The Ultimate Scuba Dive Guide to Cebu, Philippines

A view from the top of Pescador Island, Moalboal, Philippines
Moalboal, Philippines Photo by Ken Suarez on Unsplash

Cebu, located in the Philippines, is a diver’s paradise with its crystal-clear waters, vibrant marine life, and stunning underwater landscapes. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a beginner, Cebu offers an array of dive sites that cater to every skill level. We’ll take you through the ultimate scuba diving experience in Cebu, highlighting the best dive sites, and practical tips for an unforgettable underwater adventure.

Dive Sites

  • Moalboal: Famous for its sardine run, Moalboal’s Pescador Island is a must-visit site where you can witness millions of sardines swirling in mesmerizing formations. The marine sanctuary is also home to diverse corals, turtles, and other marine species.
  • Malapascua: Dive into the deep blue waters of Monad Shoal to witness thresher sharks in their natural habitat. Gato Island is another highlight with its underwater caves and tunnels, which house white-tip sharks, vibrant corals, and seahorses.
  • Oslob: Known for its whale shark encounters, snorkel or dive alongside these gentle giants in Oslob. The experience offers a unique opportunity to get up close with the world’s largest fish.
  • Mactan: Closer to the city, Mactan Island features numerous dive sites, including Hilutungan Island Marine Sanctuary. Expect colorful reefs, abundant fish life, and even the occasional sighting of a sea turtle.

Practical Tips

  • Season: The best time to visit Cebu for diving is between November and May, during the dry season. Visibility is at its peak, and the waters are calm.
  • Certification: While Cebu offers options for all skill levels, it’s advisable to get certified before diving in more challenging sites like Malapascua’s Monad Shoal.
  • Safety: Choose reputable dive operators that prioritize safety and follow responsible diving practices. Ensure your equipment is well-maintained.
  • Marine Conservation: Respect marine life and underwater ecosystems. Do not touch or disturb marine creatures or coral reefs.
  • Accommodation: Cebu has a range of accommodations, from budget hostels to luxury resorts. Choose lodging close to your preferred dive sites for convenience.