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There is no reason why dive holidays need to involve ‘roughing it’. For those who like the finer things in life, there’s every reason to select luxury dive resorts that offer all the optional extras such as yoga and spa treatments. Here are three options that will meet your every need…


Wakatobi Dive Resort (Indonesia)

This dive resort is not only luxurious, but it’s eco-friendly too. It is located in remote Southeast Sulawesi, on Pulau Tolandono. This resort and the surrounding areas form a sustainable marine protected area.

Wakatobi's beauutiful  Ocean Bungalows

Wakatobi’s beauutiful Ocean Bungalows

This resort offers three types of accommodation, although all fall easily under the umbrella of luxury. All guests have access to the lounge house which, in addition to the usual resort facilities, includes a dive centre, equipment rental room, and even a marine life reference library.

The diving here is arguably some of the best in the world. The “house reef” is located just off the shore in front of the resort. This reef features six different dive sites, all of which are easily accessible from the shore. It’s a case of simply gear up and go! If you fancy a boat dive, then there are 40 dive sites in the local region from which to choose.

Under water world of Wakatobi

Under water world of Wakatobi

After you’ve worked up an appetite exploring the waters around Tolandono, you can indulge yourself in the gourmet cuisine on offer. But that’s not where the indulgence ends.

Wakatobi Dive Resort also has a luxurious spa offering a comprehensive range of massage and beauty treatments. You can opt for a tailor-made treatment or experience the local Balinese Massage. There’s nothing quite like pampering to rejuvenate body, mind and soul.


Atmosphere Resort & Spa (The Philippines)

The Atmosphere Resort & Spa is located in Dauin, south of Dumaguete. Guests are spoilt at this beautiful resort that is on a black sand beach, directly across from Apo Island.

 Apo Island Sanctuary - diving not to be missed!

Apo Island Sanctuary – diving not to be missed!

Amongst the tropical garden are luxurious apartments, suites, and penthouses. The resort focuses on wellness and offers cuisine that is centered on clean health living. It’s a great way to detox your body and mind. An extensive pool area in the gardens offers fantastic views on the sea. You would be hard pressed to find a more idyllic meeting place for divers.

One of their dive boats

Although you wouldn’t want to miss the small house reef located directly in front of the resort, divers are spoilt for choice with an amazing 30 dive sites, all located 2 to 15 minutes from the dive shop. The PADI dive center is amazingly well equipped. In addition to a shop and storage facilities, divers are also able to charge their batteries and computers in a separate camera room. And as if that wasn’t enough, there is another room that is dedicated solely to photo and video editing. Paradise.

Diving and Yoga are a great match

Diving and Yoga are a great match

And as for the luxurious Sanctuary Spa, that’s another slice of paradise you’ll have to experience to believe. In addition to pampering spa treatments, you can also attend yoga classes at the spa for a holistic approach to health and wellness. We offer various packages combining Yoga and diving. A package combining Diving and 3 days mini Yoga retreat for example or:  Package with 2 dives & 1 Yoga class daily.  Just inquire for details.


Gangga Island Resort & Spa (Indonesia)

Gangga's beautiful Spa with sea views

Gangga’s beautiful Spa with sea views

Gangga Island is located in North Sulawesi. Picture it: white beaches, coconut trees, and luxurious wooden bungalows. With just 15 bungalows, this resort offers both privacy and exclusivity. This is how to dive in luxury.

The resort’s PADI Dive Centre is fully equipped to meet your every need. Their facilities include custom built wooden dive boats made specifically for diving. And you’ll want to jump on board: there are more than 30 superb dive sites located around the island.

Photo by  Peter Lange

Photo by Peter Lange

After sampling fresh cuisine at the resort’s restaurant, you can take a plunge in the saltwater infinity pool or work on your tan on one of the loungers. For the ultimate in indulgent relaxation there is Pasung Spa. Opt for a Gangga treatment that utilizes local knowledge and techniques.   Enjoy reflexology or aroma therapy treatments and more. You will leave Pasung Spa feeling refreshed.

It’s time to start planning your holiday! The best scuba sites are often in far-flung places, but luckily that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on luxury. Enjoy a world of indulgence and pampering at any of these three fabulous resorts.

About the author: Torben Lonne is a top skilled PADI MSDT instructor. He has worked several years with scuba diving in Indonesia and Thailand – and dived most of his life. He is also the co-founder and chief-editor of DIVEIN.com.


Misool Eco Resort

Raja Ampat is not the easiest of places to visit. Located at the northwest tip of New Guinea, Raja Ampat is an archipelago with 1500 small islands. If, normally you’re traveling along the tourist routes, you are in for an experience of a lifetime.

The islands are easiest visited with a liveaboard, and we have many vessels in our program. The  other option is to stay at one of these remote but beautiful resorts spread across the islands.

Rich Marine Life

Photo by Ethan Daniels Raja Ampat

Photo: Ethan Daniels,. Rich marine life in Raja Ampat

When you are diving in this tropical water, it feels like you are diving in the paradise of Eden. You’ll be able to see small uninhabited white sand beaches and dive down to reefs more diverse and beautiful than many other underwater destinations in the world. It has more than 450 different types of corals. In 2001, tropical fish count reached almost a thousand, which significantly proves that this is truly a world-class diving destination.

The Indonesian waters are known for strong currents, and diving in Raja Ampat is no different. If you are a beginner diver, you need to be comfortable with drift diving. The current gives ground for great schools of fish, and mantas are often passed by. You also get the chance to spots sharks and at the surface, dolphins and whales are spotted frequently.

If you’re into small stuff, the coral life at the reef is perfect for exploration. Nudies, seahorses, pygmy seahorses, lobsters and crabs are found in the waters here. Raja Ampat has plenty to offer for all types of divers!

Great Dive Spots

Cape Kri is one of Raja Ampat’s dive sites that manifest this beauty. You will be diving while fully surrounded by schools of dogtooth tuna, jacks, giant trevally and chevron barracuda. As the currents pick up, you’ll see yourself drifting by a vast bed of soft and hard corals. I have Cape Kri on my top 10 dive sites in the world –see the whole list here.


Manta, Kri Eco Resort

Just near Cape Kri is Mike’s Point. Mistaken as a Japanese warship, this rocky protrusion was bombed during World War II. Today, this is a popular wall dive site where you can plunge into vertical walls covered by the beauty of corals and surrounded by life. Mike’s is located in Dampier Strait which means you’ll get a good chance of experiencing one of the best drift dives in your life.

Have you dived in Raja Ampat? Apart from the spots I’ve mentioned above, which ones would you recommend?


Torben Lonne is a top skilled PADI MSDT instructor. He has worked several years with scuba diving in Indonesia and Thailand – and dived most of his life. He is also the co-founder and chief-editor of DIVEIN.org.

Date: 22-29 November 2015


Your subjects: Some of the most exciting tropical critters side by side with some great wide angle scenery and action scenarios.

Group size: limited to 8 participants max
(4 minimum)

Cost: AUD 2575.00/person twin share

Season: November is the best month for visibility and accessibility of dive sites in Milne Bay.

The Destination:
Milne Bay is the “cradle” of pioneer tropical underwater photography. Big names like Bob Halstead, Franco Banfi, David Doubilet have captured award winning images here in a time when Portable E6 processing was state of the art. First images in the diving world of many “muck-diving” icons like Rhinopius Arphanes or Flamboyant Cuttle Fish have been taken in Milne Bay.

The Activities:
temp_img_diving10In November 2015 Stuart Ireland leads a small group of interested underwater photographers in those waters. The aim will be to capture some of those spectacular images and to optimise the shooting results and techniques. The training will encompass theoretical principles of digital underwater photography as well as practical application in this amazing underwater paradise. With the small group size the training will be delivered in a personal way which takes into account the participants prior experience as well as the equipment used. Suitable for SLR and high end compact users.

The Resort:Tawali_Resort_06
Tawali Resort is a luxurious resort in the Milne Bay, accessible through Alotau. The resort is ideal land base to explore Milne Bay diving. Some of the very best dive sites are just a few minutes away from the resort. The main building and the bungalows are connected by an undercover boardwalk which runs all the way through to the dive shed and a small beach. The resort also features a swimming pool and poolside bar where guests can relax and unwind after a busy day of diving.
Perched on the edge of the cliff is the big verandah with spectacular views out to the ocean.The restaurant serves a lavish mix of local seafood, vegetables and real tropical fruits.

Stuart IrelandYour guide and Photopro: Stuart Ireland
Your picture, our passion. Stuart established Calypso Productions in Cairns in 1996 and has become the leader in underwater event photography. During these 18 years he has trained over 100 new photographers, capturing the day of tourists on the Great Barrier Reef. During the past 4 years an underwater and entry level photography course designed specifically for amateur photographers has been extremely popular. He has international awards from Antibes and other highly esteemed competitions.
As a professional filmmaker, photographer and marine biologist, Stuart shares his image making knowledge and passion for the marine world. Having dived extensively around the world in many varied environs, Stuart has particular interest in the marine biodiversity of Papua New Guinea.
Tawali_Resort_02INCLUDED: 7 nights deluxe room twin share with oceanview and balcony, all meals at resort, return airport transfers from/to Gurney/Alotau, up to 18 boat dives and unlimited shore diving on the house reef, tanks, weights, boat, dive guide, reef & chamber fees and fuel surcharges, 6 day photo workshop** by Stuart Ireland

Optional extras payable locally:
Nitrox fills (per week) 100.00 AUD
Full set of dive gear rental incl. computer (per day) 70.00 AUD
Full set of dive gear rental without computer (per day) 55.00 AUD
NOTE: All local purchases attract 10% GST!

NOT INCLUDED: airfares, travel insurance, items of personal nature. For bookings and further information please contact DIVERSION DIVE TRAVEL: dirk@diversiondivetravel.com.au

** Photo Workshop outline:
Teaching will take the form of 6 modules ( Show me the Light / It’s all about Composition / Mindset of Photographer / Gear Lust / Up Close and Personal / Developing images in Lightroom ). This will be delivered informally around a computer, scheduled around diving / eating / sleeping.
Practical/ Over the Shoulder. This will be casual one-on one tuition on vessel before/ after dives, and underwater.
Critiquing on Computer. Once again, informal gatherings around computer, looking at daily photos, and suggestions to improve results. A workshop handbook will be issued during trip, which highlights main areas of study.

dive_centre10We are offering 25% discount off accommodation, dive and snorkel packages for this Shoulder Season trip 4-12 September 2015! Misool Eco Resort, is located on a private island, very remote in the southern region of Raja Ampat, West Papua. It is probably one of the most beautiful eco resorts on the planet! Here is a chance for Adventurers who up for something different and don’t mind to compromise for a good deal. Misool offers special Shoulder Season Adventure Trips during June and September. The next trip MisoolAerialis 4-12 September 2015. These trips bookend the windy season, so the weather can be unpredictable. In the worst case scenario, you’ll get a taste of the South Monsoon, with strong, dry winds from the south and 1-2 meter waves. But more likely is that there will be occasional periods of wind and very little rain. Diving is still possible when surface conditions are rough, though there may be more plankton in the water. Which of course brings anchovies and pelagics! In the event of particularly rough seas, they’ll focus the diving on the House Reef and nearby sites such as Fiabacet, Kalig, and Whale Rock.

The Ferry

The Ferry

This trip isn’t for everyone – that’s why they offer adventurous souls a 25% discount on accommodation and diving.Because of the variability of conditions, they do not operate their regular transfer boat during the shoulder season. Instead, transport between Sorong and Misool is on a public ferry. It’s a big steel ship, and guests will have their own cabin with bunk beds. It’s a safe and comfortable 8-hour journey, but it’s still very much a local experience.



Twin cabin on Ferry

Twin cabin on Ferry

Here is more adventure for you! The ferry leaves Sorong on 4th September (Friday night), sleep on the ferry in your twin cabin,  and you’ll arrive at a pearl farm location called ‘Tiga Lima’ at about 8:00 am the following morning. Misool’s transfer boat will collect you there to make the final 1-hour journey to the resort island. Please note that the transfer boats are covered, but not enclosed. The crew will bring tarpaulins to cover your baggage from rain or sea spray, but we highly recommend packing your valuables and electronics in a seal-able dry bag.

The return trip is during the day, departing the resort at about 7:00 ammisool3

dive_centre3and arriving back in Sorong in the evening. The cost of transport, including all ground handling, ferry ticket, a private double occupancy cabin, and speed boat transfer between ‘Tiga Lima’ and the resort is 175 Euros per person round trip.

7 night packages is 9 nights altogether: 1 night on the Ferry, 7 nights Misool Resort + 1 night Sorong. All guests return to Sorong after 7 nights and stay 1 additional night at a local hotel (inclusive in accommodation package incl. breakfast). Guests can then depart at any time the following day (13th September). In case you are keen, contact us, we are happy to email you a full quote and handle book it for you.

Yoga class at the Treehouse

Yoga class at the Treehouse

Yoga is becoming more mainstream every year as the ancient Indian skill is being adapted to the needs of us westerners. One of Yoga’s main teachings is breath control – which makes it a very logical step that divers find a great deal of benefits. Increasing your physical fitness is one way to get more out of every breath, but even fit divers can find themselves breathing too fast or too shallow from the stress of diving and that’s where Yoga comes in. Like scuba, yoga places emphasis on proper breathing. Deep, slow yogic breathing teaches us how to calm the mind and breathe more efficiently. Yoga also
strengthens and stretches muscles that are important in diving, looking at the total package, Yoga helps to increase your quality time
under water being Turtlesuper relaxed when enjoying the marine life on your next dive. If you have never tried Yoga before – this is your chance.

Atmosphere Resort
 on the south-eastern tip of Negros in the Philippines has embraced yoga and diving. The resort is located in a beautiful tropical garden, directly on the beach opposite Apo Island. It offers guests a magnificent view of the sea and access to some of the Philippines’ best dive sites close by and around Apo Island.

Atmosphere's beautiful Infinity Pool

Atmosphere’s beautiful Infinity Pool

There are around 30 dive sites on the Dauin coast, all 2-15 minutes from the resort’s dive shop. Highlights are the dive sites around Apo Island with intact coral formations and varied diving in shallow coral gardens and beautifully vegetated walls. Interesting underwater landscapes with sea fans, soft corals and feather stars offer a home for many colourful nudibranchs, moray eels, frog fish, seahorses, clown fish and sea snakes. About 450 different species of hard and soft coral have been found here. Atmosphere travels to Apo almost daily.

In addition to the regular diving schedule, yoga classes are offered

The car wreck an  awesome critter dive!

The car wreck an awesome critter dive!

twice daily on the spectacular treetop platform.
However, it does not have to be an addition to your holiday, but the goal of your stay.   This year, the spa manager and yoga teacher Rae has organized a yoga retreat for 6-13 September 2015. Guests can chose a 3 or a 6 day retreat and enjoy yoga & meditation classes, presentations, a complete vegetarian heath menu and many other things. Combine the retreat with a of week diving and have the perfect holiday! Great for  for families and diver and non-diver couples. Contact us for more details!


Date: July 26 – Aug 8 2014 (13 nights)
Destination: Rongelap, Rongerik, and Bikini atolls of the Marshall Islands
Vessel:  MV Windward
Passengers : max 10 (only 2 spaces available)
Accommodation on board: 1 large air-conditioned room with individual bunks
(Privacy curtains across bunks.)
Cameras: A camera bench and charging station in the main salon.
Getting there: Cruise starts and ends at Kwajalein.
Cost per person USD 6500.00

Marshall Islands_Cheryl JoneWindwards


14 days/13 nights, Air fills, weights and dive tanks. Nitrox, Beer, juice and soft drinks, 2 x Dive masters, All meals and food, Juice and Soda, Bottled Water, airport transfers, port fees, taxes, Bikini reserve fee.

The Plan:

This trip has been chartered by a group of friends from the USA who want to explore the reefs in this remote part of the Pacific. They are all seasoned and experienced divers, but they are not intending to dive outside recreational diving limits. While the expedition will dive some wrecks, including the deck of the Saratoga at Bikini, they won’t be doing any technical or very deep/planned staged decompression diving — the goal is to visit the reefs of atolls long off-limits due to nuke testing radiation. This is a way for non-tech divers to visit Bikini and dive (the deck of) its most impressive wreck.

The destination:Marshall Islands_Cheryl Jones

This private charter offers the very rare opportunity to dive the
reefs of islands closed to visitation and habitation for decades due to fallout from
nuclear testing at Bikini and nearby atolls. T

he Marshall Islands’ diving is
extraordinary, with unusually clear, warm water, vibrant pristine reefs with over
2,000 species of fish, and significant wrecks. Explore the sites that played a part
in a fascinating, unique chapter in world history.

Diving Itinerary: 

Prinz Eugen (WWII German cruiser) in Kwajalein Atoll — Wotho Atoll —Rongelap Atoll — Bikini Atoll (reefs and deck of the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga sunk during Operations Crossroads. Potentially the Castle Bravo crater) — Alinganae Atoll — Rongerik Atoll — Roi Namur aircraft dump at Kwajalein Atoll (four B-25s, a TBF Avenger, an F4U, 4 Douglas SBD Dauntlesses, and a C-46)

Please contact DIVERSION DIVE TRAVEL for further information: info@diversiondivetravel.com.au



Fluoro Diving by night – the latest craze in diving

Fluoro Nudibranch 
A new form of night diving which makes the already special night dives even more memorable. The corals glow in fluorescent colours when illuminated with special light. You get an outstanding the underwater light show!  Fluoro Diving transforms the reef – more vibrant colours everywhere and everything you are looking at. 
These awesome photos give a good impression about what to expect. However, it has to be seen to be appreciated fully.
The phenomenon occurs when a blue light – similar to a UV light – is shone on corals and marine animals, which re-emit fluorescent colours. This causes the corals to glow in the most amazing colors like green, yellow, orange and some even pink or red. Not only do the corals around you radiate a spectrum of the brightest fluorescent colours but so too does the marine life. Moray eels, crabs and tiny shrimps display flashes of a bright fluorescent yellow and scorpion fish luminescence with pink.
Now you can see this phenomenon for yourself at the Great Barrier Reef. Bio Fluorescent Diving is available exclusively on board Taka and Deep Sea Divers Den (using the vessel Ocean Quest currently). Both offer trips out of Cairns and divers can rent special dive lights on board to experience this mind blowing night diving. They are the first liveaboards to offer fluoro diving, also known as glow dives.
Fluoro Diving offers a unique, magical experience on the Great Barrier Reef! On board both vessels you get a special torch and mask filters and the combination  of both creates amazing fluorescent underwater landscapes. Contact us for your reservation! 

Garry and Sue recently stayed at Beqa Lagoon Resort in Fiji and posted this report on Tripadvisor:

5 of 5 starsReviewed 5 September 2013

I recently returned from an 8 night diving trip to Beqa Lagoon Resort and had a great time. I found a package through Diversion Dive Travel which was extremely good value and very well organised from start to finish. I agree with all the positive comments on this resort with Trip Advisor but disregard the negative comments as I had no negative experiences during my stay. Firstly, this is a dive resort. I met a couple of non-divers and while one mature aged woman had a great time a younger woman was bored stiff. She did not dive and I think wanted to party. While there is a bar and you can party if you wish, as mostly dedicated divers use this resort, at the end of a days diving and after a good meal and a few drinks most people retire to their room reasonably early to rest up for the next days diving.

© copyright by Beqa Lagoon Resort

This is probably a 3 star property which is reflected in the rates which are very reasonable if you shop around for a diving/accommodation/meals/transfers package. So, if you want 5 star and to party all night with good diving, I suggest you spend a few days in a mainland resort first, then head over the Beqa Island for the diving. Having lived in Melanesian countries previously, I learned not to expect everything to run to plan. Things go wrong in developing countries. But, I was pleasantly surprised. The transfers went on time and pretty much to schedule. I read varying accounts of how long it takes to get there many of which were wrong. It is a 2.5 hour ride in a mini bus on a long and winding road from Nandi airport to Pacific Harbour. If you want to take some beer or drinks ask the bus driver to call into the shop at Pacific Harbour before you get on the boat and a case of Fiji Gold costs about 55FJD. It is then 45 mins to 1 hour boat transfer depending on the seas. But, when you get there it is well worth it. Most of the staff and some villagers turn out to welcome you with a traditional song which is quite humbling. There were only 2 of us arriving but we still got the full treatment. You then get a complimentary foot massage if that’s your thing.

© copyright by Beqa Lagoon ResortWe heard the Beach Front Bures were the go, so considered we might upgrade as we were booked into the pond side Bures. But, we were so satisfied with our room we did not bother. The room was very large with a lounge room, lounge and coffee table, comfortable king bed, bedside tables and lamps for reading, a new bar fridge that kept drinks icy cold, a fairly new air-conditioner which worked well but which we never needed and a large bathroom and shower which was recently renovated. We had hot water the whole time there and forget the bottled water, we drank tap rain water the whole time with no ill effects. There is tea and coffee making facilities in the room and soap and © copyright by Beqa Lagoon Resortshampoo/conditioner provided. The Bure also has a deck with table, chairs and a deck chair. No need to bring a towel for swimming, snorkelling or diving as the resort provides towels. The meals are good and ample like everyone agrees. So, who cares if the roofs of some of the Bures need a few more palm leaves. The gardens are manicured and well maintained, the staff are friendly and a more peaceful and relaxing place would be difficult to find. The resort is managed by Mark a South African and his wife Poldi an Austrian lady. Both are very friendly, experienced, interesting and well travelled hosts. I have stayed at resorts where the ex-pat managers actually avoid the guests. This is not one of them.Mark and Poldi dine and mingle with the guest at all times, were most helpful in all respects and are excellent ambassadors for the resort, island and it’s people. I can not praise these people highly enough. All the staff were friendly and helpful and it is true they do know your name by day 2. There is a PADI dive shop right next to the resort dining room and office.

© copyright by Beqa Lagoon ResortThe dive shop is very well run by Joeli who is also a dive instructor, dive master and one of the guys who pioneered the Beqa Lagoon Shark Dives some years back. There are 3 dive boats owned by the resort but when we were there one was running charters from the Coral Coast so 2 dive boats were in use at the resort. This was more than ample as there were only about 6 to 8 divers as we were there on a quiet week. So, as you can imagine the service was excellent. The dive boat had a skipper, a couple of deck hands and 2 dive masters so all levels of diving experience were easily catered for. All the dive boat staff are local islanders, as are all the other employees. So, they © copyright by Beqa Lagoon Resorttake pride in their resort on their island and it shows. A typical day is up at 6.45am for 7.15am breakfast, then to the dive shop to get your wetsuit and then to the beach for 7.45am departure to the dive boat in a big tinny. All the other dive gear, BCD’s, tanks and weights is taken on board by the dive crew and set up for you. Then off to a dive site for 1st dive about 9am. Dives are not deep and the deepest I went was to about 28.5 metres on a wreck. Dive time is restricted only by the amount of air you have in your tank and all dives are guided by 2 dive masters so it is very safe. Some experienced divers stayed down for 45 to 50 mins while the less experienced had about 30 to 35 minute dives. Surface interval is 1 hour during which time the boat moves to a different site. As a mature aged diver I found the diving easy as when exiting the water you can take off your weights and BCD/tank and a boat crew member will haul it on board for you. Second dive is about 11am and then they head back to the resort for a 12.30pm arrival and 1pm lunch. Diving is basically reefs, wrecks and sharks. We dived on a couple of old fishing trawlers which had good soft and hard coral growth and an abundance of fish life. The rest of the day is free to engage in other island activities. There is unlimited shore diving which is only restricted by the tides. The lagoon is tidal so obviously the best time for shore dives is around high tide. After lunch most divers seemed to prefer to find a hammock, rest or have an afternoon nap as the morning diving, sun, sea breezes and unspoiled beauty of the place seemed to instil a sense of peace, tranquillity and quiet relaxation into ones soul.

I did not intend to do the shark dive as I have done one previously and my partner is a relatively new diver with an O/W ticket who like most of us had initially expressed a mortal fear of sharks. Also both shark dives exceed 18 meters. But she met some other lady divers who talked her into it. So, I decided to go as her buddy.

© copyright by Beqa Lagoon Resort

I am so glad I did. The 2 shark dives are spectacular. The first is in 24 meters. All divers descend down the anchor line onto a wreck and are guided to a roped off area where they position themselves holding on to a rope barrier. Then the chum comes down in large wheelie bins and the action starts. Literally millions of fish of all shapes sized and species appear. The first sharks were several large nurse sharks followed by 3 or 4 large silvertips. Bottom time is about 15 minutes and then divers move up to the reef and wreck to complete the dive and safety stops. I had not seen any bull sharks on the first dive and asked the dive master why and he said the first dive attracts them and they will be there on the second dive. He was right. The second dive follows the same procedure but is at 19 metres with a bottom time of 20 mins. When we got bottom and took the rope there were bull sharks everywhere. There must have been 20 to 30 bull sharks swimming very close to divers. Divers with cameras were taken inside the roped off area to vantage points where they could get better photos. But, with so many sharks in the water divers were completely safe. 3 dive operators were on this shark dive in 3 dive boats so there must have been 30 divers in the water. But, there were at least 10 ‘shark wranglers’ who kept watch behind and all around the divers and were right on the ball if any big sharks got too close. It was a truly good dive and my novice partner loved it and is now a seasoned shark diver, who like the rest of us now understands the beauty of these animals and why they so desperately need protection. The shark dive is conducted 3 times a week but we only did it once. But, non-shark divers can go to the same site and dive on the reef and wreck which is only a short distance from where the shark dive is being conducted. We did 2 dives thus and saw plenty of white tip, black tip, grey reef sharks and I thought I saw a mako shark. All of which were attracted to the area by the shark feeding nearby.

© copyright by Beqa Lagoon ResortThis was a great trip, great value for money and a great diving resort. We met some very interesting people from all over the world which gave the place a great international flavour. There were Aussies, Americans, Brits, Russians, French, Korean and Columbian and everyone got on very well. While there were some nice young couples, most of the divers were of the more mature aged variety, keen divers and the undisciplined backpacker element was not present. It is very sad to leave this wonderful place and when we did, again Mark, Poldi and the island people turned out to sing us off with a sad traditional song. Like some others, I felt quite emotional when leaving and looked around to see other people also had a tear in their eye. I can not speak highly enough about this place. My advice is if you are considering a dive trip to an exotic location, far from the maddening crowd, which is not going to cost the earth, stop thinking and just go to Beqa Lagoon Resort. You won’t regret it.
Like they say, Life’s a Beach and then you Dive.
Garry and Sue

Galapagos Diving has just become even better. With immediate effect all our dive cruises in the Galapagos are authorised to offer more dives per day and even night dives!

The Galapagos Marine Park Authority has changed the maximum number of dives per day from 3 to 4 and even 1 night dive per seven week cruise is now allowed. Diving in the Galapagos is always an exceptional experience. With changing water temperatures, the highlights shift:

  • June – November: The water is cooler, 16-24C (60-75F); Whale Shark sightings are greater.
  • December – May: The water is warmer, clearer 21-30C (70-86F); Larger schools of Hammerhead Sharks, Manta Rays and Eagle Rays.

Check our our dive site Map for Wolf and Darwin Islands

Here a quick overview how the different yachts are adjusting their itineraries to maximise the benefits for you:

Galapagos Sky
Sunday – Sunday
from/to San Cristobal

Galapagos Sky is the leading liveaboard in the Galapagos, owned and managed by diving veteran, Peter Hughes. GS is part of the Diveencounter Alliance which provides you with attractive rewards on the best liveaboards around the world.

Galapagos Sky has announced that they will take advantage of the new regulation by offering a night dive at Wolf Island – offering up to 5 dives at this most amazing dive region. They have 2 days scheduled here and have a much broader variety of dive sites in their programme then any other liveaboard.

During Mar – May 2013, they will visit Cousins Rock, City of Mantas, Cabo Marshall, Punta Vincente Roca, Roca Redondo, and Isla Pinzon (Islote Dumb).

During June, 2013 – Feb., 2014 – they will visit Bartolome, Cousins Rock, Cabo Marshall, Punta Vicente Roca, and Isla Pinzon (Islote Dumb).

They will dive the Isla Pinzon area on our last diving day. Islote Dumb is a tiny rock outcropping off the northeast tip of Isla Pinzon. The dive is packed with the same dynamic diving that they’ve found at Roca Blanca in 2012.

There will be three – four land/sea excursions per trip, and the very populuar Santa Cruz Highlands / Giant Tortoise tour is included in both.

Galapagos Aggressor I & II
from/to Baltra

The Galapagos Aggressor I (16 pax) & II (14 pax) are sister ships and depart from Baltra every Thursday afternoon.
Starting February 1, 2013, their new itinerary includes Wolf and Darwin, Baltra, Punta Carrion, Bartolome, Cabo Marshall, Cousins Rocks and a brand new addition, Cabo Douglas where guests will have the opportunity to interact with marine iguanas as they feed in the water.
Both boats spend between 2 and 3 days at Wolf and Darwin. Land tours will be at Bartolome and Santa Cruz Highlands.

Current Special:
Save $1000 for departures between February 28 – July 4, 2013


M/V Humboldt Explorer
Monday – Monday
from/to San Cristobal

Humboldt Explorers new permits kick in on 1 April 2013. They have gained the necessary permits to dive up to 4 times a day, including 4 dive days at Wolf & Darwin Islands, plus an additional land tour on North Seymour Island and will be offering a night dive! If Wolf/Darwin is your main goal – Humboldt Explorer is the best choice.

M.Y Darwin Buddy and M.Y Wolf Buddy
from/to San Cristobal

The two newest additions to the group of quality dive liveaboards are following a similar approach with trying to maximise diving at Wolf and Darwin Islands. Their boats plan 3 dive days at Darwin an Wolf islands.

For more info: info@diversiondivetravel.com.au


Arrive as a guest,  leave as a friend

Just a short 30 minute drive from Dumaguete airport (a 1 hour flight from Manila), on the island of Negros Oriental, lies the beautiful Atlantis Dumaguete Dive Resort. The resort is surrounded by lush tropical gardens and is just a short boat ride away from some of the most renowned dive sites in Asia – famous Apo Island, Siquijor Island and of course the local Dauin Marine Sanctuaries.

Atlantis Resort Dumaguete features forty guest rooms and suites, all designed with the guests maximum comfort, privacy and relaxation in mind. Besides scuba diving, guests can enjoy a number of services and experiences to make their holiday complete: spa treatments, swimming pool, beach with sun lounges, restaurant and bar, boutique for souvenirs, dedicated camera room for underwater photographers and plenty of land based tour options.

What makes this place so special is the staff. I had only been in the resort for minutes when I was already greeted by staff members calling out my name. The high level of customer service and friendliness of the staff continued throughout our stay and is definitely second to none.

Toko’s Restaurant offers relaxed dining with superb menu choices. Each lunch and dinner, you can enjoy a stunning 3 course menu freshly prepared by dedicated local and international chefs.

We started our diving activities with a couple of sloping reefs, only a few minutes by boat from the resort. Two blue-ringed octopus, flamboyant cuttlefish, cleaning mantis shrimp, lionfish, frogfish and wasp fish, all seen on our first dive, were only a small number of the extraordinary critter and marine life we were to experience over the coming days.

The dive schedule of the resort and also at its sister property, Atlantis Puerto Galera

, offers up to 5 dives per day. Two morning dives are available, followed by either two afternoons and a night dive or one afternoon and a mandarin fish dusk dive. This many dives per day are usually only offered on liveaboards, but rarely at land-based dive resorts. Therefore, this makes the Atlantis Resorts a great option for the hardcore diver as well as diver/non-diver couples.

One of my diving highlights was Apo Island, only a 45 minute boat ride from the resort. It is a small island surrounded by stunning reef walls, drop offs and beautiful coral gardens. We spent two days diving here at different dive sites and only experienced a little bit of current on two dives. Although I very much enjoy wall diving, my favourite time was spent just cruising around 10m and above, spotting critters amongst the coral. Devil scorpion fish, stone fish, sweet lips, frog fish, gobies, trigger fish, parrot fish, surgeon fish, lion fish and plenty of different nudibranchs were all to be found on our dives. I am also pleased to report that the local sea turtle population in the Philippines is very healthy.

After completing our diving activities at Atlantis Dumaguete, we joined the resort’s own fabulous liveaboard, Atlantis Azores, for another three fantastic days of diving. We sampled part of the Bohol itinerary of Atlantis Azores, including the whale sharks at Oslob, at the southern tip of Cebu Island, followed by Sumilon, Cabilao and Balicasag Islands.

Watch a Video

Taking part in Azores’ Bohol itinerary means diving around tranquil islands surrounded by crystal clear waters and pristine white sandy beaches. Dive sites include superb hard and soft corals, stunning reef walls, drop offs, critters such as pygmy and thorny seahorses, frog fish, ghost pipe fish, many different species of nudibranchs, clown fish, parrot fish, pegasus sea moths, blue ribbon eels, schools of jacks and trevally, hawksbill and green turtles and sea snakes. Very occasionally you might also come across reef sharks, sting rays and manta rays, however, we haven’t experienced any on our numerous dives.
Atlantis Azores is a luxury liveaboard offering a high quality of service and standard. It features 8 cabins for a max. of 16 divers, a huge dive deck with camera table, comfortable lounge with flatscreen TV, sun lounges and a jacuzzi on the sun deck.

Azores offers four different itineraries in the Philippines, so there is plenty of diving to be done. Up to 5 dives are offered on each full dive day. The food on board the vessel, freshly prepared by a local chef, is just delicious. There was a continuous flow of food platters coming out of the galley, pleasing all our different taste buds. A brief cup of coffee with cereal or muffin was available before each first dive early in the morning. Following our first dive, a sumptuous hot breakfast was served. Lunch and dinner were delicious 3 course meals with the choice of either meat or fish as main meal.

After 8 days in the Dumaguete region it was time to say goodbye. The Atlantis motto “Arrive as a guest, leave as a friend” pretty much says it all. I am certainly keen to get back to see how everyone is doing!

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