Following the devastating Typhoon Yolanda in the autumn of 2013, you could easily be mistaken for thinking that the Philippines are currently a no-go destination for tourists. But you couldn’t be more wrong says diving holiday specialist, Regaldive. With increased flight capacity now available between the UK and Manila, and the vast majority of the Philippines remaining unaffected or being back in operation following the typhoon, there really hasn’t been a better time to visit.
For experienced divers, the Philippines are a treasure trove waiting to be explored. Its dive sites are home to some of the most diverse marine eco-systems in South East Asia with over 500 species of hard and soft corals and countless varieties of fish and large pelagics waiting to be discovered. For wreck enthusiasts, the Tapilon Wreck – believed to be a WW2 Japanese Cargo wreck, lies off the coast off Malapascua Island, while rare Thresher sharks can also be found close by at Shark Point. For those who are more taken with scenery however, the north of Palawan was once described by Jacques Cousteau as “the most beautiful place I ever explored” and with world-class diving, thermal lakes and underwater caves to be explored; it’s easy to see why.
Andreas Elia, Managing Director of Regaldive, commented “Now is a great time to be visiting the Philippines and this has been reflected in the high demand we have seen for the destination over recent months. From last November, Philippine Airlines re-introduced direct flights from London Heathrow to Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. Divers are now able to get there quicker and have a greater choice on when they fly with five flights each week to choose from”.
With regards to the recent typhoon, Elia commented “The vast majority of the Philippines remained unaffected by the typhoon. All of the accommodation and dive centres we use are open and operating as usual, and we are keen to encourage people to continue visiting and economically supporting the people of the Philippines in line with appeals from the Philippines’ Department of Tourism”.
Regaldive offer a range of dive holidays and liveaboards in the Philippines. Seven nights’ at the Pura Vida Resort, based in the beach town of Dauin, cost from £1,012 per person, to include flights, transfers and seven nights’ B&B accommodation*. Three days unlimited diving costs from £229 per person, to include air tanks and weights.
Regaldive’s six night Southern Leyte itinerary which goes in search of whale sharks and macro creatures which journeying on board the SY Philippines Siren, costs from £1,440 per person*. The price includes full board accommodation, soft drinks and beer, three to four boat dives per day, air tanks and weights. Flights are not included but can be arranged through Regaldive.
For further information, or to book, visit www.regaldive.co.uk or call 01353 659 999.