Dive Sites of Cebu
The Mactan coastline and its surrounding islands have some breathtaking dive experiences on offer, added to the convenience of being a few minute’s journey from the international airport it makes for an awesome scuba diving destination. There are far too many dive sites to cover completely, below you will find some snapshots and descriptions of a few favorites. We can arrange single dives that return to the base between each along the Mactan (Lapu Lapu) coast, or day trips to the nearby islands of Olongo, Nalusuan and Hilutungan, and for those certified to go, the shipwreck of the San Juan passenger ferry in Liloan.
this is a private island that hosts an exclusive resort, it has a distinctive long wooden jetty and stilted bungalows, it is also home to one of the best reefs in Cebu.
Located about 15 KM from the dive center, which should take about 30 minutes by traditional banca boat, the marine sanctuary is famous it’s blue spotted stingrays and thick beds of swaying soft coral. you will also find a huge variety of other marine life here, this is our favorite day trip destination.
This Sanctuary is popular with both Scuba Divers and Snorkelers, famed for its seemingly endless coral that starts in very shallow waters, and drops down to depths more comfortable for divers. The reefs are patrolled by wardens who, over the years, have keep this national treasure safe from those who might harm it, the result is amazing and should not be missed.
The number of visitors that flock here each year have left the marine life quite indifferent to their presence, allowing for some memorable interactions, no touching or harassment is permitted, but even so you will be able to get up close to some of the residents here.
Talima Marine Sanctuary
Located in the midpoint of the opposite island Olongo, about 20 minutes away by traditional banca boat, is one of our favorite wall dives. Here you can find some remains of a sunken fishing boat, some artificial reefs, and an impressive amount of marine life.
This wall dive is suitable for all levels of diver, from the brand new Open Water Diver, to an experience Tec diver alike, there is something for everybody. In-between the corals you will find small swim throughs and grottos where some resident marine life can be found hiding.
Tambuli plane wreck
A good wreck cannot fail to capture the imagination of a diver, this small airplane was placed as an artificial reef, here you will find lion and scorpion fish hiding around the doorways and airframe, and some beautiful frog fish camouflaged against the coral.
This is a great dive site for photographers, in addition to the aircraft itself you will find all manner of small invertebrates occupying the broken up wall, this site is about 25 minutes from base.
San Juan Wreck, Liloan
An excellent wreck that offers opportunities for both recreational and technical divers, this passenger ferry sunk overnight after a pump failed, all of the crew made it to shore safely, the wreck itself is in excellent condition.
She lays on her starboard side in Liloan Bay, the uppermost part of the wreck is 37M, the lower approximately 48M. For those qaulified to do so, there are excellent penetration opportunities. Recreational divers can pass numerous dives touring the deck and bridge, plenty to see and always a reason to go back.
The dive site is approximately 1.5 hours by banca boat from base, lunches can be arranged on request.
Other Dive sites in and around Mactan
On the far side of Olongo, one of the lesser visited, but no less spectacular wall dives.
Shangri-La Marine Sanctuary
A well proctected, and as a result, extremely diverse and feature packed dive site, highlights include the artificial kelp forest, and the giant clam garden.
A day trip, often combined with Balicasag, several different dive sites surround this island, shoaling fish, and macro galore.
Caverns, groupers, parrot fish and sea snakes are common sights on this beautiful bit of reef, that stretches between 10M and 30M of depth.
Agus Bay (Hadsan reef)
This is a firm favorite among photographers, prepare to take your time and move slowly across this reef, there’s a lot to see.
Danajon Double barrier reef
At the time of writing there are only 6 known double barrier reefs in the world, this one is smack bang in the middle of the coral triangle, add to that an incredible cave and cavern system, this is an amazing day trip.
Predominately visited by Technical Cave Divers, this gem of a dive site is located just off of middle east pass, along the double barrier reef.