Panglao, Philippines

The Freedive Capital of the Asia!

It’s More Fun in the Philippines!

Experience the Philippines!

It’s more fun and experience the Philippines are the two most famous quotes in the Philippines, and they’re true! The same goes for Freediving in the Philippines – you have to experience it! There are very good and understandable reasons why freediving in the Philippines has gotten so popular, especially freediving in Panglao. We’ll get to the dive and living conditions in a bit, but first, a little bit more information about the things that make the Philippines a must-visit destination for travellers and freedivers.


The People of the Philippines and their 7107 Tropical and Spectacular Islands!

We wanted to start this page with the number 1 reason to visit the page, but we couldn’t… Every day we wake up to the sounds of geckos, frogs and other mystical nature sounds. We walk outside of our bungalow and are greeted by palm trees, banana trees and coconut trees. And each morning on the porch of our home, the cool ocean breeze reminds us that we live in paradise. At the center, we do our morning stretching and yoga. With a short walk, we’re at the ocean side, where we are looking out over the flattest open ocean freediving dive spot you have ever seen in your life. The ocean is flat as a mirror, and then when you see a small pod of dolphins passing by, you know, it doesn’t get better than this; it is paradise.

The Philippines is a massive country. With a size larger than countries like Spain or the UK, it can comfortably house the +100 million Filipinos – the kindest, loving, helpful and warmest people you’ll ever meet in your life! But the country offers much more than ‘just’ fantastic conditions for freediving and beautiful people.

Because of its enormous size, the biodiversity in the Philippines is simply incredible. The country has jungles, mountains, volcanic islands, swamps, white, black and red sandy beaches. And interesting for us freedivers; enormous ocean drop-offs going to hundreds of meters depth almost immediately from shore. All of this results in on-land riches of animals and plants, almost just as incredible as the underwater world of the Philippines. In the Philippines, you will find the adorable yet equally creepy Mouse-Deer. You will see unique birds and parrots – 620 species, to be exact! But you will also find colourful butterflies and Carabao’s, the Asian Water Buffalo, on every island. Are you looking for something cuter than the Carabao? No problem. At about 30 minutes with a scooter away from our center, in our province Bohol you will find the national pride, the Tarsier monkey. The Philippines’ wildlife, big and small, is simply amazing.

Let’s continue with the climate of the Philippines. It doesn’t matter which month you visit the Philippines – it is always flip-flops and shorts weather! Even in the rainy season, the temperatures are still high and will never drop below 30C. And talking about the rainy season people get fearful talking about ‘The rain season’, but there’s no need for regarding the Philippines. The rainy season slowly starts in September or October and ends in about February. Usually, you won’t get more than 1 or 2 hours of rain per day, and this is mostly at night, but then when it rains, it really, really, really rains. But don’t worry, with the outside temperature of +30C, you will be dried up within no time – and flip-flops are made to get wet anyway 😉 Whether you come in January, May or December, the sun in the Philippines is always shining bright!

Experience Freediving in the Philippines!

The Philippine archipelago with over 7000 islands – every single one more stunning than the other. The Philippines is a true freediving paradise in South East Asia, with year-round spectacular living and freediving conditions like nowhere else.

With palm- and coconut trees everywhere, access to a fantastic house reef and depth at swimming distance or a convenient short boat ride away, we can show you what is really meant by the freediver lifestyle. Contact us now and experience Freediving in the Panglao Philippines for yourself.

Freediving SSI Level 1 Course
Molchanovs Wave 1 Certification
SSI Freediving Instructor Level 2
Sea Turtle Speciality Course

Fill in the form now – no strings, just check our availability. Usually, you’ll have an answer within hours.

Estimated Arrival Date*

Spectacular Freediving in the Philippines!

With Panglao Island as the Freedive Capital of Asia!

Panglao, labelled by many as ‘The Freedive Capital of Asia’, is a beautiful green island. Panglao is connected via two bridges to the larger island of Bohol and is located in the Central Visayas Region of South-Central Philippines. It is one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines, and that is not for no reason.

The island enjoys a tropical climate all year round. We are based on the Northside of Panglao Island, and because we’re ‘protected’ by the much larger islands of Cebu and Bohol, we are often spared from wind, waves and strong currents. This makes us enjoy perfect freediving conditions nearly all year round. And as one of the only few center’s in the Philippines – pretty much Asia – we can dive without any depth limitations at our fixed dive lines, just a short swim from shore.

Panglao is renowned for its beautiful green everywhere! It’s stunning coral reefs, incredible dive spots, white sandy beaches, and numerous hangouts all nature lovers will enjoy. So is Bohol, for example, home of the world-famous nature park, the Chocolate Hills, known for its extraordinary landscape.

Aside from its natural beauty, Bohol has many historical and cultural riches dating back to the Spanish colonial era. Limestone churches, museums and monuments such as the Blood Compact Shrine are all awe-inspiring and worth visiting.

Panglao hotels and resorts offer their guests high-standard accommodations/services, modern amenities, and top-class facilities. The serenity of the whole island makes Panglao a perfect place for unwinding and relaxation. Whether you’re a budget diver or want a more luxurious freediving vacation, the Freedive Academy Panglao will make your stay an escape to paradise where you can have the best and most comfortable stay you could ever wish for.

But besides the near-perfect diving conditions, the island has become popular with freedivers because of the many high-quality restaurants and lively nightlife of the island. Whether you like your steaks on a grill, pasta, or organic vegan and vegetarian food, Panglao has it all!


How is the Freediving in Panglao, and what are the Dive Conditions?!

The freediver travels to Panglao directly from Manilla to Panglao International Airport or via Cebu International Airport. From Cebu, it’s a short 20-minute flight or a 2-hour ferry, and both options are possible many times a day. It’s a 1-hour flight from Manilla. And then, when the freediver arrives in paradise Panglao, checks in at one of the many budget or deluxe resorts, or visits the center after he found his resort, it’s time for a swim. The freediving center is located only 300 meters from the entry point, reefs and dive lines.

We have fixed dive and surface lines. With a 15-meter swim, we have 50-meter depth. We use this first ‘shallow’ fixed-line for the freediving courses, but we can cater to all deep divers with our 80 and 130-meter lines. And because of the center’s ideal and unique location on the island, we rarely have any current. We are very, very, very (!) proud to say that we are the ONLY center in the world with a fixed 130-meter buoy – we love our drop-off!! And whether you need a 20, 30, 80 or 120-meter line with us, you grab a buoy at the ocean side and swim out. With us, you don’t have to worry about the session times of other freedivers.

We don’t need a taxi or pickup truck to get to the ocean side. With 130-meter fixed lines without much current, year-round water temperatures of around 30°C, most days around 30 and up to 40-meter visibility, and a fantastic house reef, with the rare mantas, dolphins, whales and whale sharks visitors, freediving doesn’t get better than this.

Experience Freediving in the Philippines!

The Philippine archipelago with over 7000 islands – every single one more stunning than the other. The Philippines is a true freediving paradise in South East Asia, with year-round spectacular living and freediving conditions like nowhere else.

With palm- and coconut trees everywhere, access to a fantastic house reef and depth at swimming distance or a convenient short boat ride away, we can show you what is really meant with the freediver lifestyle. Contact us now and experience Freediving in the Panglao Philippines for yourself.

Molchanovs Wave 1 Certification
Molchanovs Wave 3 Certification
Variable Weight Speciality Course
Night Diving Speciality Course

Fill in the form now – no strings, just check our availability. Usually, you’ll have an answer within hours.

Estimated Arrival Date*

This is how it is to Freedive with us in Beautiful Panglao! Enjoy!

Please note that this video was shot at our first location. We still dive at the same incredible Napaling Reef with the sardines but moved about 300 meters down the road to a brand-new and fully equipped dive center with bungalows and a two-lane 25-meter pool.

The Entire Freediving Team will Welcome you to Panglao!

You now know that the conditions for freediving in Panglao are unprecedented. That we have an incredible and fully equipped dive center at an incredible location with an eco-friendly apnea sports resort designed by freedivers for freedivers. We have our own two-lane 25-meter pool with a dedicated shallow water static area, yoga and stretching area, gym equipment like rowing machines, cycles, battle ropes, dumbles and TRX setup all for apnea training, a lunchroom, and we have all of this at only 300 meters from the ocean. Freediving doesn’t get better than this! Plus, with all the tourist areas, fantastic bars and restaurants – everything sounds fantastic! But what about the instructors and support staff?! Well, we’re not going to stop with the amazement here. We have an incredible team of people working in the Philippines, China and the Netherlands to make you the best freediver you can be!

a Word from Vincent and Emily, the Owners.

We started preparing for the opening of the new freedive academy in March 2019. We received the keys on September 1st 2019, and now looking back at all the work we’ve done in just a few – very troublesome – years, we couldn’t be more proud and excited! The dive center in Panglao looks great. The pool and bamboo bungalows are finished, and even though we still have some work to do, we are thrilled with the academy’s overall feel, possibilities, and resort.

As a business, not only did we survive COVID-19, we thrived! We have a fantastic team of people from all over the world on board, and we look forward to seeing you all in Panglao now that the world is returning to normal.

Vincent and Emily

It’s not just the shop owners who love the ocean. Everyone at the Freedive Academy Panglao are excited water enthusiasts who are ready to welcome you to the Philippines. The team includes general center and support and office staff, and we have at least five instructors and four interns running around at any time.

Are you ready to Experience Freediving in the Philippines?!

Check out what some of our many guests had to say about our team and facility.
Jana Neirynck

Perfect place for freedive training with great conditions and an amazing natural drop-off with lots of marine life! The sunsets here are breathtaking, and I even saw fireflies! Vincent, the owner, is a super nice and warm-hearted person! I definitely recommend Freedive Academy Panglao.

Kristine Tecson

Competent instructors and a fun basic freediving course!

As a beginner, I was a bit terrified of freediving. I had worries before I even started the course and panicked when we finally had to go into the open water.

But thanks to our reliable and (very) supportive instructor, Kuya Edwin, we enjoyed every minute and had fun during our basic freediving course, despite the slightly choppy waters!

My friends and I were complete newbies to freediving. But after just a day of learning breathing techniques and realising just how capable the human body really is, we were able to go into the open water, apply what we learned, and had a blast in the process.

It was amazing how Freedive Academy Panglao encourages you to challenge your understanding of your limitations and break that mould you put yourself into. The initial discomfort that the unknown brings slowly turns into something wonderful that you take with you forever.

My friends and I are already planning to return soon and get our SS1 Level 1 training. We’re excitedly talking about bringing new friends in and sharing the experience with them.

We are particularly grateful for Kuya Edwin! We couldn’t have asked for a better instructor to introduce us to this amazing sport. I personally felt safe from start to finish, and I wonder now why I was so scared in the first place.

To those of you who, like me, had hesitations and fears about freediving, I encourage you to give freediving with Freedive Academy Panglao a try. They’ll help you to open your eyes to the beauty of the ocean depths and make the process very enjoyable, too!

AJ Ignacio

Best trainers, best location. Too bad there were whale sharks, dolphins and pilot whales when we were training on my birthday. 🙂 Sea you guys soon! 🙂

Vincent Mathieu – World Champion Static

You cannot say anything less about the Freedive Academy Panglao than that it’s a simply magical environment. With the perfect training conditions – visibility of 30m and a similar 30 degrees Celsius at the moment – in a calm sea, you have all you need to progress from 5 to 95m of depth.

I certified 9 minutes + static in the swimming pool at the Academy. I recommend training by the colours of the sunset or during the evening with the mood lights on and the stars shining down.

And what to say about the drop-off… You would believe it was made especially for freedivers. Lying down on the 25-meter curbed edge you can admire the corals from underneath, spectacular colour changes and incredible species that will delight both biology amateurs and underwater photographers. Did I already mention the family of sardines who form an essential element of the ecosystem at this part of the drop-off? Not to be missed are the hunting fish and the hungry needlefish around.

If you want a great freedive centre, this is the place to go ;-)!

Thanks to Vincent, and Sebastian for their kindness and hospitality. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Gloria Jiayin Tsai

I recommend everyone to train at the Freedive Academy Panglao. It was the best decision we made in the Philippines. The dive site drop off is stunning, sardine storm at my arms reach, buoy line ready to connect at any moment when you feel like jumping into the water, helpful staff….lovely training buddies. No boat, no waiting. Just jump in, and you are ready to train. My partner and I loved it so much and will come back again, definitely. Muah!

On the testimonial page, you can find even more testimonials. The ones above are random ones; if you refresh the page, you’ll see five new ones.

Freediving in the Philippines doesn’t get Better!!

Freediving Doesn’t Get Better Anywhere!

Are you excited and ready to book your Freediving Course in the Philippines? Are you ready to join our Freedive Training in Asia?! And are you prepared to go on an adventure of a lifetime? Fantastic, we are more than happy to welcome you to our beautiful island!

Whether you are joining a beginner freediving course or are someone ready to break the -100 meter, you are coming to the Philippines to have a good time – to have a fantastic time! And our team will go out of its way to ensure you have a wonderful experience.

Of course, you are welcome to ‘just’ book a course with us and arrange everything yourselves, but we know the way around the island. We have the resources to make your vacation as easy and comfortable as possible and will make your trip unforgettable!

When you arrive at the airport or ferry terminal, we can have a taxi van or tricycle ready. We can point you in the right direction and help you choose from the many nearby resorts. We can help you to find long-term housing. We can arrange your motorbike so you can freely cruise around the island or take you on a motorbike tour to the beautiful Chocolate Hills. And to make it all affordable, we can offer you an all-in-one sweet package deal, including your courses and training sessions. Freediving is more than going up and down a training line. Freediving is an experience, an adventure! You are going on vacation. Let us worry about all the extras. We’ll do the work.

This is a quick overview of all the freediving courses we offer in beautiful Panglao.

Recreational Courses and Professional Freedive Development

From Beginner to Instructor Trainer and all sorts of Specialities – we can offer it all!

  We are a true professional freedive development center with 3-month internships where we offer our interns, in exchange for helping out, a big discount on the courses, free housing and free lunches.

  The Freedive Academy Panglao is the only freediving center in the world (!) that offers Internships, Freediving Zero to Hero programs, and Professional Development programs with the possibility to also become a Swim Teacher or Mermaid Instructor!

Recreational Courses:

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    SSI Try, Basic Freediving & AIDA 1
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    SSI Level 1, AIDA 2 & Molchanovs Wave 1
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    SSI Level 2, AIDA 3, Molchanovs Wave 2
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    SSI Level 3, AIDA 4 & Molchanovs Wave 3

SSI Speciality Freediving:

In Panglao, we offer all possible freediving specialities like; Monofin, Training Tables, Free Immersion, No Fins, Scooter/DPV Diving, Variable Weight, React Right and Diver Stress & Rescue.

Professional Development:

Competitive Freediving:

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    Molchanovs Wave 4 (Coming Soon)
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    AIDA Competition Freediver & Safety Freediver
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    Master and Training Programs

We teach our freediving courses in the following languages. However, we also regularly work with translators, so please feel free to contact us anytime to check if your classes can be taught in your language.

Regardless of which SSI, Molchanovs or AIDA freediving course you want to take, we’ll encourage you and help you boost your confidence in the water. Learn to freedive with our fantastic team of professional instructors who will help and motivate you throughout your course. Our freediving courses are designed to give you the most enjoyable and safest freediving experience possible. Learn and love freediving with us!

Instructor Training Centre

Read more about the possible Freediving Courses.