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Dive Review of Atlantis in
Philippines/Puerto Galera

March, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Scott Johnson, ca, USA
Sr. Contributor   (20 reports)
Report Number 4688
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
26-50 dives
Where else diving
Palau, Layang Layang, Fakarava, Rangiroa, Galapagos, Kiribati, Truk,
Sipadan, Cozumel, Costa Rica, Lembeh Straits, Raja Ampat etc 
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

cloudy, dry  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
76   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
50 minutes  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
5 stars    
[None]Getting to the Philippines was one of the most arduous journeys I
have done. I flew Continental, left LA (at 10 AM), changed planes in Hawaii
on to Guam changed planes again to Manila. Upon arrival around 9:30 pm and
22 hours later (my bag made it with all the connections) found the waiting
Van and had a two hour and a half  ride mostly through heavy traffic to the
embarkation point to Puerto Galera. This was a twisting and turning, stop
and go ride. Then to the boat that takes you to Mindoro-Puerto Galera was
another 50 minutes as it was pitch dark and at times a very rough crossing.
The boat driver a couple of times had to slow the boat down getting through
what seemed like 4 plus seas. Finally, after 27 hours with virtually no
sleep I got to bed at 3 AM. I have been to places much more remote like
Layang Layang, Sipadan and Raja Ampat but I found this trip to be the most
sleep deprived trip I have taken. Perhaps it was the routing with

I stayed at the Atlantis in Puerto Glaria. The resort, staff, and dive
operation are excellent. The rooms were nice but very small (my feet had
about a 3 overhang in the bed). Just enough room unload your dive bag! All
the meals were excellent. I had a room over the dive shop and at around
6:30 AM had a faint alarm of the occasional clanking of the Scuba tanks
also a view of the bay. The one thing in Puerto Galera is being pestered by
the vendors selling everything from necklaces, fake Rolexs and Viagra.
They do not take no for an answer.LOL! Puerto Galera reminded me a bit of
a party town like Mazatlan at spring break, with floating bars in the bay,
bars lining the walkways etc etc.

The diving: I had a great dive guide Rusty and there were only two or three
of us diving with him at any given time. I found the diving to be good not
great, good biodiversity and healthy corals. Water was a cool 76 to 78
degrees. I brought a 1mm Henderson fullsuit, layered with my 2mm shorty, a
2mm vest and a beanie. I have not dove in cool waters like this in a while
so it took a bit getting used to, I was chilled a few times. The diving
here reminded me a lot of Bali with wall and sandy bottom dives. However, I
would rate this a couple of notches below Bali. 

This has to be the Feather Star (Crinoids) capitol of the world almost
every color you can imagine and they do get on your wetsuit. Many Mantis
shrimp, Lionfish, Banded shrimp, Nudis (saw a really cool one I have not
seen before call a Reticulidia helgardo), Clown fish etc. Three dive sites
I thought were outstanding were the Giant Clam, kinda a critter hunt like
Lembeh straits, lots of thorny seahorses, The Canyons, lots of fish action.
The best one Verde Island about an hour away. The dropoff was the best
site, the best Vis of the trip around 60 to 100, lots of marine life,
nudis, schooling Trevallies etc. Best biodiversity I had seen on the trip.
Unfortunately, we had a very poorly planned entry and exit. There were 4'
to 6' swells with chop (thank god I took my seasick meds), 11 divers and 2
DM's. They had us all jump at the same time...being they limit the dives to
50 minutes we all came up at the same time. Remembering what the water was
like when I entered I signaled the DM I wanted to stay about 18' under
while the other people exited the water as I had 750 psi. No, I had to
surface! I surfaced with my buddy and now we were in 7' to 9' swells and
waves crashing over our heads....We tried to swim towards the boat looked
for my dive buddy and he was drifting away and away from the boat that was
about 75 yards away. I hollered at the DM to grab him and he did. It was
impossible to swim towards the boat so the three of us locked arms for
about 15 minutes until the boat loaded and came and got us. In addition,
even when they got us it was hell getting back on the boat as only one
person at a time can exit the water to get on the boat. Much of this could
of been of been prevented by letting the first group go 10-15 minutes prior
to our group going. The next day another boat went to Verde and the spaced
the groups by 15 minutes.

Would I go again to PG?...I doubt it, if I do perhaps another time of the
year when the water is warmer and visibility better, the diving was good
but not great. I am assured there are many other places that maybe better
in the Philippines like Malapascua that I may go to next year or I would
rather spend my time diving in Indonesia.
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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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