Freedive Academy Panglao
Freedive Academy Panglao
5
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
About
The Freedive Academy Panglao is one of the leading freediving schools in the world. We teach AIDA, SSI and Molchanovs courses from beginner all the way up to the different Instructor levels. We are running beginner courses pretty much any day of the week and instructor courses almost every month. Our dive center is located on Napaling Drive - the access road to the famous Napaling Reef with the massive drop-off perfect for freediving and Panglao's most incredible reef with the sardines. We always have fish around the training lines and get the occasional big visitor. We are very happy to be based on the Northside of Panglao Island, where it's quiet, beautiful, the diving is fantastic, and our Academy is built for freedivers, by freedivers. Sign up now for a course, and you'll be introduced to a wondrous experience of the Big Blue and human capabilities. You'll be surprised by how long and how deep you can dive on a Single Breath. We make freediving Fun, Accessible and Easy.
Panglao, Philippines
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Awards
Travelers' Choice
2024

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(12 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles172 reviews
Excellent
168
Very good
1
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
2

Lauren ZHANG
Paris, France3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
While there are over 40 dive schools to choose from on Panglao, I would definitely recommend Pata Negra Divers. The in-depth knowledge and actual care they show for their students is evident right from the start. Me and three travel mates did the PADI Open Water Course and absolutely loved it. If you are lucky you will end up with Jimmy, a Italian, who honestly wants the best from his students and is happy to be sarcastic when the moment calls. The Open Water Course is 16,500 peso or about $320.

Two of us decided to do the Advance Course and again were taught by Jimmy. The Advance dives are 10x better than the Open Water dives. You dive a drift dive, a night dive and a deep dive (30m or 100ft).

Again, I can't tell you how great all the staff was there (but always ask for Jimmy). Truly an amazing experience made all the better by Pata Negra.
Written April 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi there, thank you for your review, I totally agree, Pata Negra Divers is a great dive centre! But we're the Freedive Academy Panglao so something went wrong here :)
Written April 11, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Melody Lazaro
Panglao Island, Philippines5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Solo
I took the Molchanovs Wave 1 course at Freedive Academy Panglao and got certified! Just a few days back, I don't know anything about freediving, just an intense interest and enough courage to start. Now, I am knowledgeable with the physiology, physics, relaxation, safety, proper breathing and breath holding for freediving. I could have not done this without the help and guidance of my instructor - Daniel Alvarez. He is very patient with me, always encouraging me and giving me positive feedbacks. He is also attentive and gives me gentle correction to improve my posture and technique. His professionalism and calm attitude allows me to relax and feel safe all the time so I got to enjoy the course more instead of worrying. I especially like his yoga sessions which helps relaxation, body awareness and opening up the chest - these exercises greatly enhanced my performance and confidence in the water.

I highly recommend Freedive Academy Panglao if you are interested in taking freediving courses. They will provide all the equipments you need for the course and their amenities are complete with classrooms, training pool and even accomodation should you need one. Plus the academy is just nearby the dive spot which is famous for the sardine run. Imagine the sardines and sea turtles passing by while you are relaxing prior to your full breath and dive! The experience is so amazing and surreal! Also, I am glad their training schedule is flexible to fit in my busy work.

My freedive journey with Freedive Academy Panglao and Dani as my instructor is without a doubt an unforgetable experience and the highlight of my year! New friends, new experience, new learning, new skills are the best!
Written September 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hehehe Melody, thank you so much for your review! You did amazing! It was nice having you around for a bit. We'll see you around!
Written October 9, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Spaceman Grehahn
Makati, Philippines3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
Original plan of just buying some noseclips went into a full Molchanov's Wave 1 certification, then Wave 2. It was just a good vibe feeling that encouraged me to take the course and boy I am not disappointed, Vincent and Mike really delivers everything freediving and more! I'm not really a fan of the certifications but the additional wisdom we've learnt from Vincent and Mike aside from aspiring is very practical and useful indeed. It now stuck to me that "It should be fun!". Now I can dive confidently, relaxed and enjoy every dive since. We've actually extended our stay at Bohol just to take the Wave 2 course, now I'm arranging my work schedule to take an internship / zero to hero course. If you're in Panglao Bohol, drop by a visit and see their 25m pool, couple of bungalows and their freediving shop. They are also prototyping some cool and quality products such as buoys, lanyards, etc. Look out for Go Deep brand in the near future. Designed by a marine engineer freediver for freedivers.
Written June 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hey Gohan, thank you so much for your fantastic review! I'm very happy you decided to take the course with us, it was such a pleasure meeting you and your wife. I'm very much looking forward to getting to know you even better and seeing more of your diving! The pleasure was all ours! Thank you, and I hope to see you back soon!
Written August 1, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Henri Reforeal
Makati, Philippines4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Solo
This is where I tried freediving first in 2019. I have been coming here since until now, 2023, to train and get freediving certifications. The instructors are professional and can really be technical when it comes to training and refining your freediving skills -- which is a good thing as this made me a better freediver. If you want to be a badass freediver, I highly recommend this freediving school.
Written March 17, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hehehe Henri! Thank you for your review! It's highly appreciated! Always nice having you around and already looking forward to having you around again. See you hopefully soon!
Written March 26, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Samsung P
United Kingdom1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Solo
In the course of over a year, I had the pleasure of watching Vincent, the owner of Freedive Academy, develop the school from scratch. I am very impressed with he has achieved despite the massive impacts that Covid-19 has had on both domestic and international travel.

Vincent has created a school that is ideal for individuals undertaking freediving courses. Well equipped classrooms are full of technology, anatomical models and the dive gear shop means that students are easily able to familiarise themselves with equipment used in freediving.

The beautiful, purpose built pool with a shallow static area is always clean and carefully maintained. Easy entry steps make it ideal for getting into wetsuits. The pool really catches the sun so the water is always a comfortable temperature. And of course, the huge inflatable unicorn is a must have!

The school has a very relaxed feel to it, in part thanks to Vincent's use of local ecological materials in the construction of communal areas and on-site accommodation as well as the ample seating areas designed for some hard core relaxation. Hot showers are a real treat, there is a selection of books on freediving that you are free to read and a small gym area. There is also plenty of space in which to do your stretching.

Vincent has worked extremely hard during very difficult times to achieve something special. I sincerely hope that you will enjoy your time at Freedive Academy Panglao, I did!
Written July 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, my dear! Emily and I are talking almost daily about you - Panglao is missing you! :/ Hopefully, we'll get a chance to catch up soon! And hopefully, the borders will open quickly so you can return :) All the best at home - and in Egypt - I hope you can make it happen - and then hopefully back soon here! :) We are missing you terribly! Thank you for the review!
Written August 1, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Igor
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Solo
Here you have all the conditions for good training, no more excuses ;)
1)Great team always willing to help in any problem
2) Professional instructors always available for any questions
3)yoga, or workshop, or special training session almost every day to join ( I will add photo for example)
4)Great facility: nice pool, hot showers, good class rooms, bungalows, etc.
5)Good sea conditions sometimes a bit waves or a bit Jellyfish, but nothing terrible you can dive each day, 60 meters from shore 60 meters depth so very convenient.
6)Thanks to master programs you can easily find hi lvl budies for your training
7)The owner always willing to suit a right pakege for your needs and budget, always trying to make your stay perfect, so I believe, you can get here great value for money if not the best.
Good vibes, highly recommended!
Written March 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hehehe Igor! Thank you so much for your incredible review! It sucks for you but I'm very happy you got stuck here with us in Panglao with COVID :) For sure you'll be a great instructor and excellent coach! Thank you for everything!
Written August 8, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

George C
Quezon City, Philippines12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Family
Whenever we visit places, what matters above all is the exceptional experience one can provide. Freedive Academy has gone above and beyond with their main priority of their students gaining the knowledge and being equipped with techniques on how to dive safely. Me and my husband took the Molchanov Wave 1 course and it was great! Our 7 year old son were with us and Emily, one of the dive instructors made time to play with him while we were doing our training. Mike, our friendly (and strict) lead instructor would correct even the tiniest detail about our form to ensure we get the most out of our course. Vince, the owner is like a walking free diving encyclopaedia, he knows anything and everything and is very generous in giving tips.

It is evident that they run free dive academy because of their genuine passion and care to teach free diving.

You will see a lot of shops that teaches freediving, but if you want the best, go for Freedive Academy.

Vince, Emily and Mike, thanks and see you all back in January!
Written November 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! It was a great week, and I can't wait to catch up in January! Very much looking forward to it!
Written November 7, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jessa May C
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021 • Friends
The first time my friend and I talked to Vincent and Emily, we knew instantly that we are in the good hands towards learning and motivated enough to take the freediving course seriously. Although as a beginner in freediving we were hesitant because we knew there will be a lot of challenges, but Vincent assured us by giving the best instructor. Dang! Michael is the perfect definition of the word patient in the dictionary. Hahah! To sum my experience, this family of freedive academy is superb, welcoming and generous with their knowledge. Vincent, Emily, Michael and Aldar. Thank you! :)
Written October 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you Jessa! You are AWESOME! :) Thank you for the amazing review! Love it, thank you so much!
Written October 22, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Trail00222527997
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Solo
I’m so glad to be one of the family member of the Freedive Academy Panglao, it’s like home. I’m the intern here. Everyone is so humble and energetic surrounding the academy.
I remember when I first come to the place, I felt a bit overwhelmed. But people around here is very helpful. They talked to me patiently and explain the details for me which makes me feel relax and confident here.
I’ve done three courses until now. All the instructors are very professional. They’re very clam which makes me feel the world is so peaceful. I won’t be nervous during the course especially it’s crucial in freediving learning. They’re so considerate which explain all the informations to me in a very detail way. When you pay more attention during the course, I’m sure you’ll learn more than the expectation. Of course, they’re so lovely and experienced. They’re teaching the course in very gentle mode which you can absorb the learning materials gradually like adapt the depth generally. Don’t be hurry!!
I’m so happy I make the best choice before I came here and implement my decision.
I’m highly recommend people who do want to be educated in freedive learning.
Thanks for all lovely buddies around the academy!!
Written July 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you, Wallis, for your heartfelt review! We're delighted to have you as part of our Freedive Academy Panglao family. It's wonderful to hear that our academy feels like home to you. We understand that starting something new can sometimes be overwhelming, but we're glad that our team was there to support you. It's our goal to create a relaxed and confident environment where everyone feels at ease. We're grateful that our instructors were patient and took the time to explain the details, helping you feel more comfortable. We're thrilled that you've completed three courses with us - you were amazing and can be very proud of what you've accomplished! Thank you for your high recommendation to those interested in learning how to freedive. Your positive feedback and appreciation mean a lot to us. We're grateful for your choice to join us and implement your decision. The lovely buddies around the academy are equally thankful for having you around. We're excited to continue this journey with you as part of our Freedive Academy Panglao family. Happy diving, and see you soon! 🌊 ❤️
Written July 4, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mary Grace V
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
When we took the course we already have basic experience from Batangas and we have a lot of problems and mistakes to correct! We're having trouble going deep and our only limit is only 3 meters; we panic most of the time, we can't equalize that much, finning is not perfect, and because of these things we can't enjoy freediving and can't see the fishes. We knew our knowledge was lacking. Especially when you want to freedive with your partner, you need to know more about safety and rescue procedures.

Enrolling in this course taught us everything we need to know! And I'm pretty sure this is one of the best decisions we have ever made! I didn't expect it to be so much fun and exciting!

We had an amazing instructor. Ms. Sophie Bellin was the best that we could ever dream of! She was very patient with us. And it was more fun than being under pressure. She is a brilliant teacher with lots of experience in freediving and sports. She helped us to be calm, patiently correct our mistakes, and always remind us of the things we always forget. She made it easy for us to understand the technicalities.

Well, you'll never know these basic techniques could help you better. Now I'm proud to say in just 3 days, I could be calmer and more confident in the water, now I could dive between 7-8M, and swim at least 40M in the pool. Thanks to Ms. Sophie for assuring us during the lessons that we are safe!

Shout out to Ms. Emily as well. She helped us a lot and made sure we are well taken care of! And Vincent who shared a lot of his experience and inspire us!

The thing I love about this academy, and the instructors, is that they have everything you need. It's like mini heaven for freedivers! xD

I am thankful for all of the lessons in this academy. I will make sure to refer it to everyone I know. And will surely come back!
Written May 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Mary, thank you so much for your review! It was super nice having you two around! I love your laughs! :) I hope you can make it back to Panglao soon!
Written June 8, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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