Lush green mountains surrounded by breath taking blue oceans, there is a good reason Puerto Galera grew out to be on of the Philippines’ most developed beach destinations. The great diving, white sandy beaches, swaying palmtrees and bustling nightlife all make Puerto Galera an ideal place for a dive holiday. However, what really sets Puerto Galera apart is that it has managed to keep a local charm and is free of chain-businesses and mass tourism. With tons of good dive sites within minute’s reach from the beach, Puerto Galera boasts the highest amount of dive operations in the Philippines.
Mindoro island is separated from Luzon island by the Verde Island passage. This deep and clear passage can have strong currents, but make for exciting dives for experienced divers with the right knowledgeable dive guide. As the five kilometers of foreshore are marine protected area, Puerto Galera diving teems with marine life. From larger fish and pelagic species to small macro critters, Puerto Galera boasts over 3000 species of fish and close to 450 species of coral.
Diving in Puerto Galera is possible year-round, however, best diving conditions occur between April and September. Water temperatures are nice and comfortable this time of year, counting up to 29 degrees Celsius. Typhoon season runs from August till the end of November which can bring bad weather, but there are always sheltered dive sites that can be dived. Water temperatures can go down to 22 degrees Celsius in December, specifically at the deeper dive sites that have thermoclines.
Travel time from Manila to Puerto Galera is about 5 hours by bus and ferry and transportation is comfortable and frequent. For those travelers with sufficient budget, private transfers can be arranged by ground transportation or by private sea plane. From Puerto Galera, travelers are taken to their resort by local ‘Banca’ boat. Places to stay and dive centers are plentiful in Puerto Galera.
Located at the Verde Island channel with deep waters and strong currents, Puerto Galero offers exciting dive opportunities that sport good visibility and lots of fish action. Most dive sites are in a short reach of the beaches, which allows divers to return to land for their surface interval. Prices are very affordable for both fun dives and dive courses.
Canyons is often named as one of the best dive sites in Puerto Galera. Consisting of 3 canyons, with a maximum dept of 30 meters and a strong current this is not a dive site for beginners. The reef is covered in huge gorgonians and pink soft coral and has a lot of fish life, including Batfish, sweet lips, groupers, trevally and the occasional octopus or turtle.
An excellent macro dive site, Coral Cove is a sloping reef than ends in a wall at 20 meters. The reef is home to nudibranchs, puffer fish and cuttle fish, whereas the wall overhangs house some interesting creatures like pipe fish, frog fish and ribbon eels.
For divers with deep diver training, the Fish Bowl is a must do around Puerto Galera. A blue water descent will bring divers right on top of the Fish Bowl, which is a stadium shaped reef. White tip reef sharks are often sighted here as well as rainbow runners, Tuna and Jacks. After a look at the fish bowl this dive continues to The Canyons, or technical divers can continue down into the bowl and keep exploring.
A dive site for all levels, Hole in the Wall is a great site for underwater photographers. While the swim through is definitely a highlight, there is more to see around this abundant dive site. Parrotfish, Snapper, trumpetfish and pufferfish swim around while frogfish and little critters hide out between the table coral gardens.
Travelers wanting to dive Puerto Galera’s vibrant dive sites need to make the 5 hour trip from Manila by bus and ferry. Buses leave Manila every morning for Batangas Pier, where the ferry leaves to Puerto Galera. Upon arrival, divers can choose between tons of dive operators. There are basically two ways to go about diving in Puerto Galera, to stay at a dive resort, or to independently book dives.
Dive resorts offer the comfortable option of staying in a hotel with diving right at the doorstep. Sabang beach is a popular part of PueroGalera and has several good dive resorts. Atlantis is one of the area’s premium dive resorts, offering course, fun dives and liveaboards other outstanding dive spots in the Philippines. Tucked away in the hills of a beautiful beach-front location, Atlantis distinguishes itself by providing outstanding service.
Also located in Sabang Beach is La Laguna beach club & dive center. Built around a swimming pool that is ideal for sunbathing and dive training, this resort’s facilities include a bar, satellite TV, a pool table and book exchange. Their dive center is a PADI 5 star instructor development center and offers high standard dive training in a multitude of languages.
Puerto Galera has many options for accommodation ranging from luxury to local budget accommodation. For divers that have found a place to stay outside a dive resort, there are many independent dive centers to take them diving. Action Divers gets great reviews and is one Puerto Galera’s most well-established dive centers. They offer dive and stay packages, recreational and technical diving courses, liveaboards and daily boat dives.
Sea Rider is small SSI dive center catering mainly to backpackers and argues to have the most affordable dive rates. They specialize in macro diving, do daily night dives and even discovered their own dive site.
The crew and service throughout the siren fleet is exceptional and the Phi siren is no exception. I was lucky enough to be on a 12 night extended trip that included everything from brilliant macro, swirling sardine shoals, so many frog fish and of course brilliant thresher shark dives. Thanks to Shu, Ed and all the crew for a breathtaking cruise....as always, I'll be back!!
This was my fifth trip with the Siren fleet but this one was slightly different in that we had our 18 month old daughter in two... We were looked after brilliantly...! As always the quality of the boat and the crew stands out. To date every trip on the Siren fleet has been well organised with the passengers being the primary focus of the captain, the crew and the dive team. The diving at Tubataha was pretty good too. We went at the end of the season and with warm water temperatures a lot of t...
Located at the Verde Island channel with deep waters and strong currents, Puerto Galero offers exciting dive opportunities that sport good visibility and lots of fish action. Most dive sites are in a ...
Travelers wanting to dive Puerto Galera’s vibrant dive sites need to make the 5 hour trip from Manila by bus and ferry. Buses leave Manila every morning for Batangas Pier, where the ferry leaves to Pu...
The Apo Reef: A pristine reef with rich life, located in the west of occidental Mindoro (Philippines), at the northern tip of the coral triangle. Don't confuse Apo Island with the identically named island in Negros oriental.
A rich biodiversity in one single dive spot? The Kasai Wall in Moalboal (Philippines) offers fascinating dives with a lot of critters, and sometimes big stuff too. I have seen many house reefs around the world, and The Kasai Wall is worth being called a very special one.
Scuba for Change's first operations is starting in late February 2015. The first operation is located within the beautiful settings of Sunset at Annual Beach Resort.