The Philippines is around 15-20 hours flight from the UK. Although composed of 7,107 islands (7,108 at low tide), with a total coastline longer
than that of the USA, most of the population of the Philippines lives on just 11 islands. Most travellers will enter the Philippines through Manila (MNL) or Cebu (CEB) airports.
The reefs are spectacular in the Philippines, with plenty of fish list buzzing around. Moalboal, Bohol and Puerto Galera are all super locations for reef divers. Snorkel with whalesharks in Oslob. Thresher sharks have made Malapascua famous whilst Sangat is wreck heaven. Love macro? Make a beeline for Anilao or Dumaguete. The selection of critters rivals anything you could find in Indonesia.
Weather and Climate
The dry season in the Philippines runs from December to April, making it a popular time for divers. May and November are transitional months with air temperatures climbing. June to September is the wet season, as the weather becomes stormier. The Philippines dive resorts are typically well sheltered from the worst, but you can expect to experience rain showers.
As standard, our holidays to Philippines are quoted with London departures. We are however able to book most major airlines. Popular options for the Philippines include Cathay Pacific (40kgs hold allowance), Singapore airlines, Qatar, Emirates, Malaysian, KLM and Etiad.
If you would like to depart from a different UK airport (eg. Glasgow/Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham or Gatwick) or have a specific airline you prefer to fly with, simply let us know in your booking request. A supplement may apply for regional departures. Times and any applicable supplements will be confirmed by your travel consultant before you finalise your holiday.
If you wish to make your own flight arrangements to the Philippines, let us know and we can remove the cost of the international flights from your quote. We are unfortunately not able to redeem airmiles on your behalf. Please do not confirm any flight arrangements yourself before your holiday is confirmed by us.
With a huge range of airlines to fly with, you can easily build in a stop over either on your way to or on your way back from the Philippines. Simply talk to your travel consultant about adding a stop over into your itinerary.
Arrange before you go
UK passport holders are able to obtain a free 30 day visa on arrival. Do ensure your passport has 6 months validity from your return date to prevent any issues with immigration. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid and you fulfil entry requirements. Regulations can change: please review current FCO advice: click here
Scuba Travel requires all of our customers to have diving insurance. Please make sure that you have appropriate cover for your diving activities.
We also strongly recommend you have travel insurance. It’s worth taking out travel insurance once you have paid your deposit to ensure you are covered for unforeseen events and cancellation.
Find out more about our combined dive and travel policy click here
Please speak to your local GP or check out the latest NHS advice on travel immunisations: click here
Preparing to fly
You will also be able to manage your booking online once you have been ticketed (after you have paid your holiday balance). Most airlines will now enable you to select your seating at this point. There may be a small charge for prebookable seating before online check in opens. Please speak to the airline for more information about charges.
As you are flying with a scheduled airline, you will be able to check in online with your airline. Please visit their website for more information about when online check in opens.
An airport lounge is a great way to start your holiday or to while away flight connections in comfort. Scuba Travel works with Lounge Pass to offer a huge range of affordable airport lounges around the world.
Prebook your airport parking to save money! If you have a long way to travel, why not also look at booking an airport hotel. These aren’t as expensive as you might think.
What happens when I arrive?
On arrival in your Philippines destination, you will need to clear immigration and collect your baggage. You will then be met outside of arrivals by a representative from your liveaboard or resort. Some reps are able to meet you airside. They will be holding a board with either your destination or your name on it.
If you have any issues at all locating your rep, please contact us. We have an emergency contact, manned by a member of the team here in the UK. Please call 0044 7747 488 002. We will be able to help your rep locate you in the airport.
If you have a hotel en route please follow any specific instructions in your travel documents. Where possible, you will be met by a representative who will assist in taking you to your hotel. If using a shuttle service, please arrange your return shuttle time back to the airport at the hotel check in.
Domestic flights are common in the Philippines and run frequently. Manila airport is a large airport with several terminals. If you have to move between terminals, please allow between 30 and 60mins to allow for local traffic. Please ensure you leave plenty of time for check in or transit between flights (usually 4 hours min). Domestic flights can typically only be booked with a 20kgs hold allowance as standard. Excess baggage costs around $2-$5 per kg per way. Hand baggage limits can be strictly enforced on domestic flights.
Due to local traffic and road conditions, land journey times can be difficult to predict. We recommend you take water with you and keep any essentials in your hand baggage to make your journey as comfortable as possible.
At the end of your holiday, your return transfer details will be advised locally.
On leaving the Philippines there is an airport tax of 750 PHP which must be paid in cash.
Included in your holiday
Tipping is entirely at your discretion. We do not make recommendations as to how much to tip. Should you wish to leave a tip for the staff and crew, it should reflect the level of service you have enjoyed.
Plugs and electricity
Kit hire can be arranged in resort and is paid for locally
The dive centre has a small, limited shop on site
Deposits and Balances
Ways to pay
We charge 2% on credit card transactions but nothing on UK debit card payments. All non sterling card payments will be subject to the 2% surcharge. Alternatively, you are welcome to pay via bank transfer. Overseas transfers must add £6 to the sterling total to cover international handling fees. We are not able to accept PayPal transactions.
If you have booked as part of a group, you can still call and pay directly without needing to go via your group leader. Please have your trip reference number to hand to help us locate your holiday as quickly as possible. You will receive a transaction receipt - your group leader will forward your ATOL certificate and booking confirmation