Rivalling some of the best muck diving spots on earth and being home to all manner of weird and wonderful critters, for macro lovers, Dauin and Dumaguete are truly excellent. If you are a photographer, or even if not, the diving here is heaven; with the added bonus of one of our favourite resorts in the Philippines.
Located in the southern Visayas, along the southern coast of Negros Island, the waters near Dauin and Dumaguete offer one of the best places on earth for macro enthusiasts and those seeking out weird and wonderful creatures, often found during what is known as 'muck diving'.
The dive sites near Dauin consist of sandy, silty bottoms with the occasional coral reef, but the stars of the show are the rare and bizarre critters found in this unique, volcanic environment. From all types of frogfish to flamboyant cuttlefish to ornate ghostpipe fish, photographer or not, you will be amazed by the creatures found here.
But it is not all about the muck diving. Yes, these sites are right on your doorstep but just a 30 minute banca ride away takes you to Apo Island, a complete contrast to the sandy shores of Dauin. Apo Island is surrounded by coral walls and sloping reefs overflowing with marine life. Huge schools of jack are often seen, as well as turtles aplenty and still the opportunity to see the occasional frogfish! Currents can be fierce, but this is what brings in the fish and keeps the corals so healthy.
If you want to explore on land rather than just underwater (although there is enough to keep you excited here for weeks), Negros is renowned for its outstanding natural beauty and interesting culture. Just some of the things you can explore include Casaroro waterfall, the serene Twin lakes and Balanan lake, which offers kayaking, trekking and man-made plunge pools within the rainforest itself. If you are feeling a little more active, a climb up the mountainside offers lovely views over the coconut plantations.
This is a fascinating region to visit, both above and below the waves. Add in some really excellent accommodation and you are most certainly in for a treat.