The province of Cebu, situated in the heart of the Philippines, is often regarded as a diver's paradise. Boasting a wealth of underwater treasures from beautiful coral gardens to vibrant marine life, Cebu offers diverse dive spots for both beginners and experienced divers. With warm tropical waters and great visibility, Cebu caters to a variety of diving preferences and experiences.
Best Scuba Diving Spots for Experienced Divers
Malapascua Island: Best known for its rare sightings of the elusive thresher sharks, Malapascua Island is a jewel for experienced divers. Monad Shoal is the famous dive spot here, which is effectively a cleaning station for these sharks. Divers can also explore Gato Island, a marine reserve, known for its sea snakes, cuttlefish, and various types of nudibranch.
Moalboal: Moalboal is famous for its unique sardine run, which experienced divers often find mesmerizing. Pescador Island, a part of Moalboal, is a marine park known for its spectacular wall diving, huge schools of jacks, occasional sightings of reef sharks, and vibrant corals.
Best Scuba Diving Spots for Beginners
Mactan Island: Accessible and convenient, Mactan Island has a variety of dive sites suitable for beginners. Marine sanctuaries like Hilutungan and Nalusuan Islands offer gentle currents and abundant marine life, making them ideal for novice divers.
Dalaguete: Beginners might also enjoy diving in Dalaguete, where sites like Kandungaw and Tapon offer calm waters, stunning coral reefs, and a chance to spot various tropical fish species.
Diving in Cebu opens up a world filled with diverse marine life. Thresher sharks, sea snakes, sardines, reef sharks, and various species of nudibranch are just a few of the many creatures you might encounter here. There's also an array of vibrant corals, sponges, anemones, and countless species of fish – from tiny clownfish to large pelagics. Divers might also get lucky and spot larger visitors such as whale sharks and manta rays.
Cebu offers favorable diving conditions throughout the year. The water temperature is consistently warm, ranging from 79 to 86°F (26 to 30°C). Visibility often extends to 65-100 feet (20-30 meters), although it can vary based on weather conditions and the specific dive site. Currents range from gentle to moderate, making Cebu an excellent diving destination for divers of all experience levels.
Scuba diving in Cebu is relatively affordable, attracting a lot of diving enthusiasts worldwide. For a single dive, including equipment rental and boat ride, you may expect to pay between $30 to $50. If you plan to get your PADI Open Water certification in Cebu, it could cost you around $400 to $500, depending on the dive center and time of the year.
Always remember, cost should not be the only factor in deciding your dive center. It's also important to consider safety records, instructor qualifications, and the dive center's commitment to environmental sustainability. Dive safely and enjoy the underwater wonders that Cebu has to offer!