Puerto Princesa Diving
Palawan and Puerto Princesa are admired for their various natural wonders, and certainly among the biggest draws are their dive sites, which rank among the finest in the world.
Red Cliff is less than 10 minutes away from the Puerto Princesa Bay, and is one of the most ideal for beginners.
Because the currents are smooth, and you don’t have to go deep to reach the walls (only about 7 meters or 20 ft), it is as good a dive training facility as any. Even if you do not delve into the deeper parts, there are already plenty of brilliantly colored corals and fish to be seen. There are also a lot of turtles swimming in and around the corals.
Taytay Bay is one of the most popular dive sites near Puerto Princesa today. There are several resorts and shops, but of course, the highlight are the waters themselves.
The waters are generally suited for moderately skilled divers, but even beginners, accompanied by guides, will have little problem navigating the currents. Beneath the waters are a vast assortment of sharks, reefs, sponges and corals.
The Coron Reefs off Busuanga, which you can reach from Puerto Princesa by motor boat, has long been a favorite among veteran divers.
Once in Busuanga you will come upon Coron Reef in Coron Bay, which actually hosts several dive sites. Unlike other dive locations in Palwan, the main attractions here are the ship wrecks, including a dozen World War II Japanese ships.
The El Nido Marine Reserve
For a lot of tourists, El Nido has become the premiere dive site in Puerto Princesa and Palwan.
Encompassing over 90,000 hectares, it also serves as a complete marine and wildlife sanctuary. For nature lovers there are endless things to see and explore including mangroves, cliffs, forests, wild animals etc. But for the diving enthusiasts, El Nido boasts some of the most colorful coral reefs in the archipelago. There are also plenty of fish, and if you are lucky, you might spot a butanding or two (whale shark).
Off to the north end of Puerto Princesa lies Port Barton, one of the newest dive sites to emerge.
Because it has yet to be fully explored, there are still untold wonders hidden beneath its azure waters. Among those that have been sighted are hammerhead sharks, whale sharks, whitetip sharks, snapper fish, and more shark types including nurse sharks. There are plenty of corals, but generally, the deeper you go the more corals you will see.
For those searching for some challenging diving, Gunter’s Cathedral, to the northeast of Coron Island, is the one for you.
When you take the plunge in this dive site not far from Puerto Princesa (if you are new be sure to have a guide with you) you will immediately notice that there are several limestone cliffs about, leading to several underground caverns and passageways.
As you dive deeper you should be able to locate the fissure that will take you to the Cathedral. Once you get to the cavern (which can go as deep as 13 meters (44 ft) there will be several corals shells and various aquatic life forms including lobsters.
Dive Shops and Centers in and around Puerto Princesa
Given the large number of dive sites near the city, it should not
be surprising that there are several dive shops around. Some of the ones closest to the capitol are island Divers Palawan, Queen Anne Divers, M/Y Talusi, and the Last Frontier Dive Center. Other dive centers in Palawan are the El Nido Dive Center, M/B Dschubba, and Palawan Divers.