Padre Burgos Castle Resort is a dive resort, accredited both by PADI and by the Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving, offering year-round guided scuba diving and extraordinary snorkeling excursions in Sogod Bay, Southern Leyte. The area is justifiably renowned as offering the best shore-based diving in the Philippines, with marine life of all shapes, sizes and colours ranging from pygmy seahorses through to magnificent whale sharks and an incredible variety of extremely healthy and undamaged hard and soft coral.
There are over 30 dive sites in the area, each offering something quite different. At Lungsodaan are Max’s Climax, Voltaire’s Rock and Buluarte with dives ranging from 15 up to 40 metres having pygmy seahorses, frogfish and hawksbill turtles. Big fish are also common with black and white snapper, harlequin sweetlips, trevallies, steephead parrotfish and various unicornfish.
Closer to Padre Burgos Castle Resort, lie Santa Sofia and Tangkaan marine sanctuaries. Santa Sofia has fantastic soft corals and shrimpfish, pipefish, frogfish, batfish, turtles, lionfish and signal gobies. At Tangkaan the sandy seabed drops steeply away from 6 metres to around 30 metres and this amazing wall dive provides a huge variety of fish species with large schools of fusilier and snapper, the occasional dogtooth tuna and great barracuda, frogfish, scorpionfish and blue-spotted ribbontail rays. There are large barrel sponges and a good mix of soft and hard corals, including fans of Tubastrea micrantha.
Limasawa Island is host to half a dozen dive sites including Adrian’s Cove and Zack’s Cove which are 20 to 50 metres deep with steep dark walls, gorgonian fans and massive table corals. At Bus Stop, at the northern point of Limasawa, there is usually superb visibility and the drop off from the sandy shallows over the wonderful reef to the deep blue is magnificent.
On the far (eastern) side of the bay lie Sunok point, habitual home to whale sharks from November through May, and perhaps the jewel in Sogod Bay’s crown, Napantao, which is surely the finest wall dive in the Philippines. Two sheer walls covered in soft and hard corals drop to nearly 50 metres, and teem with tens of thousands of anthias, damselfish and wrasse. Turtles are common as well as lionfish, large angelfish and grouper, and large pelagics such as tuna, jack and barracuda are to be seen when the current is strong.
Just north of Napantao lies Sta Paz which offers 2 totally different dives from the same starting point. Jun's Pinnacle tops off at 26 mteres and is adorned with stunning hard and soft corals and teems with life all the way to its 42 metre bottom, while Ghost Town is a shallow dive on brown sand with a good chance of seeing mimic octopus, as well as flatworms, anemone crabs, cuttlefish, stargazers, etc.
Another ‘must do’ dive is the night dive at Padre Burgos town pier, with fantastic opportunities to see and photograph something unusual – seahorses, dwarf lionfish, nudibranches, frogfish, razor fish, slipper crabs, basketstars, waspfish, and much more.
Nearly all of these sites, as well as the 'house reef', also offer excellent snorkeling, and snorkelers may either join groups of divers or arrange their own snorkeling tour. Padre Burgos Castle Resort offers diving and snorkeling at all these wonderful sites for very small groups, with a minimum of just 2 people, while dive groups are limited to a maximum of just 4 divers.