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Dive Review of Atlantis Dive Resorts in
Philippines/Puerto Galera

Atlantis Dive Resorts: "Philippine's Diving Bargain", Jul, 2015,

by Pierre Hurter, CA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports with 6 Helpful votes). Report 8755 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The flight to the Philippines, via Philippine Airlines is a fairly painless experience. The plane is always crowded, but itís a non-stop 13-hour, from SFO on new Boing 777ís. Manila is always a zoo and on this light we shared the single baggage carousel with two other flights and in short order a third. It took an hour and a half before our black dive backs made their way down the chute.

After collecting our groupís mound of luggage, we were here on a trip arranged by Any Water Sports; we headed outside to hook up with a representative from Atlantis Beach Resorts in Puerto Galera. It was shortly before sunup and the humidity already instantly pasted my shirt to me. We piled into four vans, cranked up the air-conditioning and headed south to Batangas. Itís about a 2-hour ride through the metropolis of Manila, and then along a modern toll road past vast green patches of farmlands. Along the way we took our customary pit stop at a toll toad turnout, Starbucks, Cinnabon, a 7-Eleven clone and of course a McDonalds. Afterwards it was through the crowded streets of Batangas and onto the ferry dock located past the oil refineries.

This was our fifth trip to Puerto Galero, one of the great things about having made a trip a few times is that you have a sense of how things will work out, no stress, no worries, just grab a bottle of cold water and wedge yourself into a corner and take a nap.

From Batangas we took the ferry, a Banca, the local boat design, to Sabang Beach near Puerta Galera. The Bancas are interesting, double outriggers, bamboo lashed together with heavy monofilament line, hulls made of plywood and fiberglass. These boats are ubiquitous in the islands, from small one-person designs powered by what look to be Briggs & Stratton lawnmower engines to the ferry we were riding, powered by an inline 4-cylynder Isuzu diesel engine, probably once at home in a Japanese truck. It always gives you pause when the skipper of the boat you are on crosses himself before casting off. The ride took about 45 minutes and was smooth as glass.

At the resort we were greeted with a cold (non-alcoholic) drink made from Calamansi a small local lime, a neck and shoulder massage and the usual stack of pre-dive waivers, followed by lunch. Afterwards those of us not in need of a nap headed off to do a couple of checkout dives to figure out our weighting and making sure everything we needed was available and in working order.

So began a grueling 10 days of eating, diving and massages. Not sure why, but there are lots of places to get a massage here, shiatsu, Swedish, hot rock. We did several night dives; typically we would skip the fourth dive of the day, have a message, shiatsu being my favorite and then spend an hour chasing critters in the dark.

On the topic of food, this place really is a great place to eat. Mornings would start with a plate of fresh fruit and a glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice followed up by choices that ranged from congee or jook to ďhealthyĒ options like stone cut oatmeal, Longaniza to eggs benedict or Bangus (milk fish marinated in vinegar and garlic). Poached eggs, Longaniza, French toast and a cup of strong coffee where my favorites.

Lunch typically had a fresh fish option, pasta and a vegetarian option. On the day we came back from Chicken Feather, a hot spring in the middle of the Verdi Passage, almost everyone went for the most exotic offering of our stay, a hamburger, for some reason it hit the spot.

Dinner ranged from fresh fish to BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Pasta with Prawns, marinated pork chops, chicken adobo, and chicken curry. The deserts were one of the highlights of the meal.

When not diving, eating or getting massages we would hangout at the 50 Bar, right on the beach where we had our dive briefings and analyzed our tanks, enjoying a San Miguel and the spectacular sunsets. It was fun to watch the local kids play on the anchored boats, hand-line for fish, making lots of noise and in general being kids. The beach was the evening promenade for locals and tourists alike.

This a great place to dive, especially if you like muck diving, something I didnít really appreciate until I slowed down and started looking for the small and highly camouflaged critters hiding in plain view. When youíre dive buddy is schlepping a camera you really donít have much choice but to slow down and smell the roses, or spot the nudibranchs as the case may be.

If youíre looking for a great dive site, great food an incredibly attentive staff and Dive Masters, and easy access from the Bay Area, than this is a place to keep in mind.
Websites Atlantis Dive Resorts   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Alaska, Maui, Cozumel, La Paz, Tulum, Socorro , Honduras, Philippine, Galapagos, Truck (Chuuck), Solomon Islands,
Belize, Fij, Channel Islands, Indonesia (Komodo) and
Monterey
Closest Airport Manila Getting There SFO to Manilla a non-stop and then a van ride to Batangas where you catch the ferry which takes you to to Sabang Beach

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 80-100 Ft/ 24-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Dives were limited to 60 minutes, but not rigidly enforced Depth was generally limited by the topography.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Spacious camera room complete with compressed air to blowoff cameras and computers to download without having to head up to your room
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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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