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Dive trip temptations: Philippines & Malaysia

Skandi Divers Resort
Skandi Divers Resort

Diverse Travel has expanded its range of offerings in the Philippines with the addition of three well-known dive resorts and a liveaboard to its portfolio. 

Also read: Philippines ‘centre of the centre’ becomes Hope Spot

The UK dive tour operator is offering trips with either Scandi Divers or Atlantis Puerto Galera at scuba hotspot Puerto Galera on the island of Mindoro. Both operations have 40-room resorts, the former located on the white sands of Big La Laguna Beach, the latter built into the hillside just above Sabang Beach. 

The biodiverse Puerto Galera sits in a natural harbour on Verde Island Passage and the surrounding sea, designated a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve in 1973, offers more than 40 dive-sites suitable for divers at all levels.

These range from shallow coral gardens to drift dives on walls and penetrable wrecks, with marine life covering everything from photogenic critters in the bays to pelagics in the passage’s stronger currents. With the destination attracting underwater photographers, both resorts have included bespoke camera-rooms. 

Camera room at Atlantis Dumaguete in the Philippines
Atlantis Dumaguete camera-room

Over on the island of Negros, Diverse Travel is now featuring the other Atlantis, the beachfront Dumaguete Resort, with its 44 rooms, pool, spa, waterfront restaurant and camera-room. Diving covers both the Dauin and Dumaguete areas, including a number of marine protected areas.

Dauin has a reputation as the Philippines’ frogfish capital, among its other critter attractions. Day trips are available to nearby Apo Island, Siquijor and, known for its snorkelling with whale sharks, Oslob.

The Atlantis Azores 32m motor yacht caters for up to 16 divers, providing access to Tubbataha Reef, Bohol, Apo Reef, the Coron wrecks and thresher-shark centre Malapascua. A liveaboard trip can be combined with a stay at any of the resorts for those with time to spare.

Atlantis Azores liveaboard
The Atlantis Azores liveaboard accesses further-flung dive-sites including Tubbataha

Diverse Travel Philippines packages start from £1,799pp (May 2023), including return flights from London to Manila with 32kg of baggage, seven nights’ full-board at Scandi Divers, up to four dives a day, transfers, local taxes and ATOL financial protection. Find out more.

Divers’ Retreat in Malaysia

Tenggol Island
Dive-boats at Tenggol Island
Diving off Tenggol
Anemones and gorgonians – diving off Tenggol

Meanwhile the Malaysian dive season is underway, and scuba divers are invited to make the most of this at the 5* beachside Tanjong Jara Resort with its Tenggol Divers' Retreat package, which includes accommodation, food and drink, daily dives and equipment. 

The resort is at Dungun on Malaysia’s east coast and it offers diving off Tenggol, the last island in a string that include Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Redang and a 45-minute boat ride out. The attractions are said to include colourful coral reefs, turtles, giant humphead parrotfish, eagle rays and the occasional shark too.

The PADI dive resort, inspired in terms of design by elegant 17th-century Malay palaces, says it aims to celebrate a traditional way of life through its accommodation, dining and Spa Village.

Guest room at the resort
Guest room at the Tanjong Jara Resort

The Tenggol Divers’ Retreat package, which can be booked until 30 September this year, starts from 1,350 ringgits per room per night (about £245), and includes with the accommodation breakfast and dinner for two, four dives over two days, lunch on Tenggol during each trip and dive-gear hire. Find out more.

Minimum stay is three nights, which you would most likely want after a long journey: the nearest airport is Kuala Trengganu, two hours north by bus, or fly into the capital Kuala Lumpur and take a cross-country train and bus.

Also on Divernet: Puerto Galera’s Dive-Sites Given All-Clear, Dive Into Paradise: Exploring The Philippines’ Best Dive Spots, Whale Sharks Stick To The Philippines, Wreck-Dive Obsession: Brothers In Arms

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