Today is Thu, July 27, 2017

Dive Sites

Puerto Galera has more than 30 dive sites to offer, making it one of the best diving destinations in Asia.

  • Canyons
  • Shark Cave
  • Hole in the wall
  • Sabang Wrecks
  • Sinandigan Wall
  • West Escarceo
  • Monkey Beach
  • Kilima Steps
  • St. Christopher Wreck
  • Dungon Wall/ Twin Wreck
  • Fish Bowl
  • Lalaguna Point
  • Sabang Point
  • Pink Wall
  • Jap Wreck
  • Boulders
  • Dry Dock
  • The Atoll
  • Odies Wall
  • Batangas Channel
  • Manila Channel
  • Coral Garden
  • The Hill
  • Hibo Reef
  • Verde Island
  • Maricaban Island

Canyons

Probably one of the best dive sites in Puerto Galera. 3 canyons form this fantastic dive site. Normally a strong drift dive with a lot of action and fish. Sweet lips, batfish, trevally, groupers, drummers, snappers, etc. It´s all here and if you are lucky a turtle, octopus or maybe even a resting shark. Big gorgonian fans and pink soft corals cover the whole area. With a maximum depth of 30 meters/ 100 feet and strong current it is NOT a beginners dive. Nitrox strongly recommended.

canyons canyons 2

Shark Cave

This small cave makes a perfect resting place for white tip reef sharks during daytime, where you have a very good chance to get close to one or two of these ”Kings of the reef”. Normally a multilevel dive where you swim up shallow to Pink Wall, Kilima Steps, or Hole in the Wall. It can however also be done in combination with Canyons. On Nitrox this last dive is highly recommended, but only for the experienced. 27 meters/ 90 feet is maximum depth you get here.

sharkcave sharkcave 2

 

 

 

Hole in the Wall

At 12 meters/ 40 feet you will find this little hole in the middle of a huge rock, big enough for one diver to swim through. Over the years thousands of divers have been through here. An area with a good chance to see giant trevally, snappers, scorpion fish, turtles as well as a lot of different soft corals, gorgonian fans and big sponges. Sometimes strong current are present but an easy dive site for everybody when it´s slack tide.

hole hole 2

Sabang Wrecks

Three small boats have been sunk with the purpose to create artificial reefs. Here you can see big schools of batfish, surgeonfish and on the wrecks lionfish, scorpion fish and stonefish are common. With a maximum depth of 20 meters/ 70 feet most divers can cover all three wrecks in one dive but you can also do one of them and end the dive on the shallow coral reef which starts around 12meters/ 40 feet. Always a nice dive with the chance to see something unusual…

wrecks wreck 2

Sinandigan Wall

Nudibranchs…If you are into these small colorful snails you want to do at least one dive in this area. You will have a good chance to see more than 10 different kinds on one dive and several of the same species… The wall stops at 30 meters/ 100 feet where it turns into a slope which leads down to a deep dive site called Turtle Rock. On top of the wall you will find beautiful soft corals and on the wall itself big green coral trees and nudibranch, nudibranch, nudibranch…

swall swall 2

West Escarceo

This area is perfect for mild or even strong drift dives. If you catch the current at the right time it will take you along this long sloping reef effortlessly. Red tooth triggerfish in massive schools meets you at 15 meters/ 50 feet and in very shallow water countless numbers of chromies swim around making you a part of the school. Moray eels can be seen all over this reef and if you go deeper than 20 meters/ 70 feet you can see blue spotted rays on the sandy bottom. A couple of very big bommies meet you on the way if you stay shallow.

escarceo escarceo 2

Monkey Beach

A gentle slope with many different kinds of corals, there is also a small wreck of a sailboat in this area. You can get a maximum depth of 28 meters/ 95 feet around the deeper Ernie’s Cave where there used to be a big grouper named Ernie. Ernie is long gone but you will find many other fish like scribbled snapper, titan trigger fish, blue fin trevally, long nose emperor, turtles, blue spotted rays etc. A fine place to drift along with a mild current which let’s you cover a big part of the reef on a single dive.

monkey monkey 2

Kilima Steps

A dive site which have many different levels ”Steps”. You can start the dive at 22 meters/ 75 feet and come all the way up to 5 meters/ 15 feet where you can do the safety stop hovering on top of the last ”Step”. One of the few areas where you can see the soap fish, other things to see are moray eels, lionfish, octopi, nudibranchs, gorgonian fans, coral trees, table corals and very big sponges in shallow water. This dive is also known as Kilima Drift when it is an ebb tide with up to 6 knots current…

kilima kilima 2

St. Christopher

An old wooden wreck which has fallen completely apart makes this very unique site which is perfect for underwater photographers. Maximum depth 25 meters/ 85 feet, shallow end of the wreck is found at 21meters/ 70 feet. A big school of snappers is residence here. Sometimes you can see anglerfish, batfish, mangrove jacks and emperor angelfish. Feather stars are also present in large numbers due to the strong currents in the area. A good site to multilevel and finish in shallow water where different anglerfish can be found near the ”Speedboat” wreck.

christopher 1 christopher 2

Dungon Wall

A small wall with a maximum depth of 22 meters/ 75 feet can be done in combination with the Twin Wrecks, a catamaran boat which is lying at 27meters/ 90 feet on the seafloor. Many big gorgonian fans at the bottom of the wall, sometimes they play host to pygmy seahorses. Nudibranchs, small lionfish, scorpion fish, angelfish, triggerfish, butterfly fish, trumpet fish, bassets, anglerfish, cleaner wrasse, sponges, hard corals, soft corals. It’s all here for you to see. Don’t forget your camera.

dungon 1 dungon 2

Fish Bowl

A bowl shaped reef beginning at 40 meters/ 130 feet where white tip reef sharks sometimes rest during the day. Snappers, sweet lips, turtles, etc. can be seen during this deep dive. Also a vast amount of whip corals and large gorgonian sea fans.  A dive only for the experienced diver with training in deep diving due to the depth and strong currents. Should normally be done on a flood or slack tide since a dive here on an ebb normally will have a strong down current. Can be made in combination with Canyons or Horse head Reef on a flood.  A good but a short dive, consider technical diving for this site.

fish bowl 1 fish bowl 2

La Laguna Point

Often done in the late afternoon as the last shallow dive of the day, or as a night dive where you often see a sleeping turtle in a small cave. You also have a good chance to see the Spanish dancer and other interesting animals during the night. Maximum depth 18 meters/ 60 feet but the best of the reef is located shallower. There are several scattered banca wrecks along this reef, as well as the ”Speedboat” wreck of Small La Laguna.

lalaguna point1 lalaguna point 2

Sabang Point

A very nice spot where you have the chance to find pygmy seahorses in one of the many gorgonian fans in this area. Sometimes robust ghost pipefish hide between the coral blocks on the sandy bottom. Anglerfish can also be seen, so can different kind of triggerfish, and very big puffer fish.  Can be difficult to catch the current going the right way but when you do, this site offers chances to find the things you haven’t seen yet.  With a maximum depth of 22 meters/ 73 feet and timed to avoid strong currents it is a very easy dive with plenty to look at.

sabang point sabang point 2

Pink Wall

A big overhang which is approx. 12 meters/ 40 feet long completely covered with pink soft corals, therefore the name, Pink Wall.  A great locale for night dives where you can see moray eels, plenty of scorpion fish, octopi, snakes, nudibranchs and the fantastic colors of the wall.  Best done on a flood tide where you will find little or no current.  Often done as the shallow finish of a dive to the Shark Caves. Maximum depth is 15 meters/ 50 feet. The top of the overhang is 5 meters/ 15 feet, perfect for your safety stop.

pink wall 1 pink wall 2

Jap Wreck

This is a deep dive only for divers with the appropriate training.  At 42meters/ 138 feet lies an old engine block with a couple of big morays inside, as well as the propeller shaft, propeller and the anchor of an old Japanese gunboat, according to local legend.  You can bring the eels a sausage or a fish and they will come out of their holes to eat. Other things to see include a school of painted sweet lips, groupers, and cardinal fish.  Normally a bounce dive with a line, nitrox is of great value here!!!

jap wreck 1 jap wreck 2

Boulders

This site is not done very often due to the long boat ride, but it is worth doing if you have tried all the other dives and want to try something different boulders offers you that.  Big rocks and many overhangs, even swim thoughts meets you here as well as lots of different juveniles like batfish, groupers, sweet lips, puffer fish etc.  You also have a very good chance to see seahorses and there related cuisines the Pipefish.  Long whip coral can be found and a few rare nudibranchs.  Maximum depth is 23 meters/ 77 feet and you will find the top of the rocks is suitable for your safety stop.

boulders 1 boulders 2

Dry dock

The dry dock is a 15 meters/50 feet long steel rig which stands at the bottom of the sea with a maximum depth of 26 meters/ 85 feet.  It was turned upside down after the owner tried to recover it, but he only managed to flip it over and improve the site. A lot of soft corals cover the whole top part of this unusual ”Wreck”.   Fish like snappers, batfish, sweet lips and sometimes a very big barracuda can be found here.  Best to dive it on a slack tide when it is possible to multilevel up to Lalaguna Point. You can also spend the whole dive here, another good nitrox dive.

dry dock 1 dry dock 2

The Atoll

A huge rock which is approx. 15 meters/ 50 feet in radius form this unusual site. Filled with pink and red soft corals all over make this rock a spectacular place where you have the chance to see something new, look for the small stuff and you might be lucky to find a seahorse or maybe a rare nudibranch. White tip reef sharks are sometimes seen resting on the sea floor next to or under the rock.  This site is normally combined with Shark Cave or Kilima Steps and is best done on a flood where you wont find much current.  Maximum depth is 33 meters/ 110 feet. Good depth for Nitrox.

the atoll 1 the atoll 2

Odie’s Wall

Odies ding ding as this site is also called is a little wall starting at 24 meters/ 80 feet and drops down to a maximum of 33 meters/ 110 feet, there is also another section of the reef going down to 40 meters/ 130 feet for the diver who’s good on air consumption.  Here you can see thorny oysters along the wall and the rare black coral (it is actually white) which is one of the highlights.  You need an experienced guide to find this place as there are sometimes strong currents which might drift you away from this small dive site. Again nitrox is recommended.

odies wall 1 odies wall 2

Batangas channel

This site is a shallow one, you will not find much more than 15 meters/ 50 feet of water in this area but there is plenty of stuff to see. Big areas are covered with stag horn corals, some of the biggest barrel sponges you can find in Puerto Galera, huge green coral trees, and some very nice formations with big table corals. This site does often have strong currents and you can actually cover the whole channel in one dive but the northern part down to San Antonio Village offers the best of this dive. Here the corals end but seahorses can often be seen on the sandy bottom near the local school.

batangas channel 1  batangas channel 2

Manila Channel

Similar to Batangas Channel but a little bit deeper, maximum depth 24 meters/ 80 feet. However, you will normally stay shallower amongst the corals. A series of small walls can be done as a multilevel dive where nudibranchs, moray eels, lionfish and many sponges can be seen. If you have the eyes for it, this is a macro haven.  Often done in combination with Coral Garden, and is highly recommended as a night dive. Not visited as often due to a longer boat ride from most dive shops, but well worth the extra ride.

manila channel 1 manila channel 2

Coral Garden

This used to be the best place for snorkeling and shallow diving, but it was damaged during El Nino a couple of years ago (the regeneration process is bringing this site back rapidly).  That said it is a top spot for night dives, the rubble between the many bomies is perfect places to spot several rare crabs, flatworms, bigger nudibranchs like the Spanish dancer and many others. A shallow dive with 10 meters / 35 feet as maximum depth gives you plenty of time to play in the garden.

coral garden 1 coral garden 2

The Hill

The Hill is found at the southern end of Batangas Channel. Another shallow site with interesting things to see.  Anglerfish are often seen on   one of the many elephant ear sponges in the area, as well as big barrel sponges, coral trees and gorgonian fans. Close by is a protected area where you will see a lot of giant clams, but ask the guard first before you jump in to look at the clams.  Do this dive on slack tide or you will have to kick very hard.

the hill 1 the hill 2

Hibo Reef

30-40 minutes boat ride away from Sabang and Puerto Galera will get you to this special place. It starts with a free decent to 18-21 meters/ 60-70 feet and from here you can choose any depth you are qualified to do. The walls drop down well beyond 100 meters/ 330 feet, so here is depth for techies.  Free swimming reef sharks are seen regularly on the deeper part of the walls.  But it is mostly on the top of this ”mountain” you should dive since it is here you find the best corals and most of the fish.  Best on slack tide due to very strong currents.

hibo reef 1 hibo reef 2

Verde Island

A day trip where you have different possibilities. Most of the time you will do The Drop Off which is a fantastic site. On a good day you can see almost anything here; big schools of jacks, schools of banner fish, thousands of bass lets, and maybe a turtle or a very big sea snake. From the surface it drops down to 80 meters/ 260 feet.  You can also try the washing machine but you might need a washing machine for your swim trunks after the dive.  On the west side of the island there are some very nice places with beautiful soft corals and mild currents.

verde island 1 verde island 2

Maricaban

Only 40 minutes boat ride from Sabang and Puerto Galera towards Batangas you have a couple of small islands. Around these islands there is some very nice diving but be aware that you normally will find very strong currents here. Reef sharks and other bigger fish like tuna and jacks as well as fantastic corals in superb condition.  There is also a small cave called Sharkies where you can sit inside and watch the fish swim by.  And not to forget the Hot Springs where you can boil your eggs for lunch.  Ask your dive center for more information about these sites.

marican 1 maricaban 2