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Dive Review of Adventure Scuba in
Philippines/El Nido

November, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Kate Dowden, UT, US (1 report)
Report Number 6825
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
0-25 dives
Where else diving
The Crater in Midway Utah- in the snow. 
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
calm, choppy, surge  
Water Temp
28   to 29    Celsius  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
12   to 20    Meters  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Required PADI or SSI cert card. Not sure on the others because we're too
new to break restrictions.   
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Again- we're so new. We have our one little GoPro Hero 2 with an underwater
case and we got a lot of fun footage and photos. You could stick that
camera in a shoe and it would be happy so I cannot speak to ease of use of
fancy cameras. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
3 stars    
In El Nido Town on the island of Palawan there is a dive operation about
every 100 yards. My husband and I were on our honeymoon and had completed
our Open Water PADI cert about 4 days before we left for the Philippines so
we could not be any more NEW to diving. We have nothing to compare this to
(oh wait we did our open water cert in a 96(f) crater that was under
12inches of snow- theres that to compare it to) so we went with our gut.
We wanted to do our Advanced Open Water PADI to gain more experience diving
and reinforce learning- so a large part of our decision on an outfit was
the personality of the dive master as we would be spending a lot of time
with him/her. 

The Outfit: We chose Adventure Scuba affiliated with the Art Cafe (which is
a mecca for all things in El Nido) based on their dive master Tom. He was
straightforward, sincere and told us the pros and cons of doing our
certification with his outfit. Being linked with the Art Café is
also very nice as they have a great bar, restaurant and shop. (Although
don't miss La Salangane down the street for great food and house flavored

Equipment: We came with our own mask/snorkel/fins and rented
reg/bcd/tanks/wetsuit. All were suitable and in good working order though
slightly worn. 

Boat: The style of boat used is called a banca boat- expect a walk in waist
high water at times. Surprisingly smooth ride even on choppy-ish seas. No
frills except the dazzling scenery!

Tom took us on a total of 13 dives so we hit nearly every dive site in
Bacuit Bay which was awesome! Tom (a 3500+ dives type of guy from England-
DARLING) took great care of us, he was very patient, thoughtful and an
effective and thorough instructor. He really maximized our time in the
water- and was fun to follow as he showed us A LOT of marine life. Every
day on the boat Adventure Scuba made us lunch- which you can choose from
fish, pork, chicken or veggie. We had a taste of each and enjoyed them all.
Lunch includes rice, a small salad (which we ate and never had any gut
issue) coffee, bottled water, cookies and bananas. While eating you were
normally at some insanely incredible beach with sparkling blue surf and
coconut trees. Mind numbingly beautiful archipelago. Going diving in Baicut
Bay is THE best way to "Island Hop" which is the primary activity
in El Nido. 

Creatures: The big names we saw were green and hawksbill turtles, black tip
sharks, an amazing school of car sized bump-head parrot fish and TONS of
small colorful fish. Seemingly endless varieties of small damsel and
anemone fish everywhere. Overall we loved our experience! 

Notes on the town: We went in late November over Thanksgiving and had great
weather- although a typhoon came through 3 days after we left. THERE ARE NO
ATMs IN EL NIDO and few places take credit cards so bring a wad of cash.
Power goes off (in the whole town) from 6am till 2pm- or whenever the town
generator fails which was a few times while we were there- pack a headlamp.
Also- Adventure Scuba will come pick you up at one of the fancy private
island resorts and take you diving for half the price the resorts charge.
If you really want your mind blown on a tropical luxury experience check
out Miniloc Island Resort- but call Adventure Scuba for diving in the area.

Experienced Divers: You'll have to ask Tom what it's like to dive here as
an experienced diver but I had a great time- and no matter how many dives
you have Bacuit Bay is absolutely breathtaking to look at and spend time
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Subscriber's Comments

By David Cutler in ID, US at Dec 07, 2012 15:00 EST  
Good for you! The first few trips were very special for us (Partly because
our Idaho eyes had not seen many tropical beaches.) Keep your enthusiasm
and here's to many more trips.
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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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