How to get here?
Puerto Galera lies approximately 100 miles due south of Manila. The place is situated on the north tip of Mindoro island across the Verdi island passage from Luzon (the main island where Manila is situated.) Travel time to Puerto Galera is around five hours by bus and ferry. Upon arrival to Puerto Galera you travel to the resort via local motorized outrigger boat (banca).
Do I need a visa?
Visitors from most Western Countries including Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand are granted a 21-day stay on arrival. If you intend to stay for more than 21 days sometimes its better to get a 59-day visa before you arrive in your home country. Other nationals are required to produce a tourist visa and should contact your local Philippine.You can extend your visa in Sabang every Monday and Tuesday at Hemmingways from 1700 to 2100.
Where can I change money?
If the resort has enough spare cash you are welcome to change here. Otherwise there are several places to change money in Sabang. If you are using Travelers Checks you will need your passport and the original receipt for them. It is also possible to get a cash advance on your credit card for a fee. Note that the nearest ATM machine in Puerto Galera only accepts Visa credit cards, BancNet and MegaLink otherwise the next nearest is in Batangas City or Calapan City.
Where can I stay?
Accommodation can be found on the three major beaches, either with plenty of nightlife and restaurants in Sabang or on a quiet beach such as Small and Big Lalaguna where we are located. Big Lalaguna is the best swimming beach and is also very quiet. Both beaches are 10 minutes walk from us. For divers the most convenient location to stay is Big Lalaguna beach, as it is where our Dive Center is located.
What about the weather?
On the whole excellent weather all year round with a minimal risk of typhoons during the summer months. Hottest time of year is May to July, the ?coolest’ time is December to February. “High season” is traditionally late December before Christmas to early May after Easter, although the area is busy at weekends throughout the year and during any Asian Holiday. Some resorts raise prices at peak times. For accommodation at Christmas, Chinese New Year and Easter, book well in advance. For an up to date weather report just drop us a line.
What about the food?
There is a very large variety of different restaurants serving International and local food available in Puerto Galera apart from Lalaguna Beach Club’s excellent and well know restaurant. You can choose between local Filipino restaurants and every kind of Western/European cuisine.
What about tipping?
Tipping in the Philippines is entirely a matter of choice if you have enjoyed the service you receive. You may wish to tip PHP20 to PHP100 (US$0.46 to $2.30) per service or 5 to 10% of your bill, although this is at your discretion.
Is there any other activities besides diving?
Puerto Galera is a laid back uncrowded destination but you can still find plenty to do. There are excellent beaches, mountains, waterfalls, hiking, golf, kayaking, motor bike rental, beach buggies, a shooting range, sailing, shopping, a local Hash House Harriers club and an exciting nightlife. You won’t run out of things to do, we promise. Check out our activities page for more information!
When is the best time to dive?
Diving is possible all year round 365 days per year. Due to the topography there is always somewhere to dive no matter what the weather. The best diving season is from April to June with warmer air and sea temperatures and better visibility.. The weather is at it’s calmest during the months of February to April.
Diving during the period of June to October is also a satisfying experience with the reduced numbers of divers, snorkelers and sightseers. Although you can expect a little rain and slightly choppy waters with an occasional typhoon, the diving is made more exciting by the unusual large marine animal sightings that can occur and the chance to view the reef inhabitants without the tourist rush. Also special packages can be found during this period, allowing you to stay longer and sample more dive sites.
What is the water temperature?
You can expect water temperatures between 22~30 C / 72~86 F. Thermoclines can be encountered on some dives due to up welling from the deep Verde Island Passage. However, this usually brings with it excellent diving conditions of better visibility and marine life.
How deep are the dive sites?
Sites are generally deeper and steeper along the rocky shoreline and dives of all depths are available from 5 meters up to 30 meters plus. Numerous Tech Diving sites of 40-meters plus are also available for training or those suitably qualified.
In fact the late John Bennet broke the world record in the nearby Verde Island Passage to 308-meters!
How many dives I can do in one day?
Typically you will go out only 5 to 15 minutes away on a single tank dive returning to the dive center and resort after your dive. It is quite possible to do up to 4 dives in a day including a night dive in this manner. Typical scheduled times are 9:00am, 11:00am, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm and 6:00pm for the night dive.
Day trips are also arranged to sites such as Verde Island drop off or the Hot Springs nearby Chicken Feather Island. These trips are typically 2 or 3 tank dives, often with a BBQ lunch on the beach included. A liveaboard trip opens up more diving possibilities and allows you to relax between your dives, so that you can dive 3-4 times in one day including a night dive.