Explore the excitement and adventure of Cebu’s marine environment. Extensive reef systems, dense, colorful marine life and warm tropical water beckon divers from all over the world to Cebu. Just in front of the beach you’ll find an excellent and healthy coral reef. And boat diving is even easier. Many dive spots are just 10-20 minutes away from the dive centers. After entering the water, the current carries you along the wall. Divers surface when they run low on air and the boat picks them up. All dives along the coastline are wall and drift dives. Favorite dive site include the famous Marigondon Cave, Pescador Island at Malapascua and in Moalboal.
You descend to an easy dive, sloping to a shelf at 22 meters. This is the point where reef fish are used to being hand fed. Smaller reef fish will approach you looking for handouts, and there are many sea stars, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, nudibranchs and flat worms. If you are an underwater photographer, you will surely enjoy this spectacular place. Very often you encounter a ghost moray eel near the fish feeding area or on top of the reef.
Only minutes from the resort is one of the most famous dive spots of Cebu, the Marigondon Cave. The cave is an opening in the wall, which drops from 5 meters down to 40 meters. The entrance is about 10 meters in diameter and the cave system is about 70 meters deep, with several pockets at the side. At the entrance you find black corals, sponges, cup corals, squirrelfish, soldierfish and lionfish. Deeper inside you encounter a school of flashlight fish and bigeyes. Turn around, look out of the cave entrance and enjoy a spectacular view.
The diving in Malapascua is truly world class. Located near the “Golden Triangle”, the so-called origin and center of coral life in the world, Malapascua has a huge diversity of marine life. It is located only 8km off the north coast of Cebu. The island boasts of excellent white sand beaches and fine dive sites nearby, including Gato Island, Monad Shoal, and Manoc Manoc Islands. The dive sites are spread out to the north, south, east and west – each site has different influences and its own environment, its own type of diving and its own appeal. Malapascua is the only place in the world where the magnificent Thresher sharks can be seen on a daily basis. The waters also attract mantas and many other large rays, and several species of shark including whitetip, bamboo and cat sharks, and the occasional hammerhead and blacktip. Other common species in the area that are often high on divers’ “to see” lists include seahorses (common and pygmy seahorses), cuttlefish, mandarin fish, ghost pipefish, frogfish, smashing mantis shrimp, banded sea snakes, various moray eels, and many types of nudibranchs and flatworms.
Moalboal is well known for its superb dive sites. Directly across from Panagsama Beach and about 20 minutes banca (outrigger) ride away, offers some of the finest diving to be had in Moalboal. Pescador Island is famous for its beautiful, largely untouched marine life. The small island with rocky cliffs is fringed by a shallow reef 3-10 meters wide, then spectacular drop-offs plunge away to depths of 40 meters plus. Whales sharks have been spotted in open waters south of the island, and one is almost certain to see anywhere from 20 to 30 hammerhead sharks around the northeast edge of the reef. Divers can traverse the series of apertures of the Pescador Cathedral, an undersea formation resembling a giant funnel, which drops to 115 feet. The Lionfish Cave on the northern edge of the reef was so named, as it is the best place to spot lionfish and scorpionfish. Jacks and pelagic fish as well as schools of sweetlips abound all around the reef.
A spectacular dive, for every experienced divers only, in the middle of Cebu and Negros islands in the deep blue. After dropping through 25 meters open water with strong currents you will reach the top of an underwater mountain, where you can visit schools of tuna, Bigeyes Trevally, and Surgeon. The small bait fish are so plentiful that they block out the sun. You might see some Great Barracuda prowling the area. If you have time you also see large Lionfish, Scorpionfish, and all kinds of coral fishes. If you are lucky enough there are a few frogfish to see. During the months of December to March, sharks sometimes visit this reef.
What you need to bring depends on the type of trip you are taking. Judge each trip differently and check what they suggest but as fairly good guide, don’t forget these:
- Diver’s License or Certification Card or Papers permitting you to dive
- Medical Certificate
- Prepaid voucher or confirmation if you prepaid for the trip
- Sun Screen / Sun Block
- Hat / Sunglasses
- Protective Clothing from the sun, wind and cold
- Protective t-shirt or lycra shirt for snorkeling
- Snacks and packed meals
- Enough money
- Camera and video equipment
- Mask - Lets you see clearly
- Fins - Lets you swim efficiently without using your arms. (individual with limited leg mobility wear special webbed gloves.)
- Snorkel - Lets you swim at the surface with your face in the water without using your air supply.
- Buoyancy Control Device (BCD) - Jacket that forms the heart of your gear. The BCD holds your air cylinder, and you can inflate and deflate it to allow you to sink slowly, hover "weightlessly" or float comfortably at the touch of a button.
- Regulator- Delivers air from your cylinder at exactly the right pressure when you inhale.
- Cylinder - Stores compressed air and holds enough to dive for 30 minutes to an hour, depending upon variables like depth and activity.
- Exposure Suit - Wet suits and dry suits insulate you for warmth and protect you from minor scrapes. Wet suits trap a small amount of water between the suit and your skin. Dry suits keep you dry to keep you comfortable in the warmest water.
- Submersible Pressure Gauge (SPG) - Also called the Air Gauge, constantly tells you how much air you have remaining in your cylinder, allowing you to end your dive with a comfortable reserve.
- Alternate Air Source - A second mouthpiece connected to the regulator used to share air with a dive buddy.
- Compass - Used much like a standard compass for underwater navigation, but designed to withstand being wet and under pressure.
- Dive Computer - Tracks your depth and time to tell you how long you can stay at depth. Some dive computers include the SPG function.
- Whistle - Safety equipment used to gain attention at the surface. Frequently used with visual signaling devices (in BCD pocket) such as signal mirrors or brightly colored inflatable tubes.
Aquaworld Dive Centre
near Plantation Bay, Lapu Lapu City
AC Cortes Ave., Mandaue City
Blue Abyss Dive Shop
Panagsama Beach, Moalboal, Cebu
Malapascua Island, Daan Bantayan
Neptune Dive Shop
Panagsama Beach, Moalboal
Philippine Islands Divers
Savedra Dive Center
Panagsama Beach, Moalboal
Scotty's Dive Center
Punta Engaño, Lapu-lapu City
Scuba World, Inc.
Hadsan Beach Resort, Lapu-Lapu City
Seaquest Dive Center / Oasis Resort
Cebu and Bohol branches
The Blue Abyss Dive Shop
Panagsama Beach, Moalboal, Cebu
Tropical Island Adventures
Buyong Beach, Maribago, Lapulapu City