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Evaluating a trip to the Philippines next year, Ve ry doubtful on which destination to choose...Any d irection???
Hey Nick!!!! Thanks!!!! Very interesting!!!! I will have to spend sometime to sort out what is best for me then!!!! :) I will come back to you with other questions, be sure!!! ;)
Philippines is a wonderful dive destination. But in general it is probably better for macro than say wide angle/big fish. Due to a history of fish bombing and over fishing the fish life is pretty much limited to pockets of locations.
Where to dive in the PH is a question of how many days you want to be there, how much or how little you want to travel (domestic connections, ferries, boats, etc) and what exactly you want e.g. threshers sharks.
Dive locations with minimum travelling: Anilao and Puerto Galera are the best, both a few hours from Manila airport. I would rate Anilao up there with Lembeh in terms of variety but maybe not so much as quantity of marine life. But it has more variety of dive sites, eg. sloping reefs, walls, submerge reefs, sandy bottom and even hot springs ;) Personally I prefer Anilao over P.G. it is less busy, better diving esp muck and critters.
Dive locations with one domestic flight: Cebu or Dumaguete both require a connecting flight from Manila. Cebu alone you can dive North - Malapascua Island, Central - Mactan City, South - Moalboal/Pescador Island. I will require about 3 pages if I need to describe each in detail ;) So I will just mention the highlights of each. Malapascua is thresher sharks, mandarin fish but still need a 3.5/4hrs drive from the airport and a local boat to the island. Mactan City, 15mins from the airport, it is surprisingly good macro and muck. Also needing about 3 hours drive from the airport is Moalboal/Pescador island - large schools of sardines (smaller variety) and nice wallscapes on Pescador island. Moalboal is mainly muck and critters. Dumaguete, usually means diving the Dauin coast, great macro and much, black sand mostly. Great for all kinds of critters, but flamboyant cuttlefish and frogfish is the highlight. A short boat ride away is Apo Island, good for reef cruising, occasional big fish like barracuda, some turtles..Stay at the resorts in Dauin which is about 45 minutes from the airport.
A slightly longer flight to Porto Princessa will be the jumping off point to Tubbataha reefs, accessible only via LOB dives from March to June. Porto Princessa is also the short drive away to Coron for some great wreck dives.
Others: Longer travels, less accessible meaning less divers but healthier reefs. Southern Leyte - really healthy reefs. Lots of fish still but smaller. The lack of other divers makes up for the longer travel. You can also do dive safari from Mactan, Cebu. Good time to go would be November/December as there is a good chance of whale shark encounters.
Tried to keep it short but let me know if one of these interest you.
Beth, can you be a little more precise :) ? For instance, what do you mean when you say dive guides were very nice? :)
My experience in Lembeh was that all the guides were very nice, but if you dove with one you saw everything, with another you saw half and with another again you saw nothing!!! :)
I have been to Puerto Galera on three occasions and going back in May. There is a nice variety of macro and awesome wide angle and macro at Verde Island. El Galleon is where we stay and dive with Asia Divers. Their dive operation is very efficient and well run. Anilao is very nice as well, I had a good experience with Crystal Blue Resort. We did an combined trip....Puerto Galera and Anilao, this might be something to consider. The dive guides have been wonderful at both places.
island of Wai - Wai Eco resort.
H2O ask to travel ..... Rome
interesting!!! Where is it and what's the name??
news, new resort in Raja Ampat, resort management with only 3 bungalows Italian, I know that it is the top, I should go to the end of May ....... if you book before the end of January there is a free night.
I have learned that a guide can make the difference even if you go to the best place in the world !!! A friend of mine was in Lembeh , at a different resort and he saw nothing!!!! Can you imagine??? Nothing in Lembeh!!!!
I will have a look at their website if they have one... would you consider it a rough place ( rustico ) or a nice and clean stay? Also, how are diving trips accommodated? will you have to bring the gear on the boat or they will do it for you???
The Fishermen's Cove in Puerto Galera, I found it very comfortable and the guides very helpful during dives!!
Thanks!!! Now I am really confused!!! :) ( just kidding )... I think the only option is to go there at least two times ... can you be a little more specific on the resort you liked so much???
At time, I had visit Moalboal, Puerto Galera and Anilao.
Moalboal is good to take macro pictures and also good wide angle photos (Pescador island).
Puerto Galera has good macro spots and I'd like very much the resort where I had the stay, and has also some points to taking wide shots (Verde Island).
Anilao is the place with the major numbers of critters species, and there are many good spotter who can help you to find all the little animals.
I found it's not easy to make a choice, but I will be back in Anilao and maybe Puerto Galera this spring!!!! :-)
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