scuba diving dauin

Scuba Diving Dauin: Best Sites to Visit

Dauin is a small town in Negros Oriental, Philippines, famous for muck diving and the majestic Apo Island. It is also an underwater photography haven if you’re a super-macro enthusiast.

If you want to visit Dauin, you won’t be disappointed with its dive sites, home to many unique underwater critters.

Going to Dauin

Whether you are from Manila or Cebu, you can reach the town of Dauin via Dumaguete City.

  1. Plane ride: Book a flight from Manila or Cebu to Dumaguete City.
  2. Ferry ride: If you are from Cebu Island, you may also take a ferry boat or a fast craft to Dumaguete.

Once you arrive in Dumaguete City, you may take a jeepney, bus, or tricycle to Dauin, which is about 15 kilometers south of Dumaguete.

Dauin: a muck diving paradise

While many envision pristine coral reefs and vibrant marine life, Dauin offers something unique: muck diving. You can go diving in large patches of dark volcanic sand to discover a mesmerizing array of critters. You can explore elusive creatures like frogfish, sea slugs, cuttlefish, and seashorses. These tiny creatures also make great subjects if you’re fond of macro photography.

Apo Island

While you’re in Negros Island, don’t miss the chance to explore the nearby Apo Island. A short boat ride away, this marine sanctuary boasts vibrant coral gardens, sea turtles, and schools of fish. If you get lucky, you can even spot manta rays and whale sharks (Butanding) in its waters. It’s surely a delightful contrast to Dauin’s typical muck dives.

Scuba diving Dauin: sites to visit

Dauin offers captivating dive sites, including the following:

1. Mainit

The site Mainit, meaning “hot,” got its name from the thermal activity in the area. You can explore the sandy seabed at this dive site and enjoy watching schools of barracudas, surgeonfish, and yellow snappers. You can also spot dogtooth tuna, stingrays, snake eels, and the elusive white-tip sharks in Mainit.

The types of dive you can expect in Mainit are coral and drift dives, so be cautious of the current and remember to follow the directions of your dive guide.

Diving level certification: Open water and above

2. San Miguel

This fascinating dive site and photographers’ paradise offers colorful marine life. You can swim with sea turtles, relish the vibrant coral reefs, and see giant groupers or lapu-lapu hiding in crevices. You can also spot the hump-head wrasse and if you’re lucky, manta rays.

Diving level certification: Open water and above

3. Mamsa Point Marine Sanctuary

This mesmerizing muck diving spot in Dauin features unique underwater critters like frogfish, sea slugs, cuttlefish, and seahorses. This place is a great diving spot if you are an underwater photographer or simply looking to explore unique sea creatures.

The Mamsa Point, which features a sandy bottom surrounded by a coral arena-like setting, also spotlights sea turtles, moray eels, eagle rays, Moorish idols, and other colorful reef fish.

Diving level certification: Advanced

4. Katipanan

Katipanan features a vibrant coral garden where you can see soft and hard corals thrive. You can swim along the gentle slope and encounter anthias, butterflyfish, and damselfish.

This muck diving spot also makes a great spot for macro photography with its tiny adorable critters.

Diving level certification: Advanced open water diver

5. Coconut island

Coconut Island is located off the coast of Dauin with a landscape that combines both sandy patches and healthy coral reefs.

Notable creatures on the island include giant trevally (mamsa), colorful reef fish like parrot fish and angelfish, and tiny critters like colorful nudibranchs and ghost pipefish.

Diving level certification: Open water diver

Dauin scuba diving: best time to go

Pretty much like the rest of the Philippine Islands, the best time to go scuba diving in Dauin is from November to May. During this time, the weather is generally dry and sunny. The sea is also calmer with ideal visibility, which makes it an excellent time for diving enthusiasts to go on underwater exploration.

You can still go diving in Dauin at other times of the year, but conditions may vary due to the monsoon season from June to October.


Dauin scuba diving is a unique experience you can add to your bucket list. Doing muck diving, enjoying colorful reefs in its famous sites, and going on a side trip to the fascinating Apo Island, surely you will enjoy your scuba diving experience in this small town on Negros Island, Philippines.

Whether you are a licensed and experienced scuba diver or are still planning to get certified, we at Sea Explorers can assist you in creating a safe, fun, and memorable scuba diving experience in Dauin.