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Duka Bay Resort
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrOne of the best and most frequented diving resorts in Northern Mindanao is Duka Bay. Located at the municipality of Medina, Misamis Oriental , Duka Bay is an elegant beach resort that offers a number of water activities including aqua sports, glass bottom boat tours, and scuba diving courses. From the bay, visitors can also see the beautiful island of Camiguin, which is also one of the province’s top summer destinations.
The beach in Duka Bay is not like the other white sand beaches across the Philippines. Although there is a clear, sandy shore for swimming, most of the bay is surrounded by huge rocks and corals. The coral reefs around the resort are also declared a Marine Protected Area by the local government, ensuring the preservation of its natural beauty for more generations to come. The Duka Bay Resort is situated along a part of a hill and is well-shaded by big trees abundantly growing around the area. A freshwater stream also runs across the resort and the open-air restaurant, giving Duka Bay a soothing ambiance and a cool environment all throughout the summer season.
VisitingThe resort caters to all kinds of visitors, from those who just wants to chill around the beach all day to those who want to spend a weekend getaway. The entrance fee is ₱50 ($1.10) for both adults and children, but the fee is waived if you are staying there for the night. Duka Bay Resort has picnic cottages along the shoreline, a restaurant, over 40 guest rooms, 8 villas, and 2 beach houses for budget travelers and backpackers. Visitors can also rent boats and explore the clear azure waters around the bay. Glass bottom boats are available for those who are not keen on diving but still want to appreciate the beautiful sights underwater. Aquabikes, wooden bankas (native boats), single and double kayaks are also available.
Basic snorkeling and diving courses are offered in Duka Bay. The rates vary between courses but are definitely the cheapest compared to other diving shops in the country. Snorkeling rates are around ₱450 ($9.90) for two hours, including a diving guide and all the equipment needed. Basic Scuba Diving is around ₱3,500 ($77) which also includes everything that you need, from diving master to diving boat and scuba equipment. Other courses such as advanced open water, rescue diver, and even master diver are offered.
The Diving SitesFor divers, they will find Duka Bay as one of the loveliest places to explore. The resort features its own PADI-certified dive shop and three exciting dive sites, all abundant with colorful marine life and well-preserved coral sanctuaries. The first dive site is called the Paradise Garden, which is a crater with canyons and overhangs that has a depth ranging from 10 to 110 feet. The second is called the Aquarium Garden, which is 90 feet deep and has a freshwater spring spurting out from the sea bed. The dive site is teeming with black corals and all sorts of pelagic fish. The third site is the Japanese Garden, a 60-foot deep coral sanctuary that emanates a peaceful and calm oriental garden filled with colorful aquatic species such as starfishes, and even sea turtles.
Accommodation and DiningDuka Bay features a well-furnished, spacious, and comfortable suites at very affordable rates. Compared to other diving resorts, Duka Bay is top-notch and has the best bang for the buck value. Most rooms are good for 4 people, has a balcony or patio for sights, and is fully air-conditioned. The rate for villas is around ₱2,500 ($55) and the Junior Suite is only ₱2,980 ($66). Beach houses are also available for those traveling in big groups (around 10 people), the rates are ₱3,900 ($86) and ₱4,500 ($99).
All accommodation options also include free breakfast at their open-air restaurant called “The Pavilion.” The dishes served in the restaurant ranges from the all-time favorites to the local Filipino flavors and international cuisines. Everything is guaranteed fresh and flavorful.
Getting ThereTourists who are coming from outside Mindanao, like Manila or Cebu can take a domestic flight to Butuan City. Upon arriving at the Bancasi Airport, there will be buses and private vans available to take you to Duka Bay Resort. The distance from the airport to the resort is about 53 miles. Another option is by taking a flight to Cagayan de Oro City, via Laguindingan Airport instead of Butuan. Most tourists prefer this route since there are more activities to do and sights to see in Cagayan de Oro.
Upon arriving at Laguindingan Airport, take a taxi or shuttle ride to the city proper (which is around ₱200 ($4.40) – ₱300 ($6.60)). When you reach the downtown area, ask the driver to drop you off at the Agora Bus Terminal. From there, you can either take a bus or another shuttle van to Butuan City. Duka Bay is situated along the national highway, around 62 miles from Cagayan. You can just ask the driver to drop you off there and there is almost no difficulty in finding it.
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Author: radiantan. Last updated: Dec 07, 2014