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

March, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Michael, WA, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (11 reports, with 4 Helpful votes)
Report Number 5428
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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

calm, choppy, surge, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
83   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Just follow the group (mainly leisurely very slow drift diving, less
current than Cozumel) and dive your computer.  130 ft. limit.    
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Could improve size of tubs for big cameras.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
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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