Palawan island in the Philippines has been voted the world’s best island many times over, and is one of the world’s greatest scuba diving destinations. Here are the bet Scuba diving bases on the island along with a short guide on how to get there. Enjoy scuba diving Palawan!
Getting to Palawan Island
Palawan lies Southwest of the capital city of Manila and you will probably find yourself taking an internal flight from Manila to Puerta Princesa, Palawan islands capital. The short internal flight is well worth it – just an hour to one of the world’s best diving spots. Head to El Nino on the Northern tip of Palawan – it’s like finding Nemo down there!
Marine life on Palawan
El Nido in Palawan has an abundant and diverse marine eco-system. On any given dive, you are likely to see many reef fish: sweetlips, parrotfish, damselfish, butterflyfish, angelfish, pipefish, clownfish and many more. Grouper and snapper are also common. You might even see large schools of mackerel, bat fish and barraccuda. If you are lucky, you might even catch a glimpe of a sea turtle, manta ray or moray eel. For more on this, visit Palawan divers which gives a run down of the species with images of what you will see on a Palawan dive.
Scuba Diving Palawan – Best Dive Centres
Let’s Dive Palawan
Puerto Princesa offers a great selection of dive sites where the reefs are alive and colourful. Let’s Dive is the only PADI certified dive centre in Puerto Princesa and with a team of both foreign and local top diving pros, Let’s Dive has decades of experience. The centre offers a variety of unique opportunities to allow you to explore beneath the waves. Whether you are a beginner looking to take your first discovery into diving or a seasoned diver, the company offers exciting dive excursions under the sea where you can expect to encounter turtles and schooling fish.
Dive Puerto Princesa
Get tanked up, dive in and discover one of the country’s most beautiful and pristine seascapes. Dive Puerto Princesa take you on an exploration of the diverse underwater life in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Available to all experiences, the dives with this centre are a sea-feast for the eyes. Puerto Princesa is a perfect location for new divers to find their sea legs with its shallow reefs whilst experienced divers will appreciate the abundance of sea life located in the area. With five star TripAdvisor reviews, Dive Puerto Princesa is rated one of the best in Puerto Princesa.
Manta Scuba Diving
With Puerto Princesa being the eco-tourism centre in Palawan with a wealth of outstanding nature, it is easy to see why there are so many dive centres in the area. Manta Scuba Diving are a family run, boutique dive shop in San Carlos, Puerto Princesa. The business also offers river cruises, fishing and snorkelling excursions but are most popular with dives due to the areas unique underwater world. The owners of Manta Scuba Diving offer the most incredible hospitality to their guests and know the best places to potentially spot manta rays, dolphins and hammerhead sharks!
Tarvis Dive Centre
Located on the small tropical island of Modessa Island, off from the nearest coastal town of Roxas, you will find Tarvis Dive Centre. Named after the reef accessed from right in front of the dive centre, Tarvis Dive Centre is a perfect place for beginners. The beautiful area is rich in coral and abundant in fish whilst allowing newbies the comfort of shallow, clear waters. With the waters being an average depth of eight metres, you can expect to see smaller life such as seahorses and schools of fish. However, if you’re more experienced, don’t discount Tarvis Dive Centre as they also offer boat excursions to local reefs not more than twenty minutes from the island.
To the North of Palawan is El Nido with white sand beaches, emerald waters and beneath the surface, spectacular coral reefs. Palawan Divers offers PADI courses from Open Water all the way to Divemaster with speciality courses also on offer. The dive centre also offers trips to certified divers wanting to explore Bacuit Bay’s amazing underwater world. Palawan Divers take you to a wide variety of underwater sceneries and are renowned for diving in small groups for a personal, five star approach to diving. You can expect to get up close and personal with turtles as well as making some friends at ‘ The Sting Ray Airport’.
Deep Blue Dive Seafari
Open the door to the underwater world with Deep Blue Dive Seafari. With both courses and fun dives on offer, Deep Blue Dive Seafari provide you with the opportunity to explore the crystal waters off the coast of El Nido. The dive centre take you to the best dive sites in the stunning Bacuit Bay area with one of their passionate and dedicated Divemasters. Bacuit Bay is known for its healthy reefs, variety of sea life and suitable dive conditions. These breathtaking sites are fitting for all levels and will leave a lasting impression.
If you are spending time on Palawan, I’d also recommend this Honda Bay Tour which is an island hopping and snorkelling excursion that operates from Puerta Princesa.