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Dive Review of Atlantis in
Philippines/Puerto Galera

January, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Carl Scott, TX, USA
Contributor   (16 reports)
Report Number 1578
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Thailand, Indonesia, Palau, Caribbean, Costa Rica
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
73   to 77    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
50 minutes - no exceptions; stay with group  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Boats are small, with no camera facilities.  However, rides to dive sites
are less than 10 minutes, so this really isn't an issue.  Crew and fellow
divers were respectful of camera equipment, so problems are unlikely
outside of an unforseeable accident.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
3 stars    
The water was cold!  Yes, average temps in January range from 73-77F, and
that was the range during my visit.  Many divers were shivering after 50
minutes in a 5 mm wetsuit, so take this into consideration before you book
a trip here this time of year.  Speaking of dive times, this operation
schedules 4 dives per day, so they strictly limit all dives to 50 minutes
(unless, I presume, you are doing the last dive of the day and have
sufficient NDL time remaining).  One exception is if you pay an extra $15
per dive for a private guide and individual schedule.  If you come when the
water is warmer, I highly recommend it.  Otherwise, you'll find 50 minutes
to be enough, I'm sure.  

Visibility is never great here, but good enough to appreciate the diversity
of marine life.  This isn't Indonesia, but we did see a pair of octopus, I
counted 9 different nudibranch species when reviewing my photos from this
trip, and there were plenty of cuttlefish, frogfish, lionfish, and many
tropicals to entertain us.  There are also 2 colors of pygmy seahorse -
yellow and purple.  The crinoids were more plentiful than I've ever seen
anywhere else, and they are active!  We saw several free-swimming, and some
took the opportunity to attach themselves to divers on occasion.  

The service at Atlantis is commendable, as you will read from other reports
here.  They require you to set up your equipment prior to your first dive -
my guess being that it is part of their evaluation of your skills, as well
as to ensure that they set it up the same way for the rest of your stay. 
They do put you with a private guide on your first dive to evaluate your
skills and comfort in the water.

Shore facilities are excellent, with separate rinse tanks for different
types of gear.  The dressing room has ample storage, but may be a bit
crowded during peak seasons.  Again, all dives are but a short walk from
the briefing area to the boat, followed by a 1-10 minute ride to the entry
point. The dive staff is also very friendly and can be expected to show up
at the bar each night for a bit of conversation and a mug of San Miguel.
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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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