Dauin, located on the southeastern coast of Negros Island in the Philippines, is a renowned destination for muck diving and macro photography. This unassuming coastal town offers an array of diving experiences with a focus on small, rare, and fascinating creatures that thrive in its volcanic sands.
Best Scuba Diving Spots for Experienced Divers
Cars: This dive site, named for the two small cars sunk here to create artificial reefs, provides an unusual and exciting diving experience. Over the years, the cars have become encrusted with corals and a home to a variety of marine creatures, including frogfish, nudibranchs, and ghost pipefish.
Pura Vida: Named after the local dive resort, this site is a fantastic location for night dives. It's a sandy slope with scattered rocks and debris, providing the perfect habitat for many critters. Experienced divers can look for seahorses, octopuses, snake eels, and even the elusive blue-ringed octopus.
Best Scuba Diving Spots for Beginners
Dauin Sanctuary: This protected marine sanctuary offers a gentle and shallow dive, making it ideal for beginners and training dives. The sanctuary has artificial reef structures that house a variety of marine life such as lionfish, pufferfish, and moray eels.
Luca Sanctuary: Another protected area, Luca Sanctuary, offers beginners an opportunity to explore the underwater world safely. Its shallow, sandy bottom, dotted with artificial reef structures, is home to numerous macro species, including harlequin shrimp, frogfish, and various nudibranchs.
The marine life in Dauin is a macro enthusiast's dream. It's an exceptional destination for spotting an array of small and intriguing creatures such as frogfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, ghost pipefish, seahorses, blue-ringed octopus, and countless nudibranch species. Scorpionfish, lionfish, moray eels, and various crustaceans are also commonly seen. Although Dauin is known for its muck diving, its sanctuaries also host a variety of hard and soft corals, showcasing a different aspect of its rich marine biodiversity.
Dauin's dive sites are relatively shallow, typically around 59 feet (18 meters) or less, and the water temperature is consistently warm, ranging from 79 to 86°F (26 to 30°C). Visibility can vary but is often between 20 to 50 feet (6 to 15 meters). Currents are typically gentle to non-existent, making it an ideal location for beginners and photographers. The best diving conditions are usually from November to May.
Dauin offers affordable diving opportunities. A single dive, including gear and guide, might cost between $25 to $35, depending on the dive site's distance. An Open Water Diver certification course usually costs between $350 to $450. As always, it's crucial to choose a dive center with a focus on safety, experienced instructors, and environmental responsibility. Discover the miniature marine wonders of Dauin and immerse yourself in a fascinating underwater world!