Pristine Reefs, Marine Sanctuaries & Inland Adventures: Diving in Bohol & Dumaguete
On this 16-day trip diving in Bohol and Dumaguete, you will have a chance to experience some of the best dive sites in the Philippines - in Bohol and the Negros. Dive the pristine walls of Bohol, see the unique Chocolate Hills and meet tarsiers before experiencing world-class muck diving in Dauin.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Enjoy having dive sites entirely to yourself around Anda, in Bohol, keeping an eye out for passing whale sharks, while spotting nudibranchs, seahorses and much more on the reefs
- Visit the 'home of muck diving' in Dauin to get some snaps of all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures
- Dive with turtles at the world-famous marine sanctuary of Apo Island
- Tick off some of Bohol's most unique on-land experiences, including visiting the Chocolate Hills and a Tarsier Sanctuary
- Soak in hot springs, hike to waterfalls and wander through mountain towns near Dauin
Why Book with Original Diving?
When To Travel
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Day 1: International Flight to Manila
Your adventure diving in Bohol and Dumaguete begins this evening with an overnight flight to Manila, travelling via Hong Kong. The flight takes around 17 hours, so sit back, relax and try to get some sleep on your journey to the Philippines.
Day 2: Arrival on Bohol Island
You will arrive in Manila in the early morning in time to catch your flight to the island of Bohol - travelling south, the flight takes around one-and-a-half hours.
Once you arrive at Panglao airport, you'll be met by your driver and transferred to Anda, a town located on the southeast coast of the island. The drive takes around two hours but the scenery is beautiful - so there is plenty to look at as you travel across the island.
You'll arrive at Amun Ini in the afternoon, bordered by lush jungle vegetation on one side and a white-sandy beach on the other, the hotel is a tropical paradise. Once you have settled into your room you can spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach or snorkelling on the house reef.
- If you're still fighting off jet lag, indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment at the hotel's luxurious and relaxing spa.
Days 3-6: Diving Around Anda
Over the next few days slip into a wonderful routine of diving in Bohol and relaxing as you explore Anda.
There are 33 dive sites close the resort, so there is ample opportunity to explore underwater. The environment varies from wall to reef dives and even muck sites, so you can see the whole spectrum of marine life - from small critters to passing whale sharks.
Some of our favourite sites include Wonderwall, Coco, Turtle Point and Magic Point - which are beautiful wall dives covered in hard and soft corals. Take a look among the coral to spot nudibranchs, frogfish, moray eels, fireclams, mantis and anemone shrimps, as well as a huge variety of reef fish, turtles and pelagics; including schools of barracudas, fusiliers and eagle rays. If you look out into the never-ending deep blue, you may even see a whale shark pass by.
Day 7: Original Diving Exclusive: A Complimentary Dive Planting Coral with a Marine Biologist
Today you'll get the chance to dive with a marine biologist on an excursion that's exclusively reserved for Original Diving guests.
Head out with an Amun-Ini marine biologist to plant coral in the resort's Marine Protected Area (MPA). The resort has five resident marine biologists and together with the on-site Divemasters, they have planted over 30,000 corals and built 60 small artificial reefs to create a new environment for the local critters. This MPA has been the most successful coral restoration project in the Philippines, with biodiversity doubling in the last three year and an 86% success rate.
Your dive starts with a briefing from the marine biologist to understand a little more about the project and the different methods of planting the corals on the house reef. After hearing about the project, it's time to gear up and head out on your dive, ready to put the methods into action. During this amazing experience, the marine biologist will guide you through the entire area of different coral structures they have planted, showing you the true extent of this fantastic project.
After an incredibly exciting day of diving in Bohol, it's time to relax before a delicious dinner at the resort.
- As an Original Diving client, you'll receive a complimentary dive in the Amun Ini Pool to try out the Ocean Reef Full Face mask experience - like you see on the documentaries!
Day 8: Exploring the Chocolate Hills and the Loboc River
Today you have the chance to explore above the waves.
After breakfast you'll be heading out on a guided tour, starting with a visit to the famed Chocolate Hills. From the resort, the hills take around an hour-and-a-half to reach by car. Thought to be the weathered remains of limestone rocks which previously covered this region, the curiously-shaped domed hills are covered in grass which turns brown during the dry season - giving the hills their iconic name. Your efforts getting to the viewpoint will be rewarded with the spectacular view over these geological formations.
Once you have had your fill of the views its time to hit the road again, this time heading towards a Tarsier Sanctuary. You'll get to meet the world's second-smallest mammal in a protected area - take your time, marvelling at these adorable wide-eyed mammals.
Your next stop is the Loboc River for a river cruise, complete with a delicious lunch served on-board. Keep your eyes peeled for local villages and animals in the trees as you glide downstream.
After a busy day of exploring, its time to head back to the hotel for a relaxing evening.
Day 9: Travelling to Dumaguete
This morning marks the end of your time on Bohol and the start of the second part of your trip diving in Bohol and Dumaguete as you head to Dauin.
After breakfast you will be driven to the airport in plenty of time to catch your morning flight to Dumaguete, travelling via Manila. You will be met in arrivals by one of our representatives on the ground and be transferred to your hotel in Dauin, which is a 45-minute drive from the airport.
After settling into your room you'll want to have some lunch at the hotel's restaurant, before spending the rest of the day exploring your surroundings. Relax by the pool or go snorkelling on the excellent house reef. For an extra special first evening in Dauin - head out on a night dive to witness the resident mandarin fish perform their mating ritual dance at dusk. While underwater you may also come across sleeping fish, box shrimp and the tiny, glowing bobtail squid.
Days 10-13: Dauin’s Marvellous Muck Diving
Over the next few days you'll want to make the most of the incredible diving in Dauin. The dives around Dauin are mostly muck sites, characterised by brown volcanic sand and all manner of weird and wonderful critters.
Some of the highlights in the area include Mainit - a drift dive over a beautiful reef; the Lipayo sanctuary, which is home to a huge number of seahorses; Secret Corner, which has a fantastic array of macro life including several octopus species, frogfish, cuttlefish and shrimps; and Cars - a favourite among macro photographers for the sheer volume of critters that call the area home. The underwater world in Dauin is so rich and varied - you'll have plenty to see when diving here.
Day 14: Diving in Apo Island
Today on your diving in Bohol and Dumaguete adventure, it's time to get your coral fix at the world-renowned Apo Island. Following a delicious breakfast, head to your boat for a 20-minute ride to this incredible dive spot.
Apo island is a marine sanctuary known for its diverse corals, numerous turtles (you can see more than 20 per dive) and curious sea snakes. Start at the exhilarating Coconut dive site - a fast drift dive where you can spot schools of trevallies, wrasse and turtles. Your next dive site is Boluarte - where the volcanic nature of the island can be seen in the steady stream of bubbles escaping from the seafloor. The site is a wall leading to a fringing reef, which is covered in multicoloured shades of corals. Last but not least, explore Katipanan, which features a sloping reef and is home to lots of turtles. As the island is so close to the resort, you can choose to start every day at this amazing marine site.
Once you are back above the waves, you have the rest of the day to yourself - to relax, snorkel or go diving again.
Day 15: Inland Explorations
Today you'll be staying on dry land to explore the inland areas close to Dauin.
Your driver will pick you up, ready for the 40-minute drive to the small mountain town of Valencia. You'll be visiting Valencia's hot springs to relax and unwind, soaking in the thermal waters - fed directly from the mountains, the thermal pools are thought to have medicinal properties. A short walk from the pools brings you to the beautiful Pulang Bato waterfall -the perfect place to cool off after the soothing heat of the hot springs. Once you have cooled off, keep wandering up the trail and you'll discover the thundering waters of the Casaroro waterfall which cascades over a 130ft drop, falling into a basin of cold water. When you get back into the town, spend some time browsing the local shops, picking up souvenirs to take home.
Once back at the hotel, you'll have time to relax before toasting your incredible adventure at sunset and enjoying a final supper under the stars.
Day 16: Home time
Sadly today marks the end of your holiday diving in Bohol Dumaguete - its time to leave the Philippines and head home.
This morning, you will be transferred to Dumaguete airport ahead of your flight back to Manila. It's a short 40 -minute drive to the airport, followed by the one-hour-and-20-minute flight to the capital.
You'll land in Manila in perfect time to catch your evening flight home, travelling via Hong Kong. It's a long journey, flying overnight, so you'll want to get some sleep before landing the following morning.
Emily C, Eleanor and Jacqui are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.