Coral Island of Mactan

Coral Island of Mactan

Philippines is a wonderful country for free diving, with thousands of islands to choose from, flourishing coral reefs and crystal clear waters. The coral island of Mactan is conveniently located in the province of Cebu and offers all-year-round great freediving spots in a lively and popular location.  

Destination Highlights

  • Dive with Thibault Guignés, French freediving national record holder
  • Nasuluan marine sanctuary with abundant sea life only 20min away
  • Tambuli plane wreck
  • Over 50m depth at just 100m from beach
  • Busy and bustling seaside destination

    How to get there

    • Airport: Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Philippines
    • Taxi/bus to Mar Beach, Marigondon (25min)


    Images by kind concession of Thibault Guignes.


    Freediving Centre

    Freedive HQ is located in Mar Beach, Marigondon on the southern western coast of the Island of Mactan. The beachfront location allows direct access to the sea and the onsite private bungalows enjoy great sea views. The freediving centre is perfectly equipped for free diving and offers a wide range of courses and excursions.

    • Owner: Thibault Guignés is an experienced freediving Instructor Trainer and Examiner, in charge of writing the programs for RAID Freediving. He is also SSI Level 3 Instructor Trainer.
    • Seasonality: All year round.
    • Support vessels: 2 x Traditional Banka (Philipino boat) for 16 people, outboard engine.
    • Distance to depth: 100m to reach 50m depth.
    • Recreational activity: Assisted fixed line sessions and recreational freediving excursions are available.
    • Educational activity: SSI and RAID freediving courses are available.
    • Languages: over 4 resident freediving instructors speaking French, English and Chinese. 

    Freediving workshops

    Theory, Equalisation, Bi-fin, Depth, Static, Monofin, Surf survival, Breathing and Relaxation workshops are only some of the courses available upon request.



      • Marine Sanctuary (Depth: 10m; Duration: 2hrs): a protected area only 20min away from the diving centre by boat. It is a vast shallow-depth area with a drop off going down to 300m depth. 
      • Tambuli Plane Wreck (Depth: 20m; Duration: 2hrs): The Tambuli is a single seater twin engine plane which lies at 20m depth. It was sunken purposely to function as a dive attraction, and today it the plane is covered with soft and hard coral which attracts many species of fish and makes for great marine biodiversity. 
      • Olango Island (Depth: 13m-18m; Duration: 3hrs): Olango Island is home to two great diving areas perfect for freedivers of all levels: the Santa Rosa and Talima diving spots, just 15min away from the dive centre. Both feature a characteristic sloped plateau which slowly descends from 5m to 18m. Past that point, a steeper wall starts that reaches 50m.

      Other activities: 

      • Whaleshark trips
      • Tropical Waterfalls
      • Night Dives
      • Yoga classes
      • Snorkelling trips
      • Complimentary paddleboards, slackline and bicycles



      Freedive HQ is a perfect place to chill and be close to all the action. Accommodation is offered in private bungalows with private terraces and hammocks, or in shared rooms if you are on a budget. The dive centre boasts a private beach with a great chilling area and barbecue on the beach. There is also a healthy restaurant onsite.

      Alternatively, accommodation can be found at the Eaglehouse Guesthouse (budget), Haruhay Dream Resort (mid-range) and Plantation Bay Resort (high-end).