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Brief Trip Report - Peter's Dive Resort - Southern Leyte

Discussion in 'Philippine Paradise Divers' started by Johncn, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. Johncn

    Johncn Registered

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cape Canaveral, FL - USA
    39
    41
    Hello,

    My wife and I just spent a few days at Peter's Dive Resort (PDR), in Southern Leyte. Left yesterday. We are on our way home, but wanted to get a brief trip report out. Great time, didn't do a lot of dives for a number of reasons, but Napantao was one of the top ten dives we've ever done. Wow. And, the whale sharks are around right now. If you get the chance, do yourself a favor and stay at Peter's. ;-) We will do a longer post with pictures and so on when we get back home.

    Short Version:

    Flew Cebu Pacific from Manila to Tacloban (round trip) for about $100 USD each.

    PDR arranged a transfer by van from the airport to the resort (3.5 hours / 4000 pesos = $78 USD). Expensive, as there are other ways to get there, but it was easy, and that was what we wanted. Driver met us with a sign, and off we went. Used same service for return. No issues. Padre Burgos, where the resort is, is in a mostly rural / subsistence fishing and farming area. There are only a few other restaurant options, and your drive there from Tacloban will be pretty, but very rural. FYI. We knew this advance, and have travelled lots of places in the Philippines. Just don't expect a tourism infrastructure. That's now what we were after.

    Weather was showery each day except one, which was mostly sunny, but there were lots of sunny breaks between the showers, lots of rainbows dappled, almost Aleutian looking scenes with sunlight on the far island hillsides.

    Rooms were basic, but clean and well situated. Everything worked, and the prices were reasonable. We had a "Family" unit our first two nights, and Duplex #2 the other nights. Cleaning staff were excellent. Only issues (which we knew about in advance) were no safe, and Internet didn't work in the Duplex unit. It worked all but two days, I believe, in the restaurant, so no big deal. It was up for some on the two days I had trouble, but it was fine.

    Important note: My SMART sim chip - which has worked everywhere in the PI without issue - was totally useless in Padre Burgos. Globe is the way to go if you are getting a SIM or a plan.

    There is some new construction going on, and it looks like a three (four?) story room block is being put up next to the pool. It didn't bother us.

    Restaurant was very good, and the staff - both restaurant and front desk (same area) were all very helpful and communicative. The restaurant girls and cook were especially helpful to us, and no request was denied. Menu is fairly simple, but we found plenty to eat...a mix of Filipino and European foods. Breakfast was good the few times we had it, but mostly we just had coffee (free, powdered and serve -yourself-style with mugs and hot water available). Fresh local fish (wahoo / tanigue) was good a couple times, the pasta with tuna was good, and all the Filipino dishes were rated highly. Take away meals for whale shark trip provided with that fee. Beers were 60-65 pesos, soft drinks not expensive. Really, no complaints at all about food, drinks or service.

    Dive trips are mostly done via an 8:30 departure (two dives where the staff thinks will work), then back early afternoon. Other dives on request, such as night dives, shore dives or whatever. Divers mostly very experienced, but also a mix of newbies taking courses and some longer-term folks working on dive master credentials. We only dove air, but they had nitrox that others were using. Dive staff were great. Dino very helpful in setting things up. Gear was good....mostly Cressi and Aqualung.

    The whale shark trip, which was our main goal, was a treat. Limited to 15 pax, I think, but we had ten. There were two trips while we were there, but one was full, so make your interests known on arrival. The deal is an 8 AM departure, dive on the way, packed lunch to go, back mid to late afternoon.

    Panaon Island is across Sogod Bay from the resort...about an hour and some change ride in the bangka. After the dive, picked up the marine observer and local spotters from Pintuyan village in small bangka, and towed them to the area with activity. The small bangka were paddle power, one guy each. They would signal, the boat would come near the shark. If it looked good, the dive staff say "Go!", and off we sail into the water to snorkel (no diving permitted) with the whale sharks. No crowds. Just us on our boat, and we could stay will the shark as long as we could keep up. Great fun. We saw four whale sharks between 5-8 meters, roughly, and had a blast. One of those sightings may have been the same whale twice. Not sure. This is NOTHING like the Oslob thing, which we sadly participated in once. This is how it is supposed to be done. Trust me.

    Many others better qualified here to review Napantao, but it was everything we had heard. Great diversity on the wall, lots and lots and lots of critters flowing up and over and down the wall as we drifted with a fairly easy current. Saw moray, trevally jacks crashing some bait, ghost and (I think) harlequin shrimp, various nudibranchs, two white tip reef sharks, couple frog fish on safety stop, a large hawksbill turtle, and acres of multi-colored soft and hard corals, gorgonians and so on. Great dive.

    Anyway, getting ready to board, but we will definitely plan to return to Peters when we can spend some more dive time exploring. Highly recommended, and glad we made the journey down from Manila. Everybody we talked to, whether an hard core diver, taking a course, or the few relative newbies we met, was having a good time at PDR.

    Johncn
     
    FT, xrcjdx, Trailboss123 and 3 others like this.
  2. MomZo

    MomZo Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vietnam
    167
    117
    Thanks for the not-that-short report.

    I am going to southern Leyte in March/April and very glad to read you loved your stay at PDR.
     
    Tippytoes12 likes this.
  3. Tippytoes12

    Tippytoes12 Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    1,144
    583
    Thanks for a great report. I wholeheartedly agree that the whaleshark experience in Southern Leyte is world class. Good to hear about the white tips to, we saw a manta ray very far below us.

    Am so pleased that you had such a good time there.
     
  4. FT

    FT Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    301
    142
    Thank you so much for this thorough report! Can hardly wait for mid-March now.
     
  5. MomZo

    MomZo Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vietnam
    167
    117
    What are the other dive sites you visited during your stays? Pros and cons?
    What was the average water temperature and visibility?
    Do you know when night dives are possible? I believe night dives at Padre Burgos Pier are limited to once or twice a week, but is there other options for night dive around PDR the other nights? Worth it?
     
  6. Rickk

    Rickk Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Philippines
    304
    318
    It looks great, I was looking for some places in Layte to go to after Moalboal but they are a little pricey for my budget. :snorkel:
     
  7. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    10,320
    3,872
    Peter's has dorm bed.
     
  8. Rickk

    Rickk Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Philippines
    304
    318
    In my 60's and retired, I need a private room and my own bathroom.:snorkel:
     
  9. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    10,320
    3,872
    Standard room for diver is P1,000.00 and comes with AC and bath room.
    Certainly NOT pricey.

    BTW, I am older than you.
     
  10. MomZo

    MomZo Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vietnam
    167
    117
    Any answers @Johncn?
     

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