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

Asia Divers/El Galleon: "Puerta Galera and El Galleon", May, 2018,

by Patricia A. Sinclair, LA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 31 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 10309 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments El Galleon sent their large panga shuttle/ferry for me to Anilao Photo Academy around 10 AM on May 27th. It was a 2 hour ride by shuttle to Perta Galera. I arrived at El Galleon around noon on the 27th and was greeted by front desk and informed my room was not yet ready. So, I sat down in the dining area and ordered lunch. Once the room was ready, I unpacked my dive gear and went to the dive shop and put it into the assigned “locker”.
Asia Divers is the dive shop on site at El Galleon. I then signed in at the dive shop (presented my c-cards and made sure I was set up for Nitrox and so on.) Dive schedule was 8:00, 10:00, 1:30 and 4:00 with night dives at 6:00. Dives are limited to 60 minutes maximum. I confirmed I was on the unlimited diving package.
Diving is from a panga, which are quite comfortable, all and all. I think they are quite stable as well, except in very rough water. My first dive was on the 28th at 1:30 – what a wild ride it was! Current was banging and it went in one direction then rapidly changed directions, then it pulled you down (down draft) and then forced you up. It was insane! I hate current, did I mention that? Since I had already signed up, I did the 4 pm dive as well. Current was still raging. They told me it was due to the upcoming full moon, and it would be better after that. That current on both those dives was so wild that not many images were taken, and moreover, this is more of a wide angle place (and I love macro). Oh well, I was determined to try and make the best of it, and teach myself wide angle – did not really get many shots that are worth talking about.
Be aware, they do not provide water on the boats, as I found out on the first dive, you have to provide your own water and snack (if you want one.) Asia Divers claims be the “Cadillac of diving operations” – but what that really means is they handle your gear for you, drinks, etc - you are on your own. The pick-up from most dives was “unmoored” meaning they dropped you off, the boat leaves and you come up and the boat comes to you. You have to stay with the DM unless you have your own signaling device (inflatable marker buoy). The DMs were all very nice and knew what they were doing. Maria, Jamie, Brad and Allison were all fun to dive with.
Since I was on the unlimited diving plan, I thought that included night dives, and since they did not stay during the sign in period that they weren’t, I did not know that they were an extra cost (until I checked out, that is). So that first day I went on a night dive and promptly remembered why I hate night dives. There is always one diver who kicks you, pushes you into the sand/reef. At the end of that dive, I had a headache to beat the band from where I had been repeatedly kicked by a UK diver named Stu. I hope NEVER to run into him again.
A moment here to explain that the rooms are rather small but do contain a in-room safe, and you had better put all the items you hold dear (passports, money, credit cards, cell phone, laptops and so on into it). Wifi is available but it is so slow that you cannot post those Facebook photos! But you can post that you have come back from a dive safely and let your family know you are still alive.
I did 3 dives a day for two days, after which my right ear was giving me fits and I wasn’t able to clear it. I took Wednesday off to get the ear taken care of) and then dived again on Thursday and Friday for 2 and 3 dives respectively. I ended up doing 11 dives here, and spent just around 11 hours in the water. The currents were noticeable on all the dives, but were less raging on those last two days of diving.
Note the food at the in-house restaurant (which is part of the package) was OK. Portions were really too large for one person and I ended up eating only appetizers like the pumpkin-ginger soup which was good. I tried the Indian buffet on the Friday before I checked out – what a disaster, if you are looking for Indian food that tastes good – stay away from this buffet! The breakfast is served buffet style with eggs made to order. However, you make your own toast. Lunch is the usual - burgers or chicken sandwiches, etc. Nothing you would write home about. The server I had at the restaurant, Alma was the sweetest young lady you could wish to meet.
I will not be returning to either Puerta Galera or El Galleon. The people are nice, but…the current is not to my taste and with that macro is almost impossible.
Websites Asia Divers   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Jamaica, Bimini-Bahamas, Grand Bahamas Island, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Roatan, St Eustatius, Florida, Florida Keys, Dumaguette-Philippines, Cebu-Philippines, Bonaire, Curacao
Closest Airport Manila Getting There 36 hours of flights from New Orleans, then a drive to Anilao and ferry to Puerto Galera (add another 4 hours.)

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas currents
Water Temp 82-86°F / 28-30°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-75 Ft/ 15-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 60 minutes per dive at the most
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments no camera room available
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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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