Best time to visit
Gentle conditions, schooling fish, turtles, sea snakes, nudibranchs, batfish
The region of El Nido in Palawan is hard to beat in terms of natural beauty, with perfect blue waters and impressive limestone karsts carpeted with lush greenery. There are a few great hotels in the region, suited to families, couples and solo travellers with all levels of diving experience. Primarily, the diving in El Nido is best for those just starting out their diving journey, with gentle conditions and sloping reefs frequented by large schools of fusiliers and snappers, and populated with the usual reef inhabitants such as anemones swaying on the reeftop, banded sea snakes, pufferfish and turtles. This is a fantastic destination to begin or end a marine safari diving holiday in the Philippines.
turtle on abdees reef
el nido reef
Diving holidays in El Nido offer some great traditional reef diving, with the region’s best dive sites including Miniloc South where huge schools of fusiliers and sergeant majors glitter above the reef which is visited by green and hawksbill turtles as well. Barracudas hang in the open water, and shy boxfish and puffers peep out from their coral overhangs. The conditions are gentle with good visibility and this makes El Nido ideal for beginner divers in particular.
North Rock is an exciting dive site frequented by pelagic species such as black tip reef sharks and is known for its beautiful hard and soft corals, while Nat Nat Beach is a hotspot for macro enthusiasts who can spot nudibranchs, ribbon eels and seahorses. Surface intervals in El Nido are some of the most beautiful imaginable, spent on perfect white powder beaches among awe-inspiring limestone karsts.