Why go diving in Bacuit Bay, El Nido?

In our opinion, learning how to dive and actually diving are some of the best things that you can do in life. There’s just something magical about slipping under the ocean’s surface and exploring what lies in the big blue. After all, 70% of the Earth surface is covered by water and there’s still so much we don’t know about it.Bacuit Bay in El Nido, Palawan is home to Miniloc, Lagen, and Pangulasian Island Resorts and some pretty awesome diving opportunities.

Where can I go diving?
Located on the western side of El Nido, Bacuit Bay stuns both topside and underwater visitors. The bay is home to 20 dive sites scattered around 45 islands and islets.

Bacuit Bay Map - diving, PIR, no Tres Marias with ENR logo_small

When can I go diving?
Diving is available year-round but which specific dive sites are accessible at the time of your visit is dependent on the prevailing winds. Visibility is also generally good throughout the year. Yes, you can go diving even when it’s raining!

I don’t know how to dive. Can I take lessons while I’m there?
Yes you can! All the El Nido Resorts properties are accredited PADI Resorts, offering training from the Bubblemaker level to the Advanced Open Water Diver level. Our in-house diving instructors are more than happy to introduce you to the underwater world via the PADI Discover Scuba Diving course or the full-length PADI Open Water Diver course. Discover Scuba Diving takes half a day and certifies you to dive up to 12 meters deep while accompanied by a PADI Professional. DSD certification is valid for one year. The PADI Open Water Diver course takes 3-4 days and certifies you to dive up to 18 meters deep and plan your own dives (but remember to never dive alone!). OW certification is good for the rest of your life.

What can I look forward to?
Bacuit Bay’s 20 dive sites are home to 45 genera of hard corals, over 800 species of fish, 5 species of sea turtles, 5 species of marine mammals, and uncountable numbers of marine invertebrates. All dives are non-decompression dives.

chevroned barracuda - Macy Anonuevo MIR EO
A school of chevroned barracuda in North Rock (photo by Macy Anonuevo, MIR Environmental Officer)

I’m a beginner diver / haven’t gone diving in a while. Is there something for me?
Yes! Bacuit Bay is generally shallow, with a maximum depth of 40 meters. Currents are not strong, which makes for easy diving. Some of the best sights such as fields of branching corals, schools of yellow-lined snapper hovering above cabbage corals, assorted critters, and blacktip reef sharks can be found at only 10 meters depth.

bed of branching corals - Macy Anonuevo MIR EO
Beds of branching corals with damselfish in Abdeens Reef (photo by Macy Anonuevo, MIR Environmental Officer)

I’m an experienced diver. Is there something for me?
Yes! Bacuit Bay is also home to several excellent dive sites that take you 24-32 meters deep along walls and in channels. You can look forward to soft coral “forests” and schools of chevroned and arrowhead barracuda. You can also explore a tunnel or swim around boulders as large as a building.

Dilumacad tunnel - Macy Anonuevo MIR EO
Exploring the Dilumacad tunnel (photo by Macy Anonuevo, MIR Environmental Officer)

I’m an underwater photographer. Is there something for me?
Yes! Our sites are good for both wide-angle and macro photography.

Robert Suntay at work - Macy Anonuevo
Underwater videographer Robert Suntay enjoying the presence of a hawksbill sea turtle (Photo by Macy Anonuevo, MIR Environmental Officer)

What are the most spectacular sightings so far?
Divers have seen a whale shark, manta rays, and a dugong. But please remember that these sightings are rare and seasonal. As Bacuit Bay is a shallow area, we do not get the large pelagic species of offshore reefs.

So what are you waiting for? Dive and explore El Nido! 🙂

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