Scuba Diving Resort- Puerto Galera
Diving in Puerto Galera
Puerto Galera is situated on the northern coast of Mindoro Island (the 5th largest island in the Philippine archipelago chain of 7,107 islands), which is about 12 nautical miles south of Batangas City, Luzon. Luzon is the largest island of the Philippines and the island upon which Manila is found. Nowadays, with modern highways up and running, you can leave the airport in Manila and arrive here within 2.5 hours!
The beautiful beaches, coves and spectacular dives sites of Puerto Galera have been bringing in people from all over the world over the past twenty-five years or so, but of course Puerto Galera has been around for allot longer. The name “Puerto Galera” means “Port of Galleons” and was given by the Spanish during their colonial occupation of the Philippines. The Spanish ships would seek refuge in the Puerto Galera harbour during the typhoon season and it was also a good stop point for the crew to rest up. The sheltered Bay of Puerto Galera itself remains an anchorage for boats during bad weather to this day, although it's the beaches of Small La Laguna and Sabang and White Beach that now provide the main attraction to new comers. Today, the beautiful and scenic areas of Puerto Galera are the center of tourism in this province, making full use of its many white beaches and abundant sea life.
The view of Puerto Galera harbour is breathtaking and not to be missed! Puerto Galera got international attention in 2005 when it was voted the winner of the prestigious award “The Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club” by UNESCO.
Mindoro Island is separated from Luzon by the Verde Island Passage. These waters are flushed by the current of the South China Sea, resulting in strong currents of up to 6 knots. This makes the area well known for its spectacular, exhilarating drift dive and abundant sea life. The Verde Island Passage is very deep so clear water is very common to the dive sites of Puerto Galera, along with a fantastic variety of underwater flora and fauna.
Experts have called The Verde Island Passage the "centre of the centre" of the world’s marine biodiversity. Life enhancing nutrients from the Pacific mix with waters of the South China Sea. You would never guess that beneath the surface are spectacular reef formations with more than 300 species of corals and underwater rock canyons that host nearly 60 percent of the world’s known shorefish species. The World Conservation Union describes it as the marine counterpart of the Amazon River basin," which put the passage at the peak of the "Coral Triangle" that spans the Sulawesi and the Sulu Seas in the southern Philippines and nearby Indonesia. We are located on the shores of the Verdi Island passage and one of the most amazing dives is the Verdi Island drop off located only 20min away from El Galleon/Asia Divers resort.
Over the last 25 years as Philippine tourism has shifted from a backpacking crowd of slightly more adventurous travellers to a more up-market tourist who researches his vacation with the help of the internet, so has the face of Puerto Galera. Accommodation standards now not only include local style “nipa” huts with basic amenities but range all the way up to 4-star resorts with swimming pools, air-conditioning, international restaurants, 24 hour bars, cable TV and hot water showers and Spas.
Today’s travellers to the area are coming based on the reputation of the dive sites. One of the very big reasons to come here is for the amazing macro life. Underwater photographers are delighted with the vast selection of different nudibranches that they can see on just one dive site! Pygmy seahorses, ghost pipefish, frog fish, sea moths, dragonet’s, stick pipefish, wonderpuss, mimic octopus, flamboyant cuttlefish are some of the special things that divers can see. But we’re not only for the macro...
All the dive sites are replete with huge numbers of splendid fishes, huge basket sponges adorned with hundreds of multi-coloured crinoids; vast numbers of hard and soft corals and gorgonian sea fans. Turtles, octopus, mantis shrimp, crabs, seahorses, and cuttlefish make guest appearances as well, and during the past few years in the colder months we have had thresher shark roaming the area. There are also a few wrecks teaming with fish that have been sunk purposely to turn into dive sites. Dives here are suitable for all levels, from your 8-year old bubblemaker to recreational holiday divers, to serious photographers and even technical divers.
There are many activities and events to keep the whole family busy in Puerto Galera. One yearly event is the The Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival. It is the first international music and arts festival of its caliber in the Asia-Pacific. It is set amidst the tropical gardens of Puerto Galera; truly one of the world’s most enchanting backdrops for a festival. The festival grounds are situated on the foothills of the majestic Mount Malasimbo where its most prominent feature is a grass-terraced amphitheatre that overlooks the bay.
The festival debuted in February 2011 to a stunning turnout of 1,500 individuals. Attendance more than doubled on year two as the festival drew in over 3,500 tourists to Puerto Galera. The festival is recognized by the Department of Tourism Philippines as a prime catalyst for the country’s continued advance in music, arts, and culture. It is highly publicized in local and international media for its awe-inspiring landscape and unique eco-cultural program
Something to shop for which is truly made by the people of here are unique basket works made by the indigenous peoples of the area; the Mangyans. Mangyan is the generic name for the eight indigenous groups found in Mindoro, each having its own tribal name, language, and customs. The total population may be around 100,000, but no official statistics are available because of the difficulties of counting remote and reclusive tribal groups, many of which have no contact with the outside world.
Other activities in the area include: sailing, kayaking, sunset cruises, beach hopping, volleyball, golfing, snorkelling, banana boat, trekking, buggies and motorcycle rentals and even paintball. There is also a zip-line in the area now! Whether it’s a lazy day in the sun, some adventure, or a game of golf, we have what you’re looking for.