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Dive Review of Scandi Divers in
Philippines/Puerto Galera, Mindoro

Scandi Divers: "Quality Diving On A Budget", Feb, 2018,

by Jeanne Sleeper, CA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 6 Helpful votes). Report 10132 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Our group of 3 flew LAX to Manila on EVA AIR, which was a great choice. Scandi arranged a private Van service to meet us at airport and make the 2 hour run to Batangas pier. Nice driver, high quality van, easy drive, even stopped at McDonalds to compare to US. Scandi arranged a local ferry outrigger boat to pick us up and transport across the bay and around the point and over to Scandi's at Big La Laguna Beach. Very fair price for that ground and ferry service. All of that was easy even with 9 pieces of luggage.
The property is three buildings along the beach. Each building is a little different. None are fancy, but all are in good repair. Each room has AC and TV and I think private baths. The rooms range from small and simple (and very inexpensive) to penthouse rooms that are nicer, bigger and with private beach front patios, and more expensive, but still value priced compared to US or Caribbean. We were not there to sit in our hotel room - we wanted to dive as much as possible. We ate all our meals at Scandi restaurants and were not tempted to walk elsewhere because the menu was big, diverse, good food, nice service and economical. I loved trying traditional Filipino food. It's the only dive operation I have ever been able to have my pancakes with mangos delivered to the dive shop bistro tables. That was fun!
Diving is from small outrigger boats, plenty stable, entry with a backward roll. Our group of 3 had their own boat all week. The dive team sets up and moves your gear around, so you just walk on board. You can take off tanks in the water and they happily pull them out of the water. The ladders are sturdy, big and wooden and easy to climb up. The Divemasters know the area and pick the spots based on the dive group's skill level, currents and knowing want you want to see. Nitrox is extra, but the dives are still inexpensive by US or Caribbean standards. One of our divers was a CCR diver and that was not a problem. Be sure you go to Verde Island on the special trip if you are experienced diver. It's an all day trip with 3 dives and outstanding beach picnic under shade gazebos. It is swept by tides and currents and lush tropical reef that is loaded with life. We encountered some strong currents that are somewhat unpredictable in advance, so not a good choice for beginners.
There is a new, very nice camera room in the dive center, Bring your own 220-110 converters and I suggest a power strip with a fuse. The boats do not have the usual shelf for cameras, but the boat crew takes good care and sets cameras carefully in a good spot. Most dives are 5 -15 minutes away.
Great macro photography all around the resort and so many nudibranchs, slugs and flat worms - I probably have 40 kinds of nudibranchs in on my photo library and added 15 more. Reef and muck diving, few vertical walls.
One afternoon I spent hours snorkeling around the point to the left of the resort and saw dozens of species, a wide variety of corals and sponges and they were in pristine condition. I could not believe the diversity and health of these less than 20 deep reefs,
In summary - Scandi is a small boutique hotel with a very nice dive operation. It is is part of the community and locals live next to and behind the property. Families and kids play on the beach on Sunday afternoon. The staff is friendly, polite, English speaking and eager to make your trip perfect. I had some camera housing problems and they did everything possible to help me - way above and beyond service.
It is not the fanciest resort you could go to - not a place you spend a day enjoying your room instead of doing something. But what is there is in good condition - and the staff is exceptional. I enjoyed feeling the warmth of the Filipino people and being a part of their community, rather than a foreign tourist. I can take two weeks at Scandi for what I might spend other places for one week. That extra time in the water taking pictures and enjoying a vibrant marine ecology is what matters to me.
Websites Scandi Divers   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving worldwide, for over 40 years
Closest Airport MNL- Manila Ninoy Aquino International Getting There Fly to Manila, Met at Airport by quality Van Service, 2 hr drive to Batangas Pier, 45 min local ferry ride charter for you/group to resort. All timed to your schedule.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 76-78°F / 24-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 25-50 Ft/ 8-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Within reasonable dive profiles for depth and time, the divermasters tailored the dives to requests. 60ft max for 70 minutes were common.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments The new dive center camera room had just opened on our trip. They are on a learning curve of how to work with serious photographers. The staff is very respectful of cameras everywhere, especially on the boats, but they need to better adapt their boats to big camera rig rinse and storage. We gave them a list of improvements and in less than a month many had been put in place. Work in progress with a desire to learn what is needed.
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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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