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Dive Review of Mike's Dive in

Mike's Dive: "Good Resort but No Dive Center?", Jul, 2019,

by John C Crossley, FL, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 28 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 11063 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments [El Dorado Resort and Mike’s Dive
Dumaguete, Philippines – July 2019

Good Resort but no Dive Center?
I have stayed at the El Dorado resort several times in past years and really enjoyed both the resort and their in-house dive operator the “Dive Society.” This March I booked a week with them for July and sent my full payment for the lodging, transfers and some meals. They said to arrange my diving once I got there. A few weeks prior to my trip, El Dorado sent me an email saying that my diving would be with Mike’s Dive Dauin Beach Resort (aka “Mike’s Dive), which was “just a short walk” down the beach. I reluctantly agreed.

Upon arrival at El Dorado, I found the resort to be just as good as it was on my previous trips. I had the standard air-conditioned room which had a great air-con, reliable hot water, a good bed, and a front porch which was good for drying stuff. Storage space was limited to some shelves, so that room could be too small for two divers. The resort was clean and pretty with a nice pool and 24 hour bar. Breakfasts were included and they were excellent. I ate several dinners at El Dorado too and they were very good, especially the wood-fired pizza.

I learned that the contract for the Dive Society operator had expired and no other dive operation had taken their place. Instead, I went to the dive operation at Mike’s Dauin Beach Resort. They picked me and my dive gear up in a rickety truck the first morning. After that, I walked about 10 minutes down the beach each morning to get to their dive center. OK, but a pain in the butt when carrying a large dive camera.

Diving in the Dauin Beach area of Dumaguete was as good as ever, especially for macro-photography. Dives at “San Miguel” were especially good, with some ornate ghost pipe-fish and a small really hairy, hairy frogfish. Four of my 11 dives were good shore dives but priced the same as boat dives! Two of those involved transport by that rickety truck to an area with lousy set-up facilities for the dives. My dive guide, Marlon, was very skilled at finding macro critters, but the dive boat, an old wooden “banka” was not in good condition. We had a three tank trip to Apo Island, which is good for corals, turtles, and fish.

Would I book El Dorado again? Yes, but only if they get a good dive operator on-site. The resort itself and the food are both very good values. However, I didn’t like the inconvenience of going down the beach to another dive operator. While there, I checked out the Pura Vida Resort that is right next to El Dorado. It costs just a little more but looks pretty nice and I really enjoyed a few dinners there. Their in-house dive center looked very well set-up and organized.
I might try Pura Vida next time.

Websites [same]El Dorado Resort

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Australia, Fiji, Truck, Yap, Palau, Bali, Lembeh, Hawaii, Florida, Red Sea, Soloman Islands, PNG, Caymans, Bonaire, BVI, Philippines and others
Closest Airport Dumaguete Getting There Connect to Dumaguete on Cebu Pacific Airlines in Manila or Cebu or Cagayan de Oro

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, no currents
Water Temp 83-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 30-100 Ft/ 9-30 M

Dive Policy

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

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 5 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 2 stars
UW Photo Comments El Dorado used to have a nice camera room. If they get an on-site dive center again it would be 4-5 stars. Rooms in the resort need more outlets for charging.
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Report currently has 2 Helpful votes

Subscriber's Comments

By Billy Stewart in GU, US at Aug 21, 2019 07:10 EST  
I dived with Mike's several years ago. He was short of guides one day and I ended up diving with one of the resorts other guests at the Marine Sanctuary. The other guest had made several dives in the sanctuary and was experienced so it was no big deal doing the dive (I was probably over 500 dives myself at the time). I still got charged full-price. Needless to say I did not dive with them on my next trip :))
By Phil Johnston in Bayswater, AU at Aug 22, 2019 07:21 EST  
I highly recommend Pura Vida as an alternative if you return to Dauin.
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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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