The Visayas, Philippines – in the northern part of the Coral Triangle. This is a diving trip report about a resort based dive safari with Sea Explorers in the Visayas. Very varied diving in Dauin, Cabilao, Alona Beach and Malapasqua. Read on how Philippine diving rates compared to other more well known dive spots in South East Asia.
Destination: The Philippines, the Visayas, Dauin (Negros), Cabilao, Alona Beach (Panglao) and Malapasqua.
Operator: Sea Explorers
When: 8 to 22 January 2011
Duration: 12 diving days
Number of dives: 30
This is the first trip that my wife and I did together – and it was a great success!
Resort meets liveaboard
Can resort based diving be as good and as varied as liveaboard diving? Well, yes. In fact it can. In my view, the diving intensity and mobility of a live aboard dive boat beats resort based diving 99 times out of 100. However, there is no doubt that it is more comfortable to live at a resort than on a boat. So how can the pros of live aboard diving be combined with the pros of resort diving? Sea Explorers in the Philippines has a concept that comes very close. They offer dive safaris where you stay at their different dive resorts in the Visayas Islands and are transported between the different resorts by diving boat – meaning that you dive during the transfer (with one exception – more about that later) so you don’t actually lose any precious dive days and are not confined to just one resort. I was very positively surprised with this set-up. During our two weeks in the Philippines, we got to see four different dive regions and had the same volume of dives that you normally have on a boat. Of the three islands we visited only Malapasqua is so far away from the others that you cannot go there by diving boat – you have to take a ferry to Cebu and go by car to the port where they pick you up. And the diving? Right up there with other top regions within the coral triangle. The muck diving in Dauin actually rivals Lembeh Strait and the wall diving in Cabilao was some of the best I have encountered. Let’s go through each place in turn.