Diving at Apo Island and Dumaguete:
Swim With the Undersea Treasures
The Philippines is an archipelago country with over 7,000 islands, and the dive sites are stunning and exhilarating.
Apo Island and Dumaguete are known for its muck diving sites and rare critter spotting. The diving sites located 9.3 miles from Dumaguete are a mecca for underwater macro photographers.
You can expect to encounter unique marine species and colorful reefs while diving at Apo Island and Dumaguete. These two places are heavily popular among divers as it provides not just the high-end equipment but also pristine underwater sites to explore.
Even if you aren’t a regular diver, these places are incredibly appealing and assure you book last minute flights to the Philippines.
Why should you go diving at Apo Island and Dumaguete?
Diving at both these sites is an otherworldly experience with its amazing people and preserved corals. Dumaguete is popularly known as the City of Gentle People and has a quaint small-town vibe.
Those looking for a combination of muck diving and socializing Dumaguete is the place to dive. Dumaguete is home to the nursery of rare critters that can be spotted after careful observation.
A small volcanic island, Apo is known for the best diving and snorkeling sites with certified instructors.
This island’s underwater world remains unblemished thanks to a dedicated conservation marine sanctuary established back in 1985. This island’s water is filled with lush soft and hard corals, which is a fantastic view up close.
Apo Island is a boat ride away from Dumaguete. So, if you have the time, you can dive at both these sites before it’s time to go home.
What to expect while diving at Apo Island and Dumaguete?
The diving sites in Dumaguete are the perfect place for underwater photography. You will need to take a boat to reach the sanctuaries and then swim to the dive point for a few meters.
Some of the sites are accessible through shore entry as well. Depending on the sea current, the guides can implement different dive plans.
If you aren’t a diver, the coastline dive spots offer open water dive courses and scuba diving programs to get you started.
The best part about diving at Dumaguete is its abundant critter species; it is said this coral reef houses 80% of the world’s critter species. You will also get to spot ghost pipefish, sea horses, octopuses, sea snakes, frogfish, and jawfish.
Apo Island is home to 615 documented fish species and 400 coral species. This is an exciting dive as you get to marvel at both soft and hard colorful corals. The water that surrounds this Island is a marine protected area, and this can be seen in its thriving undersea world.
Here you will be greeted by schools of barracuda and jacks swimming among a lush coral garden, which is the main attraction.
When is the best time to dive at Apo Island and Dumaguete?
The main diving season at Dumaguete and Apo Island is between the months of October and May. Monsoon season between June to September experiences harsh waves, and strong winds are making it difficult to dive.
Another important thing to know is the currents become very strong during the full moon, so avoid these days.
What are the main dive sites at Apo Island and Dumaguete?
These two places are blessed with luscious and pristine dive sites that have been preserved by the locals. Dumaguete has over 13 dive sites that stretch across the coastline to the South. Apo Island houses over 9 dive sites situated around this tiny landmass. We have picked the best and most unique Apo Island and Dumaguete sites and listed them below.
Dumaguete Dive Sites:
The best dive sites off the coast of Dumaguete are Masaplod North, Mainit, San Miguel, and Car Wreck.
Manit translates to ‘hot’ in Filipino, and this dive site got its name from the yellow sand patches you see at the end of your dive.
The sand is hot to touch due to the nearby thermal hot springs. Its patchy reefs experience some strong currents, but it is all worth it thanks to its mesmerizing sights.
Masaplod is ideal for leisurely exploring the wondrous coral reefs as the currents remain docile most of the time.
The best part is gazing at the schools of yellow snappers, bluefin trevally, and green turtles. Many photographers dive here to capture the beautiful blue-spotted stingrays that are frequently sighted…
The Car Wreck dive spot is exactly what it sounds like. You jump in to find two car wrecks at the bottom of the ocean where a number of fish have settled.
It’s one of the deepest muck diving spots in Dumaguete, and if you’re lucky, you will get to see a ringtail cardinalfish incubating its babies.
Apo Island Dive Sites:
The sites you can’t miss at Apo Island include The Chapel, Marine Sanctuary, Coconut Point, and Rock Point. The Chapel spot is considered the best coral reef dive site as it is packed with rare marine life.
This wall dive has vibrant corals, frogfish, leaf fish, and nudibranch. The Chapel is popular for its small cave that can be found 65 feet under the surface where turtles and other fish seek shelter.
The Marine Sanctuary is under official protection, making it a pristine location for diving. At a time, only 12 divers are allowed to plunge into this marvelous world.
The no-fishing policy allows the corals and marine animals to regenerate and flourish. The reason people dive here is to swim to the Clownfish City, which hosts a large amount of these goofy looking fish.
Important Points for Diving at These Sites:
Your entire journey will involve water, so it is wise to be equipped with waterproof bags for your valuables to stay dry.
Also, remember you will need to wade through shallow waters to get on the boat from Mapatapay to Apo Island. So wear slippers for your boat ride to breathtaking beauty. Once you reach, a fee of 100 pesos will get you an entry pass into the Island.
The island has strict rules and will not tolerate guests trying to collect corals or shells as it is a preserved location.
Diving at Apo Island and Dumaguete is an out of this world experience as you immerse yourself under the sea. There is no place for disappointment as the high-end equipment and experienced guides ensure your visit is worthwhile.
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