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Dive Review of Scandi Dive Resort in
Philippines/Puerto Galera, Big La Laguna

Scandi Dive Resort: "WOW and WOW again", Jun, 2019,

by Barbara Wise, AZ, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 10969.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
In an area that is rapidly become the choice for Asian divers , Scandi Divers stands out as a haven from the crowds for us Westerners. The management arranged all transportation from Manila to the resort and return, which went easy and without a hitch,for the three of us. We are all instructor level divers with in excess of 800 dives each. Once we arrived we were greeted by the owner, an American, as well as the Management staff and our dive guide Larry, and made to feel welcome with Lime drinks while we filled out the required forms. Once settled into our rooms the offer of a checkout dive seemed appealing and we took advantage. Our guide, for the duration of our stay, Larry, was our dive guide extraordinaire! After being on/in the water for 16 years he was intimately familiar with all the creatures and where to find them. There were so many critters and fish on his slate with both Latin and common names for us, that it was usually filled up on both sides with multiple names after each dive! We had given him our checklist of critters we wanted to find. He found them and more. The diving itself was some of the finest I have experienced with visibility for 100 + feet on most dives, water temps around 88F,so we dove the entire trip in rash guards and/or skins. Sometimes there is current but not unmanageable (no need for a reef hook), and a variety of fish and critters unmatched. The muck diving, in my opinion is better that that of Anilao and the reefs are pristine, healthy and teeming with life of all kinds. A trip out to Verde Island is a must but only for more advanced divers as the currents can be rough. It’s worth the extra effort though just so see the absolute abundance of sea life there. We also enjoyed the damp, cool towel given to us after every dive to wipe our face (a nice touch!).
Scandi is a teaching resort as well and has a pool for confined water training as well as instructors on staff. We were told that almost all of the staff has been trained in Open water (although not all enjoy diving and do other jobs at the resort) Gear is maintained, rinsed after each dive and cared for lovingly by the dive deck staff who set up the gear exactly the way you want after one showing. ( Our guy, Arman was always an arm’s length away to help us don or doff gear and rinse it in “downy” when it was getting a bit dicey). Nitrox is available, but not mixed on site, we had mixes that ranged from 31.8 to 34 and you are always required to confirm your own gas mix and record it. The dive deck is big enough to allow for both group and individuals prep time before dives. The camera room is neat and is kept clean and dry, with room for up to 6 photographers , plenty of drying guns and outlets. We were told that expansion of the camera room is on the list of improvements expected in the near future. They have several dive boats , some the traditional Philippine wooden hulls with bamboo outriggers and a powerboat as well, the three of us had our own boat which made for a relaxed day of diving especially when there were larger groups also going out.
The resort itself is understated, has more of a local feel, less ‘high end’, more ‘fun’. Throughout the property, in every room are movie posters dating back to the 50’s all featuring the ocean in some way. The rooms are clean and showers good, beds are “Chinese” style so they are a bit harder than most Americans like but comfy, and great AC in the rooms. Dining areas are outdoors, three separate areas to eat and drink in so groups can have their own spot, local beers and rums as well as the usual suspects, the food covers almost everyone’s tastes from local Adobo to Chinese and Western, and was generous and tasty. They even have Starbucks coffee as an option (The owner is from Seattle…) Our quest to have chocolate ice cream every night was achieved as well! The selection for vegetarian is lean but they have told us that they have improvements coming in that area and at the very least you can almost order anything as a veggie option. Each and every staff member was informative, helpful and answered all our questions/requests. Especially Kris and Luke, the guys “in charge”. They touched base with us everyday to make sure things were going smoothly, kept the resort in top form and seem to have a close relationship with both the owner David, and the staff, which makes for a happy friendly place to be for certain!
If you are looking for an amazing place to dive Go to the Philippines… if you don’t want the glitz, but instead want comfy, friendly and caring then skip the “big guys” and stay at Scandi Divers you won’t regret it.
Websites Scandi Dive Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving All over the world
Closest Airport Manila Getting There Travel to Manila then a two hour transfer to the Batangas port to catch either a ferry to Puerto Galera or a private transfer to the resort of choice

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 84-88°F / 29-31°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions General safety issues, and an insistence of checking Nitox by the diver each dive. Gloves allowed,
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments I gotta say , having been to the other more well know areas for muck diving and photograph I think this spot is superior!
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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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