Leyte Dive Site Highlights

Southern Leyte-barracuda SchoolMaureen's Place - Padre Burgos. Named for our delightful housekeeper, this site turned up a few surprises. A small banca wreckage, at only 8m depth, shelters sweetlips, whilst on the coral wall groupers, surgeon fish, trigger fish and snappers dart about. Smaller critters including pygmy seahorses, cowries and pipefish are all seen here.

The Pier - Padre Burgos. Simply macro heaven! Below the pier reaches only 6m depth and hours can be spent here discovering new creatures. Zebra snout seahorses cling to the sponges that adorn the pier supports, freckled frogfish blend into the sponges, ghost pipefish sway in the gentle surge and blue ringed octopus lurk in holes. Other creatures commonly found here are devilfish, pleurobranchs, coral cowries, seamoths, a variety of blennies, nudibranchs and at sunset the mandarin fish come out to mate.

Southern Leyte-ReefNapantaw Reef - Closely monitored by the Coral Cay Conservation, the corals here are very healthy and fishing in the area is limited. Two dives here are needed to fully explore the reef. Soft corals, whips and black corals cling to the wall whilst hard coral formations in the shallow water make for awesome photographic opportunity. You're likely to find pygmy seahorses, see turtles amble by and come across the occasional black tip shark in the shallows.

Gunter's Wall - Limasawa. Black corals, green tree corals and huge barrel sponges, with resident hairy squat lobsters, decorate the gentle reef slope. The shallow reef shelf is full of soft corals in whcih to look for robust ghost pipefish and juvenile filefishes. Turtles, banded sea snakes and barracuda are amongst the most common sightings. We also see seahorses, leaf fish, frog fish and hundreds of Phyllodesmium nudibranchs grouped together.

Crocodile Rocks, Limasawa – A shallow coral garden which turns up little gems such as cuttlefish, nudibranchs and octopus.

Adrian’s Cove, Limasawa – clinging to seawhips divers will often find xeno-crabs at this dive site, as well as many sand dwelling fish such as gobies, jawfish and moray eels.

pinksquatLobsterLimasawa Pier, Limasawa – A superb place to small the small macro species – finds include frogfish, cowries. Whale sharks do come into this area at night to feed on plankton.

Talima Reef, Olango Island & Mactan wall has soft and whip corals where small critters like to hide. The wreckage of a banca can also be found along the sandy reef shelf – a great place to find grouper and sweetlips; whilst jacks and batfish school above you.

Shangri-la House Reef, Olango Island & Mactan - The topography is diverse with a wreck, white sand a mini wall, sea grasses and plenty of healthy coral. Schooling fish can be seen and a few treats such as, giant clam, jacks, and batfish put in an appearance

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About Leyte, Philippines

The island of Leyte, in the eastern Visayas, is a mere 180km north to south and just 65km wide. Densely covered with forest and mountains the people here have relied upon the sea for their income. Whale sharks, once fished here for their meat and oils, are now a protected species and local municipalities welcome tourists to the area.

The island of Limasawa where Magellan held the first christian mass, bringing christianity to the region. Many still visit on pilgrimage however it is Leyte's part in World War II that it is more commonly renowned for. The Battle of Leyte Gulf, fought in October 1944, saw the landing of general MacArthur which is now celebrated annually. Several memorials commemorating the event can be visited in the major towns. It is also believed that the departing Japanese commander hid treasure in the area of Ormoc, however the sunken wreckages of both American and Japanese vessels are beyond recreational diving depths.