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Dive Review of El Galleon/Asia Divers in
Philippines/Puerto Galera, Anilao & Donsol

El Galleon/Asia Divers, Apr, 2009,

by David Richardson, Wa., USA (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports). Report 4796.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Mexico, Central America, Caribbean, Bahamas, N Carolina, California, Canada, Hawaii, Thailand, Fiji, Indonesia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 40 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions I was lucky and there were few divers and sometimes I was alone with the DM so I dove per my conservative Sunto computer as long as we could safely.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments They did the best they could with camera folks. You are diving generally on outrigger canoes so there are no camera rinse bins but the dive sites are so close there is no need for them. There are separate wash bins for cameras after the dives so they respect UWP. Great place to bring your camera.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I stayed at El Galleon while in Puerto Galera. One CANNOT do wrong staying here. It is only 3 minutes walk from the fun stuff in Sabang but is a world unto itself in privacy. The restaurant is good, the accomodations and facilities excellent but the staff and people make this place special. Even though I was movin on to better diving it was hard to leave El Galleon. Check out their web site and sign up for their weekly e-mail newsletter and you will be hooked.

I did the requisite research and knew what to expect in the Philippines but fell in love with it anyway. On your first visit to the Philippines PG is a good stop as it is close to Manila. The dive Sites of Canyons (major current) and Giant Claims (muck diving) are world class.

You will want to come back to experience all the wonderful places to dive. Two places you need to seriously research are Anilao which is only about 3 hours from PG as the diving is much better (the muck diving is getting better and better as they discover each new site--the one I dove 7 times was not even listed on any web site or book being so newly discovered) and Donsol which requires a plane ride from Manila but is a guaranteed whale shark encounter at the right time of the year. If you have never been diving in the Philippines go now as even the gov't is starting to realize the bargain and is pressing the shops to increase prices to help preserve the reefs.
The only place that is high risk for tourists is the outer, remote parts of the country and I found the country safe and very friendly. Almost everyone speaks Englsh in some fashion. Remember this is the northern apex of the coral triangle of biodiversity--expect to possibly see ghost pipes, pygmy seahorses, flying gunards, frogfish, ribbon eels, banded coral snakes, waspfish, mimic octopi, etc.
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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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