The dive season around Boracay is pretty much year-round. Visibility ranges from outstanding 30-50 meters (100-165ft) in the warmer months to 10-20 meters (33-66ft) during the cooler months of December to February. Water temps are warm throughout the year, averaging 27C - 29C (81F - 85F).
Some sites like Balinghai Wall and Diniwid get some nice easy current that allow for gentle to strong drift dives that are good for beginners and training. The Yapak deep wall sometimes has a strong current, which makes it suitable for more experienced divers. The currents are influenced by the tides, so Yapak, Crocodile Island and the Channel Steps dive sites are only scheduled when the tide is right. Most of the other sites can be accessed at any time depending on the direction and strength of the wind.
The two dominant ‘seasons’ are the Habagat and Amihan monsoons. During the Habagat southwest monsoon (July to September) we dive on the east side of the island much of the time, where calmer conditions prevail and winds and waves are too strong to dive on the west side. The rest of the year the surface conditions are calm so we tend to dive wherever we want all around the island.
No matter what time of year you visit, there is some great diving to be enjoyed by everyone!
Depth: 6-15 m (20-50ft) | Currents: Mild to None | Good for Beginners / Macro Photography
A shallow site excellent for beginners, and a relaxing dive for the more experienced and for photographers. There are several big coral heads rising up from the reef, with plenty of fish and interesting macro finds. Swarms of anthias and damsels, butterflyfish, lionfish, blue ribbon eels, morays and nudibranchs can all be found. This site has many anemones, where you can see the beautiful ’Nemo’ clownfish as well as porcelain crabs and commensal shrimps. A lovely introduction for Discover Scuba Diving participants.
Depth: 4-22 m (13-74ft) | Currents: Mild to Strong | Good for All Levels (depending on current)
One of the top dive sites on Boracay and very popular with all levels of diver. Very healthy sloping coral reef with plenty of both soft and hard corals. A massive variety of macro life with different types of nudibranch, anemones and the full range of fish life simply covering the area. This site is described as beautiful by divers, with lionfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, boxfish, scorpionfish, sweetlips, pipefish, eels and even the occasional frogfish. Keep your eyes open for Pygmy Seahorses on the multiple huge seafans here!
Depth: 33-50 m (110-165ft) | Currents: Moderate to Strong | Experienced Divers Only
Possibly the top dive site on Boracay and very popular with very experienced and technical divers. This dive requires a prior welcome dive for skills assessment plus demonstrated evidence of deep, and drift diving experience with a minimum of 20 logged dives and at least Advanced Open Water certification.
Negative entry is often required because of strong currents and experience is a must because of possible down currents. It’s a blue water dive until you reach around 30m (100ft) there is no visual reference so not for the faint hearted. This is a spectacular wall dive hosting a huge variety of gorgonian sea fans, whips, barrel sponges and macro life, gorgeous soft corals and a full range of pelagics. White Tip Reef Sharks make occasional appearances, and Barracuda, Giant Trevally, Oriental Sweetlips, Yellowfin Tuna, Bluefin Tuna and blue Triggerfish are regulars on the wall.
The Tri-Bird is a 21 meter long, 3-engine airplane with a 25 meter wing span and passenger capacity of 36 that was sunk on March 1, 2012. Home to a wide variety of fish and squid, the wreck sits up-side-down, landing gear sticking straight up and the nose pointed towards the deeper part of the gentle slope. Beyond the wreck, the reef drops off as a steep wall with the possibility of larger marine life coming up from the deep.
Tri-Bird Plane Wreck
Depth: 22-35m (75-116ft) | Currents: Mild to Moderate | Advanced
Camia II Wreck
Depth: 19-31m (63-105ft) | Currents: Mild to Moderate | Advanced
The wreck of a cargo ship purposely sunk on 8 January 2001, has become overgrown and inhabited with a large variety of marine life. On the sand at 29m, garden eels and ribbon eels can be found, as well as pygmy seahorses and ghost pipefish a short way from the wreck on the coral bed. The wreck itself, sitting in an upright position and intact, is home to lionfish, snapper, grouper, boxfish, batfish and many others. The engine room is often filled with copper sweepers, while the masts are covered in interesting macro life. Those with a keen eye may spot the resident Frog Fish or even a Blue Ring Octopus!
Depth: 12-18m (40-60ft) | Currents: Mild-None | Good for All Levels
A large rock rising from 18m to about 10m. Plentiful marine life can be found on the rock itself, on the sandy areas and patch reefs surrounding it, and especially over the top of the rock where spectacular fish displays can be witnessed. Large bass, schools of surgeonfish, angelfish and a huge number of damselfish swirl around. Triggerfish, lionfish and scorpionfish are also common to the reef. Don’t neglect the cracks and crevices of the rock and outer reefs, where octopus and mantis shrimp may be found.
Depth: 8 – 22m (25-73ft) | Good for All Levels
This is a beautiful wall dive with lots of sponges and healthy corals, especially table and soft corals. Many different types of nudibranchs can be found here making it a great dive for macro photographers. Keep your eyes open for blue ribbon eels, morays, lionfish, scorpionfish, boxfish and many others that make their home on this reef. The seafans on this site are home to pygmy seahorses.
Depth: 10 – 25m (33-80ft) | Currents: Mild to Moderate | Good for All Levels
This site has varied topography starting with a reef plateau at around 12m with anemones and morays, then dropping off to a wall down to 18m. At the base of the wall there are beautiful patches of coral and an artificial reef which is now well inhabited with fish and critters. Interesting hard coral ‘tree’ formations and barrel sponges alongside the reef balls make for a fascinating landscape. Snapper, lionfish and even the wonderful clown triggerfish can be observed, as well as abundant macro life such as ribbon eel and nudis.
Depth: 15 – 37m (50-122ft) | Currents: Moderate to Strong | Experienced Advanced Divers
This site is made for adrenaline junkies! When the current is strong it's possible to do a very long swift drift dive here. Be prepared and keep your eyes open - there will be no time to stop and look as you'll be flying over the bottom! This site has varied topography starting with a reef plateau at around 12m with anemones and morays, then dropping off to a wall down to 18m. At the base of the wall there are beautiful patches of coral and an artificial reef which is now well inhabited with fish and critters. Interesting hard coral ‘tree’ formations and barrel sponges alongside the reef balls make for a fascinating landscape. Snapper, lionfish and even the wonderful clown triggerfish can be observed, as well as abundant macro life such as ribbon eel and nudis.
Depth: 5 – 18m (16-60ft) | Currents: Medium | Experienced Divers
This dive starts at just 5m with a delightful swim-through where colorful pink, orange and yellow corals and purple dragon nudibranchs can be found. Then you move on to a sloping coral reef where you often find unusual critters not seen on many other dives. Various eels, nudibranchs and a wide range of clownfish make their home here, as well as cowfish and cuttlefish at the base of the reef. This dive is also possible for beginners on the right tide, but usually there is some current so part of the dive involves a drift.