Flying into the Visayan Islands of the Philippines is an experience in and of itself. Cruising over neon bright turquoise water, you can spot immense coral reefs, cruising rays, and lush green islands. Once we land on Cebu Island, we board a traditional Philippine bangka and cruise to Moalboal, a site famous for hosting schools of sardines year round. Moalboal means “bubbling water” in Filipino and it doesn’t disappoint as the water is literally filled to the brim with fish and wildlife chasing the sardines. Beyond the world class dive sites of Moalboal we get a chance to explore the stunning scenery. Venture to waterfalls, take a dip in natural springs, and bask in the feel and flavor of local markets.
Another lovely boat ride takes us to the oasis that is the central Visayan islands of Apo and Siquijor. While it is tough to leave our accommodations nestled along picturesque beaches, our new spot is even more breathtaking. Here, learning new dive skills goes into full swing. With a chance to earn advanced diving specialties including Shark Conservation, we hone our skills and face new challenges in diving. Every dive is a treasure hunt, both day and night, as we befriend giant frogfish, ghost pipefish, turtles, and spanish dancers. When not below the water, we take in the sites of the islands and give back to the community.
While the island of Cabilao might be small in size, it is large on new diving experiences. If we are lucky, we might spot an elusive hammerhead shark, but only if we can take our eyes off of giant sea fans and sponges as we drift along on exhilarating wall dives. Across the channel we meet and greet the Philippine tarsier, consistently voted the world’s cutest primate, in Bohol’s Chocolate Hills, and discover the prehistoric legends of nearby Anda village.
For our grand finale, we visit the island paradise of Malapascua; one the few places in the world where shy pelagic thresher sharks can be spotted. Other visitors to Malapascua include the trifecta of rays, manta, devil, and eagle as well as the elusive flamboyant cuttlefish and blue ringed octopus. On Malapascua, our days will be busy and full but evenings laid back and relaxed as we take in vibrant sunsets from the comfort of our hammocks. We end our time with a beach celebration, reflecting on our unbelievable adventures together.