Muck Diving in the Philippines

With over 7,000 islands and approximately 150 spoken languages, the Philippines is no stranger to diversity, and there’s no place where this diversity is more apparent than below the waves. Hairy frogfish, flamboyant cuttlefish and harlequin shrimp await. If you are on a mission to tick off the most weird and wonderful critters of the underwater realm from your bucket list, then look no further. The muck diving in the Philippines is among the best in the world and is a macro photographer’s dream.

Our dive travel specialists at Original Diving have dived extensively throughout this archipelagic country, exploring every nook of its diverse reefs, gliding face-down over its volcanic sands, and poring over its pristine corals, to be able to offer the most memorable and mind-blowing itineraries to discover the best muck diving in the Philippines.

Whether it's the pygmy seahorses of Puerto Galera, the mandarinfish in Malapascua, or the lure of the blue-ringed octopus in Bohol, muck diving in the Philippines will not disappoint, it will only leave you with one nagging question: why didn't I come here sooner?


A three-hour drive south of Manila will bring you to the relaxed barrio (village) of Anilao. Known as the nudibranch capital of the Philippines, and home to frogfish of all shapes and colours, Anilao has long been a Mecca for Manila-based macro photographers.


The gently sloping shoreline in Dauin is littered with the bizarre. You don't need to tell your dive guide that you want to see a frogfish, you need to tell them what colour frogfish you want to see. Pink, black, white and even tiny yellow clown frogfish inhabit the reefs, alongside ornate ghostpipefish and flamboyant cuttlefish.


While the big boys get all the attention in Malapascua, diving on the island's shallow local sites is a must for any self-respecting muck diving enthusiast. Sightings of mandarinfish, frogfish and seahorses are all but guaranteed here. Keep your eyes peeled for flamboyant cuttlefish and a plethora of multi-coloured nudibranchs hiding among the pristine corals too.


From the Chocolate Hills to the soft-white sand of Alona Beach, Bohol is an idyllic destination. Factor in the quality muck diving, with frogfish, wonderpus and mimic octopus, and you will fall under this island's spell and want to come back again and again.

Puerto Galera

On the other side of the channel to Anilao, between Luzon and Mindoro, the dive sites of Puerto Galera are as diverse as they are thrilling. There are plenty of muck diving sites, with pygmy seahorses, frogfish and nudibranchs all vying for your attention. You can mix muck diving with wreck dives and channel dives in the currents for an unparalleled, diverse diving experience.

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Emily C and Eleanor are our 'Muck Diving in the Philippines' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Call us on 1-800-652-1972