Bound by waters, the Philippines has rich marine life. The island of Mactan in Cabu, for one, has some of the country’s finest dive destinations that many underwater enthusiasts and even beginners keep going back to. Along with its surrounding islands, Mactan offers excellent shore-based diving in its colourful and diverse marine sanctuaries.
Gear up, explore the depths of the sea and discover a new world of beauty this summer with Skyscanner’s collection of the best dive spots in Mactan, Cebu.
1. Shangri-La Marine Sanctuary
Photo credit: shangri-la
Shangri-La Marine Sanctuary is by far the most popular and top choice among the dive spots in Mactan, located on the northern east coast of the island. Beneath its clear waters, dwell different forms of marine life: it is home to barracuda, parrotfish, lionfish, and school of jacks and school of silver batfish; as well as colourful, rich and healthy corals.
The dive in Shangri-La Marine Sanctuary is like most of the dive sites in Mactan; beginning at a shallow length of 5 m depth, continuing beyond the 40 m mark. Shangri-La Marine sanctuary is perfect for all levels of divers. This particular dive spot is under the stewardship of the Shangri-La Resort, Scotty’s Dive Canter and Lapu-Lapu City government, and has been a marine sanctuary since 2007.
2. Kontiki House Reef
Suitable for technical dive training, Kontiki House Reef has a good shallow flat area that is ideal for skill practice. Needless to say, the site is an easy dive and recommended for novices. Diving in the Kontiki House Reef can be done either from shore or by boat. Never miss to try the night dive, where shrimps are coming out. There are also crabs present at night time; a number of them can be seen in shallow waters, along with a few black and white sea snakes.
While reviews say their equipment and facilities are noticeably old, they are all in good condition and are well-maintained; their instructors are excellent and overall, people who have experienced their services are satisfied.
3. Nalusuan Island Marine Sanctuary
_Photo credit: divescotty_
Their claim to fame: the blue spotted sting rays on the slope in the sandy area between the depths of 5-20 m. Pay close attention, though; because they swim too fast you might just miss them. But apart from the vast colony of blue spotted sting rays, further down the dive you can find amazing fish life and abundant marine life that will surely draw you in. Other impressive views in the Nalusuan Island Marine Sanctuary are the hard table corals and the immense population of big groupers.
Like the previous dive spots, Nalusuan Island Marine Sanctuary can be experienced by divers of all levels, and provides excellent diving for beginners. Its maximum depth is going beyond 60 m; hence people give it a rating of two thumbs up.
4. Tambuli Plane Wreck
Once upon a time, a small plane was sunk on purpose in the sea of Mactan to create an artificial reef. Today, thanks to the Tambuli Wreck, it has become one of the finest dive sites in the island of Mactan. For every photo addict who loves their close-ups, Tambuli Plane Wreck is a great subject, since it is a macro-diving site.
The wreck is good for Open Water Divers and higher. Besides the wreck, shallow water marine life is also present, which include shrimps and crabs, a sea snake or two, and a lot of pipe fishes. And the verdict of most divers: small plane, big fun; well that pretty much states that if you happen to dive in the Tambuli Plane Wreck, happiness may be short lived, but nonetheless worth it.
5. Hilutungan Island Marine Sanctuary
_Photo credit: divescotty_
A popular dive spot not just to Filipinos but divers from all over the globe as well, the Hilutungan Island Marine Sanctuary offers a vibrant marine life even in the shallow waters that it is also recommended for entry level divers and snorkelers. This shallow water marine life include big schools of parrot and bat fish, turtles, ribbon sweet lips, black snappers, and many more. Diving is best done during the day, especially if you are a photographer who wants to capture the colourful sight of these marine jewels. And how do you get the fishes to swim close to you? A piece of bread shall do the trick.
When asked if they want to go diving in the Hilutungan Island Marine Sanctuary again, most divers would say, “definitely.” Now that goes without saying, the marine sanctuary is addicting; and with marine life population constantly growing, each dive will never be the same as before.
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