Dumaguete made is mark on the map by being a popular destination for divers due to its proximity to prime sites for snorkelling and diving adventure, at Apo island, Sumilon island, Dauin town and Siquijor island.  Other sea adventures that may be enjoyed is whale and dolphin watching at Bais Bay.  For inland adventures, Dumaguete also offers great caving and trek to the waterfalls. Dumaguete City is known as The City of Gentle People. Situated at South-western Visayas, Dumaguete is blessed with a moderate climate, rich culture, colourful history, and plenty of natural resources.

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    Apo Island

    Apo island is a world famous diving destination. According to seasoned and internationally travelled divers, Apo island has some of the best coral gardens in the world. It is a protected natural marine reserve where 650 species of colourful fishes and 400 kinds of corals have been documented. There are 11 diving sites around this small island having an area of only 12 hectares. Chapel Point dive site offers a beautiful wall with small caves and overhangs while advanced divers usually do drift dives at Cogon, Mamsa or Coconut Point. The breathtaking view of the wide variety of corals, colorful array of fishes and the high probability of seeing several swimming turtles makes Apo island also a snorkelling heaven.

  • Apo Island

  • Casaroro Waterfall

    The beautiful Casaroro Falls is the most photographed waterfall in the entire Negros province.  Located 9.4 kilometers west of Dumaguete City, Casaroro Falls is lodged deep into the rock crevices of the rugged Valencia mountains. The water plunges in an astounding height of 100 feet into a deep cold basin before it flows down to a stream. The relatively narrow waterfall of Casaroro makes it unique especially because despite its narrowness, the volume of water is heavy and causes a roar as it plummet to the pool.

  • Casaroro Waterfall

  • Balanan Lake

    The arresting view of Balanan Lake creates the lasting impression of unspoilt natural beauty that has been preserved by time.  Lake Balanan’s formation of a figure eight shaped freshwater reservoir is a result of a very powerful tectonic earthquake in the 1920s. A luxuriant tropical rainforest surrounds the lake and includes century old giant Balete trees across the landscape. Sightings of a wide variety of waterfowl such as herons, egrets, ducks, rails and gallinules is an additional treat to a relaxing boat trip across the lake. Although the boat ride itself is already a great soothing experience, visitors also have the option of going to the small waterfall at the end of the lake.  The waterfall provides a fun and refreshing dip in its cool waters.  Going under the cascading waterfalls also gives a therapeutic water massage experience as the water falls to your head and shoulders.

  • Balanan Lake

  • Manjuyod Sand Bar

    Manjuyod white sand bar is a pristine 7 kilometer stretch of premium white sand that emerges only during low tides. It serves as a major stopover during dolphin and whale watching tour where visitors may stay for a picnic, swimming, sunbathing, snorkelling or scuba diving around the sand bar. There are also native wooden houses on stilts which appear like floating on the water during high tide.

  • Manjuyod Sand Bar

  • Mabinay Caves

    Mabinay holds some of the Philippine’s most fascinating caves. Among the 45 caves in Mabinay, the most popular ones for caving adventures are Panligawan Cave, Pandalihan Cave, and Crystal Cave. Panligawan Cave and Pandalian caves are the easiest caves to explore. The dome-shaped Panligawan has a skylight, and wide and flat ground ideal for in-cave camping. Crystal Cave is 209 meters long and 5 meters deep and stalactites and stalagmites abound that some have formations of pillars, columns and drapery appearance shrouding some sections of the cave.

    Mabinay’s Odloman Cave is the second longest cave system in the Philippines at 8,870 meters length. Accessed by rappelling through a hole in the ceiling or by swimming 20 meters across an underground river, Odloman has large galleries, many narrow corridors, active streams and more than enough difficult obstacles to lure extreme cavers.

    On the other hand, Cayaso Cave has a subterranean river flowing beneath its main chamber and measures 2,222 meters long ranking as the 9th longest cave in the Philippines.

  • Mabinay Caves


How much time needed to explore and enjoy

One week stay will be best to enjoy the exciting activities that Dumaguete has to offer.  If you wish to do several dives including some drift and night diving, additional days will be ideal.

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How to get there and out

Flights to Dumaguete take less then one hour no matter if you are approaching from Manila, Cebu or Puerto Princesa.

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  • To / From Manila

    Commercial flights takes less than an hour and available daily. Maogma could also arrange chartered planes for your private transportation.

  • To / From Cebu

    Commercial flights take 30 mins and available daily. Sea travel is also available daily and takes 40 mins. Maogma could also arrange private air or sea transportation.

  • To / From Puerto Princ.

    Commercial flights take 38 mins and available daily. Daily sea transportation takes one hr. Interested guests may contact. Maogma could also arrange private air or sea transportation.

How to go around

Brief info on public transportation
Getting to Apo island only takes 40 minutes boat ride from Malapatay port in Dumaguete. Depending on where you are staying, you may walk to Malapatay port or have an additional land travel of 45 minutes especially if coming from the city center of Dumaguete.
Trip to Casaroro Falls is less than an hour land travel to Valencia from Dumaguete City downtown area. From the jump off point on the side of the Valencia mountain, the hike starts and includes traversing the steep 350 steps of concrete stairs to get access to Casaroro falls.
For a visit to Balanan Lake, it takes an hour to get to the town of Siaton by car from Dumaguete City. Manjuyod white sand bar is accessible after a 15 minute boat ride from Capiñahan Wharf in Bais City, Negros Oriental.
For caving activities in Mabinay, it will take about 1.5 hours land travel from Dumaguete City.

Maogma will arrange your tour activities and complete transportation for your convenience and safety.

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List of recommended accommodations
Dumaguete has no international chain of hotels in the area. However, due to its popularity to divers, there is a good range of resorts that offers basic to luxury accommodations in the city center of Dumaguete and along the shores of nearby towns especially in Dauin where there is several dive sites.

Dining options
The resorts usually have good variety of delicious dishes for their international guests to choose from with seafood usually being a special course. Several resorts are run by foreign migrants like Swiss, Germans, French, etc and they usually have foreign chef that cooks good dishes from their country of origin. In the city center of Dumaguete there are also seafood restaurants that have live band playing. There are also malls where restaurants and fast food chains are available for your dining options.

Recommended activities
Scuba diving or snorkelling - The impressive view of varied coral reef and marine wildlife consistently ranked Dumaguete as one of the top diving destinations in the world as well as earning it the reputation of being a snorkelling heaven.

Casaroro Waterfalls tour - Casaroro Waterfalls is a natural beauty making it the most photographed waterfall in the entire Negros province.

Balanan Lake Tour - the scenic view of tranquil beauty of Balanan lake is enough to take away your fatigue and stress. The boat ride across the lake makes a soothing experience with an added treat of seeing some rare variety of waterfowls and a refreshing dip to the waterfall at the end of the lake.

Dolphin and Whale Watching - Out of twenty-four cetaceans sighted in Philippine waters, eleven species are found in the Bais Bay - Tañon Strait area. Among these are dolphins and the pygmy sperm whale Kogia simos. Tañon Strait is the narrow channel between Negros and Cebu islands that is known to have one of the biggest concentrations of cetaceans in the world. The cruise averages six hours and may include side trips to Talabong Island and the White Sand Bar.

Caving - Mabinay is known as the Cave Town of Negros Oriental boasting of having 45 caves identified in an expedition of Belgian-Dutch-Philippine Club in 1989-1990. Mabinay is also the home to the second and ninth longest cave in the Philippines can be found, the Odloman and the Cayaso caves.

What to buy?
Sansrival bars and Sylvanas - Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries offers quality treats like these popular sweets. Sansrival is a layered dessert made of icing and nuts while Sylvanas are oval cookie-sized meringue desserts dusted with cookie crumbs.

Pearls and accessories - Orient Gifts produces choice freshwater pearls, accessories, and antiques. Native basket ware and lanterns are also available.

Traditional garb - There are available for off the rack purchases of traditional Barong Tagalog and Terno which Filipino men and women wear on formal Philippine occasions. Caftan, a traditional oriental gown mostly worn by Muslims, is also available.


Travel Tips

  • Card and Money

    Primarily used as form of payment is the local currency or peso for any sort of store or business while credit cards and ATM cards are only accepted in malls, restaurants, hotels, and other similar establishments.

  • Electric

    The Philippines uses 220 volt system. In case of a local or national power out, Dumaguete City hotels and other establishments often have generators to continue providing service to its guests.

  • Repellents and Others

    There are no reported infestation in the area but for extra caution, using mosquito repellent is advisable during the evening especially for those sensitive to insect bites. Sunblock and sunscreen is highly recommended for those who will be swimming and snorkelling to avoid sunburn.  Swimming shoes is also advised to protect your feet from sharp corals along the beach or in shallow waters. Protect your eyes with a good pair of sunglasses when the sun is up and strong. For those who will do caving, avoid bringing valuable and breakable items as well as those that can’t get wet.  Bring enough water to keep you hydrated.  Helmet and headlight are absolutely necessary for your protection and safety.

Best time to go

The best time for scuba diving in Dumaguete is during the months of November through May which is considered the dry season. At this time, the sea becomes flat, calm and a brilliant azure, with incredible visibility especially during April and May. Most outdoor activities are best and more safely done during the dry season as well. The 3rd and 4th week of November would be good time to experience the most anticipated festival in honor of their patron saint, Sta. Catalina de Alexandria. This is always celebrated with grandeur, complete with parades, shows and carnivals.

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