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Dive Review of Magic Island Dive Resort in
Philippines/Moalboal, Cebu Island

Magic Island Dive Resort, Mar, 2010,

by Michael, WA, USA (Contributor Contributor 13 reports with 6 Helpful votes). Report 5428.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving All over Caribbean, Mexico, Maui, Indonesia (Bunaken & Lembeh Strait), Florida Keys
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents, no currents
Water Temp 83 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Just follow the group (mainly leisurely very slow drift diving, less current than Cozumel) and dive your computer. 130 ft. limit.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Could improve size of tubs for big cameras.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Well worth the 24+ hour travel from U.S. and Europe. Best routing through Hong Kong, KL or Singapore, non-stops then to Cebu City. Worst part of trip is 2.5-3.0 hour white knuckle drive (excellent driver and nice A/C SUV)from Cebu City to resort on twisty, crowded road with literally thousands of people, kids, dogs, motorcycle sidecars on and along the road. Literally hundreds of turns, worse than road to Hana on Maui. But enjoyed the scenery and the way of life scenes along the way--boy you are not in Kansas anymore. Magic Island run by Dutch expats Arie and Desiree, an excellent, intimate, spotless and accommodating resort. Willem now runs the dive shop for the next year, and is eager to please. Beautiful grounds, cabins with A/C, superior and varied made-to-order food, do everything they can to make your stay just right. Most speak English, are very helpful and friendly. Most guests are Europeans--Dutch and Germans especially. Boats are locally made, comfortable but a little narrow, but quick to the dive sites, the furthest of which is only 20 minutes away. Diving is classic SE Asia--excellent diversity of fish and coral, even overwhelming at times (in a good way). Small stuff abundant--ghost pipefish, pygmy seahorses, nudibranchs, crabs, shrimp. Macro photography is best, wide angle difficult to get without backscatter--lots of plankton in the water. Turtles regularly seen, all the normal fish species and lots of unusual puffers, mandarin gobies, boxfish, many species of other gobies, tuna, pencilfish, big snakes, common pipefish, lionfish, scorpionfish, devilfish, eels, anenome fish, cuttlefish. No whale sharks, but a couple of white tips spotted. No dolphins, but have been seen, we were told. Pescador Island sardine swarm not to be missed! Night dive at Pescador also fabulous, but anywhere on local reef good too. Dive guides are locals with limited English, but very good at finding small stuff. They were loose with you once they knew you were capable. Very patient with photographers, went very slowly. Most dives 60-65 minutes, 1 hour surface interval on White Beach, locals abound and girls/women selling necklaces. Don't miss the excursion to Kawasan Falls--a 4 hour hike through a a deep canyon stream with beautiful waterfalls, stalagtites, vines, jumps/dives into blue pools. Just like being in a movie, but wear cold water booties and be in pretty good shape. Liked unlimited dive package--I averaged 3 per day for 12 days, and got full board, not disappointing. Definitely a step above most places in Indonesia, at a very reasonable price ($150/night as a single, less for doubles, all-inclusive; well below Caribbean, Palau, Fiji, etc.) Great dive deal. Go other places for wrecks and big stuff, but this is great diving for rich underwater coral and fish. Will try to go back.
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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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