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Dive Review of Asia Divers/El Galleon in
Philippines/Puerto Galera

November, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Rosemary Chengson, CA, US (1 report, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 5320 has 1 Helpful vote
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Indonesia (Bali, Kamodo, Sulawesi); Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Bonaire;
Sea of Cortez;  Monterey, CA; Channel Islands, CA
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, choppy, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
81   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
15   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
While booking this trip we were told the bottom-time limit was 1 hour plus,
the reality is that it depends on the dive guide, with stated times as
short a 45 minutes. My longest dive was 63 minutes and the dive guide was
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Nowhere to set-up camera except in your room. Had to carry camera back to
room between dives b/c there was no secure area. Boat crew had limited
experience handling/receiving cameras. For example, several times the port
was used to balance the camera on the side of the boat when transferring
into/out of the water. Both wide angle and macro ports were scratched
during this trip. Separate rinse tank was available for cameras. Initially
chastised for not staying with group while taking photos and group swam
away - after repeated discussions with dive guides prior to each dive buddy
and I were able to dive our own profile and trail behind the group.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
3 stars   
4 stars    
Despite the fact that it's against the law in the Philippines, prostitution
appears to be alive and well in Puerto Galera. Virtually every morning,
very young teenage local girls were seen leaving the resort, often times
dawdling to text message/phone their colleagues who had also spent the
night at the resort so they could meet up. Four of the first six nights at
the resort I was awoken by loud partying at the pool. At a minimum, large
signs should be posted in each room and by the pool reminding guests to be
quiet after 9 p.m.

The diving was very nice, with primarily muck diving at the near by sites
and great tropical reef diving at Verde Island. There is a surcharge
(approx. $25/person) for the Verde Island trip for two morning dives. The
speed boat makes it easy and fast to get there, but currents can be quite
strong and is not recommended for inexperienced divers. There is also a
surcharge for night dives which was not disclosed until we were presented
with the bill.  The travel agent we worked with said there were one hour
plus time limits but once there we were asked to keep our bottom time to 50
minutes. After negotiating with the dive staff I was able to get them to
grudgingly agree to a one hour bottom time limit.  Given the abundance of
sea life at some sites it was a shame to have such a restrictive bottom
time when I consistently came up with over 1,000 pounds of air.

Bottom line: The Philippines has some great diving and I'll skip the sex
tourism of Puerto Galera to dive other areas of the Philippines.
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All Philippines Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Philippines
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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