By Aquamundo Admin

The Philippines is a country rich in diverse flora and fauna, and the more than 7,000-island archipelago is not lacking in marine life, too. In fact, at present, it’s very much the opposite. The waters in the Philippines are so lively that perhaps it can be agreed upon by the general public that the country’s main attraction lies in its deep waters and amazing plant life and aquatic animals. But because of the number of dive sites you can explore, knowing where to start might be overwhelming. So we rounded up five of the best dive sites you might want to visit this year!

  1. Coron Bay, Palawan

Apart from its bright and eerily clear blue waters, Coron is also known for its diving sites, particularly ones that guarantee the sight of shipwreck. One popular spot is where Okikawa Maru rests. What used to be an oil tanker during World War II is now a massive structure that’s home to corals and several fish. If you’re up for a monumental adventure, Okikawa Maru is a must-see. You might also want to check out Skeleton Wreck. It’s a ship that was also hit during World War II, and there you can find interesting species of fish, such as stonefish and lionfish.

2. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

Tubbataha can be found in the middle of Sulu Sea, a location that makes isolation attractive to lovers of solitude. It’s an ideal diving site for ocean enthusiasts who want to stay in the waters more than on land, especially since the nearby islands do not have freshwater and are, in consequence, uninhabitable. You can also find gigantic corals surrounding lagoons in Tubbataha Reefs, as well as lionfish and shark, among a thousand other marine species. To divers reading this article, this should be on your bucket list!

3. Manta Bowl Shoal, Donsol, Sorsogon

Manta Bowl Shoal is a ring-shaped coral reef that encloses a lagoon, or in short, an atoll. There are several dive sites in Manta Bowl, including The Bowl, Rock Point, and Sweetlips Place, and each site has a distinct set of characteristics. The Bowl, for one, is for the braver souls as it carries several species of shark and manta rays. For the more peace-loving folks, Sweetlips Place is a nice, adorable site where you can see Sweetlips, a species of fish, swimming about their territory. Rock Point, on the other hand, is a gorgeous site that’s teeming with colorful coral and various species of fish as well as manta rays.

4. Balicasag, Panglao Island, Bohol

Balicasag, enclosed in a coralline beach, is one of the three small islands that can be found in Panglao Island. It is known for its many diving spots. Diver’s Heaven is one of them, and it is one heavenly sight to behold. The area has angelfish, green turtles, and tons of beautiful corals. Balicasag is also home to another diving spot called Black Forest. It gets its name from its black corals, which are called Antipathes and living there are a lot of fish species, including triggerfish (which tends to attack foreign life forms), barracuda, and turtles.

5. Apo Reef Natural Park, Occidental Mindoro

As the largest coral reef system in the Philippines, you won’t be disappointed in the diverse marine life you will meet. Apo Reef is a paradise for divers, bountiful in well-maintained marine life, clear waters, and corals. It’s one of the protected areas in the country, so expect nothing less than a satisfying view and experience. But keep in mind that while diving is allowed in Apo Reef, human activity remains limited as fishing is not allowed after life was nearly depleted from excessive fishing. So be extra careful when diving here—well, as with all diving spots.

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