The Philippines is the second largest archipelago in the world consisting of more than 7,000 green tropical islands. From the incredibly busy and vibrant capital Manila to small islets where time slows to a halt, you will find your special place here. Philippines has so much to speak for itself that is a miracle that it is not overrun by tourists from island to island enjoying the gorgeous nature, the tasty food, the friendly local cultures. The scenery is incredible, ranging from amazing limestone formations to towering green-sloped volcanoes, virgin rainforest to unexplored underwater gardens, and stunning white-sand beaches to colorful local markets.
Without a doubt, the Philippines offers some of the best diving in the world. The Tubbataha National Park was inscribed by UNESCO World Heritage Site go for its incredible wealth and diversity of marine life species. It consists of two large sheltering atolls with a five-mile channel between them and feature recorded more than 1,000 different species, some of them endangered. Unbelievable variety of both soft and hard corals, large pelagics such as sharks and mantas, whale sharks, dense schools of fish, turtles – this is diver’s haven and once you dive here, you will want to return.
Another UNESCO site is the Apo Reef Natural Park which is the longest reef in the Philippines and a giant submerged platform. The drop-offs, overhangs, and the shallow platform create a magical atmosphere that is so full of life that is hard to believe unless you experience it. These are only two of the extraordinary dive sites in the Philippines, there is much more to discover here. To get the best of Philippines diving, take a trip onboard the Philippine Siren or the Atlantis Azores.
Believe it or not, after 20 years in dive travel, I made my first trip to the Philippines. I went to Puerto Gallera and Apo Reef, staying at the Atlantis Resort and onboard the Atlantis Azores liveaboard. What a well run operation they are!
The landbased Atlantis Resorts are like being on a liveaboard. You get up to four dives per day, and come back to the resort between dives, what a luxury. Food is outstanding and the service can't be beat. Diving was from 50 yards to 20 minutes away but with lots of diversity.
When we transferred to Atlantis Azores the excellent crew and facilities didn't disappoint. We headed to Apo Reef for more pelagic action, and saw a school of bumpheads, sharks, tuna, turtles and more. Overall and outstanding trip and well worth the time to get there.