Diving in Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera is known to have more species of hard and soft corals than the Great Barrier Reef.

Marine Life Highlights in Puerto Galera

Juvenile Long horn Cow fish
Sea Turtle
Long fin Batfish

Dive Sites In Puerto Galera

Sabang Wrecks

Just a few minutes from the shore of Sabang, the Sabang Wrecks are three small boats, one steel hull yacht and two skeletal wooden vessels, sunk to create artificial reefs. From Sabang beach, it can be reached from the shore or a short boat ride if further than the beach. The first wreck is at 11 metres with schooling Inquisitive Batfish welcoming divers, plenty of Frogfish in different kinds like Wary, Giant, and Painted Frogfish in all three wrecks along with Scorpionfish and Stonefish lurking and waiting for their next prey, Surgeonfish, and Lionfish.

Night dives are also a highlight of the Sabang wrecks with Furry Orangutan Crabs, Ornate Ghost Pipefish, and rare sightings of Blue Ring Octopus and Spanish Dancers. Depth of the wrecks 16 to 21 metres and visibility of 15 to 30 metres.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 16m
Maximum Depth: 21m
Average Visibility: 15-30m

West Escarceo

West Escarceo is a sloping reef dive from shallow water going down to a steep slope straight to a sandy bottom. This site can also lead to other two dive sites, the Canyons or the Hole in the Wall, depending on the currents. At the shallows, Table Corals and Boulder Corals attract photographers, and along the way, divers will be greeted by Basket and Tube Sponges, Staghorn Corals, large Plate and Table Corals teeming with fish such as Sergeant Majors, Pipefish, Butterfly Fish, Damsels, Moorish Idols, Pufferfish and Triggerfish.

Other common residents are shoals of Fusiliers and Tunas, species of Sea Cucumber, Spanish Mackerels, Moray Eels, Porcupine Pufferfish, Cuttlefish, and on night dives, Christmas Tree Tube Worms stand out lighting up the scene. Access to West Escarceo is by a 20-minute boat ride with depths of 18 to 35 metres and visibility of 10 to 25 metres with often strong currents.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 18m
Maximum Depth: 35m
Average Visibility: 10-25m

MV Alma Jane

The MV Alma Jane is a Filipino cargo vessel that was sunk in 2003 and is now standing upright at 30 metres as an artificial reef. It is located in Sabang beach right beside the house reef and was rid of all hazardous equipments to ensure safety for diving before it was sunk by the local diving community. At present, the wreck has a number of marine inhabitants including Batfish, Rabbitfish, and Sweetlips by the rudder, Frogfish, and Scorpionfish at the outer walls at camouflage, schooling Lionfish, large Groupers, Snappers, and Jacks.

Typical visibility is 10 to 30 metres with little to no currents, and diving depth of 20 to 30 metres. Alma Jane wreck can be reached by a 5-minute boat ride, with nitrox recommended for longer bottom time and ideal for training courses like Nitrox and Wreck Diving.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 20m
Maximum Depth: 30m
Average Visibility: 10-30m

Verde Island

Only a 45-minute boat ride to the Verde Passage, Verde Island is lying in the middle of Luzon and Mindoro and is often referred to as a Fish soup for having loads of fish of every kind on its waters making it a must see dive site. The island features thrilling dive sites such as the Verde Drop Off and the Washing Machine, recommended for experienced/technical divers but there are also sites for recreational divers up to 30 metres on the west side of the island boasting with mild currents and fascinating soft corals.

When dive conditions are good, schools of Bannerfish, Jacks, Barracudas, Basslets, and even Turtles or a Sea Snake can be spotted. Aside from fish, Nudibranchs are also this dive site’s attraction as it can match that of Anilao in terms of quantity, Spanish Dancers are also present. Typical visibility is 10 to 30 metres with strong up and down currents, and depths of 5 to 80 metres.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 5m
Maximum Depth: 80m
Average Visibility: 10-30m

Canyons

The Canyons is considered as one of the best dive sites in Puerto Galera for having not one or two canyons in a dive site but three canyons! It is a drift dive connected to The Hole in the Wall that has a lot of fish and breathtaking action, having currents sweep divers into position that ends at a 1.5 metre anchor entrenched on a coral before getting swept again to the safety stop.

Pink, Orange and Purple Soft corals, Bask Corals, and large Gorgonian fans decorate the seascape while schools of Batfish, Emperors, Sweetlips, Groupers, Snappers, Trevallies, and Drummers roam the site, with rare sightings of a Turtle, Octopus or Shark. Best to go during high tide with nitrox in tow as it is only suitable for Advanced divers with depths going from 15 to 30 metres. Access to the Canyons is by a 20-minute boat ride with a visibility of 10 to 30 metres.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 15m
Maximum Depth: 30m
Average Visibility: 10-30m

Fishbowl

Lying in between the Canyons and the Hole in the Wall at 40 metres, this bowl shaped reef gives divers a glimpse of large quantities of marine life, especially of shoals and pelagics. The Fishbowl is perfect for diving during a flood or slack tide where strong down currents are low. Countless Whip Corals and Gorgonian Sea Fans adorn the scene as White tip Sharks, Turtles, huge Tunas, Barracudas, Groupers and Jacks are always present while Hammerhead Sharks, Snappers, and Sweetlips add to the volume.

Visibility ranges from 10 to 30 metres with strong currents and depths of 40 to 60 metres. Access to the Fishbowl is by a 20-minute boat ride and only suitable for Advanced to Experienced divers or Technical divers.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 40m
Maximum Depth: 60m
Average Visibility: 10-30m

Hole In The Wall

As the name itself states, Hole in the Wall is a swim through located northeast of Puerto Galera near Escarceo Point and also leads to The Canyons. This small hole of only 1.5 metres at the center of a huge rock fits one diver and can be seen at 12 metres which is best accessed during slack tide as strong currents are often present even making it a drift dive once it occurs.

Gorgonian Sea Fans, big Sponges, Table Corals and a different variety of Soft Corals light up the scene with schools of pelagics such as Giant Trevallies, Snappers, Sweetlips and Jacks frolicking in the current, Turtles, and Scorpionfish just cruising by. A 20-minute boat ride can take divers to The Hole in the Wall, with visibility of 10 to 25 metres and depths of 12 to 19 metres.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 12m
Maximum Depth: 19m
Average Visibility: 10-25m

Diving in Puerto Galera

A small municipality of Oriental Mindoro in the Philippines is Puerto Galera, a popular summer getaway due of its amazing beaches and water activities. Its name means “Port of Galleons” as it used as a trading port during the Spanish era and a safe place during storms. Presently, tourists flock to Puerto Galera for its excellent snorkeling and diving sites dotting the area. A bus ride from Manila to Batangas Port and a ferry ride from the port to Puerto Galera will take you to its shimmering waters and magnificent underwater scene.

Climate in Puerto Galera is tropical as it is located in the Philippines. It has two seasons: dry season during the months of January to May, and wet season from June to December often with tropical storms during the months of July to September. Air temperature falls between 24 to 33 degrees Celsius and water temperature is around 26 to 29 degrees Celsius with excellent visibility ranging from 10 to 30 metres. Dive depth falls between 15 to 60 metres and best time to dive Puerto Galera is from December to May.

As this dive destination has been declared a Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, Puerto Galera features distinct coral reef dive sites in the whole of Asia. It is known to have more species of hard and soft corals than the Great Barrier Reef. Gorgonian Sea Fans, Crinoids, Colorful Sponges, Whip Corals, and Anacropora puertogallerae, a type of coral exclusively found in Puerto Galera, decorate the lively seascape. Not only does it have stunning reefs, it also boasts of wrecks, muck dives, caves, and drift dives leaving divers exhilarated and in awe everytime they go underwater.

Puerto Galera is strategically lying on the Verde Passage where marine life is abundant. It has over 3000 species of marine life and has even more varieties of fish than the Red Sea. A spectacular sight for underwater photographers and marine biologists are the vibrant Nudibranchs. Schools of Frogfish, Lionfish, Batfish, and Moorish Idols can already be spotted just a few distance from the shore, and as divers go deeper, big fishes like Tunas, Barracudas, and White-tip Sharks are regulars. And if that does not sound inviting yet, Spanish Dancers, Blue-ribbon Eels, Harlequin Ghost Pipefish, and Camouflaged Frogfish in different colors also visit the waters of Puerto Galera making any diver come back for more.

Best Diving Season: December to May
Weather: January to May (Dry season) July to December (Wet Season)
Water Temperature: 26°C to 29°C.
Marine Animal Highlights: Schools of Frogfish, Lionfish, Batfish, Moorish Idols, Tunas, Barracudas, and White-tip Sharks and more…
Recommended Thermal Protection:
Water Visibility: 10m to 30m
Tipping:
Transportation:

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