Philippines: Puerto Galera

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A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with over 40 dive sites, Puerto Galera offers incredibly diverse underwater experiences in the heart of the Coral Triangle. By Rachel Kwek

Located on the northern tip of Mindoro, the seventh largest island in the Philippines, Puerto Galera is famous for macro diving but it also offers some breathtaking wreck dives.

One must-visit site is Giant Clams, a protected area in Puerto Galera Bay with clams that are hundreds of years old and as large as 1.5 metres wide. Sloping down to a sandy grass-covered bottom, this is a popular site for spotting hairy frogfish, mimic octopuses, wonderpuses, and flamboyant cuttlefish. Electric clams are an exciting sight if you dive at night. These peculiar creatures reflect light and give the appearance of electricty flowing through them.

Coral Cove is an excellent macro dive site with a sloping reef filled with nudibranchs, ribbon eels, pipefish, frogfish, seahorses and orangutan crabs. Montani and Shipyard are lesser-known macro diving sites.

Those up for some wall diving should not miss Sinandigan Wall. It extends from about 5 to 40 metres underwater and is littered with many nudibranchs and small creatures. It’s a great place to spot frogfish, leaffish, crocodilefish, different species of anemones and plenty of small shrimp residing in the mushroom corals. Further down the wall, you can also see soft corals, sea whips, sweetlips, whitetip reef sharks and turtles.

GETTING THERE

Puerto Galera is accessible by ferry via the public port in Batangas, 110km south of Manila. Several resorts like Atlantis offer private transport from Manila for its guests, which shortens trip time by half.

Atlantis Dive Resorts and Liveaboards is our recommended accomodation provider for dive trips in the Philippines. For more information, visit www.atlantishotel.com/.

For all things mobile, check out the rest of this article in our upcoming special issue on the Mobile Phone (Asian Geographic No.135 Issue 2/2019 ) or you can also check out our past issues here or download a digital copy here

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