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Dive Review of Atlantis Dive Resorts/Atlantis Puerto Galera in
Philippines/Puerto Galera

May, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Frederick R. Turoff, PA, US
Sr. Contributor   (22 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 5585
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
BVI, USVI, Saba, St. Lucia, Bonaire, Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Costa
Rica, Coco Island, Revillagigedos, Sea of Cortez, Palau, Yap, Red Sea,
Sipadan, PNG, Indonesia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
84   to 88    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 40    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
130 ft max depth, but the deepest we went was 92 ft. max dive times were
about an hour.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Shore facilities have separate rinse areas for cameras away from several
rinse tanks available for various gear. The camera shop area is a short
walk from the dive shop area, with a camera room next door that has several
tables along walls with charging stations, camera prep areas, and a
computer for downloading images in case you don't have your own computer.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
After a week on the Atlantis Azores at Tubbataha reef, and a short journey
to Donsol for whale shark encounters, I had a few days so I booked with
Atlantis Puerto Galera. The Atlantis organization again showed its smooth
running. I was met at MNL airport by the same young man who took my
unneeded luggage from me before I headed to Donsol, but which I would need
in Puerto Galera. Atlantis arranged all transport from the airport to the
resort, which involved a van ride of 2+ hours to the port city of Batangas
to the south and a 1-hour boat ride to the resort. Upon arriving at the
resort beach, I noticed many other hotels and dive operations crowding the
beach. My choice of Atlantis showed benefits immediately, as the grounds,
restaurant and dive operation were excellent. I had a full package for the
short period I was there, so all meals were provided on site in an
attractive, airy restaurant. Food was high level as Id come to expect from
the food on the Atlantis Azores liveaboard.

Everyone seemed to learn my name much faster than I learned theirs. I was
able to rent a slave strobe for use with my housed Olympus camera (since my
SLR had broken the previous week) which came with a fiber-optic cable to
sync it to the camera flash. I operated my camera on manual, as TTL was not
an option with a slave. This allowed me to get a few fine photos in the six
dives I had scheduled.

Diving was done from the skiffs that were boarded from the beach. They were
uncovered, but the longest ride to a site was 10 minutes. Before the dive
briefing, each diver using EAN had to test his tank, write his name and O2%
on it, and place it in the set-up area where the crew would assemble tank,
BC and regulator and put it on the boat. If you were doing the next dive
that day, the gear stayed on the boat and the crew switched tanks for you
as long as you had tested another EAN tank. A warm shower and adequate
rinse tanks divided for various types of gear surrounded the dive prep
area. Suits were hung in a room next to the rinse tank/shower area.
Adequate storage space was evident, although I was there when the hotel
attendance was low.
Visibility was disappointing, running between 20-50 feet. Manager Simon
told me there are periods like this and periods when the water is clear. A
group that took an excursion to nearby Verde Island told me the life and
clarity there was distinctly better than our near-town dive sites. Air
temps hovered in the 85-86 range with high humidity, while water temp ran
84-88 depending on the site and currents. Simon told me of the macro life
at Atlantis Dumaguete, which makes that another place to add to my list of
must-see sites. Each of the Atlantis operations is reachable from Manila by
one flight followed by land/water transport.

PG offered more nudibranchs in one day of diving than I saw all week at
Tubbataha, although the latter was much better at water clarity and big
fish. We did find two small white tip sharks resting under a ledge on our
first dive. A banded krait swam by as well. Our dive plan was adjusted as
current blew us away from the prime destination. However, we still saw
peacock mantis shrimp and a juvenile boxfish. We hit a warm patch of water
at Small Lalaguna point, 88 degrees, where two cuttlefish did their dance
for us among coral heads. Overall there were not the large coral formations
I had seen the past week at Tubbataha, but enough coral to hide lots of
fish and critters. A night dive revealed a stargazer (a fish I had not you
photographed) along with a variety of sand-burrowing eels, mantis shrimp,
harlequin ghost pipefish pair and some Pegasus seamoths along with two
black frogfish. Had I more time here I would have taken some excursions to
nearby island dive sites to see the wonders I was told were there, but
thats for another trip.
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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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