If you’re an avid diver, snorkeler, or just a traveler looking for a more laid-back experience in the Philippines, you’ll want to head straight to Dumaguete, accessible via a 2-hour ferry from the island of Bohol or a 10-hour bus ride from Cebu.
We recently spent four days and three nights in Dauin at Azure Dive Resort.
Here’s more about our experience there, as well as some tips on what to do in Dumaguete.
Azure Dive and Yoga Resort is run by a lovely couple, Glenn and Catherine. Their 14-room property is small but well-maintained, with clean rooms that are comfortable and cold. Their on-site dive shop caters to divers and snorkelers and the resort has its own boat docked at the beach just outside of the resort.
Rooms include amenities like umbrellas, tea, hair dryers and bathrooms have two soft towels, which are changed daily.
They also have one of the best on-site restaurants we’ve experienced in all of the Philippines. Breakfast options are standard but very well done, and the rest of the menu consists of both Filipino home-cooked favorites and some more American standards with a local twist – delish!
There’s also a pool on the property that looks out onto the beach in front of the resort, and you really can’t beat the ‘distinctly Filipino’ vibes that permeate the premises. In fact, this is one of only two properties in Dauin that are owned and operated by Filipinos (most other resorts are European-owned).
Most people come to Dumaguete to dive (specifically to macro-dive) and photograph very tiny fish that are attracted to the black sands of the island.
Nearby Apo Island is also one of the best snorkeling and dive islands in the Philippines, and it’s located roughly 30 minutes away by boat. You’ll reach it either by the resort’s boat, or, if that boat is occupied, via another vessel that the resort can arrange.
Diving and snorkeling on Apo Island is incredible– the island is known for its sea life and sea turtles and we saw no shortage of 8 on the day we were there.
When you need a day on dry land, take a visit to Casaroro Falls. It’s a hike that involves a lot of stairs and some scrambling, but it’s really something special.
For me, a property is only as good as the people who run it, and having the chance to get to know Glenn and Catherine and their friendly staff made all the difference for us. You’re most likely to meet other travelers here at the restaurant, where you’ll meet for breakfast and dinner. Since it’s a diving resort, you’re just as likely to meet other solo travelers as you are to meet couples.