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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Philippines 2015: Dumaguete

We went to Dumaguete, the Philippines for a week in August.  We considered a few different places, and in the end I think that the Philippines won out because we really liked it there last time, and because it was a fairly known quantity in terms of how to get there, etc.  On the short list of places was Anilao and Dumaguete, and Dumaguete basically won because we knew people who had been there that recommended it, plus there is an Atlantis there, so I figured it would be easy to set everything up.  I liked Dumaguete a lot, and would definitely recommend a trip there.  However, if I were to go there again, I'd probably go there for a bit less than a week (and attach it to a trip stopping in some other place in the Philippines as well), since there isn't that much variety, compared to say Puerto Galera.  While we were there, we spent 1 day at Apo Island, which is reef diving (versus Dumaguete's local sites, which are pretty much all muck diving).  Apo Island was nice, but I didn't find it to be great reef diving, so we decided to not go back for a second day, even though we'd originally planned to go there.  I know other people who have been to Dumaguete who loved Apo Island, so your mileage may vary.

One thing I liked about Dumaguete versus Puerto Galera is that it is more like you are in a tropical paradise than a dirty little city by the water.  Once you are out on the water off of Dumaguete, it feels quite remote (in a good way).  The weather was also much better than when we were in Puerto Galera, so that may be coloring my view on this :)

We liked Atlantis Dumaguete a lot, and if you are planning to go to Dumaguete, I'd definitely recommend it.  The grounds are very nice, the room was clean and very well chilled, the spa was nice, and the food was good.  The dive shop was well-run, and the staff were all friendly and did a great job.

So without further ado, here are the day-by-day reports (sorry for the not very inventive blog post names):
Dumaguete: Day 1
Dumaguete (Apo Island): Day 2
Dumaguete: Day 3

And since I couldn't find a place in any of the posts to put this picture of Rob sitting on a tree trunk that hangs over the water, I'm putting it here.  The first time that Rob tried to jump up on the trunk, he completely wiped out (and hurt his knee I think).  The worst part was that there were a bunch of locals sitting on the beach, watching as this unfolded.  Anyhoo, since he endured such suffering to get the picture, I had to put it on the blog somewhere :P

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