Puerto Galera scuba diving guide

A diverse range of marine life can be seen here

A diverse range of marine life can be seen here

Puerto Galera’s main claim to fame is as a world class scuba diving destination and can boast over 30 dive sites within a 10 minute boat ride of busy Sabang Beach. There are a dozen or so dive schools based here offering basic PADI learn to dive courses but it is best suited to intermediate and experienced divers, especially with often strong and unpredictable currents. In fact it is one of the premier technical diving destinations in Asia and several places offer TDI courses including Nitrox and advanced Trimex.

Times are staggered through the day so that reefs rarely get overwhelmed with divers. Basic PADI open water courses for beginners are around US$400-$500 and single dives start at US$30.

Prices for diving courses and single dives for the qualified are generally similar whichever dive operator you choose. Many are accredited five star PADI IDC development resorts offering decent value dive and stay packages and most operators tend to visit the same dive sites each day.

Safety records and quality of equipment is very high for Asian standards and all dive operators provide training in at least English and Spanish.

Following is a list of dive schools that offer both beginners courses and advanced specialist training for experienced scuba divers.

Recommended Puerto Galera dive operators

Asia Divers Dive ResortSmall Lalaguna Beach, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, tel +63 917 814 5107, fax: +63 43 287 3205, email: admin@asiadivers.com, website: www.asiadivers.com.
Pacific DiversWhite Beach, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, tel: +63 919 888 6763, +63 920 626 3323, email: contact@pacificdivers.net, website: www.philippines-diving.com.
Action DiversOpen: 07:00-20:00 (Monday-Saturday), 07:00-19:00 (Sunday); Small Lalaguna Beach, tel: +63 43 287 3320, email: info@actiondivers.com, website: www.actiondivers.com.
Frontier ScubaOpen: dive times: 09:00, 11:30, 14:30, 16:00 & night (daily); West Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera, tel: +63 43 287 3077, mobile: +63 917 540 8410, email: frontierscuba@gmail.com, website: www.frontierscuba.com.  
Mermaid Dive ResortSabang Beach, Puerto Galera, tel: +63 43 287 3301, mobile: +63 917 553 8320, fax: +63 43 287 3302, email: info@mermaidresort.com, website: www.mermaidresort.com.
Octopus DiversSabang Beach, Puerto Galera, tel: +63 43 287 3065, mobile: +63 920 206 0553, email: info@octopusdivers.org, website: www.octopusdivers.org.

Despite its popularity, local reefs are in good condition and underwater visibility can be as much as 30 metres. Marine diversity is tremendous with big fish such as tuna, barracuda and white tip reef sharks common.

Divers will also encounter reef species like batfish, angelfish and wrasses in abundance while exotic rare marine life like Spanish Dancer and ghost-pipefish are much anticipated seasonal highlights. Puerto Galera is noted as a haven for underwater photography too with specialist courses available for those that want to hone their skills.

Recommended dive sites around Puerto Galera

The Pink Wall
Located south of Escarceo Point, this popular night dive spot has an overhanging wall at 10m filled with pink and cup corals. Excellent for small reef fish, soft corals and colourful sponges. Good visibility up to 15m in normal conditions.

The Hill
In the Batangas Channel, this spot is perfect for all levels and one of the better places for beginners. Calm waters and good visibility and home to abundant soft and stony corals. A fabulous variety of smaller reef fish here too.

La Laguna Point
There is a short wall at 10m depth dropping down to a sandy bottom at 15m full of colourful small critters, nudibranches, batfish and moray eels. A good dive spot for intermediate and beginners and a popular site for photographers.

Deep Escarceo
This site slopes down from 10m to a depth of over 30m with colourful table corals and sponges. Only suitable for experienced certified divers due to the depth and unpredictable shallow currents. 

Most of the larger dive shops schedule around five different dive trips each day by small outrigger boat which invariable includes a night dive too. It is possible to dive all year round in Puerto Galera and sea temperatures range from 22°C to 29°C. The colder months are December, January and February. 

Virtually all dive schools are found in the Sabang, Small Lalaguna, and Coco Beach areas and all have access to fresh water swimming pools for the early stages of dive tuition. The nearest decompression chamber is at Batangas City.

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