Dumaguete is a bustling city whilst Dauin is a quiet town; both are located along the coast of Negros island within 20km of one another.
Between these two areas are some of the best and most off-the-beaten-track muck dive sites in all of the Philippines; where one can see all kinds of fascinating macro critters.
Generally, “Dumaguete diving” and “Dauin diving” refer to these same group of dive sites…however when it comes to choosing where to stay things get kinda complicated!
Most dive resorts; even those described as “Dumaguete dive resorts” are actually located within Dauin – whereas cheaper accommodation like hostels are located in Dumaguete!
You’ll definitely need to stay in the right area for your budget and diving plans…otherwise things will go tits up!
That’s why we’ve compiled this handy guide to the best places to stay in Dumaguete / Dauin for divers. Let’s take a closer look:
How to Use this Guide:
Listen the fu*k up! We’ve divided the best places to stay into 2 sections:
Section 1) Dive Resorts: within the quiet town of Dauin; a 30 minute scooter ride from Dumaguete. These are luxury resorts with their own dive centres, restaurants, bars, pools and other facilities: this is just as well because unlike many other Philippines seaside towns, Dauin is very sparse and has virtually no tourist-infrastructure whatsoever.
Section 2) Backpacker Hostels: within the busy city of Dumaguete. If you’re going to dive but can’t afford to stay at a dive resort, you’ll need to be in Dumaguete as this is where you’ll find all of the public dive centres, bars and restaurants. It’s much cheaper to stay here; albeit more crowded.
Remember, it’s always cheaper to book in advance than it is to pay when you rock up!
Use the Quick Answer section directly below to check out our top 3 recommendations on booking.com – or dive down / scroll past it to get to our detailed reviews of all 10 places!
If you’re looking to stay in the most luxurious dive resort in the entire Dauin / Dumaguete area; look no further than Atlantis Dive Resort. Also, don’t be confused by it’s full name on booking.com being “Atlantis Dive Resort Dumaguete” – this resort is very much located within the quiet, seaside town of Dauin; directly along the beach and with a lush garden backdrop.
There is an in-house dive school where you can get scuba certified, go on local dives and even arrange day trips to Apo and Siquijor islands. The dive instructors are incredibly knowledgeable and experienced; guest reviews frequently praise how well they operate each dive.
In fact, all of the staff at Atlantis Dive Resort receive stellar reviews; they are highly competent, friendly and truly go out of their way to create a relaxed and tranquil atmosphere for guests. As well as a large outdoor swimming pool there is also a spa where guests can receive a variety of massage and wellness treatments.
Toko’s restaurant, which provides gorgeous ocean views, serves a variety of excellent local and international cuisines and also has a bar serving just every kind of drink you can imagine.
Guests can choose from spacious deluxe double rooms with garden-view balconies all the way up to two-bedroom suites with private patios and terraces. All rooms come equipped with aircon, ensuite bathrooms and flatscreen TV’s.
Another extremely luxurious option, Mike’s Dauin Dive Resort is also located along Dauin beach; it’s buildings surrounded by tropical garden.
There is an in-house dive centre with a team of highly experienced dive guides who get you scuba certified and/or take you on both local dives around the many great muck dive sites or on day trips to Siquijor and Apo island. Child-minding and baby-sitting services are available so if you’re coming with kids you can still get away to dive!
Mike’s Dauin Dive Resort isn’t exactly cheap, but it is considerably less expensive than Atlantis Dive Resort (our top pick). The main difference between these two resorts is that Mike’s Dauin Dive Resort does not have an in-house spa, however you can still easily arrange to enjoy massage services from the comfort of your own room.
The restaurant offers a variety of Italian and American dishes whilst the bar serves a mean cocktail. All rooms are equipped with private outdoors patios, TV’s, aircon and work desks.
If (like me), you love to stay fit during your travels, Pura Vida Beach & Dive Resort is the absolute best option for you; unlike the vast majority of other resorts, it has a fitness centre – there are also 2 swimming pools to get those lengths in! After all this you can relax with a deep-tissue massage at the luxury spa.
The in-house dive team are extremely reliable and kind; guests frequently cite feeling very well taken care of by them and the rental scuba diving gear is of high quality and in fantastic condition.
At the restaurant there are many choices (including buffet breakfast) which are expertly prepared whilst the huge bar provides an insane variety of cocktails and plays tranquil travel footage on the big screen plasma TV. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful; they excel at creating a quiet and relaxing atmosphere and there is a 24 hour helpdesk.
Guests can choose from a variety of room options from double rooms all the way up to family rooms; each “room” is actually a private cottage in either bamboo or modern style with plenty of space, a private outdoor area, flatscreen tv, aircon and some offering ocean views.
If you really dig modern-style apartments, look no further than Infinity Diving Resort & Residences which offers a variety of extremely suave and sleek rooms with marble walls and tile floors. This is quite different than most other Philippines resorts; even the fanciest of which tend to feature buildings with wooden or plaster interiors.
(Some of the rooms at this 3 star resort also have private outdoor patios and lake or garden views).
Surrounded by lush tropical garden, this resort is conveniently located along a private area of Dauin beach. The in-house dive centre features excellent equipment and the dive instructors have many years of experience, being extremely good at what they do.
There are 2 restaurants; the first has a romantic ambience and serves local, Asian, international, pizza and steakhouse whilst the second has a family-friendly ambience and serves African and American cuisine. Few other resorts have more than one restaurant!
Guest reviews frequently cite how the staff go above and beyond to make their stay here an extremely pleasant and relaxing one; they will help you arrange whatever you need whether it’s themed dinner nights, diving, snorkeling, canoeing or something else. There are also two outdoor swimming pools, free-parking and a bar area.
If you want to stay in Dauin but you’re on a budget, then AivyMaes Divers Resort is the cheapest option. In addition to a variety of private rooms that start at approximately $21 a night (far cheaper than at any other Dauin resort), there is even a 4-bed dorm you can stay in for approximately $12 a night. Some private rooms have a balcony with hammock and ocean view.
There’s an in-house dive centre with extremely reasonable diving prices, good rental gear and a team of highly experienced, friendly and engaging dive instructors. The resort staff are very attentive and can help you with anything you need.
There is a bar but no swimming pool or in-house restaurant. However, unlike many other resorts, AivyMaes Divers Resort is actually located within easy walking distance of several places to eat: notably 150 meters from Dauin Dive Cafe, 350 meters from Beth’s kitchen and 400 meters from Chooks to Go restaurant.
So, if you’re looking to stay in Dauin for a few nights and you want to do so on the cheap this is an excellent choice; just remember to eat are somewhat limited; so you may start craving something different after a while. Alternatively, you can stay in a cheap hostel in Dumaguete city which will be near plenty of bars and restaurants. Read about the best Dumaguete hostels below!
Antwet Backpacker’s Inn & Rooftop Bar is without a doubt the coolest and most social hostel for backpacker’s in Dumaguete. It’s in a prime location; situated close to many restaurants and bars and Dumaguete airport as well as within just 1.5km of Scuba Venturas Dive Centre and various other dive centre options.
The rooftop bar has really laid back and fun vibes with cool lighting, a pool table and kickass views of both the city and the epic mountain ranges of Negros island. Plus the evening entertainment that goes down every night is a great way to meet other travellers. Despite this, the hostel is in a fairly quiet area so you will be able to sleep!
Staff here are extremely friendly and outgoing; they can advise and help you with all the best things to do and see around and close to Dumaguete city. There is also free parking and luggage storage as well as BBQ facilities.
Guests can choose to stay in mixed dormitories (most are 10 bed); the fan only dorm option is cheaper than anywhere else you can stay in Dumaguete or you can pay a couple dollars more to upgrade to an aircon dorm. There is also a junior suite with balcony, aircon and ensuite bathroom for a very reasonable nightly rate.
With sleek architecture and lighting – both externally and internally, The Flying Fish Hostel looks more like a boutique resort than a backpacker hostel. Admittedly it’s not quite as cheap as our top hostel pick: 6) Antwet Backpackers Inn & Rooftop Bar, but the prices are still much lower than at an actual dive resort.
It has an excellent location; just a couple minutes scooter / tricycle ride away from various dive centres and within easy walking distance of various bars and restaurants: also it is just a short distance from the seafront.
The bar and restaurant are a great place to chill with other traveller’s – or get some online work done if you’re a digital nomad thanks to the pretty decent free WiFi.
There is a 24 hour help desk and the staff all very professional and friendly; all happy to help you with whatever you need. You can also make use of the free parking.
Guests can choose from 6-10 bed mixed dorms with aircon and plenty of space or opt for a double room with an ensuite bathroom and view.
If you’re looking to stay in a female only dormitory, Casa Arrieta is the best option for you. The female only dorms feature aircon and a shared bathroom and consist of two bunk beds, able to take a maximum of 4 occupants. There are also 4 – 6 bed mixed dormitory options.
Casa Arrieta does not have a bar or restaurant – however there is a shared kitchen and barbecue as well as free WiFi. Also, it is close to many bars and restaurants as well as just 0.6 miles from Escano Beach and less than 2km from a variety of dive centres. Staff on site are very helpful and reliable; they can arrange a shuttle service for you.
This is a quiet hostel to stay in; if you’re looking for a good nights sleep at an affordable rate in a convenient location, it’s a good option to consider. That said, for a more exciting vibe you may want to consider options 6) and 7) above!
Bongo Bongo divers is one of the few backpacker friendly accommodation options in Dauin. Although there are less food options in Dauin compared to Dumaguete, Bongo Bongo Divers is conveniently close to several places to eat: 100 yards from Dauin Dive Cafe, 350 yards from Beth’s Kitchen and 400 yards from Chooks to Go Restaurant.
Bongo Bongo divers is also one of the very few hostels between Dumaguete and Dauin that is tailored especially towards divers; evident because there is an on-site dive instructor and the fact this hostel is within less than 100 meters of several dive centres. This makes it a great place to meet other travellers who are as crazy about scuba diving as you are!
Located just one hundred meters from the beach, Bongo Bongo divers is also very close to 5) AivyMaes Divers Resort; the cheapest diver resort in Dauin.
There is a stylish bar with cool lighting and laid back social vibes as well as table tennis, a swimming pool with deck chairs and a shared kitchen and bbq facilities. Guests can choose from dormitory or private room options.
Another one of the few backpacker friendly accommodation options in Dauin, this is also the only eco-hostel option where you can stay in rustic bamboo huts, seemingly surrounded by jungle. Guests can choose from some of the all-time lowest private rooms in Dauin or an incredibly cheap 8-bed mixed dorm. Accommodation options feature fans and mosquito nets.
There is a restaurant serving a variety of extremely healthy and sustainable French, British and American cuisine (with a vegetarian option) as well as a bar and terrace area which is a good place to meet other travellers for a drink or a round of table tennis.
A pet-friendly hostel, Mango Tree Eco-Hostel has free wifi, free parking and incredibly passionate owners who can help you arrange scuba diving in addition to other activities. Despite feeling as though it’s in the middle of the jungle, Mango Tree Eco-Hostel is actually conveniently located less than 1km from the beach and diving facilities.
When it comes to diving the many incredible muck dive sites between Dumaguete and Dauin, there’s a few important things to know such as where the very best dive sties are, which months of the year offer the best diving conditions and how to get there.
Fear not! You can read about all of these things and more (such as what other stuff there is to do besides dive) in our Ultimate Guide to Diving Dumaguete / Dauin!
And there it be! Our list of the 10 best places to stay for divers around Dumaguete and Dauin!!
We constantly update and improve our content so you can rest assured that what you’ve read today really does reflect the latest info on where to stay in Dumaguete / Dauin for scuba divers.
Full disclosure: we make an affiliate commission when you book one of these resorts through a booking.com link on this page; however it doesn’t cost you a cent extra. In fact, it’s actually cheaper to book in advance then it is to pay when you get there! Also, because these places are the best of the best; they often book up way in advance!
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