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Leyte

Dive Map Southern Leyte MaltibogNapantaoVoltaire's RockPadre Burgos JettyTankanZach's CoveAdrian's CoveSunok

Leyte is the most easterly island of the Visayas, the Philippines' central island group. Leyte is also the least developed of the island group and boasts exceptional diving.

Currently, diving here is concentrated around Sogod Bay on the southern tip of the island, which is gaining a reputation as one of the best spots in the world for Whaleshark sightings.

The area also has beautiful reefs and plenty of rare marine life for critter lovers.

Dive Photo Dive Photo Dive Photo Dive Photo Dive Map Southern Leyte
 
Dive Spots IconDive Spots
Dive Photo Undoubtedly, the star of the show are the numerous Whalesharks that migrate past the southern tip of Leyte each year, stopping for a breather around Sogod Bay. Between November & May, this is one of the best spots in the world to find Whalesharks and sometimes many can be seen on just one dive.

The Whalesharks tend to gather around Panoan Island just to the east of Leyte. In the south of the island, there is a passage known as Sunok, where sightings are most likely.

If you want a break from the Whalesharks, there are at least 25 other great dive sites in the area. Also on Panoan Island, Napantao Marine Sanctuary is a spectacular wall covered in huge gorgonians. If the current is running, you are likely to see plenty of pelagic life buzzing by here. In the north near Liloan is an adrenaline-fueled dive known as the Washing Machine.

Back on Leyte itself, there is some very nice wreck diving around Maltibog, while Tankan & Santa Sofia have beautiful soft coral gardens and regular visits from Eagle Rays. Hawksbill Turtles are common here and this is a good site to hunt for elusive Frogfish & Mandarinfish.

If small critters are your thing, there are numerous shore dives such as Voltaire’s Rock & Baluarte that have many macro delights. The jetty at Padre Burgos is another great spot for macro-life. Frogfish, Ribbon Eels, Ghost Pipefish & Pygmy Seahorses are some of the critters you can find.

Limsawa Island, to the south of Leyte also has excellent diving, most notably Zach's Cove & Adrian's Cove - two wall dives with the chance to see something big.

The best diving conditions around Leyte are between October & March. Whalesharks can be seen anytime between November & May. Conditions can be windy & rough outside these months, particularly June, July & August.

  Dive Photo Dive Photo Dive Photo Dive Photo
 
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The best way to dive this area is to head to Southern Leyte, where there are a few dive operators dotted around in small towns.

It may also be possible to arrange Safaris to the area with dive centres in Bohol & Cebu to the west.
  • Southern Leyte
  • Mactan Island
  • Panglao

Dive Map Southern LeyteDirectory Find Dive Centres & Resorts in Southern Leyte

The south of Leyte Island is a remote region in the Visayas, with a handful of sleepy towns and some excellent diving. It is not the most easily accessible or developed region of the country, but is very beautiful both above & below the water.

Dive Phuket  Dive
There are around 5 dive operators in the area, running day trips to local sites. As the area becomes more well known, the dive operations & number of choices have improved too. Most operators are in Padre Burgos or San Roque.

Travel Phuket  Travel
To reach the island, either fly to Cebu Mactan International Airport on Cebu and then take a ferry to Leyte or fly to Tacloban Airport, Leyte's capital. From here, dive shops can either arrange transfers or you can take a bus or taxi to the south of the island.

Stay Phuket  Stay
There are a few places to stay in southern Leyte. The accommodation options are mostly budget or mid-range. Most of the dive centres are connected with resorts & can offer accommodation. Padre Burgos is the main town in the area, but San Roque also has options.

Do Phuket  Do
On dry land, Leyte is a very relaxed, quite remote area. The island has an interesting history, beautiful national parks to visit & some fascinating festivals & culture to enjoy.

Dive Map Mactan IslandDirectory Find Dive Centres & Resorts in Mactan Island

Mactan Island is just to the east of Cebu City and is one of the most convenient places to dive in the country. It is also one of the country's most popular tourist spots.

Dive Phuket  Dive
Due to its popularity, there is a well established dive scene here with quite a few dive centres, which visit the sites on Mactan's east coast as well as Olango Island across the channel. There are also dive centres in Cebu City itself which also make trips to the dive sites of Mactan Island.

Some dive centres also run trips to Bohol's dive sites to the east.

Travel Phuket  Travel
The island is very easy to reach, as Cebu City's airport is actually based on Mactan Island. The airport has many domestic flights & some international flights, including connections to Singapore, Hong Kong & Tokyo. From here, a simple bus or taxi ride will take you to your resort. Alternatively, for those with more patience, it can be reached by ferry from most parts of the Philippines. Bus routes connect here to other parts of Cebu.

Stay Phuket  Stay
There is a wide range of accommodation options in Mactan and also in nearby Cebu. Near the beaches, most accommodation is more upmarket.

Do Phuket  Do
Aside from the diving, there are many activities around Mactan, including sporting activities, sight-seeing, shopping & good nightlife.

Dive Map PanglaoDirectory Find Dive Centres & Resorts in Panglao

Panglao is a small island connected to Bohol in the Visayas. It is the most popular spot in the area for tourists, with a large range of activities and tourist facilities.

Dive Phuket  Dive
There is excellent diving in the waters surrounding Bohol and the number of dive shops reflects this. It has calm waters for those learning to dive as well as excellent dive sites for experienced divers, including Balicasag, Bohol's rival to Sipadan in Malaysia.

Travel Phuket  Travel
To reach Panglao Island, first you need to get to Tagliaran City, the capital of Bohol. The airport here connects with Manila, while it is also possible to get a ferry or speedboat from Cebu. Once in Tagliaran, it is a short journey to Panglao, which is connected to Bohol by bridge.

Stay Phuket  Stay
This is one of the Philippines' top tourist areas and has a range of accommodation to match, from simple bungalows on the beach to very expensive hotels. Most of the options are around Alona Beach, while Dumulan Beach further up the coast & Dauis in the north have more upmarket options. There is also a dive resort on Balicasag, right on top of the area's best diving.

Do Phuket  Do
Diving is not the only activity here. There are plenty of activities around the beautiful beaches, lively nightlife, treks and nature trails plus the Chocolate Hills, Bohol's most famous landmark.

 
Bohol         
Philippines
The island off Bohol lies just to the east of Cebu in the Viasayas region of the Philippines. It is a home of the Tarsier, a very rare little monkey that is only found in this region of the world. The area's diving is also a major attraction, with great macro life & plenty of bigger encounters...

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Are you addicted to the thrill of big marine encounters? Do you crave up-close & personal encounters with gentle giants or apex predators? Then check out our guide to Asia's best spots for big fish encounters...

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