For the past several years Tacloban City has led the growth and expansion of Leyte in the realm of eco tourism. Today, it is high on the itinerary of local and foreign tourists, and almost always included in their travels are visits to the provinces top dive sites, which include the following.
Mahaba Island is one of the four islands that make up Cuatros Islas. Some 80 miles (130 km) from Tacloban, it is only a couple of hours away by motor vehicle.
Mahaba Island has one of the most extensive marine sanctuaries in the Leyte. Right from the onset you will see a gorgeous vista of the Camotes Sea. Diving into the waters will reveal some of the most varied types of coral reefs in the region. There are also limestone structures of fossilized corals and various types of marine creatures.
If you are looking for the widest variety of corals, then look no further than Panaon Island.
Situated on the eastern side of Sogod Bay it is the site of over 500 different types of corals. Going into the deep one will see the rich diversity in full bloom. Providing a contrast to these hard corals are a menagerie of marine creatures, ranging from angel fish, mantis shrimps seahorses, turtles and whale sharks.
The Bonga Bend
The Bonga Bend is one of the most renowned MPA (marine protected area) in Leyte, and ranks as one of the best dive sites in Tacloban and the province.
As with the nearby Panaon Island, the waters are not just the site of some of the cleanest and purest waters anywhere, but also several types of aquatic animals. This dive site is consistently on the list of some of the most visited dive locations in the region.
Any individual or group that loves to go diving should not miss out on White Beach, right in Barangay San Jose.
Its about 5 miles (8 km) from Tacloban City, and easily reachable by motor vehicle. Although, as the name suggests, the place is known more for its beaches, it is also a great place that you can dive in. Its clear waters have made it a haven for numerous and exotic creatures.
Padre Burgos Jetty
Night diving is increasingly becoming more popular, and one of the best is that of Padres Burgos Jetty, just off Limasawa Island.
Night diving off Padre Burgos Jetty is ideal not just because it is less busy and there are fewer people, but there are areas that make for stunning underwater photography. Some of the more exotic creatures also show themselves only in the evenings.
The Cuatros Islas Dive Sites
Visitors to Tacloban would do well to check the Cuatros Islands, as it the home of some of the finest dive sites in the province.
Cutros Islas means four islands, namely Mahaba, Himokilan, Apid and Digyo. These are situated in the towns of Inopacan and Hindang, and usually reached by boat. Once you get on Cuatros Islas you will find yourself surrounded by some of the most striking corals in the country. There are over 280 types of coral reefs in the surrounding waters, not to mention numerous types of fish.
Just north of Panaon Island is Liloan, another dive site that is drawing attention among tourists in Tacloban City and Leyte.
Liloan holds two marine sanctuaries, the Tagbak Marine Park and the Tabugon Fish Sanctuary. Aside from the corals, the large number of underwater caves are also an attraction for adventurers.
There are plenty of tourist attractions in and around Tacloban City, but even more enticing is that from the city, it is only a boat or motor ride away from some of the best dive sites in the Philippines.