Scuba diving guide Boracay: Best diving centers, liveaboards, dive sites and recommendations

Palm trees on the famous White Beach on Boracay Island, the Philippines

Boracay Island, or just Boracay, is the most popular beach destination in the Philippines. Its pristine waters and white sand beach attract millions of local and international tourists every year. In 2017 alone, more than 2 million tourists visited Boracay, which gave the island more than PHP 56 billion in revenue. In 2019, Boracay generated almost PHP 50 billion in revenue out of the 1.75 million tourists who visited the island.

Aside from the magnificent beach, Boracay Island is also well-known for its diverse marine life. The waters surrounding the island is home to different tropical fish species, stingrays, tunas, ocean sunfishes, reef sharks. There’s also a great variety of macro life and beautiful coral reefs in all Boracay dive sites. Whether you are a certified diver or just learning to dive, Boracay’s amazing underwater world makes it one of the top diving destinations in the Philippines.

Recommendations - Diving at Boracay Island

The best time to dive at Boracay is from October to May (dry season). The easiest way to reach Boracay Island is by a (domestic) flight to Godofredo P. Ramos Airport, also known as Caticlan Airport. From the airport, it takes about 15 minutes to go to reach Boracay by boat.

Accommodations are mostly available through local dive centers, upscale hotels, and beach resorts located on Boracay island. We recommend staying at the Belmont Hotel, a 4-star hotel with a mid-range price and excellent accommodations.

Liveaboards Boracay Island

There are no liveaboard trips to Boracay Island available. However, if you are interested in another Philippine diving destination, you can check all Philippine liveaboards here.

Diving centers

You’ll also find plenty of dive resorts around the island, but our vote goes to New Wave Divers as the most recommendable dive center. Below, we have provided an overview of the best diving centers at Boracay Island.

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New Wave Divers

N.A.
N.A.
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16
PADI
PHP 24,000
N.A.
Dive boats, shower and equipment rinsing area

Fisheye Divers

PHP 1,500
N.A.
N.A.
PADI
PHP 17,000
N.A.
Classroom

WaterColors Boracay Diving Adventures

PHP 2,000
PHP 9,450 (5 dives)
Starting from PHP 18,450
PADI
PHP 25,000
N.A.
Accommodation, Go Pro IDC

Eclipse Dive Center

PHP 2,000
PHP 12,000 (6 dives)
N.A.
PADI
PHP 25,000
N.A.
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The best diving centers on Boracay Island

Boracay Island has plenty of dive centers that will help you experience the best of diving at Boracay Island. Based on customer reviews and ratings, here are the best diving centers that can guide you:

Diving center 1: New Wave Divers

New Wave Divers is a PADI 5 Star Resort and is located on Boracay Island. This dive resort offers day tours to the best Boracay dive sites for up to 16 divers with its comfortable outrigger dive boat and up to 6 persons on a speed boat. After diving, you can take a shower and clean your scuba gear in their equipment rising areas. In addition, they also have their own air filling station, which also has been certified with a clean air certificate.

New Wave Divers also offers PADI Open Water (PHP 16,500) and Advanced Open Water courses for those who are still learning to scuba dive. With dive masters and crew members who can speak different languages, this dive center will make your Boracay diving adventure a fun and memorable one

Diving center 2: Fisheye Divers

Fisheye Divers is a pioneer among the dive centers in Boracay and one of the top-rated ones by divers from all over the world. It offers a complete range of PADI dive courses for all levels, including a 3-day Open Water Course certification (PHP 17,000) that will take you to 18 meters of maximum depth.

Fisheye also offers daily fun dives with the lowest rates you can’t find anywhere on the island. Do want your Boracay diving experienced documented? This dive center has professional underwater photographers to do that for you.

Diving center 3: WaterColors Boracay Diving Adventures

WaterColors Boracay Diving Adventures is a PADI 5 Star Diving Center in Boracay Island.  5. WaterColors is located in front of the famous and incredible white beach, at Station 1 on Boracay. The resort includes a diving center, but also accommodation, beach and roof deck bar and a restaurant.

1 fun dive with rental equipment costs 2000 PHP and 1 fun dive with own equipment costs 1600 PHP. They also offer various dive packages for a discounted rate. If you would like to get certified, the PADI Open Water course is quoted at PHP 25,000. Besides the PADI Open Water course and other scuba diving courses, they also provide the instructor development course (IDC).

Diving center 4: Eclipse Dive Center

Boracay Eclipse Dive Center is a PADI diving center and is located at Station 3 on Boracay Island.

They offer different packages including Daily Fun Dive with Equipment, Night Dive with Equipment and Torch for PHP 2,000, 6 Fun Dive Package for PHP 12000, and 10 Daily Fun Dive Package for 20,000.

Eclipse Dive Center also offers the Padi Scuba Diver Course that will allow you to dive to a depth of 12 meters. When certified as a Scuba Diver, you should always dive with a dive professional. This is a perfect course if you want to learn to dive and explore Boracay island but is on a tight schedule. Note: This courses only takes about 1-2 days while the full Open Water courses takes about 3 – 4 days. Upon completion of the course, you will then be eligible to upgrade your license in the future to the full Padi Open Water Diver certification.

Liveaboards in Boracay Island

There are no available liveaboards in Boracay, but numerous dive centers offer island hopping tours and dive tours around the island. However, there are liveaboards available to other destinations in the Philippines such as Apo Reef, Tubbataha reefs, Visayas, and Malapascua.

Best dive sites at Boracay Island

There are about 25 diving spots around Boracay Island which you can explore by a short boat ride. The average water temperature around Boracay ranges from 24-29C.

If you haven’t got much time on your trip to explore each one, we listed below the best Boracay dive sites you mustn’t miss.

Dive site 1: Yapak 1

Yapak is one of the three barangays in Boracay Island. Two dives sites, located in this barangay, are a must-see for divers. The first one, Yapak 1 is one of the best diving spots intended for experienced divers only. This dive site is also often used for tech diving.

The depth of the wall is around 30 meters and goes down up to 70m. There can also be strong currents. You can see whitetip and gray reef sharks, napoleon wrasses, dogtooth tuna, grouper, and giant trevallies on this spot.

Dive site 2: Yapak 2

Yapak 2 is one of the most popular diving spot on Boracay Island. It consists of 2 deep walls that feature stunning corals with huge gorgonian sea fans and teeming marine life. The average depth of this dive site is 30m up to 60m. As a result, this dive site can be explored if you are an experienced diver due to the depth limits.

It is a perfect place to observe big fishes like dogtooth tunas, giant trevallies, and Barracudas. You can also watch grey reef sharks patrolling the area and whitetip reef sharks resting. If you are lucky, you might also see a hammerhead shark or a manta ray!

Dive site 3: Camia Wreck

This 30 m long shipwreck and is located at a depth of 18 m - 25 m. The Camia was a cargo boat and is sunk in 2001 in front of Boracay. It is encrusted in corals, forming an artificial vibrant reef, which houses diverse marine life. Dive the Camia Wreck and you’ll find a batfish's residential school, eels and stonefishes.

Dive site 4: Crocodile Island

This dive spot is well known for its lively mix of colorful hard and soft corals, sea fans, anemones. Expect to see plenty of marine life on this spot, including schooling red tooth triggerfish, large groupers, and a wealth of critters. Crocodile Island is also a good spot for night diving and macro underwater photography. The island is named to its shape, what should look like a crocodile’s head (so gladly you probably not going to find any crocs around the island). Maximum depth of this dive site is between 16m – 18m. Its about about 15-20 min by boat from Boracay to reach this diving spot.

Dive site 5: Punta Bunga

This dive spot is a collection of deep walls that reach 70m in places. The highlight here is the density of hard and soft corals. You'll also find a wide range of reef fish, including groupers, lionfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, and parrotfish. In the deeper sections, schooling jacks, tuna, barracuda, and reef sharks are typical.

Dive site 6: Balinghai

This dive spot has a shallow reef plateau at around 12m, which drops off to a wall at about 18m. You'll find a large table and leather corals on the plateau while at the base of the wall, you'll see coral patches and a well mature artificial reef. Critters, including ribbon eels and nudibranch, can also be seen. Blue-spotted stingrays are often hiding under the corals.

Best time to visit Boracay Island

Boracay Island seasons can be classified into two distinct parts: the dry and the wet season. The most suitable time for diving in Boracay Island is during the dry season, from October to May. It is possible to access most dive spots during this time, and visibility is nearing its peak of 30m during April and May. June is considered the wettest month in Boracay due to the rainfall (an average of 237mm).

The visibility might decrease to 10-15m in December, January and February, due to an abundance of plankton in the water. The water temperatures ranges between 26-30 °C from December and onwards into the summer. If you plan to dive during the wet season (June-September), many sheltered dive sites will still be available on the island's eastern side.

How to get to Boracay Island

Option 1

From Manila, book a flight to Caticlan Airport, also know as Godofredo P.Ramos Airport. It is the most accessible entry point to the island and is located in Caticlan. From the airport, you can take a 5-minute motor tricycle ride (PHP 50 to 70) to Caticlan Jetty Port, where you can take a ferry (PHP 30 to 100) to Boracay Island. The ferry crossing takes around 10 to 20 minutes.Airport transfers can also be arranged by your chosen hotel or dive centers.

Option 2

Fly to Kalibo International Airport directly from Manila (domestic flight) or by an international flight. At the airport, you’ll find vans that take tourists to Caticlan Jetty Port for almost two hours of travel. A one-way fare on a van is PHP 200. Once in Caticlan Jetty Port, you can take a ferry that will take you to Boracay Island

Accommodations in Boracay Island

The four dive centers mentioned above also offer very good accommodations in Boracay Island to make it more convenient for divers. But if you're looking for the best hotel and resorts to enjoy your stay in Boracay Island, then here are the top accommodations you can choose from:

Accommodation 1: Oasis Resort and Spa

Conveniently located in Yapak Boracay Island, Oasis Resort and Spa is a 3-star resort offers many facilities to enrich your stay. Oasis provides luggage storage, free Wi-Fi in public areas and all rooms, room service, and airport transfer to ensure your greatest comfort. All accommodations at Oasis feature friendly amenities to ensure an unparalleled sense of comfort.

Recreational facilities available at Oasis Resort and Spa include a golf course, massage, table tennis, garden, motorized water sports. With its convenient location, Oasis Resort and Spa offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations. You can easily enjoy access to all that the lively city has to offer.

Price: You can book an overnight stay for around $21

Accommodation 2: Alta Vista de Boracay

Inspired by combining the comforts of modern living and the relaxing vibe emanated by Southeast Asian design, Alta Vista de Boracay opens its doors to travelers from all over the world. This 4-star hotel is situated on the hillside in Yapak, where it brings you closer to Boracay's captivating view of white sand beaches with its bluest waters. It 's a laid-back property that offers free breakfast and an eatery, plus sea views, an outdoor pool, and a sports bar.

Price: You can book an overnight stay for around $48

Accommodation 3: Belmont Hotel Boracay

Serene sea, beautiful sunrise, and a relaxing ambiance are just some of the things you can experience at Belmont Hotel Boracay. You can choose from their 442 hotel air-conditioned rooms that come with free Wi-Fi access and cable TVs. Most of the suites also come with balconies for you to enjoy the majestic view of Boracay.

Price: You can book an overnight stay for around $37

Accommodation 4: The Orient Beach Boracay Resort

The Orient Beach is a boutique resort settled just five minutes away from the world-famous white beach! This 3-star hotel is carefully created to fulfill your expectation for a comfortable stay in a modern hotel room. Offering both luxury and modern-day necessities, The Orient Beach Boracay Resort is designed to reflect a contemporary version of Modern Asian style and architecture. This boutique resort has modern rooms that are designed with rich fabrics in soft earth tones and exquisitely crafted local furnishings.

Price: You can book an overnight stay for around $31

Accommodation 5: Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa

Shangri-La's Boracay Resort and Spa offer a new level of luxury with its 219 rooms, including 36 villas and suites, 350 meters of private beachfront, comprehensive leisure facilities, and a thriving ecosystem of diverse flora and fauna. With their two private beachfront and an infinity pool, Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa offers many recreational activities. The diversity of dining options of different cuisines is available within the resort.

Price: Overnight stay costs around $237

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