|The Wide Deck of a Fun and Sun Boat|
Not many really take Major transportation hubs into consideration when thinking diving destination. Such is the case with the country's second largest City and should I say International Airport Hub Mactan on the island of Cebu. Many dive plans include this airport only as a transfer hub to other more exotic destinations such as Balicasag, Moalboal, Malapascua and even Puerto Princessa enroute to Tubbataha.
Since it is just another airport code on the plane ticket Mactan is often overlooked as a serious diving destination. An oversight that when addressed can lead to some extremely good diving experiences and underwater encounters.
When you land on Mactan Island all the resort and Dive Operators servicing the area are within 30-45mins of the airport. This is one Island which you can literally be diving the same hour that you land. Numerous Operators serving every preference and usually divided by nationality are present on Mactan. The ones that I use often are Fun and Sun Dive Travel (they are known to have the best Banca's in the cebu area) and Feel Deep Diving CYC (these guys are more for a fun as well as chilled out day on the water).
Dive sites in Mactan range from the main shoreline slopes, Sandy Reef Plateaus, Sheer Walls that seem to go on forever and Shallow muck dives for the photographers in all of us.
Let me tell you about two of my favorite Mactan Dive Sites.
|Swimming into the Deep at Talima|
Be sure to explore these coral formations carefully as Talima is a good place to spot and Photograph Macro Critters in Clear Water. Ornate Ghost PipeFish hidden in the crinoids, to Diff kinda of Chromodoris Nudis, to the occasional frogfish; are some of the things you can expect to see at Talima.
|Group Photo at the statue at Nalusuan|
From here you can actually choose to go deep of the wall into the abyss, or just let the current drift you back up the reef top to the exit point.
Talima is a good place for photos but on certain day the current picks up making macro photography a chore if at all possible. But as diving goes sometimes a mental photograph is all we need.
My second favorite dive spot at Mactan is the Nalusuan Island Sanctuary. This Dive Site is only doable in the summer time due to its location it entails a long crossing and a position that is prone to the elements. But a trip down to Nalusuan can be extremely rewarding. On good days Divers will be rewarded with 30-40M visibility as well as a colorful reeftop abound with fishlife. I personally spend a whole day just diving this Island if we do make the trip out here.
|Hitching a Ride...|
All in all if you have a couple of days... Mactan gets my vote on one of the places divers must visit to get a feel of Philippine Diving. 30mins from the airport into the water?!... What more can you ask for?