The Scuba diving opportunities at Dauin, close to Dumaguete are well known and for good reason, with an abundance of macro life on offer, courtesy of the calmer tidal movemnet. We love taking our guests diving in Dauin. Divers can see more regarding the Dauin dive sites here.
Just along the coast but very close to Dauin is Zamboanguita, where things really get interesting. We have taken time to head out on our boat to 'see what is there'. The results have been most pleasing for us and we do only expect to add to the number of dive sites 'discovered' as we continue lots of exploration. The diving in Zamboanguita is not to be missed.
If you want your dumaguete diving experiences to include walls, drift diving, a deep pinnacle dive, schools of Barracuda, Batfish, nestling Turtles and a wide array of Macro life then you seriously need to consider diving in Zamboanguita.
Guinsuan (North & South) & Basak (10-15mins away)
Imagine entering the water and initially descending down to a sandy slope where we can expect to find lots of small favourites. The sand patch then leads on to a coral slope. With the coral slope housing many schools of reef-fish, with turtles resting nearby, you can be sure that this is a Zamboanguita diving experience many will enjoy. A prevailing slight current taking you parallel to the shore at depths of between 12-18m (but still divable down to 28m) presents you with larger boulders of coral that are home to Frogfish, Ringed Pipefishes and Nudibranchs. During the dive do not be surprised if you look up and see the much popular school of Barracuda circling the area. Before long it is time to head to a more shallow depth and enjoy the bright vibrancy of the reef at shallower depths before surfacing to compare stories of the marine life encountered.
A second Guinsuan dive on the Southern section presents a similar profile, and once again the variety of marine life is amazing. We often encounter multiple turtles here and guests are left smiling immensely. Welcome to the Guinsuan dive sites!
Zamboanguita Cockpit (5mins away)
A surprising diving experience in terms of what to expect. Coral Dive & Adventure decided to conduct exploration dives close to our Zamboanguita dive shop and immediately noted this as a site to take our guests to. With many varieties of Shrimp, Crabs and Nudibranchs, along with Turtles, schools of Snapper and Damsels, all competing for space amongst the scattered coral slope we immediately fell in love with this dive site. Just be mindful of territorial behavior shown by a protective Titan Triggerfish.
Lutoban North & South (10-15mins away)
These two dive sites loctaed near to our Zamboanguita dive shop, and they are sites that we would recommend to all divers visiting Dumaguete. Both are easy but yet fulfilling diving opportunities for all level of diver. On offer are thriving coral slopes (both soft and hard corals) from 3m - 24m populated by the now familiar brightly colored varieties of reef fish, Frogfish, Scorpionfish, wonderful Nudibranch species and different Moray's (including a Zebra Moray). Between the coral masses we can see light colored sandy patches. These patches are inhabited by Garden Eels, Ribbon Eels (Blue & Black), Crabs, Gobies and accompanying Shrimp. Often sighted too are schools of squid, Ringed Pipefish, large Groupers and Puffer fish. To explore beneath many overhangs we recommend bringing a torch/flashlight with you. Lutoban North also doubles up as our favorite Night Dive site (both for white light and Fluorescent lights).
Stuck with identifying which local Barangay was closest to this site, we opted to call it 'Mid-way' (for our own convenience) becasue of it's position mid-way between our dive shop and the Kookoos Nest Resort in Siaton. The site offers divers an easy drift along sloping corals, sections of wall and sandy patches, thereby assuring a variety of marine life much like that found at Lutoban. The dive is best between the 7-12m range as the light opportunities can be fantastic, with lush green soft corals and sea-grass competing for space between boulders and sections of hard coral. The deepest we have explored here is at around 24m, where we found remnants of older coral debris with anenomes and isolated soft corals with some smaller life such as Shrimp and Crabs.
Waiting Shed & Dalakit Sanctuary (Walk-in)
These are our two closest dive sites often combined as a single dive. With a mix of Muck, Sand and Reef diving, and at depths of between 2.5m - 24m, we are blessed to have this opportunity within walking distance of the dive shop . The site is seasonal (for species to see). As such, during our time diving here we have seen distinct seasons for a whole host of Nudibranch (25 different types), Frogfish of all sizes and colours, Seahorses, Ghost Pipefish (Ornate & Robust), as well as schools of squid, multiple Snake varieties, Lobster's Mantis Shrimp, the occassional Blue-Ring Octopus. All year round we have a busy section of reef populated by Damsels, Fusiliers, Anthias, Tobies, Trumpetfish, Needlefish and Puffers. Although conditions are not always perfect to head here, when we do have the right conditions, this dive has not failed to deliver. Even in less than ideal visibility, the dive throws up many great sightings.
Mayabon Reef (5mins away)
This dive site is quite a new marked out sanctuary that boasts a healthy display of hard and soft corals in shallower (2- 9m) water. These corals then lead to isolated sections of coral boulders (9-12m) and then soft sand / silt bottom below 12m. The reef looks amazing and we have found Frogfish here as well as multiple varieties of Nudibranch and a modest number of Damsels. In the sand and muck we have noted isolated soft corals, anenomes and sponges that are home to Crabs and Shrimp. As time goes by, we will be conducting multiple further exploratory dives at this site to assess and monitor the expected return of greater quantities of marine life.
Mayabon Pinnacle (10mins away) Deep Dive!
To date, we are unaware of any other dive operator who has taken the opportunity to dive this amazing Zamboanguita site. We are very happy to say that the 'Pinnacle' is located close to our dive shop (we can see the marker from our beach). Coral Dive & Adventure assisted the local municipality in marking this site as a no fishing zone for transiting trawlers. From the very first venture down to the top of the Pinnacle (31m depth) we were visited by a resident school of 25+ Batfish and schools of snapper. Subsequent dives have produced the same and we have added to the sightings a giant sized Turtle that has been seen nestling on top more than once. The biggest Giant Moray any of us have ever seen can be found poking out from its lair, and a pair of foot-long Scorpionfish seem to like the 36-38m depth range. We have seen numerous Nudibrach varieties at all depths at this Zamboanguita dive site. The base of the pinnacle is sat at a depth of around 42m and the top is no wider than 15m. Due to the depths involved, this is not a dive for inexperineced divers, but we would certainly recommed it to experienced divers (with proof of previous deep dive education/experience) seeking something 'extra special'.
During the Amihan months (approximately Nov-May) we love to take a 40minute boat ride South, to where the Kookoo's Nest Resort is located. Perfect snorkelling and beautiful dive conditions await beneath the still calm ocean surface. With a mix of hard and soft corals at depths of 1.5m down to 15m you will have optimal light conditions to take some amazing pictures. Again, a host of reef-fish will keep you company as you make a slow search for Nudibranchs that will pose as your dream photography subject. Make sure to look carefully under crevices for hiding Ringed Pipefish and focus on the coral boulders and overhangs for predatory Scorpionfish. We plan at least two dives here and encourage guests to take advantage of the restaurant available at the resort and to enjoy some easy swimming alongside a pictureseque wooden jetty where our dive banca will be waiting.
Thallatta House Reef (15mins away)
This dive is a muck dive in its truest sense, with a sandy bottom at depths down to around 32m. The site presents a whole host of Macro life including Frogfish, Octopus, Seahorse and much more. There are a number of artifical reefs at the site comprising tyres and a concrete structure. This dive site is a nice one to take as an opening check dive before embarking on dives that might involve an element of current.