Diving plus Land – Winter Combi Tours
When dealing with diving, it is important not to go to extremes, especially in the planning process of the upcoming trip. No doubt – underwater beauty is in the first place, but do not forget that even the most advanced diver with many years of experience is still a terrestrial and air-breathing creature, and you should never completely “hammer” on the land part of the program. Very often, the best compromise option are combined tours, which make it possible not only to dive well at an excellent diving resort, but also to get to know the country more fully, enjoy a beach holiday or a rich excursion program. Such tours are good not only for divers, but also for snorkeling enthusiasts, and even for ordinary vacationers who expect more from a vacation than lying on a cozy beach chair. In this article we will look at the most popular combined tours of the winter season.
Recall that the combined tours take, as a rule, 12-14 nights, although options are possible from 8 to 21 days. Summer destinations: Singapore, Malaysia, Peru and Ecuador (Galapagos Islands), Costa Rica, Australia and Fiji are generally suitable for divers in the winter season. For example, in Malaysia in winter, it is possible to combine the best year-round diving destinations of Borneo (Mabul, Lankayan, Mataking, Pom-Pom) with the most popular tourist islands of Langkawi, Penang and Pangkor. And even countries where winter is traditionally considered an unsuitable season for diving trips (for example, some parts of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea) have their advantages: as a rule, the abundance of plankton in the water that makes it difficult to admire colorful reefs attracts many ocean fish, together with underwater visibility and prices for accommodation fall! This allows you to visit popular resorts much cheaper than usual time – sometimes 30 percent.
By the way, combined tours are also a great tool for turning the minuses of distant journeys into advantages! If you are forced to spend the night on the way to the resort, just add one more night and fill the resulting day with a rich excursion program. If you do it skillfully, there will be a good opportunity to get acquainted with another city, and even the country.
The Philippine islands are so different that it seems to visit only one of them – it’s like not going to the Philippines at all. Surprisingly, in the Philippines you can create a full-fledged combined tour without a single domestic flight! For example, if you arrive at Cebu International Airport (Qatar and Singapore airlines fly there), then all the islands and resorts of the central region of Vizayas are easily accessible by car and ferries: Bohol, Pangao, Balikasag, Malapaska, Sumilon, Siquihor and Dumaget on the island Negros, rich in diverse recreational opportunities. From the ground program there will be an interesting sightseeing tour of Cebu with a visit to the church where the cross, once installed by Magellan himself upon arrival on the islands, is stored, an unforgettable all-day tour of the island of Bohol with a visit to the unique Chocolate Hills, an old church, a river cruise accompanied by the famous chansonnies Lombok River and, of course, acquaintance with charming fluffy tarsiers! But let’s not forget about the main thing: on the islands of Panglao, Balikasag, Sumilon and Siquihor, the island of Malapascua fox sharks and in Dumaguete with its dark sparkling beaches and nearby islands, guests of the Philippines can enjoy excellent diving. For a beach holiday, it is better to choose resorts with a more developed infrastructure: Cebu, Bohol and Panglao, Dumaguet.
Another option for a combined tour in the Philippines is the combination of an exclusively diving resort with a “non-diving” one. Here, however, we cannot do without internal flights: we will need a couple of nights to dock in Manila or Cebu, where international flights arrive. As a diving resort, the UNESCO protected Puerto Galera coast is 3.5 hours from Manila, but the rest will be optimal on Boracay island: White Beach’s cheerful, vibrant atmosphere is remembered by all tourists without exception!
Separately, it is worth noting the island resorts of the province of Palawan: Dos Palmas, Club Paradise, Club Niah Isabelle, El Nido Lagen and Miniloc are perfect for diving, and for secluded relaxation in the womb of the virgin nature of this “last frontier” of the Philippines. Add a couple of nights with a sightseeing tour of Manila at the beginning of the journey and five nights on the islands of Boracay or Bohol at the end – and the amazing “combo” in the Philippines is ready!