Freediving in Coron and El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

In a country made up of over 7,000 islands, you can bet that majority of its people loves the sun, the ocean, and swimming! Of course, there are many other water activities we enjoy such as doing island expeditions, spearfishing, and freediving!

As the #1 Expedition Company in Coron, we'd like to share some insights about another water activity in this glorious country of ours. let’s talk about freediving in Coron and El Nido, Palawan!

Free Diving in El Nido and Coron

Do You Want to Learn to Freediving?

If you’ve been wanting to learn freediving, Palawan is one of the best places to do so. There are so many freediving courses that everybody can learn and you can even have deep diving training after the basics, and there are so many wonderful spots to do so after getting your certification.

If you’re already an experienced freediver, you can skip the lessons and visit our numerous sites that’s perfect for snorkeling and freediving. Have you seen our colorful coral gardens? You’ll be so amazed at the beauty of our underwater world!

Basic Freediving Courses

Basic freediving courses can last 1-3 days depending on the dive school you’re learning from and the level or certification you’re aiming for. Here, you’ll get all the necessary information on freediving and of course, immersion in freediving as a sport. After that, you can go for advanced courses and training.

Freediving Certificates

When choosing a place to get your certificate, make sure you find an AIDA Certified school. Association Internationale pour le Développement de l'Apnée (AIDA) or in English, International Association for Development of Apnea is a worldwide rule and record keeping body for competitive breath holding events. They are the ones who have set standards for safety, comparability for those who wants to go for the world record, and freediving education.

Freediving in The Philippines

Freediving spots in the Philippines

Since the Philippines literally has thousands of beaches, it’s undoubtedly a paradise for beach lovers and underwater adventurers. Where are the best spots to freedive in the Philippines? Read on.

Fun fact: The Philippines sits at the center of almost 6 million square kilometres of coral reef species more than anywhere else on Earth.

Freediving in Palawan

Freediving in Batangas

If you live closer to the metro or if you wanna make a quick escape without flying to a different island, Batangas is the way to go. With various dive sites and beautiful beaches, you’ll surely have a good time!

You can go to Bauan for a quick dip or swim with schools of jacks when you visit Tingloy Island.

Freediving in Coron, Palawan

We’re not just putting this in our list because we’re biased. We’re putting Coron in our list because it is amazing! Our team has (individually) been to different places in the Philippines and believe me when I say that Coron is one of a kind.

Freediving in Coron Palawan

Aside from the beautiful corals and fishes, Coron gives you a unique opportunity to freedive for some shipwrecks.

One of the islands we frequent on our expeditions would be Black Island and you can freedive around a shipwreck there.

Skeleton Wreck and Lusong Gunboat are also beginner freedive favorites and if you wanna check out a one of a kind lake, dive in on the fresh and salt and brackish waters of Barracuda Lake.

Freediving in El Nido, Palawan

I want to tell you about the Dilumacad Underwater Tunnel near Helicopter Island in El Nido, Palawan. This place is an incredible freediving spot for adventure enthusiasts.

The tunnel entrance is around 12 meters (40 feet) deep, and it stretches horizontally for about 35 meters (115 feet), leading to a beautiful cavern filled with marine life.

Keep in mind that due to its depth and narrow conditions, the Dilumacad Tunnel is more suitable for experienced freedivers only. With the help of an expert guide, you'll have an unforgettable and thrilling experience as you explore the underwater wonders of El Nido.

Freediving in Panglao, Bohol

Panglao is sort of like a playground for scuba divers and underwater photographers but if you don’t wanna go down with all those gears, freediving is definitely welcome!

There is a marine sanctuary off the coast of Panglao, Bohol and you won’t be disappointed with the clear waters and abundant marine life. Get to swim with sea turtles, frogfishes, moray eels, mackerels and barracudas.

The best part is, you’ll get to enjoy the dive even if you’re a beginner because the waters are usually calm and you don’t have to dive too deep to witness the underground magic!

We already talked about spearfishing in Coron, do not forget to check it out.

Wanna read about more freediving sites? Let us know. And as always, cheers and have fun!

Freediving Basics

Frequently Asked Questions About Freediving

What is difference between freediving and scuba diving?

You need equipments while scuba diving but you don’t need an underwater breathing apparatus when you go freediving. The idea is you swim deep with no tools. You go underwater with nothing but yourself and the use of your lungs and maybe some flippers. Hence, the term “freediving” which is also sometimes called skin diving or breath-hold diving.

What are freediving activities?

Freediving activities include spearfishing and snorkeling(as mentioned), synchronised swimming, aquathlon, underwater football or rugby or hockey. Freediving photography is also starting to get more common than ever, which explains why you see so many nice free diving photos these days.

What are the rules for freediving?

Before you start swimming with the fishes, make sure that your mind and body are prepared. It's not enough to just train your lungs to hold your breath for a long period of time, you also have to consider the ambient pressure and the swimming technique when you go freediving. There’s a certain type of discipline or training before you can go to certain depths and distances when you go freediving. In fact, there are even schools to teach you the right techniques in doing so.

How can you train your lungs before free diving?

There are many ways to train your lungs both in land and on the water. Some athletes do training sequences like stretching, running while holding their breaths and mental conditioning. If you’re freediving for the first time and you want to go into depths, please study the correct breathing techniques or have an expert train you. You can’t have fun and enjoy the open waters if you can’t breath, right? As always, safety should be the main priority.

Is free-diving risky?

We already know that freediving is fun and exciting but before we get ahead of ourselves, we need to educate ourselves before jumping in. The obvious risk to freediving would be drowning, vertigo, nausea, or lack of air. When this happens, it may cause you to get disoriented or blackout. Some divers fail to realize the lack of oxygen in their bodies because they are either unaware or their desire to go deeper is very strong so they just ignore the signs entirely. This is why divers are usually advised to have a buddy system.

What is buddy system in freediving?

This is a technique that is used not just in the wilderness but also in the water. Some divers might not be aware of their bodies, how it moves and react underwater so having someone else watch out and monitor you can make a huge difference between life and death.

freediving for beginners

Tips for beginners in freediving

  • Start with dry training or training on land before training in the water. Dry training is many times safer than wet training.
  • Never dive alone. Remember the buddy system? It’s for your own safety. It is better to dive with an apnea and rescue trained buddy.
  • Always dive within your limits. This can be a life and death situation if you exceed your limit. You’re not a fish born in water so take slow steps and make steady progress.
  • Do not hyperventilate. This tricks our minds and bodies to thinking that we don’t need to breathe. This can be very dangerous.
  • Practice makes perfect. Don’t worry if you can’t hold your breath for 5mins on your first dive. Like anything in life, practice is needed to achieve this. Your body needs to get used to having high cO2 and low O2.

Big Dream Boatman is recognized as the top-rated multi-day boat tour operator on TripAdvisor, with accolades from more than 550 satisfied travellers.

Join Big Dream Boatman's El Nido to Coron Island Hopping tour and embark on a remarkable 4-day/3-night expedition, unveiling the hidden paradises between El Nido and Coron. Engage in thrilling activities, bond with like-minded travellers, relish the mouthwatering local cuisine prepared by our chef and drift off to sleep under the mesmerizing starry sky.


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