Dumaguete in Negros Oriental is a year-round scuba destination. The country’s top marine biology institute at the Siliman University, is found in Dumaguete, its capital, and for good reason, as it is proximate to excellent marine sites. The area is deep and has brisk currents, which contribute to a rich and varid marine environment. The area is blessed with thick coral growth and multi colored marine life which offers great diving possibilities. It also serves as the jump- off point to the Apo Island marine sanctuary, an awarded reef and environment preservation project, and to Siquijor Island- a prime scuba diving site as well.
Since its area is outside the country’s typhoon belt, scuba diving is good all year-round.
Sumilon Island: Used to be the fish sanctuary of Silliman University Marine Biology Department. It is located about 180 meters from the coast of Santander. Diving in the area is very good especially the western side facing Dumaguete. Corals and marine life like the parrot bump head is very common. Crystal waters account for excellent visibility. Its marine life gives unlimited memorable dives for pleasure and scientific observations. Sea Snakes, Turtles, Rays, Barracudas, Groupers, even Whale Sharks lurk within the area.
Santander: The last Southern-most town of Cebu province, this dive site in the coastal area is fronting the underwater cemetery to the Japanese divers. Ideal for video-graphy and still photography because the max depth is only 60ft/20m with very good visibility, marine life is very colorful and sometimes big tuna can be seen. For experienced divers who like very strong currents, diving in Tañon Strait (between Cebu and Negros) is challenging. Tañon Straits is famous for dogtooth Tuna, Whales and Dolphin watching.
Apo Island: Located in front of Dauin, it is presently a fish sanctuary declared by DENR. Silliman University of Dumaguete preserves the area that shoals of jacks and giant parrotfish frequent. The Island features walls and coral mounds. The gradual terrain from 60 to 120ft/20m to 40m is full of colorful corals and small fish. There are certain areas where the down current is very strong so be aware. Pelagic life including Jacks, Blacktip/Whitetip sharks are often seen.
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