The famous Talima Marine Sanctuary is one of the gems of Cebu. It is located offshore and away from the population of Cebu, yet you can be diving it within an hour of landing in the Philippines. Talima Marine Sanctuary is a gorgeous dive site and protected area located in the tropical waters off the West coast of Olango Island, between it and Mactan Island. It is conveniently located, just 10-15 by boat minutes from our Mactan-based dive shop.
The visibility at Talima Marine Sanctuary is usually pretty good- between 20 and 30 meters. Of course there are some great days when it gets up to 40m- and some days, particularly after a large storm, where the visibility may briefly drop to around 10-12m. There can be some current at Talima Marine Sanctuary- especially out along the wall. This makes Talima is a stunning place to do your Drift Adventure dive from the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course.
Hilutungan’s Marine Sanctuary is located due south of Shangri- La Resort and southwest of Olango Island. The trip to Hilutungan Marine Sanctuary takes about 45 minutes aboard a traditional outrigger “banca” boat. During this time, you can sit back and enjoy the tropical scenery as you cruise to the gorgeous Hilutungan Marine Sanctuary.
The Hilutungan Marine Sanctuary commonly offers visibility up to 35 meters and, the water is just as warm as every else around Mactan- a steamy 27-29 degrees Celsius. Currents are not usually a problem at Hilutungan. There is a great wall that drops deep and a comfortable drift along the Hilutungan wall is quite common.
Nalusuan’s Marine Sanctuary is located of the island of Olango. It normally takes just over an hour to reach Nalusuan Marine Sanctuary aboard a traditional Filipino “banca” outrigger-style boat. Take this opportunity to kick back and take in the scenery on your way to the Nalusuan Marine Sanctuary.
The Nalusuan Marine Sanctuary usually has visibility up to 35 meters. The water is warm and clear. These rocky coral walls and slopes of Nalusuan Marine Sanctuary are some of the best Cebu has to offer.
Other nice Snorkling / Dive sites
Santa Rosa Dive Site – Olango, Cebu
The dive at Santa Rosa is located on the western shores of Olango Island, just across from Mactan in the province of Cebu. Santa Rosa diving is a convenient 12-15 minute speed boatride from Shangri La Resort. Being just south of the famous Talima sanctuary, Santa Rosa shares many of its great natural beauty.
Given Santa Rosa’s proximity to the dive site of Talima, it generally offers the same conditions. It has the same spectacular deep wall from 18-50m and visibility is generally between 20m and 30m.
Diving in Agus, Cebu
Agus, Mactan is yet another one of the spectacular divesites here in Cebu. It is located on the Mactan side of the Olango channel, just a few minutes south of our dive center.
Being on the coastline can keep things variable at Agus, like anywhere else. Agus enjoys 15-30m visibility except after really big storms, when the visibility may drop to 10m. You can expect a nice wall with a drop-off between 10 and 35m deep. The location, depth, and topography of this dive make Agus a great place to do your PADI Drift Diver Specialty.
Diving in Tambuli, Mactan Cebu
Tambuli is one of the exciting dive sites located along the coast of Mactan, Cebu. In fact, its proximity to our dive center makes it the closest dive site other than the Shangri-La Marine Sanctuary- with the boat ride taking only 8-10 minutes on a calm day. Tambuli is another one of the great dive sites you don’t want to miss when you are in Cebu.
Tambuli is known as a great macro diving site- a true calling for those photographers who love their close-ups. We commonly encounter nudibranches, anemone shrimp, tiny anglerfish, and angelfish. Shallow water encounters with the ever-elusive Mandarin fish are not uncommon. At one point along the steeply-sloped wall of Tambuli is a small airplane teeming with reef fish. We’ve tried to make up great stories of how the plane got there, but the airport is on the other side of the island from Tambuli. The plane was sunk as an artificial wreck in Tambuli several years ago.
There can be come current along the coast at Tambuli. It creates an interesting and somewhat ironic moment to be flying over the top of a plane on a drift dive. The visibility at Tambuli varies with coastal runoff, but tends to be 18-25 meters. A good drift dive at Talima is worth adding to your vacation itinerary.
Diving Thresher Point in Cebu
( Not only in Malapascua )
Thresher Point is located just across from Mactan, Cebu on the northern tip of Olango Island. Since the prevailing winds in Cebu, Philippines are generally from the South, this dive can be made almost year-round. Thresher Point is just off the coast from the fishing village of Tengo.
At Thresher Point down deep (40m) there is a chance to see some of the resident thresher sharks, which are 4 meters long! Like with any other dive site, we can’t guarantee that the thresher sharks will be spotted on any given dive, but the average chance is about fifty percent.
The visibility at Thresher Point is variable, but it’s typically between 20 and 40 meters. There can be some current at Thresher Point. In order to have a good chance of seeing the thresher sharks, we need to dive to around 40 meters. This dive is recommended for advanced divers who have experience with blue water descents. Technical divers may come and enjoy a greater chance to see these thresher sharks by making a team deco dive to 50m. This is a great graduation dive for your Technical Diving Course.
Shangri-La Marine Sanctuary
The Shangri-La Marine Sanctuary is located on the northern east coast of Mactan Island, Cebu. The sanctuary starts approximately 50 meters from our main shop at the Shangri-La. It has been a marine sanctuary since early 2007 and the resurgence of marine life has been amazing.
This stunning marine sanctuary is home to barracuda, parrotfish, lionfish, a beautiful school of jacks, and a huge school of silver batfish. The corals are abundant and healthy. From shallow depths the hard corals start and extend all the way out to the steeper slopes at 30m. In the middle depths of 15-30m, there are beautiful sponges and fans. Finally, technical divers can plunge down to 50m using permanently-installed descent/ascent lines. Visibility is usually 15-25m, and increases with depth.
The Shangri-La Marine Sanctuary is relatively calm on most days. Even if the boats can’t run, the shallow sandy slope at the beach makes it perfect for a beach dive entry. The area between 5-10m deep contains several great sandy and grassy patches which makes it a top choice to conduct the PADI Open Water Diver Course. The abundance of life and varying degrees of depth along the slope make it well-suited for night dives and any number of PADI Specialty Courses.
Malapascua ( Over Night )
Malapascua has a great variety of dive sites – we’ve got big stuff and small stuff, reefs and wrecks, amazing coral dives and sandy muck dives, wall dives and night dives. Because the diving is in different areas and with many different influences there is a great variety of marine life. All our dive sites have excellent macro, so there is always plenty to see. Some divers have rated Malapascua’s dive spots as some of the world’s best diving!
- Small Boat (max 20pax)
- Talima/Mactan Area – 5,000 php
- Hilutungan/Nalusuan – 6,435 php
- Pandanon – 7,150 php
- Big Boat (max 40pax)
- Talima/Mactan Area – 4,400 php
- Hilutungan/Nalusuan – 5,500 php
- Pandanon – 10,100 php
Packed lunch – 300 php per person
- Pork, Vegetables, Rice
- Chicken, Vegetables, Rice
- Fish, Vegetables, Rice
Jokai Marine Inc. Consultant