The Best Kept Secret: Philippines, The South Pacific

  |  Gorp.com

A decade ago, you probably wouldn’t have seen The Philippines included on a diving list, let alone a top ten. That’s not to say the world-class dive sites weren’t there, but rather they remained a glorious secret to the lucky few whom had the opportunity to discover the island country’s underwater world.

That changed in the 90’s after a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. The Tubbataha Marine Reef Park in the Sulu Sea is the honoree—this is where the aquatic magic happens. The waters off the South East Philippines contain one of the world’s largest marine ecosystems. Two coral atolls comprise the Tubbataha Reefs and sustain an amazingly diverse and dense sea community. Below the surface you will see everything from spectacular coral to schools of angelfish, turtles to octopus, manta rays to hammerhead sharks.

Diving here is all liveaboard and trips generally run for several nights. Perhaps the only negative is the short dive season, which runs from March to May.


Linda Samuel is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C.

Best Hotels in Philippines

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Ascott Makati
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The Peninsula Manila
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Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa
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Manila Hotel

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