Tag Archives: Diving Philippines

Top Reasons to Try Diving in Puerto Galera, Philippines

Recognized for some of the best reef diving in the world, Puerto Galera in the Philippines is known as a spectacular scuba diving haven by divers worldwide.

The fish variety exceeds the fish found in the Red Sea and boasts to consist both of more hard and soft coral variety than the Great Barrier Reef.

The water in Puerto Galera offers excellent visibility all year round with an average water temperature of around 29’C. Colorful and vibrant reef dominates the waters along with an abundance of sea life making the reefs their home. Most of the dive sites of Puerto Galera are suitable for divers with Open Water qualification, but there are still plenty of sites technical divers will enjoy.

Here are the top dive sites in Puerto Galera that should be on your list:

Sabang Wrecks

Sabang Wreck DivePhoto by Beth Watson

Two wooden wrecks and one steel hull yacht are part of the Sabang Wrecks. It’s an excellent dive experience, especially for beginning divers with a max depth of 21m. Be prepared to meet a school of batfish once you reach the first wreck at about 11m. The three wrecks are surrounded by all kinds of marine life.

Monkey Beach, West Escarceo and Dugong Wall

Puerto Galera Underwater
Photo by Beth Watson

A great diversity of marine species and colorful corals are found within these three dive sites as part of the continuous coral garden within easy reach from 5 to 25 meters. This spot is a favorite among marine photographers with the wreck of a small sailboat found in the area.

The Canyons

Puerto GaleraPhoto by Beth Watson

For a more thrilling and adrenaline-pumping time in the depths, the Canyon consists of 3 canyons with a maximum depth of 32m. Diving in these strong currents is only for advanced divers. You’ll get to watch schools of trevally tuna and even barracudas effortlessly drifting in the currents.

Here are some of the popular dive sites that made Puerto Galera a worldwide diving phenomenon. Other locations include caves, muck dives, other shallow coral fields, and drift dives. Planned to visit Puerto Galera on your next diving trip? Contact Asia Divers for unforgettable diving tours in Asia including the Philippines.

Why go scuba diving in Verde Island Passage in the Philippines

Have you heard about the amazing scuba diving in the Philippines? Have you read about Puerto Galera and the world-renowned Verde Island Passage? Read on to find out why diving in the Verde Island Passage needs to be on the bucket list of places to dive for every discerning and adventurous scuba diving. This impressive area, location, situated at the heart of the Coral Triangle (the epicenter of marine biodiversity on the planet), will take your breath away and keep you mesmerized for dive after dive!

Diving Verde Puerto Galera
Our beautiful base in Puerto Galera is ideally located for diving Verde

Where is the Verde Island Passage?

The Verde Passage is a Strait which separates the islands of Luzon and Mindoro in the Batangas province of the Philippines. The strait connects the South China Sea with Tayabas Bay and the Sibuan Sea beyond.

The passage is known as both the Verde Passage and the Verde Island Passage – with Verde Island positioned in the center of the Strait. The 1.14 million hectare passage is extremely rich in marine biodiversity, in fact, it’s among the richest areas in the entire Coral Triangle and one of the most productive ecosystems in the world. These waters continue to yield new species to science, further underscoring its global biological significance.

For scuba divers, the easiest access to the beautiful waters of the Verde Passage is from Puerto Galera – which is why we chose this beautiful town as our base!

Mantis shrimp
(Mantis shrimp) From schooling fish to macro critters, Puerto Galera and Verde have something for everyone

Why Dive Puerto Galera and Verde Passage?

Ask anyone who’s dived here! From beginners through to seasoned professionals, scuba diving Puerto Galera and Verde offers a range of dive sites for all levels, stunning coral reefs, diverse marine life and incredible visibility. Our warm tropical waters are simply bursting with a kaleidoscope of colors and teeming with life. From passing pelagics through to schooling fish and even macro critters, there is something for everyone. If you are an underwater photography enthusiast, both wide-angle and macro opportunities abound, and no matter what your experience level, with over 30 dives sites to choose from, you’re literally spoiled for choice.

For those who have an interest in maritime history, the wreckage of a Spanish galleon that sunk in 1620 was found in the southern part of the Verde Passage. Most of the ancient cargo was salvaged from the wreckage in the late seventies and again in the early 80s but some remnants of her bounty still show up on the beach. Whilst beachcombing it’s sometimes still possible to stumble across pieces of broken porcelain, which date back to the late 1500 and early 1600s!

Canyons
Vibrant, healthy corals and a kaleidoscope of colours in Puerto Galera

Conservation and the Verde Passage

In 2006, a team of marine conservationists declared the Philippines a “Center of Marine Biodiversity” in the world and Verde Island Passage as the “Center of the Center of Marine Shorefish Biodiversity”.

Many threatened species, which include sea turtles like hawksbills, olive ridleys, and green turtles; humphead wrasses, giant groupers, giant clams and the rare red fin wrasse (Cirrhilabrus rubripinnis) are present in the Verde Island Passage.

There is a complete moratorium of all types of fishing in the Batangas Bays and around Mindoro island. The fish sold in the markets of Puerto Galera come from distant places such as Romblon. This is a very healthy sign for the development of marine diversity – there is more work to be done but Verde Passage continues to thrive.

Dive in Puerto Galera at Asia Divers

Ready to go Scuba Diving in Puerto Galera?

At Asia Divers, we have over 30 years of experience and our friendly team of professional PADI Instructors and Divemasters are experts in our region. We operate flexible schedules so that you can make as many (or as few) dives as you like, including night dives and blackwater diving. We have a spacious camera room and dedicated rinse tanks for photography equipment for underwater photographers. And we keep our dive groups small so you get the personal service you deserve! Our comfortable, purpose-built speedboat makes day trips to Verde Island easy to arrange without unnecessary lengthy time on the boat.

For more information, or to make a confirmed booking, email us at [email protected], or fill in our online contact form and we will get right back to you.

We look forward to scuba diving Puerto Galera and the Verde Island Passage with you soon!

Shipwrecks in Puerto Galera (Near Our Beach Resort!)

Shipwreck Dive Sites Philippines

If you are looking for one location with one of the greatest concentrations of shipwrecks, look no further than Puerto Galera, particularly the Sabang Bay area.

In fact, we love Sabang Bay so much, our beach resort El Galleon Dive Resort sits right on the hotspot for wreck divers and reef snorkeling lovers! Check out these three wreck sites that are ridiculously close by our beach resort.

The M/V Alma Jane

This shipwreck is just off the end of our very own pier!

At 30 meters deep, the M/V Alma Jane was sunk perfectly in front of our resort and is so diver friendly that it practically becomes our own playground for beginner dive sessions. It’s also a perfect training ground for various dive courses.

The ship was once mixed steel and wooden cargo vessel and was sunk in March 2003 by the Puerto Galera Dive Association (PGDA). This purposeful sinking was to create a reef habitat to counter the receding coral reefs due to the unregulated tourism of the late 90s in Puerto Galera.

The ship has had all hazardous items removed to prepare it as a wreck dive site, so it is possible to get inside the ship! You will discover moray eels in their hiding spots and hard and soft corals such as the gorgonian sea fan and sea whip making the interior their home.

The exterior of the ship is also spectacular – perfect for wide-angle photography. PGDA has left the main mast of M/V Alma Jane intact.

St. Christopher

At a depth of 24 meters, this wreck was truly devastated by the elements – also because of the fact that it is almost entirely made of wood.

The St. Christopher has a rather unique history. Way before it was sunk in 1995, it was a cargo vessel originally owned by local traders. It meandered its way around the calm Batangas Bay, Marikaban, and the north-east of Mindoro in its active days.

The cargo vessel was then converted into a diving live-aboard ship, serving an entirely different purpose and was refurbished. Unfortunately, the service didn’t last long. The last owner failed to settle a dispute – we are not sure about the details, but we do know that it ended with the ship’s untimely demise to the bottom of the sea in Sabang Bay.

Sabang Wrecks

There is not just one shipwreck on this site, but three! Three shipwrecks triple the biota that makes the shipwrecks their home, and this is what makes the visit worth it. Visiting the site itself won’t take too long either. It takes just two minutes from El Galleon by our local Bangka (outrigger) speed boat.

The three wrecks are at various stages of decay. Two are old wooden Chinese fishing junks and are decaying much faster than the steel yacht. However, the three wrecks still retain the shape from their better days. You can explore all three of them in one dive session. Swimming between them should not take more than a few minutes.

The area is perfect for both daylight and night diving. In the afternoon, the shallow 18 meter wrecks can be fully visible, featuring your favorite local critters: the batfish, large surgeonfish, lionfish, damsels, and trumpets. The elusive stonefish and flounder are attracted to the area because of the sandy surroundings. And don’t miss the ghost pipefish and mantis shrimps crawling among the wrecks!

Asia Divers’ El Galleon Resort is located on Small La Laguna Beach, Puerto Galera. Asia Divers offers PADI courses from entry-level to instructor level. Daily diving includes five scheduled daily dives: 8:00, 10:30, 13:30, 16:00 and 18:00 (night) with a choice of dive sites at each time. Join us on your next dive holiday adventures!