The Republic of Philippines, located in the Pacific Ocean, consists of 7017 islands. A little over 2000 are inhabited, while about 2400 islands have not even been given a name. It is bordered on the east by the Philippine Sea, to the west by the South China Sea and on the south by the Celebes Sea.
Luçon is the largest island. It is home to the capital Manila and the Cordillera Central mountain range that we recommend you visit, especially Banau Batad, if you add inland visits to your dive package. South of Manila, there are two particularly rich dive sites, close to the capital : Anilao and Puerto Galera.
In the center, the Visayas include the islands of Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Panay, Masbate, Samar and Leyte. These are the most interesting islands for diving, such as Moalboal with Pescador Island, Malapascua north of Cebu, southern Negros with Dauin and Apo Island, and of course Bohol with Cabilao and the famous Panglao and Balicasag islands… all these dream sites and many others are located in this archipelago.
Finally, in the western Visayas, is the archipelago of Palawan, which alone has more than 1700 islands, among which Tubataha and Apo Reef, the two dive meccas in Philippines.
Spain and the United States, both of which have colonized the country, had a big influence on Filipino culture, a unique blend of Asian and Western cultures.
Philippine ethnic groups are numerous, the most important groups are the Tagalogs (or Filipinos or), the Visayas (or Cebuano), the Ilocano (or Iloco). These populations have mixed, during their long history, with Indians, Chinese, Arabs, Spanish and Americans.
Nearly 85% of the Philippine population is Catholic. Muslims from the southern islands are the second religious group, even though they only represent 5% of the population.
English is one of the two official languages in Philippines, along with with Filipino. As for Spanish, which has been the official language for three centuries, it is spoken by an ever decreasing minority of inhabitants.
Most of the mountainous islands are covered with volcanic tropical forests, as evidenced by the frequent earthquakes and some twenty active volcanoes, such as Pinatubo. The archipelago is also subject to typhoons, especially between May and October.
These islands are characterized first by mountain ranges with narrow and few plains, and partly by the deepest sea pits in the world, with over 11000 meters east of Mindanao . All the islands have beaches, but these are usually narrow. Most of the islands were covered in tropical forest, but deforestation has significantly reduced its surface.
Tropical rainforests and coasts of Philippine islands are a paradise for birds, plants, animals and sea creatures. This is one of the ten most biologically diverse countries, among the top ten in terms of biodiversity. About 1100 vertebrate species can be found here, including over 100 mammal species and 170 bird species. There are 13500 species of plants in the country, 3200 of which are unique to the islands. Tropical rainforests are full of floral species, including rare types of orchids and rafflesia.
Philippine waters cover 2.2 millions km2, offering a unique and diverse marine fauna. This is one of the important parts of the Coral Triangle. Although fishermen have been fishing with dynamite and cyanide for very long time, tourism development managed to stop these destructive activities, to replace them with developing eco-tourism. There are 2400 fish species and over 500 species of coral.
For these islands, it is recommended to combine trips with, for example, a week in Malapascua – where you can admire majestic thresher sharks, and a week in Panglao Island, for greater coral richness. Macro lovers will be delighted by a week in Dauin and a week in Anilao or Puerto Galera
Big Fish lovers will turn to Tubbataha and Ticao, where you get a 100% chance to see not one, but several whale sharks, as well as manta rays in Ticao …
Depending on your length of stay, we recommend you go to an island for a week, two islands for two weeks, and 3 or 4 islands from a 3 weeks stay.
We now offer safari packages, rather good in the area.
There are several cruise ships that cross the Visayas in summer and winter, in Tubbataha Reef from March to May These are very large ships, former cargos, re-arranged for dive liveaboards , with very professional teams on board.
Let us organize your à la carte trip, at the best price, with a personalized service and be your ambassadors by local operators ; you will only have to think about your dives !