8 night diving Tips

Group of people with the sunset of El Nido

Night diving in Bacuit Bay

Night diving, if you have never heard of it, it might sound strange, right? Guess what, scuba diving after sunset is one of the most exciting experience underwater. It is very different from diving at daytime. Aquatic life changes completely at this time: in the underwater scenery, most of the fish are replaced by invertebrates. Feelings are different: scuba divers see only what they light with their flash lights. Going by night gives unique sensations, but you need to choose a great place with lots of interesting things to spot. Sometimes, people fear about going on their first night dive, but once they are down underwater, they quickly realise they are hooked on it. So, what is really happening by night? Why scuba divers are so hooked about it? What is the good behaviour to have underwater?


What can you see?

Most of the fish are sleeping at that time, but other critters awake. These are mostly invertebrates.

Cuttlefish, octopus, shells, nudibranchs, Spanish dancers, eels, lobsters, crabs, hermits, shrimps, rays, seahorses, and a lot more. All of them are really awake, even hunting. The underwater life at night time is simply so different and very active.

Spiny lobster during a night dive

Where can you dive in Bacuit Bay?

With El Dive, you can night dive in 3 of our usual sites: NatNat, Paradise, or Helicopter. If you previously dived by day, you probably won't be able to recognize the site. It looks so different.

Departure is around 5:30pm, so the boat gets to the dive site 20 minutes before the sunset. Enjoy a break with a coffee, cookies. Don't forget your camera: most of the time, the sunsets are incredible.


Special equipment

Mandatory (we provide):

- A main flash light,

- A backup flash light.


Optional but highly recommanded:

- A compass (provided if asked),

- A diving computer,

- A banger,

- A strobe light on your surface marker buoy.

Mantis shrimp during a night dive


- Being an Open water diver (or Junior OW) from 12 years old, doing the NIGHT Adventure in Diving with a PADI instructor. If you are looking for some more information about our Advanced Open Water courses, please click here.

- OR, being an Night Adventure in Diving, going for a fun dive with a divemaster. For more information about fun diving, please click here.

- OR, being an Advanced Open Water diver, going for a fun dive with a divemaster.

Seahorse during a night dive


- Check the environment before going down. The weather and the tides should be stable, in total control,

- Check that the emergency oxygen tank is on board, with a first aid kit ready to use,

- Have someone staying on the boat. Our crew and captain stay on the boat next to the site, ready to operate whenever the divers go back to the surface,

- Your divemaster or instructor will do a long briefing. You need to know exactly what is the plan (bottom time, max depth, things to expect, how to communicate with lights and bangers, how to behave, plan emergency situations),

- Make a complete buddy-check. Make sure the batteries of the flash light are fully charged.


Make your entry

- Your divemaster goes first to the surface,

- Turn on your flash lights and keep them in your hand,

- Make your entry (back roll, or giant step),

- Wait for everyone to get ready,

- Make a slow descent making sure to keep a distance from everyone and to keep the flash light down so you see the bottom.

Giant hermit crab during a night dive

During the dive

- Focus on your buoyancy,

- Make sure you know where is your buddy,

- Don't dazzle anyone with your flash light, keep it under eyes level,

- Communicate often and check pressure gauges,

- Check depth gauges,

- Do not touch, do not cover and not to frighten sleeping creatures,



End the dive

- When the first of the group reaches about 50/60 bars left, make a safety stop for at least 3 minutes, and make an slow ascent pointing the flash light up on the direction to the surface,

- Inflate one surface marker buoy with a strobe light attached to it,

- At the surface inflate well enough your BCD and make sure everyone is around,

- Call for the boat to pick you up if the captain didn't see you (use a whistle and the flash lights),

- Get a towel if the temperature is cold and warm you up with a coffee and cookies while the boat goes back to El Nido town,

- Debrief with your divemaster or instructor at the dive shop.

Sunset before night diving in El Nido

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *