*Trip itinerary can be subject to changes in the event of adverse weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances
**IMPORTANT : please be advised that the authorities in the Philippines who operate the permits on Balicasag Island, which forms a small part of our Southern Visayas itinerary, require dive certificates/license of ALL divers booked on this cruise at least 14 days prior to trip. Please do ensure that copies of these are sent to us so that our team can apply for the required permit to dive in that area.
Dive sites around the Visayas
Here is a selection of some of our most popular dive sites that we like to visit during our trips to the Visayas.
"The Cars", Dauin North, Dauin
The dark sand slope leads down to two sunken volkswagens- covered with corals and sponges and home to schooling lionfish. The cars are just one feature of the site however, as over the slope we also find microscopic frogfish, skeleton shrimps, cockatoo waspfish, pipe horses, seahorses and mimic and blue-ring octopus, flying gurnards, spiny devilfish, robust and ornate ghost pipefish gathered together in groups (sometimes 5-7 at a one time!) and flambouyant cuttlefish. A true macro critter playground.
Lighthouse, Cabilao Island
A sloping reef wall is adorned with huge elephant ear sponges, in which we find giant frogfish attempting to camouflage themselves. Green and hawksbill turtles are common visitors and it is often we can see schools of surgeon fish and big-mouth mackerel. Drift along the wall and as you ascend towards the shallows a sandy plateau dotted with gorgonian fans is the place the stop and look for pygmy seahorses. The dive ends at a stunning hard coral garden where pipefish, cowries, cuttlefish, commensal shrimps, nudibranchs, squat lobsters and orangutan crabs are amongst a few of the commonly seen critters. Occasionally some stronger currents can be experienced!
Diver's Heaven, Balicasag Island
Typically with stronger currents than most dives during the trip, Diver’s Heaven is a character site of Balicasag with a steep reef wall, many overhangs with soft corals, sponges & sea fans. Schools of jacks and chevron barracuda are frequently seen, along with pyramid butterfly fish and bannerfish. Warty frogfish, leaf fish and porcelain crabs are just a few of the smaller creatures that can be found at this dive site
Cambiquiz, Cabilao Island
is where octopus, crocodile fish and many crustaceans can be seen. A superb spot day or night.
Black Forest, Balicasag Island
once famed for its black coral is where we encounter schools of jacks, meanwhile leaf fish are often seen resting on the rough coral ledges. Turtles are a common sight in the shallow sea grass garden- a perfect place for your safety stop.
Tongo Point, Moalboal
offer yellow tail barracuda, shrimp fish hovering in schools, and schools of big mouth mackerel make for an interesting dive. Add crocodile fish, scorpion fish, sea snakes & turtles for an awesome dive site.
Pescador Island, Western Cebu
This tiny off shore island is a haven for all manner of marine life. The walls, covered with sponges and soft corals hide frogfish, boxfish, batfish and many species of moral eel.
Panagsama Beach, Western Cebu
We dive here for the huge schools of sardines being hunted by jacks, tunas and occasionally by thresher sharks. This wall dive brings also the opportunity to spot frogfish, scorpion fish, cuttlefish, as well as, sweetlips, turtles and parrotfish.
San Miguel, Dauin
another critter wonderland! Painted frogfish, varieties of ghost pipefish, cockatoo waspfish are just a few of the most commonly seen species and on occasion we see up to 4 flambouyant cuttlefish in one dive!! During night dives coconut octopus can be seen creeping about with their shells and bobtail squid quickly scurry under the sand.
Coconut Point, Apo Island
An often fast paced drift brings divers over the sloping coral reef wall. Giant trevally, humphead parrotfish and marbled groupers are seen off the reef along with schools of banner fish. Turtles cruise effortlessly in the currents and nembrotha nudibranchs can be seen munching on tunicates.
Rock Point, Apo Island
West Just beyond the chapel opposite the marine park warden’s office, Rock Point offers some of the most stunning hard corals to be found in the region. The steep reef walls support numerous colourful reef species – pyramid butterfly fish and red-toothed trigger fish are here in their hundreds, frogfish, cuttlefish, banded sea snakes and hawksbill turtles are amongst the common sightings.
The following sites will also be visited during our Malapascua extension
Monad Shoal, Malapascua Island
Is one of the few dive spots in the World where the shy pelagic thresher sharks may be seen on a daily basis. Divers rest at approximately 25m (90ft) on the sandy bottom to watch the sharks approach and be cleaned. Other visitors to the shoal include manta, devil and eagle rays. Diving with Nitrox is recommended to enjoy extended bottom time.
Dona Marilyn, Malapascua Wrecks
Lying on her starboard side at a depth of 32m (110ft) this 100m (300ft) long passenger ferry is now a haven for marble and blue spotted stingrays and home to schools of sweetlips. Covered with corals and the remains of fishing nets she gives an eerie vibe to divers – not least because of the many people who lost their lives during her sinking more than 20 years ago. Guarding the wreckage is a resident giant moray eel and also commonly seen are large scorpion fish, lionfish and cuttlefish. Minimum depth 18m (60ft)
White Tip Alley, Gato Island
As the name suggests provides an almost guaranteed sighting of white tip reef sharks that enjoy their rest on the sand tucked under rocks and coral bommies. Other species found here include scorpion fish and seahorses. Pygmy seahorses may also be found too as well as whip coral shrimps which cling to the colourful whip corals adorning the overhangs of the island.
Like what you see?
The Philippine Siren and her crew are waiting to welcome you on board!