The magic of Puerto Galera, Philippines with Asia Divers/El Galleon!1
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. With modern highways up and running, you can leave the airport in Manila and arrive at El Galleon Resort 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. 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.
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. 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.
Travelers to the area are coming to P.G. 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 we have had thresher sharks 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.
If you are looking for experienced dive guides, El Galleon’s dive centre – Asia Divers offers the best with some of them logging more than 10,000 dives in this area alone and 28 years of history. El Galleon is the only resort on Puerto Galera that has their own private platform.
El Galleon offers more than 30 air conditioned rooms on the beach side and the hills. A swimming pool with a deep enough corner for new divers to practice, a restaurant with a French chef, a bar for divers to chill and share their stories, a private spa that allows you to look to the open sea, a well equipped camera room with computers, and most importantly, a fully equipped dive centre on the platform. If you happen to come along with a spouse that didn’t dive or perhaps bringing your kids along, you might want to spoil them a little by checking into El Galleon’s luxury villas “Waimea” which is located only 5 minutes walk away from the resort.
Other activities in the area include: sailing, sunset cruises, beach hopping, golfing, snorkeling, 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.
Asia Divers/El Galleon Resort: www.asiadivers.com
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