Samal Island Dive Spots Davao
Situated in the Davao Gulf, east of Davao City, this island offers a multitude of sites to suit all tastes. To the northeast are Ligid Caves and Pinnancle Point. The caves are split into two at between 17-20m and there is a diverse range of coral and gorgonians. Smaller fish life is profuse, with the occasional sighting of sharks. Closeby, the pinnacle offers some exciting diving, but be careful as currents can be fierce. You can expect to come across octopus, morays, travally, surgeonfish and jacks.
Off the east coast, the most spectacular site is Pindawon Wall. Here, the overhangs house gorgonians and black corals with fish life including snapper, grouper and sea snakes. Both Pindawon and Aundanao, slightly to the north, are marine sanctuaries where there is every chance of seeing turtles.
Towards the south-eastern tip of the island, you'll find Mushroom Rock, so called because of shaped underwater rock formations. Expect to see large pelagics here, together with the occasional dolphin.
The west coast is best-known for the sites Marissa 1,2 and 3. These are all fairly shallow reefs that descend to 30m and offer good coral formations. Hawksbill turtles are regular visitors, together with pelagics and lobsters. Snorkelling is particularly good here.
Talikud Island Dive Spots Davao
This small island, off the south-west coast of Samal has a number of sites worth seeking out. To the north is Mansud Wall which drops off to 45m and has a good variety of coral that support numerous schools of smaller tropical fish. Closeby, are Talisay Wall and Dapia Reef. The opportunity to see larger marine life is better here and there are regular sightings of barracuda, tuna and jacks.
On the east coast is Isla Reta. This sandy slope to 30m is inhabited by fusiliers, sea horse, morays and sea urchins, among others.
On the west coast, you'll find Coral Garden. This sandy bottom slopes to 38m where you will find a good variety of soft and hard corals and plenty of fish including garden eels, wrasse and parrotfish.
This area is found right on the southern tip of Mindanao and the main site, Tambuan (Tinoto) Wall is approximately a 45 min road journey from General Santos itself. The wall stretches for 10km and reportedly drops to 200m.
There are some 20 small sites that are regularly visited in this area and all have their own characteristics. Overall, the wall is an experience not to be missed, but due to strong currents, only the advanced should attempt the dive.
Corals are everywhere, supporting a wide variety of smaller fish life. Further out you enter the domain of whitetip, blacktip and hammerhead sharks. Manta and eagle rays are often present as are Napoleon wrasse, tuna, barracuda and snapper.
Closer inshore, at shallower depths which extend some 50m offshore, the snorkelling is good.
Another site worthy of mention is Maharlika Beach Resort. This is a shallow reef with lots of attractions. Staghorn corals are profuse and home to sweetlips, wrasse, groupers, moorish idols and many more. There is a resident shoal of yellowtail barracuda and the area is a breeding ground for squid between June and July. Additionally, the resort is renowned for training and night dives.
This group of around 870 islands is situated southwest of Mindanao, running down to the northeastern segment of Malaysian Borneo. The capital, Jolo is on the island of the same name. Other main islands include Basilan and Pangutaran. The whole area was an autonomous sultanate until 1940.
The mainstays of life here are fishing, pearls, sea cucumbers, marine turtles and shells.
There will undoubtedly be good diving here, but the archipelago is still considered an extremely high risk region to visit due to political turmoil (July 2006).