Puerto Galera offers more or less 40 prime dive sites. The sites are between 5 meters to 40 meters depth and the water temperature is ranging between 26 - 29 Degrees Centigrade.

Since Puerto Galera is considered as warm water diving area 3mm thick wet suits are the norm. The tide exchange is from a few centimeters up to 2 meters. The selection of the dive sites depends on the tidal exchange and the slack tides, which is an important part of dive planning.

The currents which is common in the area are often brisk and unpredictable, creating conditions which may at times prove challenging for novice divers.

Shallow, no-current or very slight current sites are always available for beginners. The visibility is ranging from 15-25 meters average and on special days even up to 30-35 meters.

On the house reef wreck, thriving fish life like batfish, angelfish, surgeonfish, wrasses, butterfly fish and other reef dwellers are already more than enough for a 36 exposure film. Aside from rarely seen exotic fishes like Spanish Dancer, harlequin ghost-pipefish and at least 5 different colors of camouflaged frogfish, fire gobies and blue-ribbon eels.

A 5 km foreshore of world class dive sites is a protected area and marine sanctuary.

The diversity of hard and soft corals, along with hundreds of species of tropical fish life makes Puerto Galera one of the most popular dive destinations in the Philippines. The 5 km foreshore of world class dive sites is a protected area and marine sanctuary. Visibility varies from 10m/30ft to 30m/100ft, sometimes even better depending on water temperature, current strength and wind direction. The best diving conditions are usually from April to September, as water temperature reaches 29 C, the seas are at their calmest and visibility is at its clearest. In December, water temperature can drop to as low as 22 C on the deeper dives due to thermo clines caused by upwelling of clear, cooler water. However, conditions remain good enough for year round diving.

Big fishes like White tip Sharks, Barracudas, Tunas, even Eagle Rays, Turtles can be seen on selected dive sites like the popular Canyons, Shark Caves, Boulders, especially so on a drift dive during big tide exchanges.

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It is highly recommended for underwater photographers and marine biologists and enthusiasts alike since it has a lot to offer like the varied species of soft corals, gorgonians, crinoids, colorful sponges and turnicates, crustaceans and shrimps, not to mention the most popular invertebrate subject amongst MACRO-PHOTOGRAPHERS, which has various colors, shapes and sizes the "NUDRIBRANCHS". The house reef alone which is just directly in front of the dive shop can already satisfy the urge to shoot various subjects for underwater photographers.

Diving in Puerto Galera © Badfish

A school of fish swims through the Verde Island Passage, a strait between Luzon and Mindoro where California Academy of Sciences centered its expedition. (Photos are screen grabs from the website of California Academy of Sciences calacademy.org.)

For almost 50 years Puerto Galera has attracted experts studying the ecostructure of micro-organsims, marine life, animals and plants.

The University of the Philippines Marine Biological Station was set up in 1934 and in 1974, the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program International declared the area by International Co-ordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) a research center and the reefs a marine reserve.

The great ecological complexity and the abundant species have earned Puerto Galera a reputation as the best dive area in the Philippines and maybe in Asia.

“The Philippines is home to the most biologically diverse waters on Earth, and remains the centerpiece of the academy’s multi-year exploration of the Coral Triangle’s biological treasures,” said Terry Gosliner, CAS senior curator of invertebrate zoology.

Read more on updates about the 100 new marine species here