Adventure-Filled and Romantic Destinations for Your Next Diving Getaway

Sea Turtle in Apo Island

If you are planning your next romantic weekend, incorporate scuba diving into your holiday to help spice it up. Living in a tropical country surrounded by blue seas, we naturally love spending time underwater, discovering a unique and strange world. But with scuba diving, you’re going to explore wonders seldom seen while sharing such excitement with your special someone. That’s why we want to introduce to you these 5 islands, where you’ll find your time is well spent through an underwater adventure, magic and romance.

When planning a short vacation, especially if you have certain preferences, it’s helpful to book your hotel or resort ahead of time. We find that PhilippinesTravelPackage.com offers a variety of tour packages to all destinations, with an emphasis on adventure tours. These can help make your planning easier and ensure you only focus on having fun.

Malapascua Island, Cebu

Malapascua Island

Getting to Malapascua is easy; it just takes a few hours bus ride from Cebu City, and then a short ferry ride. In Malapascua, you will have a chance to meet thresher sharks when diving in Monad Shoal, one of its famous diving sites. At other dive sites, you may be able to spot hammerheads (January to April), white tip sharks, and manta rays. Of course, you will never miss the colorful corals and lively fish.

After getting the thrill underwater, you can relax on a calm, white-sand beach. The atmosphere in Bounty Beach, the island’s main beach, is both relaxed and vibrant, with many restaurants and bars that are perfect for an intimate date. You can also go hiking around the island, or scream your heart out as you jump from Lapus Lapus cliff. You can read all about the trip we did to Malapascua.

Malapascua is also one of Cebu’s gateways to Kalanggaman Island in Palompon, Leyte. You will have to take a 1.5 hour trip over open water, but you will find a Robinson Crusoe type of island waiting just for you. Some people choose to camp on Kalanggaman overnight, and you can too, but don’t forget to bring your own tent.

What makes it work?
The beautiful beach and romantic atmosphere, as well as diving with sharks!

Camiguin Island

Camiguin Island

Take a flight from Cebu (one daily flight that leaves very early in the morning) or a ferry from Cagayan de Oro; the latter method will take you there, but it’s going to take some time. The dive sites there are fantastic; and while you are certainly not the first one to visit the island, you won’t see any large crowds of local or foreign tourists. Thus, Camiguin still maintains an untouched atmosphere. The sites are varied; there are deep vertical walls, canyons, coral gardens, and more. Additionally, as a volcanic island, there are interesting geological structures beneath the waters of Camiguin.

As great as Camiguin is for diving, it’s also amazing for those who seek adventure on land too. Climbing Mt. Hibok-Hibok (1332m) and walking through its dense forest, for example, is a favorite activity of adventurous tourists. The hike may be quite long and tiring, especially if you are not into trekking. However, you can reward yourself afterwards with a relaxing bath in Ardent Hot Springs or the cold Katibawasan Falls. Other unforgettable activities include snorkeling around the Sunken Cemetery and visiting the old church ruins that dot the island. Both activities will give you an eerie feeling and a sense of adventure.

What makes it work?
The untouched atmosphere, the hiking, and La Dolce Vita Pizzeria owned by the Italian chef Alessandro, which offers the best pizza we had for a long time!


Balicasag Island

Bohol is an all-time classic, and this is great if you feel like you want to pamper yourself. Hotels and resorts for all budget levels and preferences are available. Check out Blue Water Panglao Beach Resort and The Bellevue Resort; they are some of the best resorts we’ve ever stayed in. Alona Beach is lively yet maintains a somewhat laid-back vibe that you will love.

Bohol is also a food haven’s paradise. 10:31 restaurant by Chef M and Bohol Bee Farm (or its branch the Buzz CafΓ©) will let you enjoy a culinary experience that is difficult to forget.

Of course, Bohol has always been a top diving destination. Balicasag Island, for example, has vibrant walls and coral gardens that have become grazing grounds for turtles and hunting grounds for pelagic fish. It is among the best diving spots in Asia. Pamilacan Island is excellent for drift dives, and if you’re lucky, you may spot mantas and whale sharks. Arco Point is known for the blue hole in the living wall, a swim through an underwater tunnel. There are so many great dive sites that you won’t be able to finish them all in a weekend. In fact, you could easily spend two weeks in Bohol and you won’t have visited all dive sites there!

What makes it work?
Great resorts, good food, romantic beaches, and amazing island hopping adventures!

El Nido

El Nido Reef

In recent years, trips to El Nido became more frequent. Getting there is easy. Just take a flight from Manila or Cebu to Puerto Princesa then ride a bus or van to El Nido. We extensively wrote about island hopping in Bacuit Bay and its different tours. However, Bacuit Bay is also perfect for diving as there are many vacation packages in El Nido for divers of all levels.  The lovely bay is protected from the large waves, currents, and strong winds thanks to the many limestone cliffs surrounding it. Thus, visibility is excellent.

Diving, island hopping, kayaking from island to island, mountain biking, and rock climbing (bring your own gear) will definitely make your El Nido vacation a memorable one.  A trip there will give you both the adrenaline rush and serenity that you have been craving for!

What makes it work?
Some of the most spectacular littoral scenery you can find in the Philippines. Lots of great outdoor activities and rich marine life.

Apo Island

Sea Turtle in Apo Island

This place is known for its unusually vibrant marine life as well as rich and healthy coral gardens. But the island’s main stars are the many sea turtles that make Apo Island their home. Apo Island is one of the oldest and best-protected marine sanctuaries in the Philippines. We dived in a site named Chapel, and we were mesmerized at the beauty of the reef. But our Divemaster told us that Chapel is just an “introductory” dive site, and there are many other magnificent sites all around the island. We plan to explore all of them.

Non-divers can still enjoy the marine wonders of Apo Island. Simply head off to the beachfront and do some snorkeling; soon, young turtles will greet you while munching on sea grass. Nope, they are not shy, and they happily swim along with humans.

But how is the life outside the water? Well, it depends on you. If you can live with just 3 hours of electricity a day, not many choices of restaurants, and a daily rationing of fresh water, then you’ll feel at home in Apo Island. Hey, simplicity is part of the charm! You can spend some time on the beach, eat simple home-cooked meals, and watch blazing sunsets. You can mingle with locals in the villages and have a round or two of videoke!

What makes it work?
Stunning dive sites and great diving all year round. Huge sea turtles who come to take a closer look at you.

Apo Island

So where will you go diving with your loved one?

Those are some of the best diving destinations we found. They’re perfect for those who want to add a dash of adventure during a special occasion. If you know other dive sites you want us to explore, please share them in the comment section below. Team Sweetie is always on the lookout for new diving adventures!




About Gian and Sheila

Rock climbers. Mountaineers. Sweethearts on adventure. Adrenaline Romance is a photoblog that belongs to a loving couple who has an eternal lust for adventure. The blog contains experiences, tips, itineraries, and other useful information regarding adventuring in the Philippines and beyond.

26 comments on “Adventure-Filled and Romantic Destinations for Your Next Diving Getaway

  1. There’ no doubt that these places are romantic. However I don’t have the guts to go diving. Sa daplin sa baybayon nalang ko magligidligid. Hahaha. Love all your underwater photos. Amazing! πŸ™‚

    • Hi Joy,

      Uy, you will miss a lot of you don’t go diving. Remember the world is 70% covered in ocean. Hehe!

      Don’t worry, it’s actually safe. Once you have you have your first scuba diving experience, you will realize that the underwater world is not as scary as you thought it would be. It’s beautiful and magical. πŸ™‚

  2. These pictures are amazing!πŸ’•

  3. Haven’t to any places listed here but scuba diving is def on my bucket list. Urges me to hop into this adventure when I had a peek at the sea world during our island hopping activity in Moalboal. I was already stunned while we were just on the surface, how much more if we go deeper? That would absolutely surreal! Maybe I’ll go first to Malapascua since it is the nearest among all. haha!

    • Hi Christoeffer John,

      The world under the sea is truly stunning; the most beautiful scenery is usually at around 50 to 100 feet. πŸ™‚

      We strongly encourage you to enroll in a DSD (Discover Scuba Diving) session so you will have an idea of the fun of scuba diving. Scuba diving opens up a whole new world. In fact, we were so mesmerized by the underwater world that after we had our DSD session, we immediately enrolled ourselves for full open water certification. πŸ™‚

  4. This definitely is super romantic. I love diving too and would love to find someone that enjoys it as much as I do, then we can have a romantic getaway like this.

  5. OMG those turtles looks amazing! I am such a turtle lover πŸ™‚ I haven’t scuba dive yet but I really would love to ! The world under water looks amazing! I hope I can make it to Philippines one day, especially to Cebu as I heard its amazing !

    • Hi Ada,

      Oh yes! They are really cute, and you’ll be amazed at just how graceful they are in the wild.

      Do try scuba diving; you won’t regret it. And give us a shout-out if you’re visiting Cebu. πŸ™‚

  6. This is such a handy guide for my next romantic holiday πŸ™‚ I have never tried diving before but seeing photos of stunning scenery underwater really makes me want to try. Thank you for your list!

  7. The Philippines has always been at the top of my bucket list, I would definitely visit Apo island if I get the chance.

  8. These spots all look so amazing! I’d love to try out Bohol or Apo Island! Anything to get up close and personal to the sea creatures πŸ™‚

    • Hi Travel Scout Adventure,

      Definitely! Scuba diving is one of the most relaxing and awe-inspiring activities we ever tried. Balicasag Island and Apo Island are two of the best dive sites we’ve ever visited. πŸ™‚

  9. all those destinations seem so cool! I love those pictures πŸ™‚ I’d like to dive in Philippines one day!

  10. I’m going to the Philippines this winter so I will be marking this post! I hope I can reach all of these dive sites because it simply looks spectacular! I’m super excited now πŸ˜€

  11. very romantic destinations, never been to the philippines. The diving ads a tad of sports to all the gorgeous surroundings… I really like that!

  12. huh for some reason I never thought of scuba diving as a date activity but I’ll keep that in mind for sure. thank you for giving me this tip

    • Hehehe! Scuba diving with your partner is truly a unique date. Hehehehe!

      Rather than enjoying the city lights or smelling roses, we get to discover the wonders of the sea. And we get to be in Mother Nature’s bosom.

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