Increasingly popular with Visitors this lovely area is blessed with clear blue waters and some of the best diving in Asia.
Lying due west of Cebu Island Negro is one of the Philippine largest islands. Comprising two provinces - Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental it has a well deserved reputation as being a beautiful tropical and incredibly friendly destination. It is a long narrow island which is dominated by mountain peak across the center which run down to lush fertile coastal plains. Historically the island has long ties to the Sugar industry and continues to this day. Old Haciendas and sugar estates can still be seen in the North where miles of cane fields dominate the landscape.
Elsewhere the fast growing University Cities of Dumaguete and Bacolod are becoming economic and service hubs attracting both investment from local and overseas sources.
Dumaguete City is the capital of Negros Oriental and the base for exploring much of the southern part of the island. There are a great many land based attractions for visitors on non-diving days including trips to lakes high in the cooler mountain air, dramatic waterfalls nestled in the jungle and traditional farmers markets where locals often still use an ancient barter system for payments.
Tanon Straits the strip of sea between Negros and Cebu Islands is home to several different species of dolphins and these can be seen using registered guides and boats. Another popular sight is the group of Whale Sharks that have taken up residence off the southern tip of Cebu and can be visited on day trips form Dumaguete. Daiun is a small coastal village about 20km just north west of Duamguete and is home to many of the best Dive Centres and Resorts in the area. With a mountain backdrop and views over flat seas to neighboring Siquijor and Apo Islands this is a relaxing destination that continues to attract divers from around the world in increasing numbers.
Dumaguete is easily accessible by both air and sea. If coming from Manila there are up to 6 daily direct flights into Dumaguete. From here it is a short 30 minute road journey along the coastline to Dauin. If coming from Cebu there is one daily flight into Dumaguete or a fascinating and much requested road / boat journey of 5 hours can be arranged.
Dumaguete is a year round diving destination. January through to June are arguably the best time to visit but seas are usually at their calmest with best visibility in June, July, August and September which can also see a little more rain. November and December are popular with tourists as the weather can be a little cooler with the islands fanned by gentle winds.
The coastline along Dauin is fast developing a reputation as one of the very best places in the world for muck diving and macro-life. It seems that every Resort has a House Reef bursting with small species and critters with Dive Masters expected and ready to find the most hard to spot life for guests Frog fish, leaf fish, mimic, hairy and blue ring octopus, mandarin-fish, shrimp species, eels, cuttlefish and dozens of nudibranch species are all present and many divers are happy to spend hours along the shallow reefs searching for some incredibly rare species.
Its not all about Macro-life though and the reefs along the Dauin coastline are also home to Turtles, snappers, schools of barracuda, groupers, lionfish and scorpionfish.
In total there are over 30 dive sites close to Dauin alone and all can be reached in a single trip within 30 minutes of the Dive Center or Resort. Dive depths range from 5m to approximately 30-35m.
The warm shallow waters in this area are the perfect place for beginners especially those wanting to take Open Water Courses. Each resort we feature has a training pool and short steps right into the sea making this as comfortable place as possible to enjoy first steps in recreational diving. The Resorts here are also very focused on families and for those with younger children wishing to start diving this is the ideal Philippines destination. For Photographers and the more experienced Dauin is one of the 'must go' places in the Philippines and your will be not be disappointed by the marine life here.
Non-divers will really appreciate the rich array of marine life that can be seen a few steps from shore with just a snorkel and fins.
One of the major attractions in this area is the opportunity to dive around famous Apo Island the protected sanctuary just 30-40 mins boat journey from Dauin. The waters around conical shaped Apo are teeming with life and home to some of the most spectacular coral formations in the Visayas islands. The island is surrounded by a small fringing reef and from there either walls or gentle slopes run down to about 30m depth. A huge number of Asia-Pacific marine species can be found here as well as hard and soft corals. Hugging the deeper blue is often a huge school of Jacks or Barracuda and passing pelagic species can be seen as well.
Apo Island is usually reached on a 2 or 3 tank day trip that includes lunch and refreshments. Most of our featured Resorts regularly visit every week and it is one of the most memorable dives of a Philippines stay.