Where is the best time to dive in Dec?
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Oct 29, 2013 1:03 AM Last Post By: surfboy
Sep 15, 2013 8:25 PM
Where is the best time to dive in Dec?Hi,
Hopefully someone can advise me where is the best place to visit in Dec for scuba diving? I plan to travel starting from 18 Dec, return on 1 Jan '14, so have about 13 diving days in total.
I am thinking of Raja Ampat, but cost is rather steep & checking if there's still space cos it seems like quite fully booked. My next option is Philippines, so am wondering where is the ideal place to dive? I've been to Malapascua, Puerto Galera & Subic Bay, l am thinking of Boracay & maybe a few days at Bohol or if there's any where else besides Bohol, cos 13/14 days may seem too long at Boracay alone.
Appreciate if anyone can share the experiences, many thanks in advance.
BlueIce from Singapore
Sep 15, 2013 8:44 PM
1There is still some availability at Raja Ampat if that's what your preference is. Are you trying to get a spot on a liveaboard (harder at that time of year when you have fixed dates) or at a land-based resort (which sometimes have certain days of the week they operate transfers). Are you looking for backpacker budget places? It's true that because of flights and the remoteness of Raja Ampat, the cost of a comparable dive holiday is more than it would be in the Philippines or in Thailand, both of which are very good at that time of year.
For the Philippines, you mention Bohol, which is great and has more than one area to it (Alona/Panglao and Cabilao), and in addition to Bohol, I'd go to Dumaguete rather than Boracay, if it were me.
Sep 15, 2013 9:13 PM
I know l have to accommodate the LOB schedule instead, so l am looking at maybe 8 days LOB if possible & the rest on land, afterall domestic flight is req. so will definitely want to maximize the diving while there for about 2 weeks. Yes, l'm not particular on accommodation, my focus is really on diving, so l'd go for budget prices whenever possible, as traveling alone is already costly.
Do you have any good contacts to recommend at Raja Ampat?
Dumaguete, so that l'd need to take a flight there from Bohol, right? Again, any good contacts? I hope l don't have to spend more than USD 3,000 on the 2 weeks vacation, but l know if heading to Raja Ampat, that is definitely impossible. I have been to Phi Phi & Similan, but vis was terrible, the only good thing happened to me in that dive trip was having 1 leopard shark swam around me on my last dive.
Sep 15, 2013 9:35 PM
3You can take a ferry from Bohol, but you may have to go to/through Cebu from there rather than directly to Duma, depending on where you start. I'm pretty sure there's a Tagbilaran-Duma ferry run by Ocean Jet--two a day, I think, morning and evening.
Most Raja Ampat LOBs are 10-12 days long. Very few one-week ones.
There are some low-budget options in Raja4, but you'd have to dig in with google or something. My customers never really ask for anything more budget-y than Kri, which, I suspect, is more than you want to spend. For LOBs in Raja Ampat. The lowest prices tend to be the Indonesian-run operators. You get what you pay for, though. I went on a low-budget trip a couple of years ago and my DM got lost twice, once at night. Because I'm a dive pro, I was able to get us un-lost and bring the group back to where we had to be, but when you pay peanuts....
What time of year were you in Thailand? In my experience, Singaporeans and Malaysians try to come when the prices are lowest, and of course the prices reflect the time of year, which is often (but not always) a major factor in conditions.
Sep 15, 2013 10:53 PM
4The pricing l got is all USD4.5K & above, + airfare & etc, the whole trip is going to cost me USD 6K, l think l'll have to drop the idea, it's far too expensive, Komodo is like half the price. Maybe l should plan for next year, spend more time to research around then.
It was around Dec when l last went to Thailand in 2011. I'm trying to explore places l've not been to before, so unless for a very good reason, l'd usu not return to the same place for a 2nd time. So l guess l have to stick to Philippines. Oh another place that strike my mind is Derawan, heard it's nice, have you been there?
Sep 15, 2013 11:10 PM
5Fair enough, in RE Thailand. You should give it another go at some point, though, since you obviously didn't get the benefit of visiting with good conditions. Shame, that.
Derawan is best in the summer.
Philippines is a good budget alternative, and since you've got a couple of weeks and can spend some of it on transfers at sea level, you can get both to Bohol (Panglao/Cabilao) and Negros (Dumaguete)--my suggestions--in one economical trip. Cebu Pacific, Silk Air, and Tiger all have S'pore-Cebu flights. You can go overland to Dumaguete, and by ferry to Bohol from there.
Sep 17, 2013 6:26 PM
Oct 29, 2013 1:03 AM
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