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Mehmet Gungen

Searching for a destination for my next vacation in April - May 2015

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I am planning a 10-12 day diving vacation sometime between 25/04 - 10/05.

 

However could not decide on a destination matching my parameters.

 

I would appreciate any hints matching below criteria:

 

1. A location reachable from Europe without a very complicated flight organisation(a one stop connected international flight followed by a short local flight is still acceptable)

 

2. Not one of the destinations we have visited within the last two years which are:

- Moyo Island, Indonesia(September 2013)

- Pamalican Island, Philippines(January 2014)

- Cozumel/Playa Del Carmen/Isla Mujeres/Tulum, Mexico(August 2014)

- Wakatobi, Indonesia(Jan 2015)

 

3. A land based vacation in an upscale resort(A boutique resort with good food and a nice SPA would be ideal. Preferably with GSM signal and Wifi)

 

4. Preferably best(at least not the worse) diving season at our planned vacation time

 

5. Good snorkelling possibilities other than scuba diving

 

6. Possibility to organise diving privately is a plus(one to one with a guide)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bali (Siddharta, Villa markisa)... great diving around Tulamben, they shoudl also organize diving for bue water/big fish around NUsa Penida, great balinese service, lots of topside attractions, easy to go.

Dauin/Negros Philippines (Atmosphere resort) in front of APo island, so there is black sand in Dauin and great corals in Apo, ocassionally they also provide whale shark diving in Oslob, 1,5 hrs domestic flight from Manila.

North Sulawesi (Siladen resort, Gangga island resort,) great coals but also fantastic macro around Gangga/Bangka, 3 hours flight from Jakarta or Singapore.

Sipadan (Kapalai resort or SWV) combining Sipadan fish schools and Mabul macro; a little bit tucked on the island though, 3 hours flight from Kuala Lumpur.

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That is a very good season for Anilao in the Philipines (lots of posts here on that destination) and it is possible to match all your criteria at reasonable prices.

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Problem with Anilao is that it's a bit short on great accomodations.

I was very disappointed with Aiyanar 1 year ago, especially with managers attitude over clients, maybe newly open La Chevrerie would fit but it's not a dive oriented resort strictly.

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Problem with Anilao is that it's a bit short on great accomodations.

I was very disappointed with Aiyanar 1 year ago, especially with managers attitude over clients, maybe newly open La Chevrerie would fit but it's not a dive oriented resort strictly.

 

You aren't going to get great diving, easy flights and upmarket land-side accomodation: I think that two out of three is the best that you'll manage.

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Maldives is a possibility. Easy flights from Europe, lots of land based options at upscale resorts with wifi, & good snorkelling but make sure you pick a resort with an accessible house reef (some need a short boat trip). Like Tim says you will not get all of your requirements. This is the start of the rainy season but rain there tends to come in warm, heavy, quick bursts and then it is gone and red hot again. You actually may not get any at all. It doesn't affect the diving. Not sure about private guides; you may be able to arrange but I suspect at serious cost. Sorry, I don't know what SPA is!

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I meant to also say that I agree with Luko re Gangga Island. It ticks most of your boxes. Been there three times - top notch resort

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I'd go to Siladen resort personally, but Maldives isn't a bad idea at all. Just make sure you go to a smallish island.

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Maldives is a possibility. Easy flights from Europe, lots of land based options at upscale resorts with wifi, & good snorkelling but make sure you pick a resort with an accessible house reef (some need a short boat trip). Like Tim says you will not get all of your requirements. This is the start of the rainy season but rain there tends to come in warm, heavy, quick bursts and then it is gone and red hot again. You actually may not get any at all. It doesn't affect the diving. Not sure about private guides; you may be able to arrange but I suspect at serious cost. Sorry, I don't know what SPA is!

 

I just arrived home from the Maldives. One word of warning, stay away from the islands around Male. They are dredging a huge area and have really mucked up some of the beautiful clear water around there.

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I've been to Vilmendhoo a couple of times in South Ari Atoll.

 

20-25 min (fun!) seaplane ride from Mali, good house reef, really nice accomm, good snorkelling, awesome food, German dive operation (Eurodive), short (additional cost) dhoni boat ride to mantas; some rippin' currents but not always. I can recommend it.

 

Also been to Eliadhoo. 45 min fast boat ride from Male. Resort accomm and food were superb - but there was something quite unsettling about the house reef and my partner and I, for the first time in our 20 years of diving, were glad to get out of the water and end our dives: so many things went wrong!

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French Polynesia might be an option (and IMO is better than other options mentioned here, especially for big stuff). I'm not sure the logistics of getting to Tahiti from Europe (you may have a layover at LAX), but once you get there, it is a short 45 min - 1hr flight to Fakarava or Rangiroa, which definitely can meet all your criteria.

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