About Scuba Diving Palawan
Known as Philippine’s “last frontier,” there is a lot to see when you dive in Palawan. From national parks that are safe havens to a variety of marine life, to breathtaking wreck dives, there is something in Palawan for every type of diver, from the novice to the advanced.
Depending upon the time of year you visit for diving, you can expect to see many different marine species, from sharks and whales to rays and tropical fish. No matter what dive site you visit, you will see something ecologically unique in this environment.
When to Dive in Palawan
You can dive in Palawan almost all year long, thanks to its tropical climate. Visit anywhere between March through May for the most daylight hours if you love to be out in the sun. The best time to dive with the greatest visibility is from May to November, when there is no plankton in the waters. Plankton season runs from December through April, but it is during this time that you have more of a chance to see whale sharks, whales, and manta rays, as well as other animals that feed on the plankton.
The rainy season runs from July through September, and you can expect less visibility in coastal waters after a rainstorm. If you would like a chance to see cuttlefish, the best time is during their mating season from December through April. From January to May, you can expect encounters with ghost pipe fish and angler fish.
Dive Sites Found in Palawan
- Olympia Maru – This dive site features the wreck of a Japanese freighter that sunk in 1944, but corals and sponges now call it home, in addition to schools of tropical fish, and you can explore this wreck up-close.
- Black Island Wreck – This site is good for beginners, night dives, and for photographers who want to see schools of large and small fish, a variety of corals, and perhaps even hammerhead sharks.
- Barracuda Lake – Surrounded by limestone cliffs, this is a freshwater dive site featuring unique rock formations below the surface and it is home to a variety of fish species.
- Apo Reef National Park – Home to 385 marine species, from fish to turtles, mantas, and sharks, this dive site features steep walls covered in corals of all kinds, but because the currents can be strong, it is best for experienced divers.
- Club Paradise Housereef– See the endangered dugong and green turtles feeding amidst the seagrass bed that runs near the extensive reef at this dive site, where you can see a variety of fish, sea stars, sponges, corals, sea cucumbers, giant clams, and stingrays.
- Diboyuyan – For the chance to see whale sharks, black tip sharks, gray tip sharks, and white tip sharks, as well as corals, this dive site is perfect.
- Irako – This wreck dive is ideal for advanced divers who can get deep enough to get into the wreck of a Japanese ship that was sunk in 1944.
Marine Life Found in Palawan
Palawan is home to an immense amount of wildlife, including marine life. These include rays, sharks, tuna, barracuda, and mackerel, as well as angler fish, ghost pipe fish, seahorses, and a variety of hard and soft corals. You can also encounter sea turtles in these waters, along with the amazing dugongs, also known as sea cows. There is such a rich and diverse selection of marine life in these waters that you will definitely be captivated by all that you see, so be sure to bring a camera.
An island in the Philippines, Palawan is a lush paradise. This pristine island features vibrant green mountains and crystal clear waters. While here, enjoy the beaches, dive down and check out the reefs, or trek into the jungles and enjoy being out in the natural world, exploring the unique plant and animal life that call the island home. You can also explore the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, making this a perfect destination for those who love to get outdoors and for adventure seekers.
How to Get to Palawan
You will first need to book a flight to Manila in the Philippines, then take a ferry or plane ride to Palawan. Airports on Palawan include El Nido and Sandoval Airport. In addition, there is an airport called Puerto Princesa on Palawan, which receives flights from Philippines Airlines as well as other airlines catering to international and domestic flights.
Blog written by: Rutger Thole who used to be a scuba scuba instructor but he got stuck in a suit a couple of years ago. Now he is on his way back, as a the founder of bookyourdive he travels and dives as much as he can. His motto as a start up founder and scuba diver is "The only good suit is a wetsuit"
Article written by Rutger Thole who is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.
Want to dive in Palawan?Dive centers in Palawan