Diving in El Nido

Discover the Best Dive Sites in El Nido

El Nido is a diver's paradise with crystal clear waters and diverse marine life. With over 30 dive sites, including steep walls, vibrant reefs, and mysterious wrecks, it's no wonder why El Nido is a must-visit destination for diving enthusiasts.

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The most popular dive sites in El Nido:

Exploring El Nido's Spectacular Dive Sites

A spanish dancer spotted during night diving

Miniloc Island

Miniloc Island is home to four dive sites – Tagbao Island, Biet Point, Twin Rocks, and The Wall – which provide a tranquil and secure environment all year round. These sites are well-suited for both beginner divers and experienced snorkelers.

Biet Point, also known as South Miniloc, is situated at the southeastern tip of Miniloc Island and is the most sought-after dive site in El Nido, discovered by Jacques Cousteau in the 1970s. This site boasts a magnificent expanse of cabbage corals that are inhabited by large schools of yellow snappers and silver tunas. Divers can also spot jacks, barracudas, squids, cuttlefish, and angelfish. The reef, which is shaped like a triangle, is situated at a depth of 12 meters and faces Simizu Island, separated by a channel. However, diving in South Miniloc can be challenging due to the strong currents between the two islands.

Located on the north side of Miniloc Island, Twin Rocks is a dive site with a sloping terrain that ranges from 13 to 21 meters, similar to Biet Point, with a sandy bottom. The site is adorned with vibrant corals, sea whips, and sponges, offering a stunning underwater vista. Divers may come across stingrays and schools of angelfish during their dive.

Paglugaban Island

Paglugaban Island, situated near Miniloc, is a limestone cliff island that is perfect for macro diving. It is known for its diverse range of nudibranchs, making it a popular spot for underwater macro photography. Divers may also encounter Bumphead Parrotfish, marble rays, turtles, lionfish, and groupers while exploring the site.

Tagbao Island

Tagbao Island, situated off the northwest point of Miniloc Island, is a small island often referred to as “Tres Marias” due to the presence of three vital reefs nestled between Tagbao and Miniloc. This site is perfect for novice divers since it is relatively shallow. Divers can relish the sight of an abundant variety of reef fish, corals, and crayfish.

Aberdeen’s Reef

Located in the southeast of Miniloc Island, Aberdeen’s Reef is famous for its incredible variety of fishes and corals. Divers can expect to spot a range of marine life including Garden Eels, Butterflies, Damsels, Fusiliers, Rabbits, Wrasses, Unicorns, and Angelfish. This site is also a great spot for macro photography enthusiasts as it is home to a plethora of nudibranchs.

Dilumacad Island

Dilumacad Island, also known as Helicopter Island due to its resemblance to a helicopter when viewed from El Nido, is host to several dive sites, with its cave dive being the most prominent. The entrance to the cave is situated at a depth of 12 meters, and the tunnel extends for about 35 meters. This dive site is a sight to behold and is best suited for advanced divers. The sandy bottom of the cave serves as a habitat for small fishes and crabs, while the rocky area near the exit is a dwelling place for larger fish such as Spanish mackerel and jacks.

Matinloc Island

Matinloc Island offers a wide range of diving sites that showcase various species of fishes, making it a must-visit destination for diving enthusiasts.

Banayan Point, located at the southern tip of Matinloc Island, is an excellent site to catch sight of pelagic fishes. The strong currents in the area attract tuna, jacks, and mackerels, while the coral-encrusted rocks add to the site’s visual appeal.

Bikanayos Rock, also known as Picanayas, is situated on the western side of Matinloc Island and is characterized by large boulders. Whitetip sharks are commonly seen in this diving site, and pelagic fishes can also be spotted here frequently.

Inbogal Point

Inbogal Point is located southwest of Bikanayos and boasts a stunning display of gorgonians and green corals on a slope that reaches 35 meters in depth. Divers visiting this site can witness a unique species of angelfish, the Pomacanthus annularis, which can only be found at Inbogal Point and in Tres Marias. Additionally, it is a common spot to catch sight of tuna, jacks, and mackerels.

Nambuyod Boulders

The Nambuyod Boulders dive site is characterized by a steep wall adorned with lovely green corals and impressive gorgonians. The site’s main highlight is the opportunity to encounter large pelagic species during the dive.

North Rock

North Rock is a small, solitary rock that can be circumnavigated by divers if the currents are favorable. This dive site is renowned for its diverse pelagic marine life and stunning hard and soft corals. It’s a perfect site for experienced divers looking to explore the beauty of the open sea. Divers can expect to encounter schools of jacks, barracudas, and tuna, as well as reef sharks, eagle rays, and giant groupers. The colorful corals and sponges make this site even more spectacular.

Nat Nat Beach

Nat Nat Beach is a stunning dive site situated in the southern part of Cadlao Island, within the El Nido region. The reef consists of sandy patches and is home to a diverse array of coral, fish, and macro life. Divers can observe numerous fascinating creatures such as nudibranch, eels, stonefish, anemone fish, turtles, and seahorses at a maximum depth of 20 meters. With its vibrant ecosystem,

Entalula Island

Entalula Island is a haven for diving enthusiasts, with a plethora of dive sites surrounding it. One such site is South Entalula, which boasts breathtaking coral formations and gardens teeming with tropical fish. For those seeking a bit more adventure, West Entalula is a must-visit dive site. It features a wall that descends to about 35 meters, with small caverns along the way hiding a myriad of sea creatures like clams, lionfish, octopuses, frogfish, scorpionfish, and even turtles.

Best time to go scuba diving in El Nido

A pocket of white sand in Matinloc Island

El Nido generally experiences mild currents, making it an ideal destination for divers of all skill levels. The water temperature ranges from 24°C to 26°C between December and March, and from 26°C to 29°C from April to November. Water visibility is also quite good, ranging from 3 meters to 10 meters between December and February, and 10 meters to 30 meters between March and May. From June to November, visibility ranges from 10 meters to 15 meters.

The best time for diving in El Nido is during the months of March to May, as surface conditions are typically calm and conducive for diving.