Scuba Diving in El Nido

El Nido has much beauty to offer above water but it’s also nice below water. In this post you find out everything you need to know before scuba diving in El Nido.

Where to book scuba diving in El Nido

There are several dive schools in El Nido Town and along the beaches. Prices for fun dives vary in each shop and can make a difference of 1000 pesos. Therefore, it’s advisable to ask around for a bit before you book something. Since there are plenty of shops you don’t need to pre-book anything. The only reason for a dive not happening would be if the coast guard prohibits all tours due to bad weather.

The cheapest shop we found to be next to Outpost Bar at 2800 pesos for two dives. That would be a full day trip on a big boat with many divers including lunch. Since we wanted to return to Puerto Princesa in the afternoon, we prefered a half day trip. Ba-lai-yu Dive Resort on Corong Corong offered such a trip. At 3400 Pesos I could go on two dives with only two other divers and we received sandwiches and coffee. My friend had her own dive master as she did two introduction dives (3800 PHP) and  therefore needed closer guidance. If you aren’t yet sure whether scuba diving is for you an introduction dive in El Nido will surely make you fall in love with diving.

The dives

We had to be at the dive shop at 7.30 a.m. and were equipped with wet suits. Although the water was warm, I was a bit cold even in my long suit. Perhaps because the air temperature is so much hotter? Anyway, at 8 a.m. we left on the small motor boat and a skipper prepared the equipment for us. Once more we could enjoy the landscape around us although that’s technically not why we came here. Yet, in El Nido on any boat trip the landscape definitely is a bonus.

30 minutes later we were at the first dive site of Twin Rocks. We rolled into the water and already saw the first few fish when simply putting on our googles. Below the surface we then encountered a small eagle ray, a blue spotted sting ray, some colorful slugs, two stone fish and the usual suspects of nemos etc.

It was a nice and colorful dive but another bonus followed after the dive! Our captain drove through Big Lagoon on the surface intervall. So, where I was swimming the day before, we now drove through on a boat after all and this time we were the only boat! Amazing!

The second dive was at South Miniloc and here we encountered two neat turtles, a funny looking cuttle fish, some trigger fish and a huge, cabbage like coral.

My opinion of scuba diving in El Nido

El Nido might not be the best diving spot in the Philippines but in my opinion definitely one of the top ones. It is a short step behind Thailand and Egypt and therefore, if you haven’t done many dives yet, you will definitely enjoy scuba diving in El Nido. If you have done many dives in the past, two to three dives here will entertain you as well.

As promised, we were back before noon and had enough time for lunch before our van back to Puerto Princesa.

Which dive spot can you recommend to me?

If you want to read more useful information about travelin in the Philippines, buy my I love Philippines travel guide on Amazon (available in German and English).

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