Puerto Galera Dive Sites
1. La Canyons (Recreational Dives)
24m/79ft but for Advanced divers only due to fierce current at this site
A very healthy large reef area split by large fissures(crack) has resulted in three spectacular canyons. Soft tree corals and excellent diversity of hard corals and many beautiful colors to the reef. There is usually a current at this site, making it a world-class exhilarating drift dive. As you fly past the ‘Hole in the Wall’ you see basket sponges growing tall, along with giant gorgonian fans, whip corals and hard green tree corals. Every imaginable kind of coral, hard and soft, grows densely all over the reef. Large fan corals, perfectly intact have been twisted an distorted by the currents. The reef is home to smaller tropical fish such as anthias, damsels and butterflyfish. But what makes it one of the best Dive sites in Puerto Galera are the large pelagics that are often seen their.When the current is “running”, the fish seen to be everywhere. Shoals of trevallies, jacks and king jacks cruise in mid water, with tuna and mackerel darting around the canyons. Schools of humpback and pinjalo snapper, batfish and barracuda are also frequently observed. Moray eels are found in some of the large cracks and whitetip reef sharks can be seen sleeping on the sandy bottoms of the canyons. Several species of angelfish have also been recorded here, such as the Emperor Angelfish and Royal Angelfish. Occasionally manta rays, eagle rays and hammerheads and thresher sharks pass through. This Dive site can be dived over and over again without seeing all that it has to offer. The variety is overwhelming; it is a truly breathtaking dive.The best time to dive the site is on flood tide with the current “running” as it makes a fantastic drift dive, the adverse conditions actually enhancing the site’s attraction, bringing out the astounding density of schooling fish and pelagics. If the current is caught correctly, you eventually arrived at an old anchor about one and a half meters high, which is an excellent place to regroup before letting the current sweep you away once more over the reef for your safety stop. An experienced guide is recommended to guide you into the right place to pick up the strong currents,which can be tricky. Down-currents are common here, and therefore only recommended for advanced divers.
2. Shark Cave (Recreational Dives)
25m/ 83ft to 30m/ 99ft for
Advanced Recreational & Nitrox Dives
At 25m/ 83ft is a ledge about 1m/ 3ft high and 12m/ 40ft wide, which tapers back into a 5m/ 17ft cave, leaving enough room for whitetip sharks to sleep without being disturbed. Divers can lie on the sandy bottom and observe the sharks with an underwater light. The sharks do not usually appreciate the disturbance and will swim around the back of the cave and then try to escape through the mouth of the cave if they can, to find somewhere else to rest for the day! Spotted sweetlips and blue-spotted stingrays also reside there. A short swim from this cave is a ledge where smaller sharks can be seen. If there are no sharks to watch, you can swim to a small reef wall that drops off to 30m/ 99ft, where leopard sharks are occasionally spotted. Basket sponges, tree corals, gorgonians and variety of small reef fish inhabit this wall. It is best to dive here on the flood tide, but there is usually very little current. Due to the depth of the site, Nitrox is recommended.
3. Small to Big La Laguna (Recreational Dives)
3m/ 10ft to 18m/ 59ft
On ebb tide the current can make this a swift drift dive, and it is possible to cover great distances of breathtaking underwater terrain. Descending into shallow water, the seafloor is covered with staghorn and other hard corals, with an impressive populations of an abundance of fish species. At 12m/ 40ft you find the wreck of a small aluminum speedboat where sergeant majors swarm and a large black frogfish is commonly seen. Following the reef down to 18m/ 59ft there are two large coral-covered rock formations, dotted with small sea fans, and home to schools of fusiliers and cardinalfish. Lionfish and scorpionfish can also be seen hunting in this area. As you drift through whip corals along the edge of the reef, the current starts to increase, and as you pick up speed you fly by shoals of surgeonfish, bluefin trevallies, and if you are lucky sometimes a hawksbill turtle before arriving the beautiful La Laguna wall. From here you make your way up over the healthy coral reef into shallower water.
4. Hole in the Wall (Recreational Dives)
7m/23ft to 18m/59ft
A tremendous rock and coral formation resembling a mini mountain are the home for a wide range of flora and fauna. Snapper, oriental sweetlips, stonefish, frogfish, coral groupers, remoras, red bass, sea perch and red emperors are all here, and when a good current is present, shoals of tuna and jack, as well as, king jacks are found in mid-water. At 18m/59ft there is a small cave with a white gorgorian fan that occasionally has a white frogfish clinging to it. Basket sponges grow on the rocky coral along with small fans. Tree ferns, soft pink tree corals, feather stars of many colors and tubeworm cover the formation. At 12m/40ft there is a hole that is large and safe enough for a diver with good buoyancy control to swim through. Divers drifting during flood tide from Weat Escarceo ‘fly’ through this hole. This site can be dived over and over again as there is so much to experience and see. Best to dive it at slack high tide, and due to strong currents in this area it is advisable to take a knowledgeable dive guide with you. It can also be a very colorful night life.
5. Oddie’s Dingding (Recreational/ Advance/ Tec Dives)
24m/ 79ft to 42m/ 139ft for Advanced recreational dives
45m/ 149ft for Technical Nitrox dives.
You make a deep-water entry to a sandy bottom where a rocky wall starts at 24m/ 79ft and drops off to 42m/ 139ft. On top of the wall are large whip corals, basket sponges and white sea ferns adorned with razorfish. The face of the wall has gorgonians in a variety of sizes and colors. Looking out into the deep blue you may see shoals of jackfish and unicorn surgeonfish. Angelfish and moray eels are commonly seen along the wall too. To locate this site you require an experienced guide as the currents can make it a difficult spot to find. It is best to dive here at slack high water. Due to the depth of the site Nitrox would be an advantage. This is also a good site for deep diver training.
6. West Escarceo (Recreational Dives)
3m/10ft to 224m/79ft
A huge variety of fish, hard corals, as well as soft corals, and in shallow waters, outcrops sitting on the fine white sandy bottom. Butterfly fish, sergeant majors, damsels, pipe fish, Moorish idols, trigger fish and puffer fish are at home among the staghorn, large plate and table corals basket and tube sponges. Several species of sea cucumber are also seen in this area. As you descend down the sloping reef, you pass over rocky coral ledges and whip coral where you may see hiding porcupine puffer fish, moray eels and cuttlefish. The slope becomes more vertical in places and drops off to a sandy bottom at 24m/79ft. Looking out from the sloping from the sloping reef into blue water shoals of tuna and Spanish mackerel dart around for small fish for food. It is best to dive the site on a flood tide as it is an exciting drift dive which finishes through the ‘Hole in the Wall’, which in itself is a beautiful dive site. There is also a lot to see at the bottom of this reef. It is beautiful, full of superabundant small reef fish, and well covered in corals, which are in excellent condition. If you are using Nitrox you can cover the two sites in a strong flood tide and finish in the Canyons, another awesome dive site. A dive guide is recommended for this dive due to the sometimes-tricky currents. West Escarceo is also great for night dives. Aside from the usual range of marine life seen on night dives, the many colors of Christmas tree tudeworms make a spectacular sight, especially in mild current.
7. Sabang Wreck (Recreational Dives)
Descending down a mooring line, you are commonly faced by a school of batfish that are usually fed by divers who visit the site. On the sandy bottom lies the dilapidated wooden hull of a Vietnamese fishing boat, which has been almost completely colonized by marine life. If fish feeding, you will be swarmed by damselfish, with bigger fish, such as batfish and surgeonfish sometimes moving in for a feed. Care must be taken when diving close to wreck due to the numerous scorpionfish, which reside there. In and around the wreck big white-eyed and snowflake moray eels can be found. With a “good trained eye”, two- and three-spot flounder can be seen on the sandy bottom, frogfish and mantis shrimp can be spotted in the small coral reefs patches. Just a short swim (about 40m/132ft) west of the wooden wreck is the steel hull of a 12m/ 40ft sailboat that was deliberately sunk by divers from Capt’n Greggs Dive Shop to create a new artificial reef. It has not yet been colonized much by any encrusting coral species, but impressive fish population reside around it. Bathfish, yellowfin surgeonfish, cleaner wrasse and pipefish only to the name of a few of the numerous species found at this sites. Both wrecks are fantastic to dive at night, resembling small cities, crawling with crabs, shrimps and prawns. Lionfish and scorpionfish come out to feed, and stargazers look up at you with a smile from the sandy seabed. Small schools of baby squid are sometimes attracted to the beams of divers’ lights. Best diving is during slack tide.
8. Sinandigan Wall (Recreational Dives)
5m/17ft to 40m/132ft
The wall itself is not very long, but it is a perfect site to perform a multilevel dive. The wall is vertical from 10m/33ft to 30m/99ft where it then becomes more of a slope with large rock formations. There is a massive diversity of aquatic life in this area. The wall has numerous soft coral;s. Common fish species sighted are Moorish Idols, lizardfish, zebra lionfish, stonefish, powder blue and ring-tailed surgeon-fish. An enormous diversity of nudibranchs is characteristics for this site too- more than a dozen different kinds have been counted on a single dive, making this a great for macro photographers. It is best to dive this site on flood tide.
9. MV ALMA JANE
Maximum depth: 30m
Puerto Galera's newest dive site is the 'MV Alma Jane Express', formerly a Japanese Cargo Ship, she was purposely sank by the Dive Operators of Puerto Galera in 2003. Sitting upright , she is now home to colourful reef fishes and soft coral.