To shellebrate 26 May World Turtle Day we are exploring our top 3 beloved divings spots in the Philippines. The Philippines is home to many of our terrific testudines and their beautiful aquatic abodes, with splendid initiatives to help conserve our marine mates too. Whether you’re a Dive Master or just want to dip your toes in, the Philippines is the perfect place to do it.
Although there are hundreds of incredible diving spots in the Philippines, we’re focusing on more sustainable and eco-friendly locations where you can enjoy yourself without having to worry about damaging any marine marvels. Some fantastic conservation projects we recommend getting involved or looking into are PADI’s Project Aware, WWF’s Coral Triangle, Marine Wildlife Watch the Philippines, People and the Sea, and Sierra Madre’s Aware Sea Turtle Distinctive Speciality (for the more experienced divers among us).
Within the diverse UNESCO world heritage Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park live an abundance of whales, dolphins, sharks, over 500 species of fish and of course, turtles! Regarded as a global centre of marine biodiversity, the Palawan located nature park stretches over nearly 100,000 hectares reaching depths of up to 100m. Spread across it’s pristine coral reefs are 17 official diving sports surrounding 3 islands.
Liveaboards (where you live in a boat to dive) are available to access the nature park, partnering with the Tabbataha Management Office (TMO) to promote sustainability and conservation. It’s important to note that The TMO does not operate commercial trips to the Park; the liveaboard have the required permits to operate. Staying in Puerto Princesa City you may also be able to locate accredited day trips to the Reefs Natural Park, as the reefs are only 150km southeast of the city.
Liveaboards（住在船上去潜水）与Tabbataha管理办公室（TMO）一起合作推广可持续发展和保护，你可以通过坐船进入自然公园。重要的是要注意，TMO不运营公园的商业旅行;船上有操作所需的许可证。入住Puerto Princesa City，您也可以找到经过认证的珊瑚礁自然公园一日游，因为珊瑚礁仅在城市东南部150公里处。
Turtle point dive site is located on the eastern side of Balicasag Island, Bohol. It features underwater caves about 60 to 75 meters down, in which a variety of turtles have made their lairs. Turtle Point was unsubtly named due to the fact that the place is a haven for turtles. Balicasag Island is a flat island 4 kms southwest of what is known as Panglao Reef. The whole of Island can be toured in a day, but to properly absorb the serenity the island has to offer we recommend spending more time there. The Island is fringed by a reef which is filled with countless schools of fish, coral and naturally, sea turtles.
Balicasag Island is one of many islands within the region of Panglao Island, and many explorers enjoy island hopping between them. Staying on Panglao Island and finding authorised tour companies to dive into the beauty of Balicasag Island is the best way to do it.
Not to be confused with Apo Reef, Apo Island is located off of Dauin, 25km south of Dumaguete City. The island is home to around 1000 residents and offers truly world-class diving. Due to this, electricity only runs from 6am-9pm so the island can retain it’s sanctity. It also has an abundance of interesting marine life, including marvellous marine turtles. Apo Island is one of the first protected marine sanctuaries, as the island’s leaders introduced conservation guidelines aimed to defend illegal and highly destructive fishing practices. The Philippine Tourism Board has named Apo Island as a “Top 100 Gem”.
Locally referred to as “the Washing Machine”, Coconut dive spot equally as thrilling as it is beautiful. Schools of fish often form bait balls, where they instinctually form tight formations together as a defence mechanism. Witnessing this is a once in a life time opportunity and not to be missed if possible.
Writing this up has tortoise so much, now we’re feeling inspired to go diving and help protect our turtle friends!