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Following on from the success of our first Dumaguete Dive Festival, we invite you to join photographer and marine biologist Dr Richard Smith on an eight night adventure to the Philippines' critter capital.

Staying at the luxurious Atmosphere Resort & Spa, experience the Philippines' finest macro diving and some truly exceptional photographic opportunities, while benefitting from Dr Smith’s expert knowledge and insight to enhance your experience.

This expert led group adventure includes boat and shore diving in the marine sanctuaries along the Dumaguete/Dauin coastline, including the resort's exceptional house reef where resident marine life includes numerous species of frogfish, ghost pipefish, pygmy & thorny seahorses, blue-ringed octopus to name but a few. 

The diving package includes two Apo Island trips & one southern reef trip. Here you can find schooling pelagics, large numbers of green turtles, and wonderful coral gardens. Night diving is also possible for a small supplement.

Typical Itinerary

  1. Day 1: Depart the UK for the Philippines

    Fly from the UK to Manila (normally via Hong Kong) and onward connection to Dumaguete.
  2. Day 2: Arrive and transfer to resort on Negros Oriental

    You will be met on arrival and transferred to Atmosphere Resort & Spa for your eight night stay. This evening you’ll have a chance to meet expert Dr Richard Smith and the other members of the group over dinner.
  3. Day 3: Dumaguete Dive Festival

    This morning, begin your dive package which includes up to 12 boat dives, plus unlimited shore diving.

    Enjoy the many dive sites that form part of the Dauin marine sanctuary. Expect to see a huge variety of marine life from painted frogfish to flamboyant cuttlefish, pygmy seahorses to unusual and elaborate species of nudibranch.

    As well as joining you on the dives, Richard will present on some of the most iconic and fascinating species found in the area and will be on hand to answer any questions you have to build your own knowledge and diving experience.

    Night dives are available for a small supplement of €5/dive applies (paid locally).

  4. Day 4: Dive trip to Apo Island (full day)

    In contrast to the exceptional macro diving of Dumaguete’s local dive sites, Apo Island harbours vibrant coral reefs teeming with life, plus regular larger visitors. Here divers can expect to see schooling big eye trevally, turtles, enormous groupers, bumphead parrotfish, napoleon wrasse, whitetip sharks… and of course more great macro life. Three boat dives are included today, along with lunch.
  5. Day 5: Local diving in Dumaguete

    Enjoy two boat dives this morning in the Dauin marine sanctuary. This afternoon, you are welcome to make more dives on the superb Atmosphere house reef, discovering the many animals that call this home.

  6. Day 6: Explore dive sites south of Negros Oriental

    Venture south today to explore the dive sites at the south of Negros Oriental. The sites in this region are a combination of colourful drift dives, sloping reefs and macro sites. Today includes three boat dives, with lunch provided.

    This evening enjoy a beach BBQ dinner in front of the resort.

  7. Day 7: Dive trip to Apo Island (full day)

    End on a high with a second trip to take in the colourful reefs and marine life of Apo Island. Non-divers are welcome to join these trips and they are included in the price.
  8. Day 8: Final day diving in Dumaguete

    Today is your final opportunity to explore the wonderful local dive sites and biodiversity on offer. Two boat dives are offered this morning, with unlimited house reef diving available for the remainder of the day to help you get that final, award-winning photo!

  9. Day 9: Day at leisure to explore Dumaguete

    Today is a final day at leisure to off-gas and relax before your journey home, run through your favourite photos or take a local tour which can be arranged through the resort.

    Your holiday can be extended to allow additional time in resort or other regions of the Philippines independently. Ask us for further details.

  10. Day 10: Depart the Philippines

    Transfer to the airport for an overnight flight back to UK.
  11. Day 11: Arrive UK

You should note: This trip is ideal for any diver or photographer with a keen interest in the rare and unusual macro life of the Asia Pacific region, or those simply keen to experience the exceptional biodiversity and variety of the Philippines.

Key info

  • Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 11 days from £2,995 pp
  • Group size: 15
  • Departures:
  • Included in the price/package:
    • Return flights from the UK
    • 8 nights accommodation
    • Half board meal plan
    • 6 days boat diving (14 dives)
    • 2 Apo Island trips & 1 southern reef trip
    • Unlimited shore diving
    • Tanks, weights & Nitrox
    • Marine park fees
    • All transfers
    • Expert guide
    • Informal evening presentations
  • Additional fees: Night dives

Expert leader

Dr Richard Smith

Photo of Dr Richard Smith

Dr Smith studied marine ecology and evolution, completing the first ecological research on pygmy seahorses as part of his Phd to become one of the world’s leading experts.

Richard spent a number of years as the in-house naturalist at Wakatobi Dive Resort Indonesia and more recently has been the resident marine biologist on board the Dewi Nusantara luxury liveaboard and at Siladen Resort & Spa. An acclaimed photographer and engaging speaker, his work has been published widely in the UK, USA, Europe, Singapore and Australia, including his regular column for Scuba Diver magazine.

He also supports conservation initiatives such as ARKive, The Zoological Society of London,  EDGE of Existence (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) and iSeahorse (a citizen science program) with images and expertise. Richard has travelled widely throughout the Asia Pacific region and regularly leads trips to some of the world’s top dive destinations.

Featured location:

Dumaguete & Dauin

Known as the ‘City of Gentle People’, you’ll be welcomed in Dumaguete with open arms and first class hospitality. Further down the coast, Dauin has some of the best critters in the Philippines, and both areas also offer plenty of opportunity for snorkellers and non-divers.

  • Ideal for viewing: giant frogfish, ornate ghost pipefish, spotted eagle ray, green turtle, flamboyant cuttlefish
  • Excellent for: Resort based diving, Luxury diving, Group diving, Muck diving, Underwater photography
Featured accommodation:

Atmosphere Resort & Spa

Located in Dauin, this modern beachfront resort sits amongst an old coconut plantation, in close proximity to some of the best macro dive sites in the region. Facilities include an infinity pool, spa, restaurants and a bar.