Dive Sites in Dauin

Diving in Dumaguete could not be easier. Most dive spots along the coastline are located in Dauin, about a 20 minute drive south of Dumaguete and can be explored via shore entry. All dive sites in Dauin are marine sanctuaries and protected. There is no fishing allowed inside this areas. Any kind of boat traffic is also prohibited in this zones. Therefore the aquatic life in many of these sanctuaries is simply breathtaking. Be aware that the municipalities are charging a fee for scuba diving or snorkeling. There is no weekly marine park fee, like it is standard in many other places in the world, fee’s are charged per dive.

Dauin is a location that varies in dive-sites which may be accessed by shore or boat. The coastline of of this municipality in Negros Oriental is truly an amazing location to dive. It is good to keep in mind that the gorgeous shallow reefs are the perfect spot for beginners to learn the basics of diving, or to continue the education with one of the diveshops which are associated with the beach resorts in Dauin.  The dive sites include quite some man-made spots. These artificial reefs create the perfect environment where you are able to see unique marine creatures; thus becoming a perfect spot for underwater photographers.

Diving in Dauin

Many of the dive sites are just in front of different beach resorts in Dauin. Therefore, they may carry different names. Some competing resorts simply don’t want to use the neighbors house-reef as a name and came up with their own. As some of you may want to dive or snorkel independently, we use the resort name to give you an orientation about the whereabouts of the Dauin dive sites.

Dive Sites in Dauin (north to south)

Mainit

  • Skill Level Required: Open Water and above
  • Maximum depth:       20m (65 feet)
  • Type of Dive:              Coral Dive – Drift Dive

Did you know that “mainit” actually means “hot”? The name was given due to the thermal activity in the area and the sand areas that are too hot to step on. The wide variety of marine life in this area makes this location a truly unique dive-site, but for those that are interested in taking photos, it is recommended to be cautious and take shelter from the sometimes tricky currents.

For those passionate about the local marine life, they will have the opportunity of seeing schools of patrolling barracudas, fusiliers, surgeonfish and even yellow snappers. Other species that are known to live in this area include the Dogtooth Tuna, Snake Eels, Stingrays, Moorish Idols, Porcupinefish, Scorpionfish and the gorgeous White Tip Sharks.

While you take cover behind the boulders, you will notice the beautiful and gentle corals, anemones, Linckia Sea Stars and even the colorfully marked Nudibranchs.

It is recommended that you follow the directions of your dive guide in order to avoid any problems that may be caused by strong currents.

blaue geistermoräneSan Miguel North

  • Skill Level Required:   Open Water and above
  • Maximum depth:         18m (60 feet)
  • Type of Dive:                 Coral Dive

Due to the fact that the San Miguel North dive-site is pretty shallow, divers will have the chance to fully explore the entire area, as long as they correctly monitor their bottom time. This area offers sandy slopes and sea grass, thus becoming a great environment for those interested in finding the juvenile Frogfish, the Ghost Pipefish and the Spiny Devilfish.

Following the indications of your dive instructor will also give you the chance of photographing the interesting Nudibranchs and, if you are lucky enough, the Pygmy Squid that measures 1 cm in length.

San Miguel Tires

  • Skill Level Required:   Open Water and above
  • Maximum depth:         18m (60 feet)
  • Type of Dive:                Artificial Reef

This unique dive site begins at the place where a huge pile of car tires created an artificial reef that, in time, managed to attract a wide variety of fish. Among the most interesting species you will be able to see the Scorpion fish, Pygmy Squid, Moray Eels, Lion fish and many other species of shrimps and crabs.

If you are lucky, you may have the opportunity to see the Ambon Scorpionfish, the Mimic Octopus and the Striated Frogfish. Even the night diver enthusiasts love coming to this area as they have the chance to see the rare Bumblebee Shrimp and the nocturnal Stargazers.

Towards the end of this site, there are many Clownfish, Anemones and Nudibrachs, so the variety of marine life in this location is overwhelming.

 Atlantis House Reef

  • Skill Level Required:     Open Water and above
  • Maximum depth:           20m (65 feet)
  • Type of Dive:                  Muck – Reef Dive

The black sand and the hard corals are the main elements that attract divers in this location. Huge areas of sea grass welcome frequent schools of Razorfish, and a permanent resident that can often be seen here is the Green Turtle. Other species that divers are able to see include the Hairy Frogfish, Harlequin Ghost Pipefish, Sea Horses and Flamboyant Cuttlefish.

A sandy slope will take divers to an area where a pile of car tires is covered with corals and sponges. This is the area where Yellow Snappers, Scorpionfish and the White Eyed Moray Eels live, along with Pegasus Sea Moths and Cockatoo Waspfish.

For those interested in night diving, this is a great location to do it, as there are a wide variety of crustaceans that are very active during the night and divers also have the chance of seeing the rare Hairy Frogfish.

El Dorado Reef

  • Skill Level Required:     Open Water and above
  • Maximum depth:           20m (65 feet)
  • Type of Dive:                  Muck – Reef Dive

If you are passionate about sloping reefs, this location will certainly catch your attention and will offer you a serious “ride” with the right currents. The most common marine creatures include the Devilfish, Ghost Pipefish, Anthias, Moray Eel and the gorgeous Scarlet Cleaner Shrimps. Due to the frequent grass beds, the Green Sea Turtles are a common appearance.

The sandy area located right before the slope is also rich in marine life, including the Xeno Crabs, Whip Coral Shrimp and Gaudy Nudibranchs. Another great feature about this dive site is that it is perfect for all types of preferences as it is a combination of reef and muck.

El Dorado Deep

  • Skill Level Required:     Advanced Diver and above
  • Maximum depth:          30m (100 feet)
  • Type of Dive:                 Muck – Deep Dive

A variety of ship wrecks and car parts have created this impressive reef, which due to the muck offers a variety of marine creatures. The small Frogfish and the gorgeously colored Flamboyant Cuttlefish, along with the Ghost Pipefish, and Emperor Angels, are just a few of the creatures that can be seen by those interested in diving in this location.

Make sure to take your underwater camera so you can be sure to notice the tiny Pygmy Pipe Horses and take pictures of the meadows of garden eels.

Among the beautiful coral reefs, you will be able to see the Peacock Razorfish that will appear to simply drift without control until you approach them, and they instantly dive further to hide. Other marine life includes the Soft Coral Crabs, Hinge Beak Shrimps and the Porcelain Crabs.

Car Wrecks

  • Skill Level Required:   Advanced Open Water Diver and above
  • Maximum depth:         30m (100 feet)
  • Type of Dive:                Artificial Reef – Muck Dive

The name of this dive site comes from the remains of two car wrecks, which in time, have been naturally transformed into a hiding place for many species of reef fish, including the Lionfish, Pygmy Cuttlefish, Cockatoo Waspfish, Frogfish, Pegasus Sea Moths, camouflaged Scorpionfish, Snake Eels and Stonefish.

The wrecks have also created a great habitat for crustaceans and shrimps, as well as for the Ringtail Cardinalfish. This fish is commonly known for the fact that only the male is in charge of all parenting obligations, as well as the fact that he takes care of the eggs by placing them in his mouth, and every three minutes he changes their position. A “pregnant” male is easily recognizable by looking at his pouch and whether or not it is extended.

While you are ascending, it is very possible that you spot species such as Crinoid Squat Lobsters, Dragonettes, Ornate or Velvet Ghost Pipefish and even Sand Divers.

Car Wrecks Shallow

  • Skill Level Required:     Open Water Diver and above
  • Maximum depth:           12m (40 feet)
  • Type of Dive:                   Sea Grass – Muck Dive

The muck in this location creates the perfect habitat for all types of strange and exotic marine creatures. This location is the perfect spot to see the courtship ritual of the Threadfin Sand Diver, as they show off their colorful bellies and dorsal fins to catch the attention of their females. It is quite difficult to take a picture of them as they usually hide rapidly in the sand when they sense a diver approaching.

This dive site is perfect for shallow dives and due to the fact that there are just 5 meters of water, you will be able to see species such as Seahorses, Seamoths, Nudibranchs, Octopus and even Cockatoo Waspfish. From time to time, you will have the opportunity of seeing Scorpionfish, Dragonettes, Flounders and Shortpouch Pygmy.

Dauin Norte (Poblacion)

  • Skill Level Required:     Open Water Diver and above
  • Maximum depth:           24m (80 feet)
  • Type of Dive:                  Corals Dive

Without a doubt, the Douin Norte is number one in popularity of the dive sites in Dauin, mostly because it starts with a gentle slope where you can observe different fish species including the Frogfish, Ghost Pipefish, Crabs and Shrimps, and then continues with a gorgeous coral reef that houses marine creatures such as Barracudas, Hued Anthias, Damsel fish and Snappers.

Here, there are also the Hiry Squat Lobsters that are known to live on barrel sponges, and the Yellowtail Barracuda that impressively creates a tunnel around you as you dive. If you happen to see any discarded bottle, check it carefully as you may find small Golden Gobies. The common residents include the Hawksbill Turtles and the Green Turtles.

On rare occasions you are able to see the Blue-Ringed Octopus and the Leaf Scorpionfish that hides between the Lettuce Corals. It is truly a location that must be visited.

Dauin Sur

  • Skill Level Required:   Open Water Diver and above
  • Maximum depth:         20m (65 foot)
  • Type of Dive:                Coral Dive

The Dauin Sur dive site is extremely similar to the Dauin Norte but it still manages to offer an incredible experience while diving. Due to the fact that there are almost no currents here, you will be able to experience a relaxing dive while observing the wide variety of fish including the Giant Groupers, Ribbon Eels, Crinoid Aquat Lobsters and Green Turtles.

Right at the base of this breathtaking reef, you will be able to observe a few species of Razor Wrasse, Garden Eels, Nudibranchs and on rare occasions the Giant Barracuda and the amazing Dogtooth Tuna.

Ginama-an

  • Skill Level Required:   Open Water Diver and above
  • Maximum depth:         20m (65 feet)
  • Type of Dive:                Artificial Reef

This location, which in translation means “man made” is an artificial reef created out of used car tires, piles one over another. This location houses different types of crustaceans, corals and fish, including the Harlequin Shrimp, Frogfish, Coral Shrimp and Anemone Fish.

In this location you also have the opportunity of seeing the unique Mimic Octopus that is capable to mimic different marine creatures. Even though there are other fish that can mimic a certain species, the Mimic Octopus is the only one that can actually choose which one she wants to mimic. Among her mimic repertory there is the Lionfish, Jellyfish and Sea Snake.

Masaplod Norte

  • Skill Level Required:   Open Water Diver and above
  • Maximum depth:         24m (80 feet)
  • Type of Dive:                 Coral/Soft Coral Dive

Masaplod Norte is a shallow water dive site that has a relatively medium reef and currents that will allow any diver to drift easily. While slowly drifting away, keep your eyes open for marine creatures such as Rock Cod, Trumpetfish, Snappers, Green Turtles and their companions, the Blue Trevally.

These are not all the species that can be seen in this location, as there are also Barracudas, Garden Eels, Soft Coral Crabs, Nudibranchs and Batfish. However, the star of this dive site is the Flasher Wrasse, a species that manage to intensify his color while courting a female. Because it is difficult to take a photo of this fish, it is extremely sought after.

Pyramids

  • Skill Level Required:     Advanced Open Water Diver and above
  • Maximum depth:           25m (95 feet)
  • Type of Dive:                  Artificial Reef – Muck Dive

The name of this dive site comes from a variety of metal structures that resemble pyramids and cover an area from 15 ft to 80 ft. For those interested is diving here it is important to know that the dive begins from shallow water and slowly enters the sea grass area that is located at 15 ft.

Continuing your descent, you will be able to see a wide variety of sponges, black corals, Xeno Crabs and Banded Tozeuma Shrimps. Going further to the north, you will enter a patch reef that is full of Soft Coral Crabs, Thorny Seahorses, Nudibranchs and Donald Duck Shrimps. It is an interesting dive site for those wanting to take photos.

Masaplod Sur

  • Skill Level Required:     Open Water Diver and above
  • Maximum depth:           20m (65 feet)
  • Type of Dive:                  Coral Dive

This unique and interesting dive site is created out of a few piles of car tires and two patches of reed, united by sandy gullies. Being both natural and artificial, there are a wide variety of marine creatures living here, including the Pegasus Sea Moth, Robust & Ornate Ghost Pipefish and the Flying Gurnard.

Other creatures that can be observed hiding among pieces of artificial materials, include Finger Dragonetes, Goatfish, Nudibranchs, Comets and Frogfish. It is a great diving location for macro photographers.