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Central Visayas

Discover the wonders of Malapascua, Dauin and Bohol

The Central Visayas is a region of the Philippines consisting of four provinces:  Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor. This area of the Philippines has excellent diving and wonderful dive resorts to choose from, ranging from mid-budget resorts to high-end five star. All resorts we feature have well-run dive centres onsite and offer excellent boat diving to some fantastic sites.

So which areas should you consider? All have something special to offer and come highly recommended. Why not combine two resorts to enhance your dive trip and get the very best of Central Visayas diving?

Dauin
This area is part of southern Oriental Negros and is famous for Apo Island Marine Park, with it’s rich coral walls. But along the shoreline of Dauin there is world class ‘muck diving’ in the black volcanic sands. All manor of critters can be found here, including flamboyant cuttlefish, pygmy sea horses and the mimic octopus. Choose to stay at either Atmosphere Resort or Pura Vida Resort.

Malapascua
The small island of Malapascua is situated off the northern tip of Cebu Island. Malapascua is famous for the thresher sharks that can be observed here all year round, but is also loved by divers for its rich and varied dive sites. Here you can discover beautiful coral gardens, exciting walls and enter caverns. As well as big stuff, there is also fabulous critter and macro life to look out for. Choose to stay at Ocean Vida Resort, situated along a lovely white sandy beach.

Bohol
A two hour ferry ride east of Cebu city is the island of Bohol. This is stunning island to explore top side, with dense forests and rivers, the famous Chocolate Hills and endemic Tarsier monkeys. Bohol also boasts some incredible diving. Located in the south-eastern corner of Bohol is the beautiful Amun Ini Resort, from which you can immerse yourself into Bohol’s underwater world. Everything is here, including reef walls and critter diving.

How to get there
The Central Visayas covers quite an extensive area of the Philippines and as such there are two international airport options you can fly into. Cebu Airport is likely to be the main one to consider, as this is the best choice for those going on to Bohol or Malapascua.

Bohol is reached via a three hour ferry ride from Cebu Pier, followed by a short drive to the resort. To get to Malapascua takes around three hours by car,  followed by a 30 minute boat ride to your resort.

For those interested in diving the Dauin area, you can still choose Cebu Airport as your option, with a transfer time to Dauin being around three and a half hours (mostly by road with a 35 minute ferry hop along the way). Another option for Dauin is to travel into Manila, take a night’s rest there, before joining a domestic flight to Dumaguete the next morning. Flight time is around 50 minutes, followed by a short 30 minute drive to your resort in Dauin.

Stay a bit a longer
There are many reasons to extend your stay in the Philippines, as there is so much to see and do. Bohol in particular should be seen, as there are many natural wonders to explore, including the Chocolate Hills, endemic Tarsier monkeys, plus a fascinating Spanish history dating back to the 1500s.

Dauin also has some great day tours available, including hikes to waterfalls, hot springs and to local villages and markets.

Whatever you fancy doing, we’ll be happy to guide you and assist with all your travel needs.

Exploring The Philippines
The Philippines is a stunning destination with so much to offer and divers return year after year to explore further regions. Visit our Philippines section for an introduction to where to go throughout this country, including diving the World War II wrecks of Coron, Central Visayas and Tubbataha National Marine Park.

Quick Guide: Central Visayas

  • Location: Central Philippines
  • When to go: All year round, but driest Jan – May
  • Average air temp: Tropical 31°C
  • Average water temp: 26°C – 28°C
  • Recommended diver level: Good for all levels

 Dive Resorts

 Liveaboard Philippines Siren

The S/Y Philippine Siren is part of the beautiful Siren Fleet of wooden diving yachts that have been designed with divers in mind. Built in 2013, the S/Y Philippine Siren is 40m long and consists of 8 (2 Double and 6 Twin) well appointed cabins taking 16 divers in total. All cabins are incredibly spacious and have en-suite facilities with air conditioning, media centres, cupboards and towels.

Meals are served at the rear of the boat on the upper deck in the open air around a semi circular table. The food is delicious and plentiful in a buffet style with a variety of local and international cuisine served. The crew can cater for any dietary requirement, so just advise us your needs when booking.

The large air conditioned saloon area is located on the upper deck and is a great place to relax with comfortable lounge sofas, 42” Flatscreen TV, a library of books, games and dvds as well as camera stations and lockers.

The dive deck is at the rear of the boat and each diver has their own dive stations and personal storage drawers. There is plenty of space for kitting up plus equipment hire (apart from dc and torch) and Nitrox is free (for those qualified). Diving is done from the 2 inflatable ribs which are accessed by the platform on the side of the boat.

The S/Y Philippine Siren covers 2 different areas of the Philippines depending on the time of year. Between February and June she visits the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tubbataha on 6 and 13 night itineraries. Then from June to February you can visit the Visayas region of the Philippines on one of the many itineraries on offer. 

Itineraries

Malapascua & Visayas – 10 nights
This brilliant itinerary is full of great diving and is the most popular trip on the Philippine Siren. Most of the trips in the Visayas are on this itinerary and they start and finish in Cebu. Trips start on different days of the week, so it’s worth checking on the exact dates available when enquiring. The highlights are; Cabilao, Panglao, Balicasag, Pescador, Apo Island and Dauin. 

Guide price: 10 nights from £3350 per person*
Includes: Full board accommodation in a twin/double lower deck cabin, unlimited tea, coffee, water, local beer, diving and use of tank & weights, nitrox (for those qualified) and equipment hire.

Excludes: International flights, transfers, National Park fees $155USD pp and Philippine departure tax of 200PHP for domestic flights and 850PHP for international flights

*Price shown is for guide purposes only and is based on low season travel for twin/double share accommodation. Please contact us for a confirmed cost based on your preferred duration and time of travel.

Getting here
The Philippine Siren liveaboard departs from Cebu. There are regular flights to Cebu with the most popular route being via Manila or Dubai from London. An overnight is required prior to the boarding day and we have many options to choose from.

Southern Visayas – 6 & 7 nights
There are usually 2 or 3 shorter trips in the Southern Visayas that start in Cebu or Moalboal. These itineraries deliver the highlights of the region for those short on time. The trips run for 6 or 7 nights and depart on different days of the week, so it’s worth checking on the exact dates available when enquiring. The highlights include; Cabilao Island, Dauin, Moalboal, Pescador Island and Apo Island.

Guide price: 7 nights from £2525 per person and 6 nights from £2390*
Includes: Full board accommodation in a twin/double lower deck cabin, unlimited tea, coffee, water, local beer, diving and use of tank & weights, nitrox (for those qualified) and equipment hire.

Excludes: International flights, transfers, National Park fees $155USD pp and Philippine departure tax of 200PHP for domestic flights and 850PHP for international flights

*Price shown is for guide purposes only and is based on low season travel for twin/double share accommodation. Please contact us for a confirmed cost based on your preferred duration and time of travel.

Getting here
The Philippine Siren liveaboard departs from Cebu. Many airlines now fly direct from their international hub to Cebu from London. It is advisable to have a night in Cebu prior to the departure date and we have many options to choose from.

Philippines by region

Central Visayas
Discover the wonders of Malapascua, Dauin and Bohol

Tubbataha National Marine Park
Reef walls of Tubbataha and Palawan adventures

Coron
Incredible diving on historic World War II wrecks

Ready for your next adventure?

Great Escapes Diving Holidays Ltd

Westerfield Business Centre
Main Road
Westerfield
Suffolk
IP6 9AB
United Kingdom

Office hours: Mondays to Fridays 09.00am - 5.00pm
Tel: +44 (0)1473 921888
Email: info@greatescapesdiving.com

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate