Sunday, June 5, 2011

Davao Diving Destinations

One of the many dive sites in Davao

The Philippines, with its 7,107 islands, surely ranks among Asia's, if not the world's, best diving destinations. Scuba diving enthusiasts who love to explore the endless beauty of the underwater world, will surely find the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao Gulf the perfect underwater adventure with its 29 world-class dive sites clustered around Samal's three sister islands: TalikudLigid, and Malipano, as well as the different dive sites scattered along the coast of Samal itself. From the World War II Japanese shipwrecks quietly embedded on its seafloor, to the colorful seascape of hard and soft coral formations that abound in the area, and the rich tropical marine biodiversity therein, these magnificent sights will surely be an exciting adventure divers can truly find in the waters of Davao.

Aerial photo of Samal Island

Diving Map of Samal

Talikud Island

Talikud Island is a small island situated off the south-west coast of the larger Samal Island. It has a number of popular dive sites: Mansud Wall to the north which drops off to a depth of 45 meters, and has a good variety of corals that support numerous schools of tropical fish. Close by, are Talisay Wall, and Dapia Reef. Packs of barracudas, tunas and jacks are regular sights in the area.

Map of Talikud Island

A pack of Jacks is a usual sight in Davao Gulf


Gentle and calm water of Angel Cove

The Angels Cove is a popular snorkeling and diving site located at the southwest side of Talikud Island. Its gentle and calm waters, almost angelic in nature, generally characterize this attractive dive site in Davao. Thus, it derives its name—"Angels Cove" or a "haven for angels". The site is categorized as an easy dive, with visibility within a depth of 20 meters where soft and hard corals abound, and is ideal for novices, and a suitable training ground for beginners. At the depth of 40 to 50 meters, experienced divers will see huge pack of jack fish, as well as tunas, and mackerels abound in the area. The seabed is entirely made up of beautiful formations of soft and hard corals sprawled on rock beds of sandy bottom.

Corals at Angel Cove

Mansud Wall

Southwest of Talikud Island, and close to Angels Cove, is Mansud Wall. The site has a rocky surface with rich coral formations, and a sandy seabed at the depth of about 60 feet. Truncates hanging on the wall, parrot fish of various sizes, and tropical fish abound within the depth of 30 feet. Mansud Wall is suitable for night diving, and is recommended for snorkelers and experienced divers.

Dapia Reef

Dapia Reef is a popular diving destination in Davao. It is situated along the coast of Talikud Island, where its pristine waters serve as a sanctuary to various tropical marine life such as morays eels,  ox-eye scud, tube worms, sea stars, gorgons, barrel sponges, barracudas, fusiliers, hawks bill, turtles, sea urchins, sea horses, jack fish and tunas. Hard and soft coral formations cover the reefs. The site is relatively deeper than the other sites, and has sloping terrains with ridges. The maximum depth of the Dapia dive site is about 80 feet, or approximately 24 meters but the current is moderate. Although the waters are clear year round, it is best to visit the Dapia Reefs during the months of November to May.


Babu Santa

Another popular dive site in Talikud Island is the Babu Santa Minwall. Its water current is gentle most of the time particularly in the surrounding areas of Minwall, or Mansud Wall, and is perfect for snorkelers or advanced divers. Deep sea highlights can be seen at a depth of 60 feet such as, beautiful corals protruding from the wall, hidden cove that serves as a sanctuary for truncates, parrot fish of different sizes, and smaller tropical fish. 

Colorful Corals

Coral Garden

The Coral Garden and Marine Park is located west of Talikud Island, and is fondly called "Linosutan” by local diving folks of Barangay Linosutan. Here, divers are treated to a sight of deep sea sand dunes, hard and soft coral beds, tropical fish, wrasse, garden eels, parrot-fish, anemones of shrimps, damselfish, anthias, fusiliers, and tube worms. 

Aerial view of Coral Garden

Isla Reta

Isla Reta is located at the west coast of Talikud Island, and is inhabited by a good variety of fusiliers, sea horse, morays and sea urchins, garden eels, wrasse and parrotfish, among many others. 

View of Davao Gulf from Isla Reta

There are still several dive spots in Ligid and Malipano Islands which I have not covered under this post, and will definitely be featured in my upcoming blogs. So, please follow my blog for fresh posts and updates.

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