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Philippines Diving Trip - Help needed

San Antonio, Texas
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Philippines Diving Trip - Help needed

Hello all,

I will be visiting the Philippines from 31 Jan to 7 Feb. I arrive to Manila at 1530 on 31 Jan and will be leaving out of Manila at 1800 on 7 Feb. Planning to go diving in Palawan (somewhere) and then head down to Donsol in Cebu for Whale Shark interaction.

What would be a good split? Should I try heading to Palawan immediately after landing in Manila (1740 flights out to arrive in PPS by 1900) and staying there until 4 Feb, and then heading from Manila to Cebu and out to Donsol on the evening of 4 Feb.. diving with Whale Sharks on 5 and 6 Feb and then back to Manila on the evening of 6 Feb or morning of 7 Feb to fly back home?

Has anybody taken a similar trip that can give advice on great diving/accommodation in Palawan?

Thanks in advance.

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Manila
Manila
Luzon, Philippines
Palawan Island
Palawan Island
Palawan Province, Philippines
Donsol
Donsol
Luzon, Philippines
Cebu Island
Cebu Island
Visayas, Philippines
Donsol Whale Shark Interaction
Donsol Whale Shark...
382 Reviews
Luzon, Philippines
Puerto Princesa Airport
Puerto Princesa Airport
Palawan Island, Philippines
10 replies to this topic
Ottawa
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1. Re: Philippines Diving Trip - Help needed

Donsol is in Sorsogon Province, southern Luzon, not near Cebu at all. You may be thinking of Oslob, on the island of Cebu.

Moving around in the Philippines takes more time than you should believe possible. Suggest you fly to Cebu straight away and dive e.g. Moalboal, then snorkel with the whale sharks at Oslob the day before flying back to Manila (you do know you shouldn’t fly for 18-24 hours after your last dive?) and BY ALL MEANS spend your last night in Manila. Unless you like missing international flights.

Alternately, if you wish to snorkel with the whale sharks in Donsol, you could go there first, flying via Legazpi, then return to Manila and travel overland to Anilao, or overland+ferry to Puerto Galera. Or there’s a seaplane service to PG from Manila harbour, Air Juan. Both Anilao and PG offer fine diving.

Have only dived El Nido in Palawan and was underimpressed. There are dive operators near Puerto Princesa, can’t help with recommendations. It is not in the Philippines top ten dive destinations, let’s say. But plenty of interesting things above the water.

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Donsol
Donsol
Luzon, Philippines
Sorsogon
Sorsogon
Luzon, Philippines
Luzon
Luzon
Philippines
Cebu Island
Cebu Island
Visayas, Philippines
Oslob
Oslob
Cebu Island, Philippines
Manila
Manila
Luzon, Philippines
Legazpi
Legazpi
Luzon, Philippines
Anilao
Anilao
Luzon, Philippines
Puerto Galera
Puerto Galera
Mindoro, Philippines
El Nido
El Nido
Palawan Island, Philippines
Palawan Island
Palawan Island
Palawan Province, Philippines
Puerto Princesa
Puerto Princesa
Palawan Island, Philippines
melbourne
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2. Re: Philippines Diving Trip - Help needed

Good advice above.

There is a thread on diving in the Philippines in the Top Questions on the right hand side panel ------------------>

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puerto princesa
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3. Re: Philippines Diving Trip - Help needed

Arriving in Manila at 15.30 would make it impossible to make the 17.40 connection as it would probably take an hour to clear the airport then you have to check in again, possibly transferring to another terminal.

Although i am not a diver it might be a better idea to do your diving in Coron as there are some great sites including more than 20 warships from the WWII.

https://divezone.net/diving/coron-palawan

Philippine airlines and Cebgo have flights between Cebu and Busuanga in Coron, and from Busuanga there are flights to Manila. And yes, Oslob would be the place for the whalesharks, not Donsol.

Suggest you book a later flight on Jan 31st to Cebu---there are quite a few with Cebu Pacific and Air Asia, but allow up to 5 hours for xfer to be safe. After 2 full days in Oslob fly to Coron for the remaining days, and catch a morning flight back to Manila for your flight home.

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Manila
Manila
Luzon, Philippines
Cebu Island
Cebu Island
Visayas, Philippines
Busuanga Island
Busuanga Island
Palawan Province, Philippines
Coron
Coron
Busuanga Island, Philippines
Oslob
Oslob
Cebu Island, Philippines
Pacific Cebu Resort
Pacific Cebu Resort
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Mactan Island, Philippines
Asia
Asia
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melbourne
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4. Re: Philippines Diving Trip - Help needed

Post #15 in the thread below gives some very detailed diving information

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g29…

San Antonio, Texas
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5. Re: Philippines Diving Trip - Help needed

Latest itinerary update.. looks like I'll stick to Cebu. Please feel free to add or edit anything from my agenda and fill in any gaps as necessary.

31 Jan

Fly into Manila

Fly into Cebu

Get into hostel/hotel/airbnb

1 Feb

Go down to Moalboal

Dive Moalboal

2 Feb

Badian Canyoneering

Kawasan falls

3 Feb

Go to Oslob

Swim with Whale Sharks

Tumalog falls or Aguinid Falls

Osmena Peak

4 Feb

Get to Malapascua

5 Feb

Dive Malapacua (Thresher shark)

6 Feb

Head back to Cebu to fly back to Manila

7 Feb

Fly out of Manila

Does this itinerary seem realistic? I know it will take a lot of time to travel from place to place.. can somebody give me realistic timeframes for travel between destinations and any solutions to make that travel faster? I figured taking a tricycle or cab/bus would be my route, are there flights that would save a lot of time and is it worth it?

I would love to be able to fit a day or two of Coron into this schedule, but it doesn't seem possible - unless you guys have thoughts on how to condense.

Thank you!

Edited: 15 January 2018, 22:31
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Cebu Island
Cebu Island
Visayas, Philippines
Manila
Manila
Luzon, Philippines
Moalboal
Moalboal
Cebu Island, Philippines
Badian
Badian
Cebu Island, Philippines
Oslob
Oslob
Cebu Island, Philippines
Aguinid Falls
Aguinid Falls
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Cebu Island, Philippines
Osmena Peak
Osmena Peak
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Cebu Island, Philippines
Ottawa
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6. Re: Philippines Diving Trip - Help needed

Sorry for late reply. It seems a bit packed. From Cebu to Malapascua is a good four or five hours, and that's with a private transfer (think about $100-$140 US). From Oslob will take longer. The Malapascua thresher shark dive is at 5 am, you did know that, right? So you'll be hauling yourself out of bed quite early after a long day of travel. Also, due to the depth where you have to hang out, 25-30 metres, an AOW certification is required and nitrox would be of benefit. Do you have those cards?

For a more relaxing holiday I'd stay put at Moalboal longer and mix diving with those other lovely adventures you have in mind.

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Cebu Island
Cebu Island
Visayas, Philippines
Malapascua Island
Malapascua Island
Cebu Island, Philippines
Oslob
Oslob
Cebu Island, Philippines
Moalboal
Moalboal
Cebu Island, Philippines
San Antonio, Texas
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7. Re: Philippines Diving Trip - Help needed

I did not know the thresher shark dive is at 5am, but my normal schedule is to wake up at 0400 to hit the gym, so I don't see it being a huge issue there. Also, I do have an AOW certification as well as am nitrox certified :)

I think I'm willing to make it a little hectic (I'm only 27yo, so am used to it) for the opportunity to see some thresher sharks and enjoy Malapascua for 1.5 days.

Thank you for your comment!!

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Malapascua Island
Malapascua Island
Cebu Island, Philippines
Ottawa
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8. Re: Philippines Diving Trip - Help needed

Ah well then, go for it! I can recommend Evolution Divers in Malapascua. With that schedule, you really might want to splurge on the private driver. Possible you’ll find others to share a van on the return Malapascua-Cebu, but you want to do your utmost not to miss flights.

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Malapascua Island
Malapascua Island
Cebu Island, Philippines
Puerto Galera...
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9. Re: Philippines Diving Trip - Help needed

Do you really want to spend one and a half days diving plus the tourist trip at Oslob ?

Assuming you leave 4 hours between flights you could consider just spending 3 or 6 hours in a short time hotel then making a very early start to Moalboal or to Malapascua. www.hotelsogo.com have a branch in Cebu, no need to book but on friday/Saturday you may have to wait for a room - but there is free WiFi while you wait.

As a diver my experience is on day one you get the easy boring dives so the instructor can assess your level of competence and like relationships the dives are usually best after a few days when you can get into more adventourous stuff. Turning up at Moalboal late morning don't be suprised to be told to come back the next morning

I would just head to Moalboal or Malapascua and if you find after a few days you want a change then just go but for such a short time spending most of it in buses/cars is a waste of time.

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Oslob
Oslob
Cebu Island, Philippines
Moalboal
Moalboal
Cebu Island, Philippines
Malapascua Island
Malapascua Island
Cebu Island, Philippines
Cebu Island
Cebu Island
Visayas, Philippines
San Antonio, Texas
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10. Re: Philippines Diving Trip - Help needed

With this being said, could I adjust my schedule to landing in Cebu at 1925 and then catching a cab or bus down to Moalboal that same night? It seems like a 2.5 hour trip so the absolute earliest I'd arrive would be around 2200 but then that'd give me the ability to dive Moalboal on the 1st of Feb early morning. Then the rest of the schedule would play out the same way.

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Cebu Island
Cebu Island
Visayas, Philippines
Moalboal
Moalboal
Cebu Island, Philippines
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