Scuba Diving in Leyte, Philippines - Bluewater Dive Travel


Diving with whale sharks in Leyte, Philippines.
Macro life in Leyte, Philippines.
A whale shark in Leyte, Philippines.
A pair of eels in Leyte, Philippines.
Macro diving in Leyte, Philippines.
A sweetlips seen while scuba diving Leyte, Philippines.
Scuba diving in Leyte, Philippines.
A small fish seen while diving Leyte, Philippines.
A barrel sponge adorns a reef in Leyte, Philippines.

Scuba Diving in Leyte, Philippines

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Leyte diving highlights

Leyte is remarkable because of its dive site variety; it has something for every level of diver, even though the current can be formidable in some areas. It's got incredibly healthy reefs, deep canyons, and steep walls. However, most people come to Leyte for the whale sharks, seen from November through May. The waters around Leyte are also home to dolphins, manta rays, turtles, barracuda, and sweetlips, not to mention sizeable gorgonian corals. On good days, you'll see your share of fusiliers, tuna, and jacks as well!

  *All videos and photos courtesy of Sogod Bay Scuba Resort.


Watch this great video to learn more about diving in Leyte.

Read Victor Tang's account of his dive trip to Southern Leyte.

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Marine Life in Leyte

Leyte's marine variety ranges from tiny pygmy seahorses to big whale sharks. You'll see pygmy seahorses, nudibranchs and pipefish in conjunction with turtles, frogfish, and napoleon wrasse. There are also corals galore - both the hard and soft varieties. The southernmost tip of the island is replete not only with corals but also with plenty of anemones and sponges.

The whale sharks are not the only bigger animals here, as divers will often see green turtles, batfish, eagle rays, and grouper, as well as the dolphins, barracuda, and tuna!

Check out the nudibranch in Leyte in the video below.


Best dive sites in Leyte

There are so many amazing dive sites in Leyte, all of which are found at the southernmost tip of the island. Because of the whale sharks, the most popular of all the sites are Sogod Bay and Panaon Island, and in the months between June and October, when these gentle giants are elsewhere, whales, dolphins and manta rays are present in these waters. While you're there, you should check out the Napantao Fish Sanctuary, which is worth the visit not only for the gorgonian corals but also for the barracuda, turtles, sweetlips, and others.

Venturing northward from Panaon, there's Libagon. If you are a fan of pelagics, make it a point to visit Libagon in order to see manta rays, whale sharks, dolphins and so on.

If it's walls you're after, make sure you go to Tankaan Point and/or Max Climax Wall and Baluarte. Be sure to search the cracks in the wall for angelfish, snappers, napoleon wrasses, and grouper.


The best time to dive Leyte in order to see and swim with the whale sharks is between November and May, but, having said that, the holidays that fall between these months will see an influx of visitors. This may cut into your enjoyment of the area, so we recommend to book your dive trip on dates that avoid the Christmas, New Year, Easter and Chinese New Year holidays. Try November or May, as the season is beginning or winding down, and chances are that prices will be better during these times, as well!


Diving Conditions 

  • Visibility: 32 to 121 feet (10-40m depending on the tides)
  • Good for snorkeling: Yes.
  • Required Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced recommended. Strong currents might be present at some of the sites.

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Leyte Travel Information

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How to Get to LEYTE

From Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila (MNL), it’s a one hour and twenty-minute flight to Tacloban (TAC). Alternatively, you can fly in from Cebu (CEB). It takes 55 minutes for a flight from Cebu to Tacloban (TAC).

From Tacloban, either a bus or a mini-bus will take you to the diving spots of in the southern area of Leyte.

You can also take the ferry if you're coming from Bohol or Cebu.

How to Dive Leyte

There are a number of excellent resorts in Leyte, such as Sogod Bay Scuba Resort or Treasure Bay Dive Resort. From the resort of your choice, you will take short boat rides to your preferred diving spots.

Via liveaboard, the Infiniti has a Malapascua - Leyte itinerary, which goes to both Panaon Island and Sogod Bay. The Seadoors also has a Visayas itinerary that includes a few days' diving in Leyte.


Other Things to do

Leyte is important to the history of the Philippines since its shores were the landing site of General Douglas MacArthur, which signalled the beginning of the liberation of the Philippines towards the end of World War II. There are life-sized statues of General MacArthur and his cohort that would be worth visiting for history buffs. In Tacloban City, you can go shopping, or perhaps go on a hike at Lake Danao National Park. 

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Bluewater Travel can book you a resort or liveaboard for your dive trip to Leyte, and almost every scuba diving destination you can think of at the same price or even less than booking any other way! Our team of travel advisors knows the boats, diving, and logistics better than anyone else in the industry.

Please contact us for the latest availability of the Infiniti or for when the Seadoors will be diving in Leyte.


Other Useful Information 

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Practical Information

  • Currency: Philippine Peso (PHP)
  • Electricity: The standard voltage is 220 V and the frequency is 60 Hz.
  • Vaccines: Please check the CDC website for updated information on vaccines, health concerns, etc. It is recommended that you are up to date with Typhoid, Tetanus/Diphtheria, Hepatitis and Polio for any trip to the tropics.
  • Visa: US citizens may enter the Philippines for purposes of tourism without a visa if they present a valid U.S. passport and a return ticket to the United States or an onward ticket to another country. Upon your arrival, immigration authorities will stamp an entry visa valid for 30 days on your passport.
  • Language: Filipino and English are the official languages in the Philippines

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