Tag Archives: Scuba Diving Philippines

Scuba Diving Puerto Galera: the Coral Triangle

scuba diving puerto galera

Scuba diving in Puerto Galera is one of many scuba divers’ biggest dreams. To understand why Puerto Galera is such a wonderful place for many scuba divers, we need to look at the big picture of the scuba diving world – starting with the world-famous Coral Triangle.

What is the Coral Triangle?

The Coral Triangle is a 1.4 billion-acre coral-rich aquatic region that encompasses the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. It’s considered to be a crucial region for conservation and research, as it contains the world’s most diverse ecosystems of tropical reef and pelagic species – often found nowhere else in the world.

Often referred to as the “Amazon of the seas”, The Coral Triangle is far more diverse than The Great Barrier Reef and the Fiji Islands combined. About 6000 species of reef fish thrive in these waters – 250 of them are endemic to this region. There are an estimated 798 species of corals, making up an incredible 76% of all known coral species on Earth.

The Center of the Coral Triangle – the Verde Island Passage

scuba diving puerto galera - coral triangle

foto by Beth Watson

 

The Verde Island Passage is a narrow strait between Mindoro Island and Luzon island of the Philippines. The humble strait may not look much from above sea level – a busy strait that connects several islands together, with a shield volcano that guards the passage.

But the underwater world is beyond belief. The Verde Island Passage is called the center of the Coral Triangle because among all the sections of the triangle, this region is the richest of all. A UNESCO World Heritage Site nominee, this stretch of water – no more than 1.14 million hectares – contains some of the rarest sea turtles and wrasses.

Why stay at Puerto Galera?

If Puerto Galera is a house, then Verde Island Passage is its backyard. Of course, dozens of must-see dive sites sprawl around the holiday city like patches of flower beds in the proverbial diving garden – see them for yourself by looking at this map of dive sites in Puerto Galera.

Apart from incredible dive sites, Puerto Galera is also home to some of the Philippines’ untouched reserve of natural beauty. Waterfalls, river rapids, and curious traditional villages welcome travelers from around the globe – you just have to pick the right accommodations with the right kind of services for you.

El Galleon Dive Resort

At El Galleon Diver Resort, dive sites are just minutes away from our private dock. You won’t need to wait in a long line to get to your next bangka boat to take you wherever you want to go – we have them stationed at the docks along with a couple of speedboats.

Our thorough PADI-certified courses at Asia Divers (a subdivision of our resort) has helped hundreds of divers over the years to learn to scuba dive. Many have even gone on to become instructors themselves.

Learn to dive, dive independently, and explore the Coral Triangle – it all starts at Asia Divers.

What Diving Courses Can You Take in Puerto Galera?

Diving Course Puerto Galera

Whether you want to try diving for the first time or plan on diversifying your dive skills, taking a course in Puerto Galera, Philippines, will be one of your best choices.

Why Take a Diving Course in Puerto Galera?

Puerto Galera offers dive sites that sit directly on the Coral Triangle. Particularly in the Philippines, between several islands off the coast of Oriental Mindoro and the Verde Island Channel, the highlighted zone is home to some of the world’s most diverse species of corals, reefs, and pelagic species.

If you take a diving course in Puerto Galera, you will be blessed with amazing sights as you train and refine your dive skills.

Dive Courses You Can Take in Puerto Galera

Dive Course Puerto Galera

As long as you visit a certified dive center, you will receive proper training according to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors guidelines (PADI). This means you get to learn from a wide variety of diving courses.

In general, PADI courses are divided into three broad categories:

  1. Recreational courses – for beginners
  2. Specialty courses – for intermediate to advanced divers
  3. Technical courses – for advanced divers

Recreational Courses

A variety of courses for children and beginners can be found in our PADI Recreational Courses offers. Children as young as eight years old can already participate in PADI courses such as Skin Diver and Bubble Maker. Skin Diver teaches children to hold their breath longer underwater while Bubble Maker instructs them how to breathe through the mouthpiece.

For the adults who have never tried diving before, PADI Discover Scuba Diving offers a chance to scuba dive without a certificate. Starting from absolute zero, an instructor will teach you to scuba dive in one single day.

The PADI Open Water course is the elementary school of scuba diving, which opens up to a greater possibility of diving independently and diversifying skills.

Specialty Courses

Children from the age of twelve can already begin their diving career after graduating from the PADI Advanced Open Water, which comes after the PADI Open Water course. While you can scuba dive to a certain depth with an Open Water certification, many Adventure Divers and Specialty Courses challenge you to dive deeper and in more advanced situations.

This is where an Advanced Open Water certification is required to continue your diving education – it’s the high school of diving, so to speak. Afterward, you can begin to diversify your diving skills. Be sure to check out our Specialty course offers.

The list below shows you some of the possibilities when learning with Asia Divers.

  1. Intro to Nitrox and Enriched Air Nitrox – Dive longer with this special mix of air.
  2. Peak Performance Buoyancy Diver – A crucial skill for underwater photography.
  3. Drift Diver – Learn to control buoyancy and navigation under currents.
  4. Deep Diver – Dive up to 40 meters deep.
  5. Naturalist Diver – Learn the names and shapes of hundreds of underwater species.
  6. Dive Against Debris – Campaign against oceanic pollution by diving responsibly.
  7. Equipment Specialist – Be an expert of your equipment.
  8. Multilevel Diver – Learn to scale a sea wall.
  9. PADI Digital Underwater Photography – Take photos of the underwater world.
  10. PADI Night Diving – Witness what lurks underwater at night.
  11. PADI Navigation Diver – Learn to navigate underwater.

Dive With Us in Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera offers amazing seascapes and sightings that complement your dive training. Build a solid groundwork with our instructors at Asia Divers. Our policy is to encourage learners to take their time and never to take a single shortcut to complete the training.

If you have any inquiries, please send us a word!

Thresher Shark Diving in Puerto Galera

Did you know that we see thresher sharks in Puerto Galera? How much do you know about threshers sharks and do you know why a sighting of a thresher shark is so special?

Of course, diving with thresher sharks is on most divers’ bucket lists but we guarantee you’ll have an even better underwater experience if you know a little bit about these amazing sharks before you dive with them – read on to find out more!

 

Thresher shark
Thresher shark: free swimming

 

How to Identify a Thresher Shark?

Thresher sharks are also known as fox sharks and they are easily recognizable by their long and highly distinctive thresher-like tails which can be just as long as the shark’s body. Thresher sharks also have unusually large eyes in order to help them to see in deep water where less light is available. When in shallow water however, their eyes become sensitive from too much light which is why they usually remain deep and are rarely seen by divers on a regular basis. The sightings we have of thresher sharks, at recreational diving depths, at Puerto Galera’s dive sites are very unusual and this is why a sighting is very special!

Thresher sharks can grow up to 6 meters long, including their tails and they feed on a diet of schooling fish and squid. Their long tails are not just for decoration – the sharks use them to stun their prey. Thresher sharks circle smaller fish and ‘herd’ them with their tails into a tight, ball formation, which they will then attack with a powerful swipe of their tail – stunning some of the fish which the shark will then feed on.

 

Thresher shark
Dive with thresher sharks in Puerto Galera

 

Thresher Sharks and Depth

Thresher sharks are generally a deeper dwelling species of shark that spend most of their time below 40 meters. So why then, do they come to the shallower water and dive sites around Puerto Galera? Because of the fish – and not to eat them! Thresher sharks carry parasites on their skin and around their eyes and gills. These parasites do not harm the thresher shark if they are kept in check, however, if they are not regularly cleaned away, the number of parasites will increase and the shark will become unhealthy. Thresher sharks rely on the small reef fish to help them out by ‘cleaning’ them. When the threshers come to the shallow water, the reef fish will feed on the parasites – a free meal for the reef fish in return for some personal grooming for the shark! Because the cleaning process is vital to the health of the sharks it is extremely important that divers do not interrupt this process (see below).

Diving with Thresher Sharks

We hope that we will be seeing thresher sharks in the waters around Puerto Galera for many years to come so it important that they are not scared away by divers. If you see a thresher shark during your dive, please observe the following guidelines!

  • Stay calm and control your buoyancy. Try to avoid sudden movements.
  • Please do not ‘chase’ the sharks.
  • Please do not try to touch the sharks.
  • Please do not direct camera flashes or strobes into the thresher sharks eyes – they are extremely sensitive!
  • Please always respect our reefs and do not touch, kick or break and corals.
  • Leave the dive site as you found it. Please leave behind only bubbles and take away only photos.
  • For your own safety, always be aware of your no-decompression time and do not exceed the planned depth or time of your dive.

 

Thresher shark
A small thresher shark swimming in Puerto Galera

 

Diving in Puerto Galera

While thresher sharks are a definite highlight of diving in Puerto Galera they are not our only highlight! Our reefs are packed with some of the rarest and most unusual critters in the Coral Triangle – if you are a macro underwater photographer, then diving Puerto Galera is for you!

For those who want to learn to dive in Puerto Galera or take an advanced, tech diving or professional level course, we offer the full range of PADI scuba diving courses from beginner to Instructor!

Are you excited to come and join us for scuba diving in the Philippines? Our friendly team are as passionate about diving as you are and there’s nothing we love more than sharing our reefs and marine life with like-minded divers from around the world!

For more information or to make a reservation, fill in our online contact form or email us at: [email protected] and we’ll get right back to you.

We look forward to scuba diving in the Philippines with you soon!

Why Stay at a Scuba Diving Resort in Mindoro, Philippines?

On the northern coast of Mindoro Island lies a piece of divers’ heaven called Puerto Galera. The midday sun shines at a gentle 31 degrees Celsius, the water is abundant in sea life, and the beach is spectacular with easy access to exciting historic rainforests.

Puerto Galera diving Philippines

Photo by Beth Watson

 

Staying at a diving resort in Mindoro’s Puerto Galera will be one of the best ideas you’ll ever have. At El Galleon Dive Resort, you are invited to enjoy your share of this beautiful tropical paradise.

Whether you are just out to try diving for the first time, a seasoned scuba diver, or even somebody who prefers to stay on land, El Galleon has activities for everyone.

 

The Convenient One-Stop Destination For Divers

Upon reaching Puerto Galera you will be struck with an incredible realization – you are standing at one of the most diverse marine ecosystems. Which means you get to see it all in one place – dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, lionfish, octopuses, manta rays, and macro life that you never even knew existed, all before your eyes. Check out more dive sites!

scuba diving philippines Asia Divers

Photo by Beth Watson

 

Visit the Boatyard

Love to discover bizarre-looking coastal species that are too shy to swim at the coral reef? Muck diving is available for you to enjoy at the Boatyard. Spot a few of our favorites: velvet ghost pipefish, seahorses, frogfish, and other creepy crawlers.

Jump in the Coral Cove

For divers of all levels, Coral Cove is the perfect ground to do multi-level diving. Here are the locals that you shouldn’t miss: pygmy seahorses, blue-spotted rays, cuttlefish, and the occasional thresher sharks for the lucky few!

Check out today’s scuba diving rates

These are just two out of a dozen sites that are right in front of the diving resort. More adventures await between Medio Island and Paniquian Island on the west-facing side of Puerto Galera’s peninsula.

Secret Reef

It may not be a secret anymore, but it holds a fair share of secrets. The underwater cliff and overhang open up into the open sea, but crawling and swimming closely by the sea wall are schools of batfish, emperors, snappers, and jacks. You may encounter a large lionfish and caves in which barramundi cod live.

Odies Ding Ding

Not to be missed for short-time diving, this shallow but gorgeous high sea wall is perfect for Nitrox diving. Eels and blue triggerfish reside in the holes within the wall, stingrays, tuna, and frogfish can be spotted if you stay long enough.

 

Enjoy a Meaningful and Educational Summer Vacation!

Our PADI Certified Dive Instructors who guide you through all the different dive sites at Puerto Galera are happy to share their knowledge with you. As long as you are eligible to take the PADI Dive Courses, we will teach you everything we know about diving and the brilliant sites around Mindoro.

Diving is one of the world’s most useful skills that can lead anyone to a decent career. Why not start young and train your child with the diving basics? Our PADI Bubblemaker is a perfect beginner course for children aged 8 years and above, at our resort’s training pool.

For serious adults, you could open up to more diving possibilities with the PADI Open Water Course. Or take diving education even further with the PADI Advanced Open Water courses which come in various branches of specialty scuba diving, including Wreck Diving, Nitrox Diving, Night Diving and more.

Dive deeper in more challenging environments through the PADI Technical Diver Training, and return to the surface like a champion.

Luxury and Adventure, All In One Place

Luxurious rooms, complete facilities and island experiences for those who prefer to stay on land. Don’t miss a chance to visit one of Puerto Galera’s top diving resorts on your next vacation to The Philippines!

Types of Scuba Diving Certifications and What You Can Do with Them

Scuba Diving Certifications

You’ve probably heard of scuba diving certifications before, whether or not you’re aware of their purpose or not. Those certifications aren’t just for show. They’re used as a way to measure the capacity of an individual, and whether or not they can safely control themselves to certain depths as dictated on the certification.

With that said, there are many scuba diving certifications out there, each one serving a different purpose and measuring different water skills for the divers who take them. In this article, we’ll briefly cover what those scuba diving certifications entail and what you can do with them.

Open Water Diver

The Open Water Diver certification by PADI is one of the most common and popular scuba diving certifications for recreational purposes. It is an essential course that opens the path to other more advanced courses for divers. The Open Water Diver course teaches the fundamentals of how to safely manage yourself, as well as your equipment underwater. With this certification, you will be allowed to dive in open waters up to a depth of 18 meters.

Advanced Open Water Diver

Advanced Open Water Diver is a course that takes the previous certification to the next level. Participants will need to have taken the Open Water Diver first as a prerequisite to taking this course. Once completed, divers will have their depth limit increased from 18 meters as certified by the Open Water Diver to a deeper 30 meters. This course will again include theory learning as well as practical training, that will both be subject to assessment by the dive instructor.

Rescue Diver

The Rescue Diver course educates divers about essential emergency rescue protocols, safety skills and how to manage a crisis situation underwater. This is another essential certification that many divers opt to take due to the valuable, lifelong skills that are offered in this course.

Divemaster

Divemaster is the course where divers refine and hone in their water skills to a professional standard. In fact, for many diving associations such as PADI and SSI, the Divemaster is considered to be the first professional rating. This course also puts an emphasis on building the necessary skills, knowledge, and expertise to lead and supervise a diving team. Participants of Divemaster courses often intend to become professional divers or are on the way to become dive instructors.

These are just some of the most common scuba diving certifications out there. Some of these serve as the foundation of all scuba divers such as the Open Water Diver and are mandatory to take before advancing into more technical water skills.

Do these scuba diving certifications sound familiar to you? If you’re a frequent diver, it would be wise to invest in yourself and learn the water skills and knowledge offered in these courses. Not only will they increase your confidence as a diver, you’ll also have more opportunities to access dive sites that are deeper and more exotic in the future!

Learn more about scuba diving courses with us at Asia Divers.