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Diving Safaris in the Philippines

Big Fish Safari - Diving in the Philippines. (Photo courtesy SeaQuest Dive Center)


Atlantis DumagueteBig Fish Dive Safari - 12 Days


Cebu City Malapascua IslandBay Bay LeyteMacrohon LeyteCebu City


In a tour itinerary operarted by our expert associates at SeaQuest Dive Center, we sail from island to island on a local outrigger boat (bangka), and dive some of the best dive sites in the Philippines, experiencing all kinds of marine life in a setting of colourful coral reefs, and in the safe hands of an experienced crew!


Note: You may incorporate this itinerary into a longer tour package - maybe include extra days diving, or other activities, at the start or end of the Safari. You will also need to allow extra days at the start and end to ensure you arrive at the start point in time, and also get back to your international departure airport. We will organise all this for you, so please don't hesitate to let us know, and ask any questions you may have.


Duration: 12 days/ 11 nights, on full board basis


SeaQuest Dive BoatStart Dates (Day One) 2015

1st April; 15th April. (Please enquire for 2016 Dates.)


Itinerary


Day 1


Arrival in Cebu City. Transfer to Hotel. Meet for drinks and dinner and get acquainted with the Dive guide and other guests.


Days 2-5


SeaQuest Whale SharkDepart to Cebu harbour to board the traditional outrigger boat (bangka) that will carry you throughout the entire dive-safari, transferring from island to island, and also serving as the dive platform.

The Bangka will first set off to Malapascua Island. This trip takes around 5 hours, and you can enjoy the beautiful scenery as we make our way to the northern point of Cebu Island. In the afternoon we make our first dive.

N.B: if you’re not nitrox certified you can do the course on this day and be ready to dive nitrox when going out shark spotting.

Upon arrival at Malapascua Island we check into the Malapascua Legend resort. We stay here for 4 nights. Legend Resort is a comfortable boutique resort located right on the main beach of Malapascua island. It lies just behind the palm tree line, The resort boasts the only fresh water swimming pool on the island.

SeaQuest Visayas sunsetAt the Legend resort, we have access to Nitrox tank fills - something that is really appreciated on the reefs of Malapascua where extended bottom time is recommended.

Malapascua island itself is very easy going. There are no roads, cars or heavy traffic. Local villagers and dive resort guests are all that inhabit this small tropical island. Malapascua offers a good diversity of diving. The highlight is the Monad Shoal dive site, a cleaning station that served the elusive Thresher shark. It’s the only know place in the world where you can actually hover over a sandy bottom and observe these elegant long tailed sharks patrolling the reef. These sharks are active very early in the day, so we have to head out at the crack of dawn.

After the early morning dive with Thresher sharks we head back for a well-deserved breakfast and to rest for a while before heading out to other dive sites scheduled for the day. We will find some wonderfully exciting macro creatures and critters during day and night dives. An array of nudibranch, seahorse, ghost pipefish, mandarin fish, blue ringed octopus, harlequin shrimp are just some of the critters that could be spotted. At Gato Island dive site we can see white tip reef sharks sleeping underneath small overhangs or on the sandy bottom around the island. There is also a cavern swim where we can spot bamboo sharks if we’re lucky.


SeaQuest MalapascuaDay 6


Today we leave Malapascua Island and head out toward Baybay, on the island of Leyte, passing beautiful Calangaman Island, with its pristine sparkling white beaches, on the way. We stop overnight in this little port town. Friendly staff will welcome you with traditional ‘baybayanon’ hospitality. The town of Baybay and the hotel are not a "touristy" destination, which makes this stop-over that much more of an authentic experience.


Days 7-10


After breakfast we set sail for Kuting Reef resort, a boat ride which takes around 4 hours, and we dive along the way. Kuting Reef resort will be our home base for the next 5 nights.

The resort is situated in a private cove at Barangay Asuncion in the town of Macrohon. For many years, only a few people knew about the existence of a fine pebble beach within a 3-hectare property covered by Bermuda grass and planted with tall 30 to 40 year old coconut trees.

SeaQuest TurtleFrom here we set out to visit the dive sites around Limasawa Island and to see what Sogod Bay will reveal to us. The bay is blessed with regular visitations by groups of whale sharks; these gentle giants visit here regularly from the end of October until the end of April to feed on plankton. There is a good chance you will see these mystic creatures although of course it isn't guaranteed.

With or without the whale shark presence there is so much more to see in Sogod bay and around Limasawa Island.

On the far side of Sogod Bay lies the world class dive site called ‘Napantao’. This large wall is considered one of the best in the Philippines; it drops to depths of 50 meters and is abundant with giant gorgonian fans. With the sun out this wall is absolutely impressive and when there is some current you have a good chance to see some large pelagic action here.

Limasawa, the island off the most southern tip of Leyte, was one of the places that the Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan visited in 1521. The reefs around the island offer excitement for divers; deep and dark, these walls plummet into the blue and are abundant with gorgonian fans and impressive table corals.

All in all the reefs in this area are spectacular, and with luck there is always a chance to see a ‘Buntanding’, which is what the locals call the whale sharks.

On the last night at Kuting Reef resort we enjoy a last group dinner in the restaurant.


SeaQuest UnderwaterDay 11


The dive safari is now winding down and after breakfast we head back to the port of Cebu - a cruise of 4 to 5 hours, where we can just relax, take in the surroundings, and enjoy the boat ride. In Cebu, we check in to our last night’s accommodation. The rest of the afternoon and evening is yours to spend as you wish.
City lights, shopping malls, pool side or snooze in the hotel room it’s up to you how you want to spend this evening.


Day 12


Departure from Cebu


SeaQuest Dive BoatIMPORTANT NOTICES


Divers insurance is mandatory. Please make sure you can provide us with detailed info about your insurance at the first gathering in Montebello Hotel.

The safari is also available for non-divers.

Diving in marine sanctuaries during this trip will demand an extra payment per sanctuary. Our estimation is that all in all the extras will add up to approximately Php 3,500 more or less EURO 65. These guide prices are subject to change.
There is the possibility to dive Nitrox during your stay at Malapascua. If you’re not nitrox certified you can commit to a nitrox course during the safari, preferably starting on Day 2 (transfer to Malapascua), so that by the time you arrive in Malapascua and dive with the sharks you can also dive nitrox.

We urge you to use a dive computer during this trip. If you don’t have a dive computer you might want to rent one at a rate of Php 600 per day. / € 11

Dive equipment is not included in the package. If you need to rent scuba gear, a full set of equipment (excluding dive computer) will be charged at Php 800 per day./ € 15

If you don’t have your own dive torch/lamp then one can be provided at a cost of Php 500 per day/ € 9. It’s advisable to bring a torch because night dives are included in the schedule. And also it is always a good idea to have a torch with you even during day dives.

Nitrox is only available at Malapascua and is an extra charge per tank of Php 250 / € 5 euro

SeaQuest Visayas sunsetPeople with underwater photography cameras and video camera’s need to take into consideration that there could be additional Marine Park fee charge for cameras. You will be informed about these charges on route and asked to pay the difference with the regular fees.

All days are on Full board base (3 meals a day) excluding drinks. There are no drinks included in this full board package. All drinks Alcoholic and non-alcoholic are to be paid by the guest.

Dive Safaris are dependent on weather and sea conditions. If all is favourable the whole trip should included 19 dives. Depending on the weather it could be less. Your hosts cannot be held responsible for bad weather conditions.

There is a maximum of 14 divers on a safari boat


Inclusions


• Tanks, weights, weight belt, dive guide

• 2 to 3 night dives (torches not included)

• Boats, boat crew, guide, all transport during 10 days of traveling, airport pick up and drop off from Montebello Villa Hotel in Cebu city.


SeaQuest BangkaMandatory


Certification card, log book

The exact itinerary as has been stated is the preferred itinerary and with normal conditions that shall be the itinerary that will be followed. However taking the elements into consideration it could be that the itinerary needs to adapt to circumstances.

The intention is to fulfill the trip as it has been booked, however, circumstances beyond our control might mean that dives are canceled or alternative routes are followed. Decisions of this nature are taken by your guides and cannot be disputed by guests. Your guides have the experience, knowledge and contacts to be well informed to take the proper correct and safest decisions needed to insure the wellbeing of all guests. Safety is paramount!

Exclusions


• Individual dive equipment (rent 15 Euro per day for full set)

• Torch rental for the night dives (rent 9 Euro per day)

• Lunch on arrival day in Cebu city

• Dinner on last night in Cebu.

• Airport taxes on departure from Cebu Php 550 (about ± € 10 euro)

• Marine park sanctuary fees (± 65 Euro)

• Excess luggage costs, all drinks, tips, personal trips or excursions and other personal expenses

• Tip for the boat crew per guest. We recommend Php 2,500 (about ± € 50 euro) per guest.

It’s advisable to be at least a semi-experienced diver with more or less 30 logged dives.

It’s advisable to have proof of dive insurance for repatriation.

It’s advisable to have a (dive) medical check-up somewhere within the last 12 months.


SeaQuest Dive CentersMandatory


Certification card, log book

The exact itinerary as has been stated is the preferred itinerary and with normal conditions that shall be the itinerary that will be followed. However taking the elements into consideration it could be that the itinerary needs to adapt to circumstances.

The intention is to fulfill the trip as it has been booked, however, circumstances beyond our control might mean that dives are canceled or alternative routes are followed. Decisions of this nature are taken by your guides and cannot be disputed by guests. Your guides have the experience, knowledge and contacts to be well informed to take the proper correct and safest decisions needed to insure the wellbeing of all guests. Safety is paramount!

There are no guarantees on Thresher shark or Whale shark sightings, although your guides will do their best!


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