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Dive Review of Dos Palmas in
Philippines/Puerto Princesa

Dos Palmas: "Dos Palmas -- nice place to layover.", May, 2016,

by Michael J. Millet, CA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 78 reports with 44 Helpful votes). Report 8930.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments

I made my way to Dos Palmas, Palawan, Philippines from Koror, Palau via Yap, Guam and Manila. The travel was smooth until the Manila-Puerto Princessa leg. My flight on PAL was cancelled so I was put on a later flight that arrived too late to catch the last ferry to Dos Palmas. The Dos Palmas arranged a hotel room for me in Puerto Princessa (PP). I arrived in PP with my dive gear but no clothes bag. With the assistance of the Dos Palmas staff, my bag arrived 2 days later.

Dos Palmas is an island resort in Honda Bay northeast of Puerto Princessa. It is accessed by a scheduled ferry; about an hour’s ride. I spent 5 nights here filling the hiatus before boarding the Azores for Tubbataha.

The dive shop was under renovation so the dive operation was set up on the beach under tarpaulins. They were definitely making the best of a challenging situation. No nitrox is available. Since I was among only 3-4 divers there at this time, the operation was quite accommodating regarding scheduling dives. I did 10 dives over 4 days. The dive boat has a dive guide, driver and mate on board a Filipino-style out-rigger. The visibility was generally on the low side – about 30’. The bottom is quite silty. The reefs appear to be in pretty good shape. The marine life offered several different genus of nudibranchs including very large Hypselodoris; several very large anemones with clown fish; several juvenile harlequin sweetlips; blueribbon eels; shrimps; pipefish and thorny seahorses.

Breakfast is included but lunch and dinner are extra. Since Dos Palmas is the only place to eat on the island, it would make sense to have all the meal included. All alcohol is extra. The food was “hit and miss”. There were several items on the menu that were not available. In fact, the bar did not have tonic water until my last evening. Breakfast offered an extensive buffet plus made-to-order eggs. Lunch menu included some sandwiches that can be best described as “sad”. The dinner menu included a number of items that were not available including sashimi, mud crabs and poki. The tuna steaks were quite good and cooked to order – quite raw. The wait staff at the restaurant was always helpful and friendly.

The rooms are quite large and overlook the water with a large balcony. The rooms face west to enjoy some fantastic sunsets. The power shuts off from 10 AM – 11 AM and from 4 PM to 5 PM everyday. The rooms are clean; the AC is the old-styled window units that are not very efficient, barely keeping the room cool.

The resort offers a very large pool and a spa.

All in all, I had a generally pleasant experience. For me, Dos Palmas is not a destination in itself, but it makes for a good place to spend a few days while waiting for the next leg of trip.



Websites Dos Palmas   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving All over the Caribbean; Galapagos, Socorro, Fiji, Solomons, GBR, Vanuatu,
PNG, Philippines, Indonesia, Palau, Yap, Kosrae
Closest Airport Puerto Princesa Getting There thru Manila; must arrive by about 230 PM to make last ferry to island.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 87-90°F / 31-32°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 25-50 Ft/ 8-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There is no camera room at the resort. The dive shop was under renovation so there was no camera rinse on shore; used a hose to wash down the camera. The dive boat did provide a camera rinse container.

Dos Palmas reefs call for a macro camera set up. Lots of clownfish, jawfish and many large Hypselodoris nudibranchs.
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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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