The Visayas is one of the major provinces of the Philippines and is located on the eastern side of the country, encompassing the larger islands of Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Negros, Samar, and Panay. The major entry point into the region is Cebu City, which has international and domestic flight connections. The majority of the best diving is done around the eastern side of Cebu, to southern Leyte Island, and south of Bohol. Most liveaboards run trips to the Visayas region in the winter months of November to March, outside of the typhoon season.
The diving in the Visayas is varied and diverse as anywhere else in the country. From steep wall dives and slopping coral covered slopes, to muck dives in secluded bays, and sea mound cleaning stations full of Thresher Sharks or Manta Rays, or groups of feeding Whale Sharks in the blue, liveaboard trips here take in a little bit of everything. It's common to find several different species of frogfish and pygmy seahorse one day, and the next to dive with pelagic mantas and schools of hunting trevaly.
Liveaboard trips offer the very best diving opportunities in the region, as the dive locations are quite spread out throughout the islands, requiring short overnight sails to reach each unique location. During the best season, the winter, water temperatures stay warm and tropical in the region, from 26 to 29 degrees C. And the visibility is equally good, usually between 20 and 30 meters, with occasional drops to 15 meters when nutrient rich waters can create large plankton blooms, which feed the reefs and the large filter feeders like Mantas and Whale Sharks. Above the water, the area is equally diverse. With the chocolate hills of South Eastern Bohol offer amazing views, and the chance to see adorable Tarsiers in their natural habitat. While Leyte is covered in lush tropical rainforest with a dramatic mountains backdrop.
Most liveaboard trips depart and return to Cebu City, where the best flight connections are, and run for a week long. At the beginning of the Tubbataha season in March, it is possible to join transition trips which take in a few days of the Visayas, and a few days at Tubbataha, before returning to port at Puerto Princesa in Palawan.