Dumaguete is the largest city in the province of Negros Oriental, located on the southeast coast of Negros Island. It is a bustling university town with an airport, several hospitals, historical buildings, shopping malls and restaurants and bars along it’s seaside boulevard.
Negros Oriental province is renowned for it’s outstanding natural beauty and fascinating culture. Marine sanctuaries line the Dauin coastline. Inland, the vast mountain ridge is home to many serene lakes, thundering waterfalls and local indigenous cultures.
“The City of Gentle People”, is best known for the Silliman University established in 1901 as the Philippines first Protestant university and the oldest private American university in Asia.
Dumaguete is close to Apo Island, a marine protected area since 1982.
Most dive resorts are situated in the coastal town of Dauin, about 15 kilometres (30-minute drive) south of Dumaguete. The area remains one of the Philippines’ best kept secrets for divers looking for a remote tropical getaway with world-class diving right on its doorstep.
Year-round temperatures range from 24ºC – 35ºC.
Summer is from June – September, and the average temperature is 30ºC. August and September are hot and dry. June and July can have storms, usually at night. Typhoon season is officially from June to October.
Winter is traditionally from October – January, and the average temperature is 24ºC. Weather is much more changeable with a mix of dry and rainy days.
Spring is from February – May. Weather is much more reliable, and temperatures steadily rise through the season.
The marine sanctuaries that line the Dauin coastline house some of the world’s rarest critters competing for the underwater photographer’s attention. Whether you are a novice or experienced diver, you will be sure to find some new and exciting species here. All the dive sites are replete with huge numbers of splendid fish; triggerfish, parrotfish, pennant fish, moray eels, surgeonfish, snappers, groupers, Moorish idols, lizardfish, gobies, batfish, lionfish, trumpet fish, pufferfish, filefish, emperors, wrasses, fusiliers and trevallies to name only a few!
Invertebrates from the tiniest transparent shrimp and neon-coloured nudibranchs to huge basket sponges adorned with hundreds of multi-coloured crinoids; anemones, sea cucumbers, starfish and worms reside with vast numbers of hard and soft corals and gorgonian sea fans. Turtles, octopus, cuttlefish, manta rays, eagle rays and sharks make guest appearances.
Apo Island is a short boat ride away. A jewel in the Philippine Sea, this small island has been a marine protected area since 1982 and is widely regarded as one of the premier dive locations in the Philippines. It is a scuba diver’s heaven, its walls and reefs densely covered with an incredible variety of hard and soft corals home to all kinds of marine life in astonishing numbers. There is really something for everyone, from roller coaster drifts to gentle, relaxed dives.
26º – 30ºC – 3mm – 5mm wetsuit
Rock Point East/West
Suitable for divers of all levels with lots of marine life on this steep wall. Turtles, potato groupers, scorpionfish, black and white snapper, batfish, butterflyfish and many varieties of pufferfish. Look out for the banded sea snake. Macro lovers will find nudibranchs, flatworms, gobies and anemone shrimp hiding in the coral. Max. Depth: 30 metres.
Suitable for advanced divers with drift diving experience. Currents can be fierce, resulting in a beautiful coral slope with a vast array of colourful soft corals and sponges. Bump headed parrotfish and vast schools of big eye trevally frequent this site, along with the occasional giant trevally. Max. Depth: 30 metres.
Has more schooling fish and pelagics than any other on the coast and is the oldest marine sanctuary in the area. Home to blue-spotted stingrays, schools of surgeonfish, the occasional barracuda, big staghorn, potato and lettuce coral formations and a resident school of big-eyed jacks encircle divers. Turtles are common here. Search for baby frogfish, scorpionfish and flounders. Max. Depth: 25 metres.
An artificial reef made up of 2 old cars, oil drums, a cement mixer etc. Overgrown with coral and home to dozens and dozens of huge lionfish. An excellent place to look for moray eels, juvenile emperor angelfish, shrimps, snappers, colourful wrasses, groupers, snake eels, saddleback anemonefish in their leather anemone, ringed pipefish and flounders. Photographers love this site. Max. Depth: 30 metres.
If you love getting out there among nature, then this is the perfect destination for you. With an abundance of falls and luscious greenery to explore, there is no shortage of places to see. Join an organised tour or simply ask at reception of your accommodation to discover your closest nature trail.
One of the most famed snorkelling experiences on earth can be done from here; do not miss visiting the whale sharks of Oslob! Best done on a snorkel, these gentle giants aren't afraid to get up close and personal with you.
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