Puerto Galera

Located on Mindalo Island, Puerto Galera is just a few hours from Manila. Warm, beautiful and exciting, this destination is a superb combination of clear water, sandy beaches, mostly unexplored mountain ranges with a variety of restaurants and bars along the beachfront. It is also a key dive destination in the Philippines with plenty of dives sites for all levels, from easy training dives featuring pristine coral to thrilling drift dives. Plenty of opportunities for dive photography: macro, fish and invertebrates, and the larger variety of marine subjects.

Overview

With a rich history, Peurto Galera was one of the first Spanish settlements in the Philippines – and became a major port possibly due to its naturally deep and protected harbour. Its’s also the place where Ming Vases were traded from gold. History aside, one of the major highlights is the diving. Referred to as the diving capital of the Philippines, Peurto Galera is at the centre of the golden triangle – a location renowned for outstanding diving. This is a dive destination with over 30 key dive sites all accessible from Peurto Galera and its 5km foreshore is world class and a marine sanctuary. Dive sites here range between 5 meters to 40 meters depth and the Verde Passage located between Mindoro and Luzon Islands providing ideal conditions for drift diving. Mindoro also features 75% of the world’s coral species, and you’ll also find it has the second largest coral reef in the world (Apo Reef). There’s something for very diver here. Schooling reef fish, including jacks, snappers, fairy basslets, trigger fish, groupers, trevally, drummers and barracuda, turtles, reef sharks, moray eels, cephalopods and macro crustaceans alongside vibrant coral reefs.

Dive Sites

La Laguna Point (12-15m)
With a gentle current and calm waters this dive site is a short wall where you will discover plenty of small reef fish, colourful crinoids and nudibranchs. Visibility here can reach up to 20 metres.

Ernie’s Cave (22m & 27m)
This dive site is named after Ernie, the large lone grouper, that unfortunately no longer swims here. On the lighter note, this dive site has two caves with plenty of marine life to be seen. Smaller reef fish and occasionally, sharks, hard and soft corals, sponges, small gorgonian sea fans and crinoids. Usually calm with medium-strong currents, visibility can reach 20 metres.

Pink Wall (10m)
This overhanding wall is covered in pink soft corals and cup corals (as the same suggests) with marine life aplenty including scorpion fish, octopi, snakes and nudibranchs. This site is usually dived on a flood tide as at this time it is calm and with minimal current, A great night dive and visibility can reach 20 metres.

The Washing Machine (15m+)
An intense dive featuring a number of small canyons at 15m with currents going in all directions. Often done as a day trip, this dive site is located at the centre of the south side of Verde Island and is recommended for more advanced divers as conditions can get rough.

Shark Cave (27m)
With a 30m overhang, Shark Cave is the place different species of shark rest up during the day. You’ll also see plenty of smaller reef fish. Located East of Escarceo Point. For the experienced divers Visibility can reach 20m.

Hole in the Wall (12m)
This dive site features a huge rock with a small hole in the middle. Enough room for one diver to swim through. This site is frequented by giant trevally, snappers, scorpion fish, turtles and features various soft corals, gorgonian fans and big sponges. An easy dive site when the current is not strong.

Best Times to Dive

A year-round dive destination with warm waters averaging 21ºC – 30ºC depending on the season. December to May is considered the high season.

Other Activities

  • Twin Lakes
  • Tamaraw Falls
  • Snorkeling
  • Surfing
  • Swimming/diving with Whale Sharks (year round)
  • Kayaking
  • Bird watching
  • Golf
  • Mangyan Village
  • Day trips:  Verde Island | Turukan (45 minute jeepney ride to waterfalls)
  • Sunset Cruise

Getting There

Puerto Galera is located on Mindoro Island (on its northern peninsula). It is 130km south of Manila, a 2.5 hour drive to Batangas City where it is approx a 1 hour boat trip.

Accomodation

Puerto Galera offers a selection of accommodation to suit all budgets.

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