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Dive Review of Sea Explorers Philippines/Pura Vida Resort in

Sea Explorers Philippines/Pura Vida Resort: "Diving diversity at Dauin (Pura Vida Resort / Sea Explorers)", Feb, 2018,

by Phil Johnston, Bayswater, AU (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 25 reports with 23 Helpful votes). Report 10150.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling 1 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments My first visit to Dauin was a great experience. My beachfront bungalow at Pura Vida was well furnished in a pleasant, well-maintained garden setting.
Restaurant food (in an outdoor dining area) was reasonable quality although service was a little slow at times. Free access to a local gym for Pura Vida guests was a bonus.
The diving operation is run by a separate business (Sea Explorers), who bill separately to the resort itself. The gear storage area was close to the beach departure/arrival point for dive boats, & staff were highly organised in moving diver’s gear crates on/off the dive boats from the storage area. Boats crews were very helpful in donning gear & assisting divers into/out of the water. Sea Explorers run a number of outrigger style diving boats which were in fairly good condition although with pretty basic, small rinse tubs for cameras. The only negative was the unavailability of a large tank, which I needed as I am not a small person (they did have 15 litre tanks but none were available at the time of my visit).
Diving operations were split into 1 or 2 tank local dives, and longer day trips to sites such as Apo Island and whale shark dives at Oslob. Most of the local sites were pure muck dives on volcanic black sands, although other local sites such as Dauin South did have some reasonable hard coral formations. Macro critters such as ghost pipefish, frogfish, dumpling squid, Ambon scorpionfish, cockatoo waspfish, sea horses, nudibranches and shrimps were seen regularly at the muck diving sites. My dive guide (Airen Daguinotas) was an exceptional spotter who pointed out many small &/or camouflaged critters I would otherwise have missed. I wouldn’t rate Dauin quite as highly as Lembeh as a macro dive destination, but it was pretty close.
I enjoyed “Mainit” as the best of the local sites. The dive commences as a macro dive site over black sand however large coral bommies are soon encountered with prolific fish life. The site is a “no take” zone & this was reflected in the number of larger fish (jacks, bonito & cod) seen here. The dive ends at the southern end of the reef, where underwater hot springs and sulphur deposits on the sand are seen.
I did a 3 tank day trip to Apo Island, & was very impressed by the healthy, lush hard & soft corals. Like Dauin itself Apo had areas of hot sands with gas bubbles arising from the sand. Many turtles, cuttles and a very large banded sea snake were seen at Apo, my guide Airen again spotted some nudies & other small critters. I rated Apo as a world class dive site for the beauty of its corals.
I also visited Oslob & Sumilon. Whales sharks are fed with krill at Oslob every morning, apparently this can attract up to half a dozen individual whalesharks. Whilst the site is crowded with snorkelers & the whale sharks’ behaviour is not totally natural, viewing 2-3 whalesharks at close quarters was a unique experience.
Sumilon Island was dived on the return trip to Dauin. Like Apo Island, it is surrounded by a very healthy fringing reef of hard corals. Small tropical fish life was prolific at this site.

The quality of the resort and diving operations, and the diversity of marine life from small macro critters, hard corals, turtles and whalesharks in the Dauin/Apo/Oslob area makes this an excellent diving destination. I would highly recommend Airen Daguinotas as an enthusiastic, attentive and very personable dive guide, she works freelance and can be contacted on
Websites Sea Explorers Philippines   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Australia, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Indonesia/Bali, Cocos, Cozumel, Tonga, Galapagos, Tahiti, Maldives, Mozambique, Bahamas, Red Sea, Roatan.
Closest Airport Dumaguete Getting There Direct flights from Manila & Cebu City, then 40 minute drive to Dauin

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 25-26°C / 77-79°F Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 5-25 M / 16-82 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Standard restrictions eg no deco diving
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Smallish fresh water rinse tubs on dive boats, didn't check out the facilities at the dive centre.
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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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