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Dive Review of Acacia in

April, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Laura Todd, CA, US
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 5534
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Indonesia, Malaysia, various South Pacific, Baja
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
choppy, no currents  
Water Temp
78   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
No camera facilities on the boats - no reliable dry area to fiddle with
camera between dives.  Good facilities for charging,repairing, etc at hotel
but no air hose.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
1 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
This area is a little different in that the resorts are set up to serve
primarily locals and do most of their business over long weekends.  Many,
like Acacia hire local guides as needed rather than keep dive staff on as
employees.  We didn't know what to think of this system at first, but ended
up loving our guide and the fact that we had him and our boat to ourselves
all week.  We chose Anilao based on its reputation for nudibranchs, and we
while did see some special ones, it was not a constant parade of species
new to me.  The diving is quite varied, with good coral, nice macro, good
night diving and wonderful muck at Secret Bay, about 45 minutes away.  The
night diving there is amazing.  Kirby's Rock is a typical Anilao site with
a teensy perfect white frogfish, juvenile barramundi cod and softball size
reticulidia halgerda (tented black with orange) nudi at the bottom,
beautiful zebra and snowflake eels plus reef octopus in the middle and
giant frogfish towards the top.  Most sites will have good reef fish, nice
nudis (often times a dozen of their more common species at a time), great
flatworms and sluggy things.  Actualy we saw one blue and green teardrop
shaped slug that I am still trying to identify.  Hmmmmm.  The boats are all
small local style, with little room to stash stuff and a tiny shaded area. 
Boarding is via a two by six with strips of tire nailed on for traction. 
The ride is smooth in a following sea, but bouncy and wet when heading into
even small oncoming waves.  The hotel is small (about 10 rooms) modern and
sleek with especially nice bathrooms.  It would greatly benefit from some
kind of lounge chairs - there was no place to get horizontal other than
your bed.  The food is all buffet style, served in a casual open air
setting.  The food was decent, not much variety except for the local pork
dishes, which were amazing.  The kitchen staff had no idea what to make for
my vegetarian companion. Even with cieling fans, there were always plenty
of flies here.  There is also a large flat screen television, which was
often in use late into the night.  The environmental practices of both the
hotel and the boat boys are atrocious.  One day they added oil to the
engine and threw the empties overboard.  When I asked about a trash can in
the rinse area  a staff person  chucked my shampoo container over the wall
into the vacant lot next door.  FYI the owner has several  dogs who are
always friendly but not very well trained.  Consider the drive when
planning your trip here - in ideal conditions it is about 2.5 hours from
Manila. On holidays and weekends the traffic can easily double that. 
Overall, this place provides a good cross section of Phillipines diving at
reasonable prices.  Serious macro enthusiasts should ask for Jason, who did
a fabuous job for us.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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