Diving in The Philippines: 5 Dive Spots in Davao

Looking for the ultimate diving experience in the Philippines? Look no further than Davao! With its crystal clear waters and diverse marine life, Davao is a haven for diving enthusiasts. In this article, we will explore five incredible dive spots in Davao that will leave you in awe.

Overview of Davao as a diving destination

Davao is a bustling city located in the southeastern part of the Philippines. It is known for its rich biodiversity and stunning natural landscapes, both on land and underwater. The city is surrounded by several islands and dive sites that offer a wide range of diving experiences for all levels of divers.

Davao’s waters are teeming with marine life, from colorful coral reefs to majestic sea turtles and even whale sharks. The visibility in Davao is excellent, often reaching up to 30 meters, allowing divers to fully immerse themselves in the region’s underwater beauty.

Dive Spot 1: Samal Island

Our first dive spot in Davao is Samal Island, located just a short boat ride away from the city. Samal Island is known for its vibrant coral reefs and abundant marine biodiversity. As you descend into the clear blue waters, you’ll be greeted by colorful schools of fish, including angelfish, butterflyfish, and parrotfish.

One of the highlights of diving in Samal Island is the Coral Gardens, a stunning underwater paradise filled with an array of vibrant corals. As you explore the gardens, look for sea turtles gracefully gliding through the water. These gentle creatures are a common sight in Samal Island and are sure to leave you in awe.

For a more adventurous dive, head to the Marine Sanctuary, where you can encounter a variety of marine species, including barracudas, lionfish, and even reef sharks. The rich marine life and crystal clear waters make Samal Island a must-visit dive spot in Davao.

Dive Spot 2: Talikud Island

Next on our list is Talikud Island, a hidden gem that offers stunning wall dives and encounters with whale sharks. Talikud Island is known for its pristine dive sites, which are less crowded compared to other popular diving destinations in the Philippines.

One of the highlights of diving in Talikud Island is the Coral Garden Wall, a vertical wall dive that offers breathtaking views of the underwater world. As you descend along the wall, you’ll be mesmerized by the vibrant corals and the diverse marine life that call this place home.

Talikud Island is also famous for its encounters with whale sharks. These gentle giants can often be spotted near the island, and diving with them is an experience of a lifetime. Swimming alongside these magnificent creatures is a truly unforgettable experience that you won’t want to miss.

Dive Spot 3: Malipano Island

Malipano Island is a paradise for divers seeking tranquility and natural beauty, located within the Pearl Farm Beach Resort. This private island offers exclusive diving experiences, allowing you to explore pristine dive sites surrounded by lush greenery and crystal-clear waters.

One of the top dive sites on Malipano Island is the Malipano Wall, a vertical drop-off that is teeming with marine life. As you descend along the wall, you’ll be greeted by colorful coral formations, schools of tropical fish, and even the occasional sighting of manta rays and turtles.

For those who prefer shallower dives, the Malipano House Reef is a great option. This shallow reef is home to a variety of marine species, including clownfish, seahorses, and nudibranchs. The calm waters and abundant marine life make Malipano Island a true diving paradise.

Dive Spot 4: Davao Gulf

Davao Gulf is a vast expanse of water that surrounds the city, offering a wide range of dive sites for divers of all levels. From shallow reefs to deep wrecks, Davao Gulf has something for everyone.

One of the popular dive sites in Davao Gulf is the Talomo Point, a shallow reef known for its abundant marine life. As you explore the reef, you’ll encounter schools of colorful fish, including damselfish, surgeonfish, and snappers. Keep an eye out for the occasional sighting of turtles and even reef sharks.

For those seeking a more challenging dive, the Talomo Wreck is a must-visit site. This sunken ship has transformed into an artificial reef, attracting a variety of marine species. As you swim through the wreckage, you’ll have the opportunity to spot lionfish, groupers, and even octopuses.

Dive Spot 5: Apo Reef

Located a few hours away from Davao, Apo Reef is one of the largest coral reef systems in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This remote dive spot offers pristine waters, vibrant coral gardens, and encounters with large pelagic species.

One of the highlights of diving in Apo Reef is Shark Ridge, a submerged ridge where you can encounter several species of sharks, including whitetip and blacktip reef sharks. As you descend along the ridge, you’ll be surrounded by a stunning array of corals and schools of fish.

Another popular dive site in Apo Reef is the Washing Machine, a strong current dive that takes you through a narrow channel. As you navigate through the channel, you’ll experience a thrilling ride surrounded by swirling schools of fish and vibrant corals.

Diving Tips for a Dive Adventure in Davao

  • Always dive with a certified dive operator to ensure your safety and enjoyment.
  • Check the weather and sea conditions before diving, as strong currents can be present in some dive sites.
  • Respect the marine life and refrain from touching or disturbing the corals and marine creatures.
  • Bring a waterproof camera to capture the beautiful underwater scenery and marine encounters.
  • Stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen and a rash guard.

Diving equipment and services in Davao

Davao is well-equipped with dive shops and resorts that offer a wide range of diving equipment, diver must-haves, and services. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a beginner, you’ll find everything you need to make your diving experience in Davao memorable.

Most dive shops in Davao offer rental equipment, including wetsuits, BCDs, regulators, and dive computers. If you’re new to diving, many dive shops also offer certification courses and guided dives with experienced instructors.


Davao is a diver’s paradise, offering a wide range of dive sites that cater to all levels of divers. From vibrant coral reefs to encounters with whale sharks, Davao has something for everyone. So grab your diving gear and get ready for an unforgettable underwater adventure in the Philippines’ diving paradise. Happy diving!

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