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Dive Review of Atlantis Dive Resorts/Azores in
Philippines/Southern Leyte

Atlantis Dive Resorts/Azores, Jan, 2013,

by Curt Thompson, CA, US ( 1 report with 1 Helpful vote). Report 6900 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 2 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling 1 stars
Value for $$ 1 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments RE: Atlantis Azores Southern Leyte Safari January 2013

Let me start by saying I really struggle with giving negative dive reports, as I tend to give operators the benefit of the doubt. But alas, I feel I need to warn people while my memory is fresh. Also, I should mention I am a trip leader, and on this particular trip took 14 divers from the dive shop where I teach, so I’m very aware of the cost and tim einvolved in traveling to the Southern Leyte region of the Philippines.

If you don’t like long reports, here’s the bottom line - The diving was far, far below my expectations, especially given my experience at the Atlantis resorts in Puerta Galera and Dumaguete in October of 2011. Save your money and go somewhere else!

Now the longer version, or what I like to title “the Good, the Bad and the Ugly”!

The Good
Transportation - The Atlantis Resorts did a great job of coordinating all the moving pieces (transport to and from the airports, hotel and boat).
Boat & Crew – The boat and crew were great.

The Bad
Weather & Visibility – No fault of the Atlantis team, but the weather was just simply bad, as it rained intermittently and the wind was almost constant. As a result of the wind and rain the visibility averaged 25-40 feet. All were disappointed.
Whale Sharks – The whale shark “snorkel” on the second day was disappointing. Yes we saw two whale sharks, but only for 1-2 minutes each and the weather kept them 30-40+ feet below us. They really sell the trip based on whale sharks, but the schedule consists of one 2 hour period of riding in inflatable boats looking for whale sharks with a village of spotters?!

The Ugly
The Diving – I was very, very disappointed with the quality of the diving! After listening to the Atlantis Azores Southern Leyte promotional package and staying at the two Atlantis Resorts, I really, really expected much more! Regardless of the weather’s impact on visibility and dive sites, the diving does not justify the travel time and effort. Yes, the reef was relatively healthy in places, but there are no fish! The Southern Leyte region is terribly over fished and the reefs are covered by crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci)! In fact, there were so many crown-of-thorns starfish that the crew allowed us to help collect them on one dive to get them off the reef (the highlight of the trip?).
Diving on the second to last day finally improved when we traveled to a preserve and started seeing fish, but even then, there were no predatory fish (large bass, sharks, etc.). “Southern Leyte” must be Tagalog for “No Fish”.

I can’t imagine returning to the Philippines with a group any time soon. There are just better dive packages and better diving in so many places.

Wish I had a better, more positive “trip summary”.
Websites Atlantis Dive Resorts   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving The Caribbean, Southeast Asia, the North Pacific, the South Pacific, the Central Eastern Pacific, and the Sea of Cortez.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather rainy Seas choppy
Water Temp 81-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-75 Ft/ 15-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dive was limited to one hour and you had to stay with the group.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 1 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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