Boracay is not necessarily known for its diving. For years this was "extra". It has however made significant progress and effort to drive more divers to this beautiful island. With good visibility, easy, as well as more advanced dive sites provide you with nice versatility between dives.
Diving prices tend to be a little bit more expensive than elsewhere in the Philippines, with prices usually 1800 pesos per dive (equipment included).
Diving can be done year-round, however, the best season will be between October and March. Because it's the dry season. Prices will rise as well because the country, in general, will see many more tourists.
Diving shops are plenty in Boracay, most of them situated on the west coast of the Island. You will find approximately 20 of them.
For an exceptional diving experience, I would suggest visiting Eclipse diving close to "station 3". Mike was the youngest instructor at 21 years old and now more than 20 years later, he is still diving.
He can tell you all about the island, and the history, also regarding diving.
Boracay Island was always known for its parties, bars, and backpacker vibe. This, however, has drastically changed. The president called Boracay a cesspool!
They closed the island for environmental renovation from April 2018 until October that year, in which they did a massive "clean-up".
Buildings were renovated or demolished. Beaches were cleaned and water treatment improved. They also made sure all trikes/ taxis were electric.
The marine environment was also included after pressure from the tourist and diving association.
After this clean-up, the island is more strict, but also more beautiful, with more families visiting and fewer parties and bars being opened.
Additional Information Boracay
Some general advice and tips:
1800-2000 pesos per dive.
50 pesos - Ferry ticket.
100 pesos - Port ticket.
150/300 pesos - Environment fee on arriving at the ferry port.
150 pesos - Trike to your hotel.
How to get there?
To get to Boracay you have different options:
By Air: Malay has an airfield, which is close to the ferries to Boracay.
By Sea: Ferries will run between Batangas Pier as well as from Roxas in the south of Mindoro.
Most people will travel from Manila or perhaps Mindoro or Cebu to this island. Either way, you will arrive in Caticlan. From the harbour you will have to take a trike to the ferry to Boracay which will cost you 120 pesos for a 5-7 minute ride.
Once in the ferry port. You will have to pay an environmental fee (150 pesos local, 300 pesos foreigner) as well as 100 ferry port fee.
When exiting the main building the ticket for the ferry is 50 pesos, you will write your information on a card and get your number on the boat.
The boats will come and go from 6 AM until 6 PM, so you won't be waiting for long. Once on Boracay, you can either arrange a trike for 150 pesos taking you anywhere you wish.
Boracay is an island with a very long beachfront, with many shops, hotels, and bars. Trikes are hailed everywhere except on the beach. And you can organize lots of different day trips, like snorkeling, jetski rental, sailboats, etc.
For excellent diving see below and check out Eclipse Diving very near Station 3.
One of the most famous dive sites in Boracay. But not for everyone.
This dive site looks like a plateau starting at 32 meters(!) before dropping down to 50 meters. You can swim along the drop-off until you reach the corner. You can see a lot of big fish, especially when the currents pick up.
Maximum depth: 37 meters
The Camia wreck is a 60-meter-long cargo ship that sank in 2002 approximately. The ship is intact and penetrable from multiple locations. You will most certainly enjoy the big schools of fish on the top of the wreck. A beautiful example of a wreck dive in crystal clear waters.
Maximum depth: 28 meters
"Tri Bird Airplane Wreck"
The tri bird airplane wreck is a beautifully preserved wreck just west of station 3 on Boracay. The airplane actually crashed in 2012 in Caticlan and was moved to Boracay, and sunk there. The airplane is upside down, but completely intact and even penetrable!
Maximum depth: 27 meters.
This dive site is named after one of the first high-end resorts built in Boracay, no longer operational. The dive site revolves around a rock, almost reaching the surface and you can swim around this area and find many schooling fish, moray eels, turtles, and shrimps.
Maximum depth: 15 meters
Balinghai is a well-known "easy" reef dive on the west coast of Boracay. You will follow a sloping reef sometimes alternated by sandy bottoms.
You can find frogfish, moray eels, lionfish, and schooling fish here easily.
Maximum Depth: 22 meters
Punta Bunga is much like Yapak in a way, but less impressive. It is the extension of Balinghai, a well-known dive site on Boracay. But much deeper. There is a wall starting at 30 meters, and going down to 40 meters approximately. If you're lucky you can see some big fish, including Eagle ray, manta, sharks, and napoleon fish.
Maximum Depth: 40 Meters.
This dive site is named after the shape of the island from a distance. It is remarkable how much it resembles a crocodile! The dive site is quite easy with a sloping reef and some small wall sections. At the end of the dive site you will reach a corner, easily recognisable, and you can turn around and swim back slowly ascending.
Maximum depth: 20 meter.