Seven Best Dive Resorts In The Philippines
We’ve visited the Philippines multiple times over our combined 35 years of diving, so when it comes to picking the best dive resorts in the Philippines, we are well placed to do so. At Reefscape Travel, the very core of what we do is finding the best places to stay whilst doing the best diving, with this round up of luxury dive hotels in the archipelago being no exception. We can put together a bucket-list marine life safari, island-hopping across the Visayas or for those wanting a slower pace, heading to just one destination to tick off all the dive sites. Read on to discover our seven best dive resorts in the Philippines:
Atmosphere Resort, Dumaguete
Off the black sand shores of Dauin & Dumaguete, scuba divers will find some of the very best macro and muck diving in the world, mixed with the beautiful coral reefs of Apo Island. Atmosphere Resort & Spa is one of the best luxury dive resorts in the region, with extensive facilities accompanied by fantastic food and service. As a dive hotel, naturally the dive team is excellent with a resident marine biologist and expert guides, particularly important when it comes to muck diving to help divers spot rare and often camouflaged critters. Octopus mating season is a particular highlight, taking place in October, with more than six species being present. Atmosphere is our top pick for families, with a kid's pool and activities.
Salaya Beach Houses, Dumaguete
Also located in Dauin & Dumaguete, Salaya Beach Houses is the perfect luxury dive resort for couples and honeymooners, with just 10 rooms allowing for that extra bit of peace and quiet away from any crowds. Local produce can be enjoyed at the restaurant or guests also have the option to self-cater in the beach houses. Service is thoughtful, warm and friendly both above and below the waves, with excellent dive guides ready to help divers explore muck and reef.
Amun ini, Anda (Bohol)
Our favourite dive hotel in Bohol is Amun Ini, perched above a white sand beach in Anda, a little-known corner of the island. This luxury dive resort has access to over 38 dive sites, and with few other dive operators in the region, divers will usually have the sites to themselves. The 16 rooms are spread throughout the Filipino jungle and are simple but comfortable, over-looking the impressively large pool. The dive team here are exceptional, led by the wonderful Bigs, exploring reefs over-flowing with healthy corals, macro life and turtles. The house reef is a particular highlight for both divers and snorkellers.
Ocean Vida, Malapascua
Located on the beautiful white sand Bounty Beach of Malapascua, Ocean Vida easily makes our list of best dive resorts in the Philippines. With just 20 rooms, this beachfront dive hotel is the ideal spot for those that want to be at the centre of the action both on land and underwater. Sea Explorers dive centre, located within the resort, is the best on the island with over 30 years’ experience, running a range of diving adventures including the exciting dawn thresher shark dives and day trips to Kalanggaman Island.
Kasai Village, Moalboal
Kasai Village is the best jumping-off point for divers wanting to explore the waters of Moalboal, off the west coast of Cebu. A long pier allows divers and snorkellers to access the excellent house reef, home to a variety of critters and colourful corals. The onsite SSI dive centre runs boat diving to experience the large shoal of sardines that the area is so famous for, alongside a range of tech facilities for those interested. The resort is simple, but comfortable and the location is quiet but within easy reach of buzzy Moalboal. We recommend skipping at least one night dive to watch the sunset which is particularly good from the resort.
Just a two to three hour drive from Manila, Anilao is particularly popular with those wanting to keep logistics simple, as well as being a muck diver’s paradise. Aiyanar is a luxury dive resort offering the best accommodation in the region. There are just 16 rooms spread across two floors, all with lovely sea views. The diving is hugely varied, catering for all levels and interests, from professional underwater photographers after the critters to those wanting the bigger stuff with regular sightings of schooling barracuda, reef sharks and turtles to name a few. Underwater photographers are particularly well looked after, with a camera room and eager divemasters ready to take them out one-on-one to find the most sought-after subjects.
Sangat Island Dive Resort, Coron (Palawan)
Palawan is the most picturesque island group in the Philippines, with jungle-clad limestone karsts jutting out of white sand beaches, surrounded by turquoise waters. What lies beneath is equally exciting, particularly in Coron where 11 WWII Japanese Wrecks rest on the sandy bottom waiting to be explored. Undoubtedly, the best dive resort in the region is Sangat Island. The resort oozes a castaway feel with simple, wooden bungalows just set back from the idyllic beach and hammocks tied to palm trees, swinging in the breeze. The dive team know the wrecks inside out, catering for novice through to tech divers and the location of the resort means that most of the wrecks are just minutes away by boat.