Scuba Diving in Indonesia vs. Philippines – Which to Choose?

Indonesia and the Philippines are countries that are equally well-known globally as places with the top diving spots across their waters. However, if you’re ready to embark on your next diving trip and am contemplating to choose between both places, we’ve got you covered! Read on to find out more if Philippines or Indonesia is the best option for your upcoming underwater adventures, as well as some key points for you to look out for. 

Diving Conditions 

A scuba diver is doing solo scuba diving and underwater photography in the Philippines

The two countries generally have excellent diving conditions that solidifies themselves as the leading destinations for scuba diving in Asia. Indonesia can generally be explored all year round, but the most popular diving season is from March to October. It’s the dry season in most of Indonesia, bringing warm waters and great visibility. However, there are exceptions like Ambon and Raja Ampat, which experience their monsoon season during this time. For those two places in particular, plan your adventures between November to April for the ideal dive conditions. 

On the contrary, for the Philippines, the diving conditions do vary quite a bit amongst different areas. Although the dry season for most parts of the country are usually between December to April, it is best to research beforehand before you depart to your desired destination. During those months, waters are also walm and also generally quite calm, making it great for your underwater exploration. 

In terms of choosing between the two, it ultimately boils down to your time availability. Plan carefully according to school holidays or your planned annual leave, and you can then adjust them to the ideal dive seasons in the Philippines or Indonesia. 

Marine Biodiversity

Manta Raja

As both countries are located in the Coral Triangle, a.k.a. the epicenter of worldwide marine diversity, they stand out as premier destinations in their own unique ways. Divers in Indonesia can encounter everything from tiny pygmy seahorses to majestic manta rays, whale sharks, and thresher sharks. Not only that, they also have the most coral reefs in the world, sprawling over 51,020 square kilometers across its vast waters. 

On the other hand, the Philippines also offers impressive aquatic life, especially in regions like Apo Island, Palawan, Puerto Galera, and the Tubbataha Reefs. With over 2,000 species of fish and 500 species of coral, there’s definitely a lot for you to explore. They’re well-known for encounters of dugongs, various types of sharks, and colorful reef fishes that you can encounter whilst underwater. 

Wreck Diving

When it comes to wreck diving, both countries do cater to different preferences. The Philippines is particularly famous for their wreck diving sites, particularly in Coron Bay, where you can explore numerous well-preserved World War II shipwrecks. These wrecks, found in relatively shallow waters, are accessible to divers of all skill levels. 

In contrast, Indonesia still boasts some notable sites such as the USAT Liberty in Bali, a World War II cargo ship that is now a thriving artificial reef. However, many of the wrecks are located in more remote locations, which is more suitable if you’re looking for more of a challenge during your dive trips. 

Underwater Photography 

Scuba Diver Photographer Diving with Solitude Taking Pictures Underwater

For underwater photography enthusiasts, both the Philippines and Indonesia offer great opportunities to capture the beauty of marine life. In Indonesia, places like Lembeh Strait or Raja Ampat have crystal-clear waters with high visibility, perfect to capture underwater creatures and colourful coral reefs in their natural habitat.

Conversely, the Philippines is particularly renowned for its muck diving, where you’ll be able to capture rare and fascinating creatures such as nudibranchs, seahorses, and frogfish. Some of the best explored diving spots for photography in the country includes Anilao and Dumaguete, with equally as pristine waters and marine life conditions for you to take that ideal shot. 

Liveaboard Experience 

Solitude Adventurer

Indonesia has more routes available for liveaboard diving, including world class destinations like Raja Ampat, Komodo National Park, the Banda Sea, and Manado. Although some dive areas are more challenging due to their strong currents, you’ll be able to see a larger variety of oceanic life. 

On the other hand, there are liveaboard-exclusive places in the Philippines that’s also definitely worth the visit. The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is definitely one of them, boasting diverse sea creatures and beautiful coral formations that cannot be missed. 

Conclusion: Diving in Indonesia or the Philippines? 

Whether it’s in Indonesia or the Philippines, both places have exciting offerings as two of Asia’s best diving destinations known to divers from around the globe. The decision will ultimately will be up to you according to your preferences, time availability, and budget constraints, but we’re confident that both countries will give you the best diving experience for your next vacation.

Embark On Your Next Scuba Diving Adventure Today!

Solitude Acacia, Two People Shore Scuba Diving

If you’re already looking to book your next trip, then look no further! Solitude World Liveaboards and Resorts are ready to provide you world-class hospitality through our liveaboard diving vessels and dive resorts in both Indonesia and the Philippines, guaranteeing you the best experience for your scuba diving adventures. Our accommodations, both on land and over the water, offer some of the best facilities available, including comfortable rooms, all-inclusive gourmet meals, comprehensive diving amenities, and expert PADI-certified guides for divers of all levels.

Book your next diving holiday with us today!