DIVE SITES AROUND SIQUIJOR
Dive Site Map
Daquit shoal is a nice dive site located off the north-east coast of Siquijor, more or less east of Enrique Villanueva. The shoal must be dived from boat as it’s too far from land, but it’s fortunately easy to find as the top of this shoal sits at just five meters. This makes it a good snorkeling site as well. The highlight of diving Daquit shoal is the two cathedrals, so named because they are rather spectacular overhangs at around 20-25 meters. The current is usually less at the cathedrals, but currents can be rather strong at this site, so it’s a good idea to watch the tide tables. You can expect to see nice big bucket sponges (xestospongia testudinario) and corals. There’s plenty of anthias and damsel fishes as well as blueside wrasses (cirrhilabrus cyanopleura.)
If you follow the south bound beach road out the town of San Juan you’ll find the local cemetary. The divesite right outside the cemetary is named Maite which in the local language cebuano means cemetery. While it’s possible to dive the site from the beach, most people do it from boats. The dive site itself is a flat sloping dive, with beautiful coral patches in the shallows and a great number of ribbon eels (Rhinomuraene quaesito) in many parts. Besides the ribbon eels, the site also has a healthy population of mandarin fish, making it perhaps the most popular night dive site on Siquijor.
This divesite is a direct continuation of the Paliton Wall dive site to the south of it. As the Paliton wall dissolves into a sandy slope, you enter the Paliton Staghorn. The highlight for many divers is the blue ribbon eels found frequently in this area. Additionally, as the name of the dive site implies, there are two large sections with nice staghorn corals (Acropora formosa) as well as some barrel sponges. The coral section host a wealth of reef fish and you can expect to see snappers as well as snubnose drummers. Although it’s possibly to dive a bit deeper than 30 meters by following the sandy slope down as it starts to flatten out, there isn’t much to see. The action is really between ten and twenty meters. This is also an easy dive site for novices and it offers good snorkeling opportunities to boot.
Immediately north of Paliton Staghorn, this impressive dive site is hailed as one of the best dive sites on Siquijor. At the south end of this dive site it’s a steep wall going directly from five to forty-five meters, at which points it starts to slope and flatten out. You’ll need to keep an eye on your time and depth, as the visibility is usually excellent and as on many walls it’s easy to slip below your intended depth. If you follow along the wall to the north, you’ll notice it gradually turns into more of a sandy slope, certainly still steep but not really a wall anymore. The sandy slope is good for spotting mantis shrimps (odontodactylus scyllarus) as well as various nudibranchs.
Sawang is located about a kilometre from Coco Grove Resort on the south west side of Siquijor. It’s a gentle slope dive, with the most interesting stuff at around fifteen meters. Below 25 meters it’s just rubble and sand. There are patches of soft and hard corals. The highlight of the dive is a narrow swimthrough, only allowing one diver to pass at a time. There’s quite a few giant clams spread all along this divesite.
Solangon is a flat slope dive. It’s possibly to go deeper than 15m, but there’s really not anything worth diving there for. In the band between five and fifteen meters however, there’s nice bottom composition with patches of soft corals, coral platforms, barrel sponges as well as a healthy life of moray eels, anemonefishes, lion fish, rockcod and barracudas. This is a good dive site for beginners, and it offers nice snorkeling as well. Currents are usually absent or weak.
This dive site is well off shore, and you need to dive it from a boat. It’s a fairly shallow shoal, starting at around twelve meters and the actual hilltop is approximately 80m wide. The Shoal is a coral hill full of mostly healthy corals and many small fish. In the past some dynamite fishing has been going on here, and you can still see the traces of this sad practise. You are likely to see spotted eaglerays, parrotfish and mackerel is a constant hunt for sardines. Most of the interesting stuff is in the band between 12 and 20 meters, below that depth there’s not so much to see. Currents can be strong, but it’s usually possibly to “hide behind the hill.”
Tonga point is located off the north-west of Siquijor, to the west of Siquijor town. It’s a nice wall dive, starting with the drop off at seven meters. The wall goes straight down to twenty five meters where it flattens out and slopes ever so gently. The action happens on the wall, – there’s not much to see deeper than 25 meters. Beside the thrill of diving on a sheer wall, the highlight of this dive is probably a fair chance to see napoleon fish (Cheilinus undulatus) and humphead parrotfish (bolbometopon muricatum) sometimes mistaken for each other. There’s not that many hard corals on the wall, but there’s quite a few delicate sea whips. With good eyes you may also spot frogfish on the reef edge!
As implied by the name Tulapus sanctuary is a marine protected area. As such it offers easy access and straight-forward diving on a flat sandy slope. It’s located off the north tip of Siquijor. In 1989 a large number of concrete x-shapes were put in place to create an artificial reef and to allow corals to settle. Diving over these now long overgrown x-shapes can be somewhat akin to diving over a graveyard with all the crosses everywhere. Regardless it’s a beautiful dive, and the artificial reef provide interesting photo opportunities, plus a good chance to spot a lot of rare macro critters. In the sand are shells and big brown daisy corals. The reef sometimes attracts larger groups of bigger fish, so you may well spot barracudas and big groupers.
In the northern part of this dive site it’s a steep wall, but as you go further south it becomes more of a slope. There are nice sand ledges at around 20 to 25 meters. You’ll want to assess the current at this dive site and chose which way you dive accordingly. Currents can be strong, but it’s an exhilarating dive to be washed along the wall. There are small caves along the wall in which can be found orange spotted groupers (Epinephelus coioides.) While the wall is deep, there really isn’t much to see below 25 meters. As the divesite is so shallow, it also offers good opportunities for snorkeling.
Hardly surprising Coco Grove is located right outside Coco Grove Resort on the southwest side of Siquijor, between San Juan and Lazi. The divesite is a steep slope that flattens out at around fifteen meters. The slope is rocky and sandy with good coral growth, while the bottom is plain sand. It’s a popular dive site for night dives, and you can often spot different sort of nudibrachs, flatworms and seahorses here.
Gradual slope from large semi-submerged rocks. Lots of invertebrates such as beautiful corals. Generous cover of soft corals as well as staghorns, pipes, tunicatesand sometime blue spotted rays and turtles. Popular with many divers as it offers a sheltered area to conduct dives if the weather is acting up, and prohibiting diving on the west coast of Siquijor.