Davao Diving

When talking of world-class dive sites in Davao, Talicud and Samal Islands are likely among the places tourists and divers would think of. Diving in Davao is more meaningful around these Islands in the middle of the Davao Gulf area.

Angels Cove

Diving at the southwest side of Talicud, divers would find Angels Cove. This is a close neighbor of Mansud Wall, another Talicud Island dive site wonder. Due to the gentle water current prevailing in the area, Angels Cove provides an ideal experience for novices when diving in Davao. It is categorized as an easy dive, with visibility within a depth of 20 meters where soft and hard corals abound. For a deeper depth for experienced divers, going down 40 to 50 meters can reveal huge jack fish, tunas, and mackerels.

Also southwest of Talicud, and mentioned here as a close neighbor of Angels Cove, is Mansud Wall. The wall has a rocky surface with rich coral formations. About 60 feet down is the sandy sea floor, but divers may stay up to a depth of 30 feet to enjoy tunicates hanging on the wall, parrot fish of various sizes, and tropical fish. Mansud is perfect for night diving in Davao and recommended for snorkelers and experienced divers.

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The Marissa Dive Site

The Marissa dive site can be found if divers opt to dive at the southeast side of Samal Island—especially divers staying at the Pearl Farm. Marissa has 3 very interesting areas for diving in Davao. Thus, the name Marissa 1, 2, and 3. Why Marissa? The site was named after the daughter of the discoverer, and both father and daughter are dive enthusiasts. About 20 to 25 meters off the shoreline divers will be awe-struck by fascinating sights of table and bubble corals, stag and elk horns, aside from the overall rich marine life.

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Ligid Pinnacle Point

Pinnacle Point southeast of Big Ligid, an islet near Samal, is actually an imposing rock formation pointed at the top. This Pinnacle has fascinating pink corals and is surrounded by two other lower pinnacles. The three rock formations stand at 10 to 20 meters high. Diving in Davao at this site feels like climbing up a mountain. The Pinnacle is surrounded by tubastrea, anthias, black corals, gorgonians, and scores of other deep sea invertebrates. Angel fish, lion fish, octopus, eels, and scorpion fish also abound in the area.

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Ligid Caves

For a really memorable diving in Davao, the Ligid Caves are a must-see. When going down deeper than 25 meters two caves will appear leading to a corridor where resident reef fish hide in sponge crabs and black and soft corals. With enough luck and time, divers may yet discover other fascinating things hidden in these caves.

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Dapia Dive Site

Talicud Island is the smaller island together with Samal Island located in the Davao Gulf. Along the coast of Talicud is Dapia, an attractive dive site in Davao. The pristine waters here serve as a sanctuary for the fascinating marine life around and beneath it. Examples are tropical fish, morays, barracuda, fusiliers, sea urchins, sea horses, and even jack fish and tunas. There are also amazing coral gardens and coral covered reefs—in fact, the site is popularly called Dapia Reef.

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Babu Santa Minwall Dive Site

Another Talicud island wonder, this attractive dive site in Davao has gentle currents most of the time especially in areas around the Minwall or Mansud Wall. For a clearer dive sightseeing go down about 60 feet for fantastic deep sea highlights. Just follow the rocky wall and descend further at 30 meters to enjoy the various coral formations protruding from the wall. Then come across a hidden cove which is a haven of tunicates. Try this dive site at night and spot parrotfish of different sizes and smaller tropical fish roaming. In shallower areas divers can take pleasure observing soft corals. This attractive dive site in Davao is excellent for both first-timers and advanced divers.

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Coral Garden Dive Site

Found west of Talicud Island, this attractive dive site in Davao is also fondly called “Linosutan” by local diving folks of Barangay Linosutan. Divers are treated to a sight of deep sea sand dunes, hard and soft coral beds, tropical fish, wrasse, garden eels, and parrot-fish. Anemones here have lots of shrimp, damselfish, anthias, fusiliers, and tube worms.

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Dela Paz Corner Dive Site

Southwest of Samal Island is this extraordinary and attractive dive site in Davao that treats divers to lavish sights of fascinating nudi-branches and pluerobranches. There are also sponges and pipefish. At 15 meters deep, there are interesting cracks and fissures on a rocky wall that has lots of rock and coral protrusions. Enjoy also sights of scorpion fish, shrimps, and hawk and cardinal fish.

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Sementeryo Dive Site

In between Samal and Talicud Islands is the Sementeryo, an attractive dive site in Davao. The captivating coral sights in this area are made more pronounced by the undulating mounds and reefs they grown on. A lot of shrimps, trumpet fish, and lion fish abound in the area.

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Mushroom Rock Dive Site

Located southeast of Samal Island in the Davao Gulf, this interesting dive site in Davao is known for various fascinating reef fish and marine life. The prevailing water current though can be very strong and quite challenging even for advanced divers, so first-timers are cautioned to keep out of the site. At a depth of 30 meters Mushroom Rock becomes visible with various coral growths and resident reef fish. At times dolphins roam this dome-shaped bed rock with a narrow trunk underneath—hence, its name, “Mushroom Rock.”

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Mile Long Dive Site

On the east side of Samal Island near Mushroom Rock is Mile Long, another interesting dive site in Davao full of soft and hard coral growths and absorbing rock formations underwater. Aside from tropical fish groups, bigger fish types also roam the area like jack fish, tunas, and even monstrous ones like barracudas. This mile-long stretch of deep sea marvel is also inhabited by wrasse, parrotfish, eels, morays, and urchins.

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San Jose Dive Site

Protected by a small bay west of Samal Island is San Jose, a quiet yet interesting dive site in Davao. Due to the protective bay the water current is generally calm and conducive for snorkeling and even diving for first-timers. In fact, even local kids dive freely at the site without any gears on. The dive spot is popular for the abundance of sea life found in the area mostly suitable as seafood to lure tourists starving for grilled seafood dishes. In fact, a small Muslim village in the coastal town of San Jose relies on this site near a sand isle for living. See lots of deep sea fish, squids, and giant shrimps dwelling in table, staghorn, and bubble corals.

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Punta Del Sol Dive Site

Adjacent to the San Jose Dive Site—just at the northern edge of the bay—is Punta Del Sol. This interesting dive site in Davao is also known as IGACOS where several marine sanctuaries are being rehabilitated or preserved. Turtles abound in the area, coral and reef beds are spectacular at a depth of 20 to 30 feet, and tropical fish roam leisurely in schools. Tourists find a lot of fun sea activities aside from diving and snorkeling, like kayaking and surfing.

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Tagbaobo Dive Site

When trying the waters of small and big Ligid islands in the northeast of Samal up to the eastern side of the island, divers may be favored by sights of giant turtles wandering around. These are areas in and around Tagbaobo, another interesting dive site in Davao. It is one of Samal’s turtle sanctuaries and a mere snorkeling can derive so much pleasure with the amazing coral sights.

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Aundanao Sanctuary Dive Site

This is basically known as a fish and marine sanctuary on the east side of Samal. Currently fully preserved, fish and other marine life in the area offers impressive sights for divers to feast on. Aundanao is an interesting dive site in Davao with its rejuvenated underwater sceneries of fish groups and coral beds, not to mention its pristine white beach front.

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Tagpopongan Dive Site

Located northeast of Samal near Big Ligid Island, this interesting dive site in Davao has been positively affected by the rehabilitation efforts done at Aundanao dive site. Consequently, Tagpopongan is rich with various fish species inhabiting its lush coral reef.

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Balet Wall Dive Site

Located northeast of Samal Island and southwest of Big Ligid Island, this beautiful dive spot in Davao has gentle prevailing water currents made possible by the protection of the two islands. It is safe for beginners while accompanied by dive trainers. Walls of gorgonians and crinoids dot the area, most spectacular of which is the Balet Wall. Eels, octopus, and cardinal fish frequent the area hiding behind black corals and tubastreas.

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Small Ligid Dive Site

Found on the northeast side of Big Ligid and east of Small Ligid, this dive site is also sometimes called “Buenavista” named after a resort there. This beautiful dive spot in Davao features a dense coral reef where colored coral trout fish abound, and a large rock formation full of nudi branches and soft corals where sea snakes sometimes roam and disappear in the sandy portions. There are also jack fish and rainbow runners in the area.

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Paradise Beach Dive Site

Located northwest of Samal Island, this beautiful dive spot in Davao is within the white-sand Paradise Beach Resort. The resort has a Php 60 entrance and small boats are available that take divers to the site. There are also good snorkeling sites in the area. The water current is mild to calm because the spot is between both Samal and Davao City and very near both. It is near the Vanishing Island dive site.

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Vanishing Island Dive Site

Also between Samal and Davao, the dive site has clear waters with plenty of sea urchins and star fish. At a very shallow depth, it is amazing that a beautiful dive spot in Davao like this can reveal so much coral wonders. The island quickly disappears during high tide.

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Davao Dive Shops

For safety and better enjoyment of the beautiful dive spots in Davao, all divers are advised to seek assistance from a nearby Davao dive shop. The Davao Scuba Dive Center, for instance, provide world-class diving gears and training according to rules of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors or PADI. It is located in Monteverde Street near the Wharf at Sta. Ana.

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