I just had the opportunity to get away for a weekend trip for my birthday. It wasn’t even a whole weekend but just a Saturday morning to Sunday midday. It also wasn’t too long of a trip, since I ventured out only about 30 minutes by motorcycle trike from my current hometown, Dumaguete, here in the central Philippines, to a neighboring coastal community called Dauin.
Still, it seemed like I’d boarded an airplane and flew a few hours to some wild and tropical island, and the Aqua-Landia resort I stayed at was the perfect recipe for 24+ hours of sun, ocean views, perfect breezes, palm trees, flower gardens, and some serious chillaxing.
All About Aqua-Landia
But, if you’re going to follow my trail and head out to Dauin, whether it’s to Aqua-Landia or a nearby resort, you should know a few things.
First off, it’s not always easy to get to Dauin, especially if you expect to travel in some modicum of comfort. There aren’t taxi cabs in and around Dumaguete in the automobile sense, but there are other ways. You can take one of the big thundering Ceres buses, either from the bus station in Dumaguete or just by flagging one down when you see it pass on the National Road. (However, they come only every 30 minutes and get insanely packed almost always.) There are jeepneys, too, but they will be even more hot, cramped, and uncomfortable.
Or, you can rent a scooter or motorbike and make the approximately 15-kilometer journey by yourself, but you run the serious risk of getting flattened by one of those aforementioned Ceres buses, a truck, or other motorists.
Lastly, you can rent a trike, as I did. It cost about 300 Pesos ($6) which is actually a lot here, and the ride is noisy and consists of nonstop rattling, but you’ll get there in due time.
There are plenty of other resorts that are similar in Dauin where you can go overnight, for the day, or just for lunch or a drink. Pura Vida, El Dorado, and Azure are just three of the many options, as the whole coast – lush with palm trees and gorgeous jungle – overlooks the ocean leading up to Apo Island in the distance.
The appeal of this area is not white sand beaches (the beaches range from non-existent to dirty to nice enough, but all have volcanic darker sand) but its proximity to amazing SCUBA diving. I’m not a diver, but from what I’ve heard, Apo Island and the Dauin coast is really incredible and attracts visitors from all over the world just for that.
Once you arrive at the Aqua-Landia Resort, you’ll find charming, well-planned, well-managed, and enjoyable accommodations. It’s not fancy by any means, and the term “resort” may be subjective, but it’s clean, with sufficient AC and ceiling fans in the room, a clean pool, Wi-Fi that works well enough, and other simple pleasures.
The best part is the view, as this resort isn’t on the beach but set back by one property, but you still get a great ocean view from really good hammocks or a sitting swing, and you can chill by the poolside resto-bar and order tropical drinks or sizzling seafood, as I did.
Auqa-Landia is a really great place to get away from it all and relax for a night – even just from Dumaguete!