Philippines Diving end of November
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Jul 8, 2012 5:33 AM Last Post By: jmbouchard
Jun 20, 2012 9:37 AM
Philippines Diving end of NovemberI'm planning a trip to the Philippines for about 3 weeks. Ideally I'd like to go between the 15th of Nov and 6th of Dec. We would arrive in Clark.
For the first two weeks, the plan was to start out with a couple of days beach time, then get OW certified. Snorkeling, beach time, kayaking, some more diving.
In the 3rd week get back to Luzon and go hiking in the Sagada area. Fly out of Clark.
Where would you recommend diving for good visibility given that we'd do diving between 15th of Nov and 1st of Dec? I have read a lot about Coron and also Palawan, but I'm not sure if its a good spot end of Nov and I've read that you have to be a more advanced diver - we would only just get our OW cert, so beginners stuff for us only.
Also, overall, do you think November is a good time to go? Or should I scrap the idea and leave Philippines for say, March?
Jun 20, 2012 8:59 PM
November is a good time to go (though I do agree that March would be far better). The monsoon generally would have receded by november.
As far as learning diving goes, Bohol is far better than Coron / Palawan. The latter is still rather small town types, and more popular for wreck diving.
Bohol on the other hand has lots of reefs, (which are living !) and colourful marine life. There are about 30 dive schools all along Alona beach, most run by either Germans, Aussies or Swiss people.
As far as equipment goes, they are all good - usually they use equipment made by companies liek Scubapro.
For snorkelling, I would recommend Coron - Siette Pecadoes (details here - http://corontrip.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/day-2-island-hopping/ ), Hundred islands Alaminos (details here - http://hundredislandsphilippines.blogspot.com/2011/10/day-3-overnight-stay-in-quezon-island.html ) or Bohol / Balicasag island.
Jun 20, 2012 9:46 PM
Jun 21, 2012 3:54 PM
3November is fine. The SW monsoon is out by then and the cooler, drier, NE monsoon is in play. There's a remote possibility of a typhoon but the probability of good weather is very high. In many ways it's better than March, which is getting into the really seriously hot season. Nov/Dec also generally better for hiking around Sagada, cooler and more lush, everything's green and streams are pretty full. By March it's usually getting dry, brown, and hazy.
Agree with the above on dive sites in the Visayas for learning, but I'd look at Moalboal as well. Calm-water reef diving and the sites are very close to the hotels, not much boat/road time.
Jun 21, 2012 8:59 PM
Forgot - Balicasag island too is a good place for OW course. They have one dive shop, but best part is all the dives are from the beach (just walk in :).
The fact that the reefs are pristine and there is a HIGH probability of seeing turtles (there is a large area informally called turtle reef by the locals) just makes it better. (photos and info here - http://www.flickr.com/photos/tintinthetraveller/4998679520/)
Jun 22, 2012 3:46 AM
Jul 8, 2012 5:33 AM
Well I am sorry to disagree with what has been stated higher in this post but Coron is fully adapted to beginners. The fact that it has a broader spectrum of levels does not make it a bad choice for OW cert.
You will find amazing alive reefs too. And despite what many people say, you can dive on the wrecks as a beginner. It is not recommended to go inside of course, but you can dive around and enjoy the diversity of marine life. What is the only difference between the beginner and the advanced diver? The advanced penetrates the wreck.
Also there are less diving schools in Coron which means less divers on sites. And trust me, you'll appreciate that. At the dive centre I went, there was only 2 of us for the instructor.
Whatever you decide, both spots are good.
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