Palawan Diving and Dive Sites
If you want to have a great diving experience in the Philippines, then you should go to Palawan. This province practically has the best dive sites in Asia. It has an amazing collection of WWII shipwrecks and gorgeous coral gardens. Palawan diving is abundant in prime dive sites.
Easy Palawan Dive
Easy Palawan Dive is an inviting dive center at Port Barton in San Vicente. Instructors at this dive center are knowledgeable in three languages, German, English and French. It offers PADI Courses, namely the Discover Scuba Diving, Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver and Rescue Diver. In addition, tourists can try scuba diving sessions for as low as Php 2,000. The dive center allows rental of scuba diving equipment like tanks, regulators and wetsuits.
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Palawan Divers is one of the most popular dive centers in El Nido. Fun dive sessions offered at the establishment include day boat trips and overnight boat trips. Some of the basic dive courses at Palawan Divers are Discover Scuba Diving and Open Water Diver. Advanced scuba divers can also enroll in the Advanced Open Water program offered at the center. To enroll in the courses available at the center, students should have a budget of Php 2,100 to Php 21,945.
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Island Divers Palawan
The first dive center in the City of Puerto Princesa, Island Divers Palawan offers special tours to the different dive sites in the province. Some of the activities during the tours are dolphin watching and snorkeling. Students who want to enhance their scuba diving skills can enroll in the PADI courses offered at the center like the Bubblemaker, Discover Scuba Diving and the PADI Scuba Diver program. Other services available are gear rentals, boat rentals and divemaster services.
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If you are in search for a dive center that offers advanced and beginner courses at Coron, Busuanga, Discovery Divers is one of the establishments that you can visit. The instructors at this center are PADI-certified so students will be secured when they explore the different dive sites in Coron. The programs offered at this establishment include wreck diving, lake diving and corals diving. Diving rates are around Php 2,500 to Php 40,000.
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El Nido Dive Center
El Nido Dive Center is found inside the Lagen Island Resort in El Nido. The services offered at this establishment include rentals of scuba diving gears and equipment as well as divemaster assistance. Boat trips and island cruises are also offered. When it comes to programs, the dive center offers basic and advanced scuba diving courses. To enroll in the courses, your budget should be between Php 2,000 to Php 30,000.
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Lamud Island Resort
The dive center of Lamud Island Resort is one of the establishments that offer extensive diving programs to foreigners and tourists. For those who just want to explore the beautiful dive sites of Coron, they can enroll in fun dives offered at the establishment. However, if they want to enhance their knowledge and skills in scuba diving, then they should register in the advance and introductory diving programs. Rates are between Php 2,000 to Php 45,000.
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Dugong Dive Center
Dugong Dive Center offers tours to the different attractive spots in Palawan like the Dimakya Island, the House Reef and the Apo Reef Natural Park. In addition to boat rides and island hopping tours, the dive center is popular for offering PADI-accredited courses like the Open Water Diver course, the Enriched Air Diver program and the Dry Suit Diver program. To enroll in the programs, the budget should be between Php 2,000 to Php 25,000.
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One of the most inviting and popular dive centers in Coron, Dive Calamianes offers affordable and exciting tours to the different dive sites of Palawan such as the Barracuda Lake and the Seven Rocks Reef. Foreigners who want to explore the waters of Coron can enroll in any of the scuba diving programs offered at this establishment such as the Discover Scuba course, the Wreck Specialty course and the Nitrox Specialty program. The diving rates at Dive Calamianes range from Php 2,200 to Php 17,100.
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Sangat Island Resort
The dive center of Sangat Island Resort has a fully equipped diving facility, which features underwater equipment and gears. Wreck and reef dives are some of the activities offered at the resort. Tours to the Sangat Sub Chaser and the Olympia Maru are also offered. Children can enjoy diving with the Bubblemaker program offered at the resort. Adults can enroll in the Open Water Diver course available at this place.
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Abc Dive Coron
Abc Dive Coron offers interesting tours to the dive sites in the area including the Kogyo Maru, the Black Island Wreck and the Skeleton Wreck. Special packages offered at the place trips and dives to the Tubbataha Reef and the Wrecks of Busuanga. In order to join the trips, tourists should prepare Php 2,000 to Php 5,000.
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Kokosnuss Garden Resort
Kokosnuss Garden Resort has a fully equipped diving center that offers various exciting and memorable activities like Calauit island tour and Coron island tour. Additionally, it offers dive sessions at the Barracuda Lake and the Coral Bay. One of the specialty courses offered at the resort is the Wreck Dive. The diving rate at this place is Php 2,500. After touring and exploring the dive sites in Palawan, tourists can relax and dine at the in-house restaurant of the resort.
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Sea Dive Resort
Sea Dive Resort arranges trips and diving sessions to wrecks and reefs in Palawan including the Akitsushima, the Irako and the Kogyo Maru. The diving courses available at this resort are the PADI Open Water Diver course, the PADI Divemaster and the PADI Rescue Diver course. Diving rates range from Php 3,100 to Php 18,350.
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Club Noah Dive Center
Club Noah Dive Center is located within Club Noah Isabelle at Apulit Island. Some of the activities that guests can try are snorkeling, bottom fishing, cave exploration, fly fishing and casting, canoeing and kayaking. The center specializes in diving sessions. The divemasters at the center guide guests who want to explore the beautiful dive sites in the island. The sessions can cost Php 2,000 to Php 15,000, depending on the length of the sessions. After the scuba diving sessions, guests can be refreshed because the dive center is near to several restaurants like the Tropicana Restaurant and the Serena Bar.
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Dive Right Diving Center
If you want to experience a remarkable diving sessions at Busuanga Island, Dive Right Diving Center offers affordable diving packages to everyone. Aside from scuba diving, the establishment also features other exciting activities like coral reef snorkeling, wreck snorkeling, wreck diving and underwater photography. Aside from these, guests can enjoy sea kayaking, boating, nitrox diving, hiking and fishing.
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Evergreen Diving Center
One of the diving schools in Calamian, Evergreen Diving Center offers diving sessions and tours to the pristine and peaceful waters of Palawan. Gear rentals are offered at this place. In addition, to ensure the safety of divers, the center provides first aid kit to instructors and dive masters. Children can also enjoy diving because it offers the Bubblemaker program. Instructors at the center are knowledgeable in English and German.
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Last Frontier Dive
Last Frontier Dive is one of the establishments in Palawan that offers tours and diving sessions at the Underground River. To offer discounts to tours and travelers, the dive center offers packages like the Apo Reef Live Aboard Package, Coron Live Aboard Package and the Visayas Safari Pacakage. The costs of packages start at Php 36,000.
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Lally & Abet Beach Dive Resort
Scuba diving and snorkeling are the specialties of Lally & Abet Beach Dive Resort at El Nido. Diving sessions are usually done in the popular dive reefs in the province like the small lagoon and the big lagoon. Guests at the resort can also try other activities like fishing and island hopping. Some of the nearby attractions that people can visit are the Cudugnon Cave, the Snake Island and the Paradise Beach.
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Ocean Quest Dive Center
One of the dive schools in El Nido that are accredited by PADI, the Ocean Quest Dive Center employs professional divers and divemasters who guide students and guests in their diving sessions. Some of the courses offered at this center are the Open Water Dive, the Bubblemaker and the Rescue Master. To enroll in the dive programs, students should allot Php 2,000 to Php 30,000.
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Last Frontier Dive Palawan
Last Frontier Dive Palawan offers tours at reasonable prices to nearby tourist attractions like the Underwater River, the Apo Reef and the Coron Reef. The dive center has its own boats to be used to travel and visit these places. The travel and diving packages offered by the center include drop offs at wrecks and reefs. The rates of the travel packages are between Php 35,000 to Php 70,000. For the convenience of guests, the dive center offers land transfer and boat transfer services.
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Seadog Divers is a popular dive center at Bacuit Bay in El Nido. Divemasters and instructors at this dive center accompany guests and students to the famous dive spots in El Nido. Most of the diving sessions offered by the center allow divers to see the undamaged coral 10 meters to 20 meters underwater. In addition, it offers affordable rentals of diving gears and equipment. Three dive sessions inclusive of lunch cost Php 3,600.
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Rocksteady Dive Center
If you are looking for a fully equipped diving school in Coron, you should consider visiting Rocksteady Dive Center. The dive shop of this establishment features 15 sets of gears and equipment used for diving. Some of dive sites visited by the divers from the center are the Olympia Maru, the Tangat Wreck, the Kogyo Maru and the Okikawa Maru. Diving rates at this establishment range from Php 2,300 to Php 40,000.
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Queen Anne Divers
The Queen Anne Divers was founded by Swiss national Urs Rechsteiner. The diving programs at the center are offered from March to June. One of the dive sites in Palawan visited by instructors and divers from the center is the Tubbataha Reef. The cost of Tubbataha diving ranges from Php 46,000 to Php 62,000. PADI courses like Rescue Diver and Master Diver are also offered at this place.
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One of the best kept secret of the island when it comes to diving is the Busuanga Island. In truth, the island does not just boast of the best dive sites, it also has wine blue seas, fine white sand beaches bordered by waving palm trees, limestone cliffs and a world-class resort to boot. If you are going to do some Palawan diving, you should definitely start with Busuanga dive sites.
In truth, many of the visitors of the islands are divers who are eager to see the shipwrecks. There are actually 24 Japanese warships surrounding the island and 12 of these ships can be found in shallow waters. Aside from the actual shipwreck, you will also see corals, clams, sea fans, lion fishes, groupers, scorpion fishes, squids, eels, sea squirts and other species.
One of the famous shipwrecks is the Kyokuzan Maru which lies 43 meters underwater. Yes, it is a deep dive and it is advisable only for experienced divers. The dive, however, offers great visibility. Aside from the eerie graveyard that was once a huge Japanese warship, you will also see Pycnodonte clams, small black fishes, angel fishes and remoras among others.
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Palawan diving also offers dive spots for beginners. One of these sites is the House Reef dive. This particular dive spot offers a great view of the underwater life. You will see glass shrimps, jaw fishes, giant clams, moray eels, parrot fishes, cuttlefishes, green turtles and blue sea slugs. This is perfect for you if you haven’t tried diving in your life.
A challenging drive for experienced divers is the Apo Reef. This reef actually offers two kinds of Palawan diving experience. The first one starts with an easy swim through the reef wall. However, a whirlpool is located in the middle of the reef and it could suck you in if you are not careful. This is one of challenging Palawan diving sites. It is advised that you should stick to the vertical reef wall as close as possible. The dive, however, is enjoyable. You will see barrel sponges, sea fans, turtles, corals, feather stars and other species, but you will feel the pull of the angry whirlpool. The second dive to Apo Reef will bring you to a deep gorge that drops into a lightless void. You will see snappers and hammerheads in this dive.
If you are looking for a particularly unique dive, you should check out Cayangan Lake. Before you can even dive underwater, you would have to first swim to Coron Island and then climb over limestone to reach the lake. The water in the lake gets hotter as you dive deeper. The view underwater is barren. You will see some shrimps, snails, small fishes and a lot of pliable plastic mud. Divers, however, enjoy the dive because of the challenge it offers.
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Another spot that divers like to see in Coron is the Coral Garden. The corals at the place are just few meters deep so divers will not have a hard time finding these. In addition, the water in the place is not deep when compared to the other dive sites in Palawan. In this regard, even amateurs can dive and admire the creatures under the waters of the Coral Garden.
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Gunter’s Cathedral is found at the northeast part of Calis Point at the island of Coron. The average depth of the dive site is 25 feet while the maximum depth is 44 feet. When visiting the site, it is important that amateur divers be assisted by dive masters since they may have a hard time finding Gunter’s Cathedral. To reach the place, they need to pass through an underwater tunnel. The water in the place is calm and it has good visibility. Divers can have a memorable time at the site because it features numerous attractive and colorful corals. Aside from these, divers can also see various species of fishes.
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Found at the eastern part of Calis Point, Delian Island has a maximum depth of 80 feet and an average depth of 25 feet. As a word of caution, divers are advised to avoid visiting the place during bad weather. This place is popular because it is near to the tribes of Tagbanua. The waters surrounding the island feature thousands of corals and exotic marine species such as sea cucumber and octopus. To find the place easily, tourists are advised to ask assistance from divemasters at popular dive centers in Coron.
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Framjee Bank is one of the most attractive dive spots in the province of Palawan. It is situated 19 kilometers east of Bocao Point near the Busuanga Island. The average depth of the spot is 50 feet while the maximum depth is 130 feet. The water visibility at the site can reach 100 feet. Divers should know that travallies, tuna and sharks are present in the place.
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Also known as Butulan Rocks, Brown Rocks are popular diving sites near the Busuanga Island. These rocks have a height of 50 meters. Divers who want to see numerous water creatures are advised to dive at the western and eastern sides of the rocks. Some of the wildlife species that reside under the waters surrounding the rocks are hammerhead sharks and parrot fish. The sharks in the place usually measure around 1.5 to 2.5 meters. Aside from these, divers can also see an attractive and beautiful coral garden in the sites.
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Tara Island – West Side
Situated at the southeast of the islands of Nanga and at the southeast of the Island of Busuanga, Tara Island – West Side features attractive corals and beautiful fishes. Most tourists are advised to visit the place at night. Travel time usually takes four to five hours from the east part of Busuanga. The average depth of the water surrounding the island is 65 feet while the maximum depth is 100 feet. The island is popular for having pelagic fish like tuna, Spanis Mackerel and travellies. In addition, people can also find guitar sharks and whitetip reef sharks at the place.
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Found at the north of Port Carlton, the Dumunpalit Island can be reached by 6-hour banca ride from the Island of Busuanga. The average visibility of the dive site is 65 feet. The mean depth of the waters surrounding the place is 65 feet while the maximum depth is 80 feet. At the site, divers can see alluring and colorful corals. Aside from these, there are also pelagic species at the place.
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El Nido is known for featuring attractive dive sites. One of the most popular dive sites in the area is the Bacuit Bay. The bay plays home to numerous marine animals like tuna and sharks. It also features turtles, dugongs and manta rays. Another dive site at El Nido that tourists can visit is the Dilumacad Island. The island is popular for having limestone cliffs and a fringing reef.
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Irako Wreck is a popular tourist destination and diving site in Palawan. Situated at Coron Bay, the wreck can be seen when divers reach the depth of 42 meters. The length of the sunken Japanese food ship is 147 meters. The ship lies almost upright at the bay. At the site, divers can find sponges, soft corals as well as tunicates. In addition to these, divers can also see various species of marine animals like scorpionfish, lionfish and batfish. The other species that can be seen at the Irako wreck are slugs and nudibranchs.
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Another interesting dive site at Coron Bay is the Mamya Maru. To see the sunken freighter, divers should reach the depth of 34 meters. The freighter is longer than the Irako. It has a length of 160 meters. The ship lies on the side of the starboard. Hard corals and soft corals can be seen at the port side. In addition to these, people can also find snappers, batfish, lionfish and fusiliers at the wreck site. Other species that live in the sunken ship are slugs, tunicates, sponges as well as nudibranchs.
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Situated under the waters of the Coron Bay, the Tangat Wreck has a maximum depth of 30 meters. At this site, divers can see a freighter that has a length of 122 meters. The wreck site serves as home to different marine animals including lionfish, snappers, batfish and scorpionfish. Additionally, people can find nudibranchs, tunicates, sponges and slugs in the place. Moreover, numerous soft and hard corals are seen inside the sunken freighter.
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East Tangat Wreck
East Tangat Wreck is another attractive and interesting dive site at Coron Bay. The site has a maximum depth of 22 meters. The vessel has a length of 40 meters. The ship is either an anti-submarine craft or a tugboat. Inside the vessel, divers can see soft corals and various marine species including slugs. There are also scorpionfish, lionfish, snappers and batfish inside the vessel.
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Surrounding the Island of Coron are numerous attractive dive sites. One of these is the Barracuda Lake. The lake features limestone cliffs and the temperature of the water is between 27 to 40 degrees Celsius. At the bottom of the lake, divers can see shells. On the other hand, at the shallow part of the lake, people can find shrimps and rabbitfish. Near the lake, divers can find an interesting lake that plays home to numerous species.
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Black Island Wreck
Situated at the Calamianes Islands, the Black Island Wreck features a Japanese fuel tanker bombarded by the U.S. Navy during the World War II. To reach the wreck site, divers should travel three to four hours from the Malajon Island at Coron. The wreck is one of the dive sites recommended to amateur divers. The depth of the wreck site begins at 21.32 meters. Divers can see diverse species of marine animals. Some of the species found at the site are the trumpetfish, batfish, angelfish and lionfish. In addition to these, there are sponges, crinoids and hydroids at the site.
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Also known as the Concepcion Wreck, the Taiei Maru is one of the top dive sites in Palawan. The site can be found at the southern part of the Village of Concepcion at Busuanga Island. To go to the site, people should travel two to three hours from the village. Novices are advised to dive at the place with the assistance of dive masters. To see the wreck, the water visibility should be 33 feet to 65 feet. The average depth of the wreck is 52 feet while the maximum depth is 85 feet. At the site, divers can find a sunken oil tanker of the Japanese Imperial Army.
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Included in the list of the top diving spots in the Philippines, the Akitsushima is situated between the Manglet Island and the Lajo Island at Busuanga. The place is not recommended to novice divers because the water at the site features strong currents. At the site, people can find the sunken Japanese vessel, which has a length of 487 feet. Some of the species that can be seen at the site are barracudas, snappers and tunas.
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Gunboat at Lusong Island
This dive spot is found at the southern part of the island. Novice divers can have a memorable time at this site because the place features shallow, calm as well as clear water. The water visibility reaches 100 feet. The average depth of the site is 20 feet and the maximum depth is 33 feet. Sea cucumbers, batfish and angelfish inhabit the wreck site.
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Another interesting and top dive site to visit in Busuanga Island is the Olympia Maru. The dive spot can be seen between the Tangat Island and the Lusong Island. Water visibility is between 33 feet to 65 feet. The mean depth in the place is 62 feet while the maximum depth is 80 feet. At the site, divers can see a sunken Japanese freighter that has a length of 450 feet. There are corals, sea cucumbers and sponges at the site.
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Situated at the south of Olympia Maru, Kogyo Maru can be easily seen when the water is calm and the weather is fine. The site’s maximum depth is 110 feet and the mean depth is 92 feet. The vessel sunk on September 24, 1944. It has a length of 520 feet. At the site, people can find marine species including sea cucumbers, batfish and tuna.
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One of the popular Palawan diving sites is the Taiei Maru shipwreck which sits 26 meters underwater. The dive is not really deep but it is advisable only to experienced divers. This site is an open strait and divers will have to battle strong currents. Underneath, you will see corals, anemones, fusiliers, snappers, batfish, lionfish, squids, clownfish and poisonous scorpion fishes. This dive site has poor visibility. It is definitely not for beginners. The whole experience can be nerve wracking but it can also be quite thrilling.
There are still other numerous shipwrecks that you can explore in Palawan. Some of which are great for beginners but most are advisable only for experienced divers. You can always seek the assistance of dive shops to get to these shipwrecks.
Fortunately, there are numerous dive shops in Palawan. Some of the dive shops in Puerto Princesa include Island Drivers Palawan, M/B Dschubba, Last Frontier Dive Palawan, M/Y Talusi, Queen Anne Divers, M/Y Tristar and M/Y Moonshadow. Some of the dive shops in El Nido include Seadog Divers, Palawan Divers, Ocean Quest Dive Center and Lally & Abet Beach Dive Resort. There are still other dive shops scattered all over Palawan.
Palawan diving is fun and exciting. If you want to explore all of Palawan’s dive sites, you should prepare for a very long vacation.