Diving in Central Visayas

The Philippines has three main island groups, one of them is the Visayas, which is made up of eight main islands: Bohol, Cebu, Negros, Siquijor, Panay, Masbate, Leyte, and Samar. This idyllic region is world-famous for its stunning tropical beaches and laid back island lifestyle, as well as for having spectacular dive sites and some of the highest biodiversity in the Philippines. You will find it very easy to access some of the most well-known dive spots of the region, as each island has airport and ferry connections. The Visayas has many dive operators located within resorts and hotels, as well as many independent ones. Many dive sites are easily accessible from the shore; however, most of the diving is made through traditional Philippine Banka boats, a fascinating experience. One of the best ways to enjoy the Visayas is by its numerous liveaboards and safaris that operate throughout the region, many of which have scheduled trips throughout the year. Make sure you include enough time in your journey, as there are plenty of different dive sites you must explore, and it would be a good idea to include as much of the diving hotspots as possible. When planning your trip, take into consideration the travel times between the islands and the availability of the connections.

Dive Sites in Central Visayas

Featured places to go in Central Visayas


Head to the northeast of Cebu Island to arrive at Malapascua Island, which offers a wide arrange of macro/muck diving with rock and coral formations.

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Travel to southwestern part of Cebu to find Moalboal, which means “bubbling water”.

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In Central Visayas, you will find Mactan Island, that has many dive sites on the east side, all reachable by a short 15-minute boat ride.

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Scuba diving in Panglao Island is a popular activity offering many areas that are full of long coral covered walls teeming with an abundance of life.

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Anda is a paradise with a long stretch of white sand beaches that have only recently started to be developed for tourists.

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Cabilao is a small island located about 30 km (18.6 miles) from Tagbilaran, just in front of Bohol’s north coast.

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Panay Island

Panay Island is the sixth-largest island in the Philippines, and it’s located southeast of Mindoro Island.

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Surrounded by crystal clear waters and healthy coral reefs that support a wide range of marine life, you will find Boracay island.

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Apo Island

Explore the beautiful volcanic Apo island surrounded by sloping reefs, dramatic walls, and endless drop-offs covered in stunning healthy corals.

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Find a divers’ paradise in Siquijor Island, which is surrounded by beautiful walls, sloping reefs and coral gardens.

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Aquatic Life in Central Visayas

Dive sites in Central Visayas are extremely diverse. You can expect to see beautiful coral covered walls, an abundance of marine life, stunning coral reefs, and gentle sloping reefs. Encounter whale sharks, rays, barracudas, schools of jacks and sea-turtles in Bohol and Balicasag. Get close to famous thresher sharks and pygmy seahorses in Malapascua and sardine bait balls in Moalboal. You will also find frogfish galore, seahorse, flamboyant cuttlefish and rare nudibranchs in Dauin. Diving in Central Visayas is an unexpected adventure, as you will be mesmerized by the bright and beautiful corals and the unbelievable amount of friendly sea turtles.