Leyte has become a favorite destination among divers because of its maritime wonders buried under the sea. Here are some world-famous Leyte diving sites that proudly show off Leyte’s hidden treasures:
Liloan is located at the northern side of Panaon Island, and contains two dive sites named the Tabugon Fish Sanctuary and the Tagbak Marine Park. This diving site is a huge challenge for divers because of the strong currents. Underneath the dive site are numerous caves and beautiful coral formations. Liloan is recommended for experience divers only because of the required drift diving needed to explore the site.
Limasawa Island is an island six kilometers in length and located at the most southern tip of Leyte. This dive site is famous for its wonderful and beautiful coral reefs. The zone of Limasawa Island contains exotic marine life where some of the species can only be found on Philippine waters. Divers often come across creatures such as mackerels, tuna, sharks and barracudas. At the westernpart of Limasawa Island are numerous diving spots named the Lima Messa, the LionHead and Hank’s Bolders. At the eastern shoreline there are also diving spots named Gunter’s Wall, Rio’s Point, Roy’s Umrella and Dag’s Hole, while at the south is a spot called Bonny’s place. The best months for diving are during December to May. Limasawa Island can be reached by hiring a boat from Padre Burgos, a municipality at the south of Leyte.
Malitbog is one of the oldest towns in Leyte that still possesses it Spanish-era charm, complete with ruins, and old church and a museum. Malitbog offers dive sites for picture-perfect underwater wonders, namely the Cantamuac, Cemetery Wreck and the Bunga Bend. The sites are encrusted with marvelous coral formations and a huge variety of marine creatures. Malitbog is situated right beside the town of Padre Burgos.
Padre Burgos Jetty
Padre Burgos Jetty is a jump off point of boats headed to Limasawa Island, one of Leyte’s main diving sites. Diving into the Padre Burgos Jetty is ideal during nighttime to avoid the hustle and bustle of the busy port. There are also shallow points in the area best suited for photography. The Padre Burgos Jetty is situated along the coast of one of Leyte’s busiest commercial districts.
Panaon Island’s pride is its Napantaw Fish Sanctuary, also known as Rio’s Wall, located at Ilijan Point. Rio’s Wall has been a classic favorite of marine biologists and underwater photographers, which is a majestic wall covered in corals and more than three-hundred species of fish. Divers are met with exotic and diverse aquamarine life as they encounter a huge variety of tropical fishes such as batreef, sweetlips and gropuers, as well as barracudas and turtles. Divers are also charged a minimal fee to assist the local government in the continuous monitoring and conservation of the diving sites. Bringing of flashlights is also recommended to explore the cave hidden underneath. Riding a boat from the eastern coast of Leyte towards Panaon Island takes two hours. Panaon Island ranks as one of the top five diving sites in the Philippines.
Tangkaan Point is located near Padre Burgos, and is also ideal for snorkelers because it contains more shallow coral gardens. Tangakaan Point contains three main diving sites named the Turtle Rock, Medicare and Heaven’s Gate. The Turtle Rock is home to big fishes and turtles as well as a diverse group of corals. Medicare and Heaven’s Gate are steep walls containing anemones, corals and large sponges. The dive sites are easily accessible from the shoreline and where the walls start from a shallow point sloping downwards.