (Challenger Divers), 2012"
Cebu Dive Centre
Panagsama - Moalboal
Cebu - Philippines
"We are newly established dive centre located in Moalboal, Cebu"
Carl Dales (owner), 2009
Located at Tepanee Beach Resort - an eco-lodge located on the south-west tip of Malapascua. A PADI 5* CDC (Career Development Center).
"I dived with Thresher Shark Divers - a UK owned and staffed centre. They are a very competent and professional outfit. By Philippine standards their dive boat is good. It has a toilet, a dry area, and sun and shaded areas - real luxury in this part of the world. They also have first aid and oxygen on board - wow!! Pretty impressive for a PADI centre to be meeting standards."
Sheldon Hey, Dive the World
Tel: +63 917 327 6689
"TSD is a great outfit, but they're no longer alone during tech diving on Malapascua. Exotic has been offering it for a little while, and a new dive centre called Evolution is just opening up for business now as well. Most divers coming here are still your average recreational divers though.
Tel: +63 917 631 2179
Thresher Cove Resort
Seaquest Dive Center - Head Office
Arcade 3 & 4 Montebello Villa Hotel
Cebu City 6000
Tel: (63-32) 232.6010
Fax: (63-32) 418.1550
Skype : seaquest - cebu
" SeaQuest Dive Centers, 25 years of experience! One of the dive shops that contributed to putting the Philippines on the dive-map. Offering complete diving holidays, excellent accommodations, dive- safaris, all PADI courses from beginner to pro, experienced local dive guides, multi lingual instructors and lots of friendly smiling faces.
Operating three (3) dive centers and a balanced variety of diving experiences;
1. Malapscua Island, Cebu dive with Thresher sharks, Oceanic Manta's, Devil rays, muck- and wreck-diving. Possible Hammerhead sightings. Easy going no-stress, tropical Island beach life experience.
2. Alona Beach, Panglao Island, Bohol dive legendary Balicasag Island, teeming with schooling fish and big Sea turtles. Abundant critter diversity. Possible migrating Whale-sharks.
Entertaining beach front with variety of restaurants and nightlife possibilities.
3. Pangsama Beach, Moalboal, Cebu splendid macro diversity, impressive schools of sardines at well-known Pescador Island. Regular whale sharks encounters. Small fishing village transformed to a diver's hub and hangout. Variety of bar action and good choice of restaurants and eateries.
SeaQuest Dive Centers provides complete service with a friendly, safe and professional approach. Come as a guest leave as a friend (Be our friend on Facebook). We take care of you! "
Marcus Benders (SeaQuest), 2011
#36 Archbishop Reyes Avenue,
Knights of Columbus Square,
Cebu City 6000,
Tel: +63 32 2340248
Fax: +63 32 2340245
Mobile : +63 917 640 1689
"PADI Scuba Diving Experts. Very charming and hospitable. Island hopping is great and I would definitely dive with them again... Excellent! Keep it up!"
Christine Ray, 2009
"I have now dived with Sea Explorers based in Cebu for 2 years and these people yet have to disappoint me. Everything is so organized and professionally run. I would like to repay them by telling as many people as possible and if I can get them some business then why not. They have 6 resorts in Moalboal, Dumagette, Bohol, Cabilao, Siqior and Malapascua.
Highly recommended for all dive trips in the Visaya islands, Philippines."
Randel van Heerden, 2010
Unit 5 Regency Crest Condo
Paseo Saturnino Rd.
Banilad, Cebu City
"I announce the opening of a new diving center, on the port of Liloan Cebu, next to the sanctuary and the passenger wreck it takes 5 minutes by boat to be on the site, our center is specialized in the rebrether, in technical
diving, recreational scuba diving,we provide all training, PADI, TDI, SSI.
We are also specialized in filling nitrox, oxygen, and helium. The center has its own boat dives to 10 passenger boat that can take you on dive sites or visit the islands. "
Victoria Santillan (Station Technical Divers)
Visit over 30 dives sites in Puerto Galera. Dives are guided by a PADI Professional. Training is conducted in English, Filipino, Mandarin, Japanese, German, Dutch, Korean and French.
Scandi Divers Resort
Big La Laguna Beach
"Been comming there for many years, a great place with nice helpful people and good prices. I WILL BE BACK."
Mick Hansen, Denmark, 4 September 2017
"Perfect location, not much more than a 10 min boat ride to all locations. Room was very close to the beach, good a/c, wifi didn't work in the rooms though :( Met owner and chatted for quite some time - I'd definitely go back there!"
Carl, USA, 15 June 2017
"Warm regards and big thanks to Mr Carl for giving a review about us. A review might be a positive and negative but it always gives impact to everyone and especially to us - for us to know where we have our strength and areas needed for improvement."
Anie, Scandi Divers, 19 June 2017
Asia Divers have dive stores on Small Lalaguna & Sabang Beaches as well in Boracay Island, central Manila and Cebu.
El Galleon Beach Resort / Asia Divers
Small La Laguna Beach
Tel: +63 917-8145107
Tel/Fax: +63 (0)43-2873205
"Been diving with them 3 or 4 times and did both Nitrox and Adv. Open Water courses with them - very well done. I've also done Draeger Re-breather with them, though not the course (done elsewhere) and they do an excellent job with re-breathers.
This is one of those shops that not enough good can be said of. The shop at The Point, co-located with the El Galleon Hotel, is more convenient than the other which is a 10 minute walk away.
They've spun off a tech. dive shop called Tech Asia that is pretty full service it seems."
Tel: +63 917 840 5410 or +63 43 287 3077
"I enjoyed diving with Frontier Scuba back in 2002. The owner, Rick Kirkham, takes as many dives as he can himself and has a hands-on approach to the business. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable about the area's numerous dive sites. Rick even came to meet us at the pier when we arrived at night to make sure we arrived safely and were ready for diving the next day.
Alex Frew McMillan
Tel: Gavin +63(0)9989898485 / Maylen +63(0)9399148819
Facebook Badladz adventure resorts
"Badladz Dive resort is situated right on the stunning Puerto Galera Bay, far from the madness of Sabang. We offer all PADI courses and pride ourselves in personal attention for all of our divers. We offer discounts to single divers to groups. We can make a package to suit you and your groups needs. We offer up to 4 dives per day with option of night dives on request. If you are looking for professional dive shop with top of the range equipment and personal service then Badladz is the place for you.
We have three resort locations here in Puerto Galera, Badladz Dive Resort, Badladz Beach Resort and Badladz Apartments. All are just five minutes away from each other and just fifteen minutes from either Sabang or White beach."
Gavin Featherstone, Badladz Dive shop manager, 2016
Octopus Divers in Puerto Galera offer accommodation, diving, courses and day trips. Also liveaboards to Tubbataha Reef, Apo Reef and Coron/Busuanga Island
5203 Puerto Galera
Oriantal Mindoro Philippines
Tel: +63 919 379 0811
Fax: +49 89904068631
"There are buses from Manila going to Batangas City pier which will take 2 to 3 hours. From Batangas City pier you can take Viva Lines, a large RO-RO, which accomodates cars on board. Blue Eagle is an airconditioned fastcraft that takes only an hour, however it goes to Puerta Galera which will require further transportation to get to Sabang Beach (either by Bancas or jeepneys). Or you may also take a Big Banca from Batangas that goes directly to Sabang Beach. Si-Kat Ferry offers bus and ferry package transportation from City State Tower Hotel, Ermita, Manila to Pourta Galera. Bus departs at 9:00am. Captn Greggs can also make the arrangements for you to be picked up at the airport by taxi, driven to Batangas and have you met by their designated boats which will bring you to the resort.
Contact +639178258751 for bookings/schedules.
"The dive shop is owned and managed by a PADI certified OWSI. Instructions in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Pilipino are available. Pacific Divers is equipped with 2 13 meter length "bancas" (elegant outrigger boats) especially designed for diving. One can easily reach the 30+ dive sites praised internationally as the best in the world.
Dive rates: US$25 (Shop Gear), US$20 (Own Gear), PADI Discover Scuba US$50, PADI Open Water US$350. Group discounts available."
La Laguna Beach Club
Big La Laguna Beach,
"I stayed and dived with La Laguna Beach Club and found them to be the most proffessional Dive center I have ever had the pleasure to dive with. The staff are extremely informative, helpfull. Both their dive knowledge and their local area knowledge is second to none. I also completed numerous dive courses there and the level of instruction was very impressive to say the least.
Diving costs approx $25, Excellent facilities with friendly and extremely professional staff. More than enough staff, equipment and boats to cope with demand even during very busy periods . Nothing is too much trouble for them and they couldn't be more helpfull. They cater for all levels of experience, from bubble maker to technical diver. I undertook alot of courses and the level of training I received was exceptional. I would highly recommend them and look forward to diving and undertaking more courses with them in the near future.
I can't wait to return."
Dave Bell, 2008.
1181 Pablo Ocampo St.
Fax: (632) 890-8982
"Scuba World Inc. is the largest dive operator in the Philippines. Scuba World operates a network of dive shops and concessions in Metro Manila, Puerto Galera, Boracay, Cebu City, Dumaguete and Bohol. Scuba World also operates its own resorts and a fleet of live-aboard diving vessels. Scuba World's operations are international with MV Big Blue Explorer operating in Palau."
Norma of Scuba World Inc.
"We offer Padi courses at very affordable price!
* Excellent to spot Macro critters. * Daily Day trip to Verde Island, Anilao Batangas and Hibo Reef "
Mark M. Narvacan (Sea Rider Dive Center), 2010
"Mark and the team at Sea Rider were fantastic dive instructors. Laid back atmosphere, but serious when it counts! We dove with Sea Rider because they were recommended by the staff at Lalaguna Villas in Small Lalaguna. We truly had a luxury vacation. This place is brand new with a giant pool, great food and attentive staff!
Bill Hicks, USA, 28 April 2015
"Sea Rider dive center is conveniently in Small Lalaguna, Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera. They are so far the cheapest dive rates in the island (Php 1,000 including equipment rental from BCD to booties and boat ride. If you have your own equipment the price is negotiable up to 900php) . Great and friendly DM and guides. Great Macro spotters (Amazing how they can find what you want to see for photography), They also have a free boat pick up in sabang pier, the shop is using a speed boat. Small group dives very personalized. I will definitely recommend this one!
Thank you sea rider! I had a great time diving with you... This is definitely the backpackers choice from accommodation to diving and a good service! see you again!"
"Thank you instructor Mark for giving your patient during my open water course. Thank you for a big discount! Now I can say I can explore the underwater world.
See again guys for my Advanced Open water course! hi sea rider staff for carrying my scuba gear during my course.."
Hanna De Nise, 2010
Anilao Bagalangit Mabini
"Have used SCUBA Travel for years when planning a new dive trip. We are anxious muck divers and instead of Lembeh, Indonesia, we decided to go to Anilao, Philippines this year. And it was really WORTH IT! We had a super spotter and professional uw photographer as s dive guide + excellent private boat crew. As I found it a bit tricky to find him, I want to share his contact information with you. I highly recommend Dennis Corpuz and Anilao Critters if you are looking for a suberb dive guide: //www.anilaocritter.com/.
We booked all through him (accommodation, airport transportations etc) and everything worked perfectly! Anilao is great with a great dive guide, so it is worth investing in professional guide! Worth every euro.
Nina, Finland, 27 May 2019
"I had a great experience last Feb. 2014 when I decided to get my diving certification. James Omac, from SSI is an excellent instructor. He made me feel confident and relaxed and been patient the whole time. I think one on one training is really good. I want to thank him for making me achieved another phase of my life journey ... underwater, scuba diving... After Philippines, we went to Puerto Rico, USA in September and went diving again. This month in a few more days leaving for Hawaii, definitely will be diving in the different islands since, we are going on a 7 day cruise. Again, James Omac from SSI, I can't thank you enough for letting me achieve this wonderful experience. "
El Coral Reef Dive Center