Philippines // The Visayas //

Pescador Island

Pescador Island, 30min by bangka from Moalboal, is one of the best dive sites in the country, surrounded by a terrific reef that teems with marine life, and renowned for its swirling sardine shoals. Barely 100m long, the island is the pinnacle of a submarine mountain reaching just 6m above sea level and ending in a flat surface, making it look from a distance like a floating disc. The most impressive of the underwater formations is the Cathedral, a funnel of rock that is open at the top end and can be penetrated by divers. Pelagic fish are sometimes seen in the area, including reef sharks and hammerheads, while at lesser depths on the reef there are Moorish idols, sweetlips, fire gobies and batfish.

There are at least ten other dive sites nearby, including the gentle Balay Reef, Ronda Bay Marine Park, Airplane Wreck and Sunken Island. Arranging diving trips is easy, with a dozen operators at Panagsama Beach, including Blue Abyss Dive Shop (t032/474-3036,, Savedra Dive Center (t032/474-0014), Seaquest (t032/232-6010,, and Visayas Divers (t 032/474-0018). Dives typically cost US$23 for a shore dive and US$28 for a boat dive, including equipment. For something a little different, Wolfgang Dafert (t0928/263-4646, arranges free-diving courses which aim to assist guests in holding their breath longer and diving deeper unassisted!

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