Untitled - Badladz Beach Resort

2 downloads 203 Views 7MB Size Report
Chapter 6: Finding the Best Accommodation for Diving . .... to be the world's “center of the center of marine shore fi
Table of Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 1: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Puerto Galera Diving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 2: When to Dive in Puerto Galera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 3: An Introduction to the Puerto Galera Dive Sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 4: Puerto Galera Sea Life. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 5: What Dive Gear Should I Bring to Puerto Galera? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 6: 4 Reasons to Earn your PADI Certification in Puerto Galera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 6: Finding the Best Accommodation for Diving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Introduction So you’re planning a dive vacation to Puerto Galera in the Philippines. Congratulations! You’ve made a great decision. Puerto Galera has some of the most diverse coral reef diving in the world. Year round, Puerto Galera has great weather, ideal visibility, current, and water temperature. Whether you prefer checking out sea life, exploring shipwrecks, cave diving, or underwater photography, you’ll find it in Puerto Galera.

Who We Are My name is Sean Cooney, and I own and operate BADLADZ ADVENTURE RESORTS here in Puerto Galera. Originally from Canada, I came to the Philippines on a 2 week vacation in 1999 and never went home!. We hear that story a lot around here. When you look around at the gorgeous beaches, the tropical weather, the fantastic diving, and the signature laid-back attitude of Filipinos, it’s not hard to see why people get attached. We know that Puerto Galera is nothing short of a diamond in the rough, especially for divers. I’ve been diving here since ‘99, so I can tell you all about the amazing shipwrecks, rare and beautiful sea life, top dive spots, and more. But when we went to find an all encompassing resource to share with our divers at the resort we couldn’t find anything. That’s when we decided to create our own guide for diving in Puerto Galera. In this book, you’ll learn what to do and what NOT TO DO to enjoy your Dive Experience   Mistakes to avoid on your trip  What to bring with you on your dive trip to Puerto Galera (and what you can leave at home)  The best time of year to travel to the Philippines to dive  Everything you need to know about the amazing Puerto Galera dive sites We are here to provide the first-ever comprehensive resource that divers can use to plan their PUERTO GALERA DIVE ADVENTURE. Just like all other adventures in life when you have all the information that you need, you can make an informed decision. If you have any questions as you read this guide, feel free to email me and ask away. You can find me at [email protected]. That’s it! Happy reading and happy diving :)

Chapter 1: 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Puerto Galera Before we get into the nitty gritty of what you’ll need to know to go diving in Puerto Galera, we thought we’d start with a fun list of things that you probably didn't know about scuba diving in here. Things work a little differently around here, and we love it!

1 A scuba diving world record was set in Puerto Galera in 2003 In 2003, a British man named John Bennett broke a scuba diving world record by diving to a depth of 305 meters, or 1000 feet, right here in the Verde Island channel. To do it, he trained for many months and created his own custom equipment, including a triple pack of OMS low-pressure 20-liter tanks. Bennett chose Puerto Galera because of its warm surface water, relatively calm conditions, and easy access to very deep water. Bennett survived the world record-setting dive, but sadly he later died during a commercial diving job off the coast of Korea in 2004.

2. Visit the Spanish anchor in the Canyons dive site. When visiting the Canyons dive site, you may be lucky enough to find your way to the old anchor there. Allegedly, the anchor comes from an old Spanish galleon from hundreds of years ago during the Spanish rule of the Philippines. We can’t be sure, but we think the captain dropped the anchor and was unable to recover it. These days, it has been encapsulated by the coral, never to be retrieved.

3.Ming Dynasty pottery, and other ancient wrecks In 1983 an Australian diver, Brian Homan, discovered a 15 th Century “Balanghai” a Malay-edge sailing vessel containing hundreds of pieces of blue & white Ming Dynasty pottery in the Manila Channel approach to the harbor. This propelled Puerto Galera into prominence within the dive community and, after the National Museum-directed salvaging operations, several dive resorts were opened along the coast adjacent to the town. Guarding the coasts of Puerto Galera was a Spanish warship, named "Cañonero Mariveles". However, on November 18, 1879, the ill-fated battleship was hit by a powerful storm, which caused it to sink outside the West Coast of Muelle. As a tribute to the lost ship and its crew, a wooden cross was erected right at the center of Muelle with the following inscription: "Ultima tierra que pesaron los tripolantes del Cañonero Mariveles el 18 de Noviembre de 1879, Memoria de sus campañero". As one of the greatest relics of the

past century, this cross was renovated in 1938 by a Spanish national named Luis Gomez y Sotto.

Several artifacts discovered in the 1980’s from a Spanish ship wreck that was discovered in the harbor of Puerto Galera were also excavated. Many of the artifacts recovered were put together and can be seen today in the Excavation Museum.

4. Verde Island and Sunken Galleons: In a 2005 study (Carpenter and Springer) the Verde Island Passage near Puerto Galera has been discovered to be the world’s “center of the center of marine shore fish biodiversity,” hosting the greatest number of shore fish species. A coral survey recorded 319 species and 74 genera of hard corals. At least half the Philippines’ fish species and many globally threatened species can be found here. Many studies in the Verde Passage continue to yield discoveries of species that are new to science. This further underscores the global biological importance of this area. Verde Island Passage encompasses more than 17,000 hectares of critical habitats, including at least 3,000 hectares of no-take zones, more than 14,000 hectares of fishery reserves and more than 300 hectares of mangrove forest conservation areas. These sites were chosen as a result of biological and social research and represent the areas that have the most potential for delivering conservation benefits. Enhanced ecotourism income and other benefits are proving the value of marine biodiversity conservation. Verde Island Diving is really unique and exciting. There are not many places in the world where you can enjoy fantastic scuba diving and above water during the surface interval can wonder the beach and discover pieces of porcelain from a Spanish Galleon shipwrecked centuries before. Usually surface intervals a pretty uninspiring, perhaps a bit of snorkeling or catching a few of the suns rays,

but on Verde Island you will get to do something that not many people in the world have ever done or will probably never do. A Spanish galleon, the Nuestra Senora dela Vida, which sank in 1620, was discovered in the late seventies just off Verde Island on the southern side. It was heavily salvaged in the 70’s and 80’s and nothing remains of the wreck except for a few pieces of porcelain. The larger plates and terracotta jars are now long gone but you can still go “treasure hunting” for these little pieces of porcelain on the beach or near the wreck. It’s a nice little souvenir to go home with.

A History: These treasures were all salvaged from the 18th Century Manila Galleon the 'Nuestra Senora de la Vida' on it's voyage bound for Central America. History has documented the sinking of the 'Nuestra Senora de la Vida,' in 1620 as the result of a grave miscalculation by the ship's pilot. The angry passengers, among whom were probably owners of the valuable cargo, hanged the hapless pilot as the ship was sinking.

Where is Verde Island Philippines? Verde Island is only a 45 minute boat trip from Puerto Galera and a FANTASTIC day trip with warm water, 30m plus on average visibility and good fish and coral life. It all adds up to a world class destination! The currents around the island are quite strong so the world class diving is really for more experienced


Verde Island Diving There are 3 standout dives on Verde Island Philippines.

The Pinnacle A huge underwater reef that comes to the surface on the eastern side of Verde Island, the pinnacle is like a column that starts in about 60m of water and rises, narrowing as it gets to the surface. You have to be aware, the currents are ferocious with some down current. The idea is to get as close to the pinnacle as possible and then descend to your agreed depth. The dive will then zig zag up the pinnacle exploring the fantastic corals and marine life that inhabit the pinnacle. If you look out onto the blue you can be sometimes see schools of pelagics which is always a bonus. With the current running fast you cannot circumnavigate the pinnacle as you will just get washed away with the current. This is a world class dive with brilliant visibility, if you diving in Puerto Galera make sure you request a day trip to Verde Island.

The Washing Machine Now the first thing you must know about the Washing Machine is that there are two ways of diving the location. The first is in slack water and the other is during the ebb tide where the current turns the location into the Washing Machine. The site is a number of small canyons and swim throughs which do not get much deeper than 15m, the canyons are all interlocking. The current runs through these passages and canyons with the water rushing in all directions and then, due to the directions of the passages, the current runs into itself creating a washing machine effect. One second you are being pulled one direction the next the other, quite exhilarating and not for the inexperienced who would not enjoy this dive at all. Make sure you wear a full wetsuit as you may get the odd scrape. Diving during slack water, you can enjoy the diversity of the coral life and fish. There are some great sea whips and fans that thrive in the currents.

The Wall The best known site at the island is The Wall which is a sheer drop of over 70m into the depths. The wall is covered in beautiful corals and gorgonian fans and the colours are superb. Marine life is prolific and there are big groups of batfish, emperors, and surgeons everywhere. The strong waters may well pull in larger pelagics such as tuna, white tip and black tip sharks. Manta and Eagle Rays are sometimes seen cruising past in the deeper blue.

Photography The profusion of marine life, corals and the topography of the island can be very rewarding for photography. There are some great beaches, coves, and a museum which contains artifacts collected from Spanish and Chinese shipwrecks. The reefs around Verde Island have a reputation for their great bio-diversity, and the dive sites are excellent for macro photographers.

5. MARCOS and the Playground of the Gods ! As an interesting side note: The Grand Scheme of Ferdinand Marcos, Philippine President/Dictator was to create a “Playground of the Gods” in this beautiful bay. Close to Manila and unspoiled, it would be the perfect vacation spot for Manilas elite. Whether by design or not Leandro Locsin, a favorite architect of

Imelda Marcos, bought up much of the land surrounding this beautiful bay, other nearly beaches and roughly a third of White Beach shoreline. Construction began in Muelle on a Grand Casino with Ballrooms, Pool, Rooms and Villas. The Puerto Galera Yacht Cub was built on donated land and construction of 75 Condominiums began above it. However, once Marcos was deposed and fled the country these projects abruptly halted. Luckily his friends, the Locsins’, turned the land ownership into a foundation to preserve this beautiful bay and that is the reason for it’s pristine nature to this day.

6 – Jap wreck Vintage rifles and othe equipment were salvaged when it was first discovered although now only an engine block and drive shaft remain of this wooden Japanese combat patrol boat sunk by aircraft during WWII. The engine however has become a comfy home for a fearsome Moray eel.

Chapter 2: When to Dive in Puerto Galera The first thing to know about Puerto Galera is that IT’S ALWAYS DIVING SEASON HERE  High season, meaning lots of tourists, spans from November to May, but high season actually doesn’t yield the best diving here. Instead, the reason it’s high season is because those are the times when it’s too F* %#ing cold in other countries for our international guests. There’s Christmas and New Years, of course, kicking off our busiest season, followed by Valentine’s Day due to Puerto Galera's popularity as a weekend getaway for couples. Chinese New Year brings in thousands of extra visitors, especially exPats from the Chinese Territioies escaping the cold for a well deserved break. Finally, March and April bring Easter Holy Week, which is more than a holiday in the Philippines: it’s a phenomenon. During Holy Week, the beaches are packed with thousands of tourists and it will probably be difficult to find accommodation on a walk-in basis. WARNING - Planning a trip for any of these times usually requires making reservations and arrangements well in advance! Still, Puerto Galera is never too crowded to enjoy yourself. Even in high season, crowds are never really a problem here. That’s why so many divers choose it as their diving destination. During “low season,” from April to October, you often have even better diving conditions than during high season. This is the case for a few reasons. The Philippine Summer, our warmest months, are in April & May so with warmer weather comes warmer water, which is much more comfortable for diving. Personally, I like to dive in a Speedo so anything below 25 Degrees Celcius is a bit chilly for me! The sea is at it’s calmest and visibility at it’s best. The weather is also just as pleasant during the off season here in Puerto Galera. It’s almost always sunny skies. July & August are considered Rainy season BUT this is not like other Monsoon countries that experience constant rain, here it only rains occasionally. Our guests during high season still thoroughly enjoy their time here, but if you’re looking for a vacation with warm tropical waters, you’re better off coming here after the month of May. Finally, diving in the off season means fewer crowds, less people in your dive boat, and also better access to instructors and divemasters. This is very important if you are interested in Dive Training. In addition, you’ll enjoy cheaper and more accessible accommodations.

Maybe you can see now why we say that in Puerto Galera, there’s never an off-season. Come any time of the year for great diving and temperate weather.

Chapter 3: An Introduction to the Puerto Galera Dive Sites There are more than 40 dive sites within minutes of Puerto Galera, it can be a little overwhelming at first. That’s why we’ve put together the following information on our divers’ favorite dive sites. You’ll notice in the list a wide variety of things to see, depths, and levels of difficulty. Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been diving for 20 years, there are dive sites here to fit exactly what you’re looking for.

Giant Clams (6m-16m/ 20’-52’) At an average depth of 9 to 10 meters the Giant Clams is a fantastic site for beginners. Plus, it's only 5 minutes from the dive shop, just get your gear ready, do your safety check, and you’re already at the dive site. Despite the shallow depth, there is a lot to see, including marvelous coral that grows from the ocean floor. Then there are the giant clams, some of them 50 or 60 years old, that are truly a sight to see. There are around 20 giant clams at this dive site. They were harvested from other parts of the Philippines and brought here specifically for divers in Puerto Galera to enjoy. If you look carefully, you’ll also find reef octopi that can change color in the blink of an eye hiding under the rocks. Go a little bit deeper and you’ll see a sandy area that is home to many sea horse, flamboyant cutter fish, mimic octopi, and more.

Manila Channel (8m-21m/ 26’-69’) The Manila Channel is another fantastic site. This dive site is used for beginners and intermediate divers. From countless species of tropical fish swimming around the healthy coral to alien-like shapes and life forms that hide beneath rocks and under the sand, it is a wonderful place. On the right tide, divers can float down the channel at a leisurely pace, with no need to swim. The slightest bit of current offers just the perfect amount of movement to take you down the channel and back out into the bay.

Secret Bay (12m-16m / 39’-53’) With very little finning needed, your air lasts longer and you get to experience more of the amazing sea life. The Secret Bay is a fantastic diving spot that was closed until recently. For many years, The Secret Bay was

the place where everyone took their boats that they couldn’t repair. But over many years, fish began to grow to astounding numbers and variety because the site was untouched by divers. Now, many incredibly rare fish call this bay their home, which makes this the perfect site to visit if you want to spot exotic creatures. If you’re very lucky, you might even see some very rare hairy frogfish.

Alma Jane Wreck (25m-30m/66′-100′) This 60-ton Japanese ship was sunk purposefully to create the ultimate wreck diving site. Weighing 60 tons, this 32-meter long steel ship is now host to a large variety of marine life. Encrusted with hard and soft coral, you’ll find all kinds of life here, big and small, including snappers, batfish, stonefish, frogfish, and scorpion fish. Dive around it, above it, or even go inside if you’re feeling adventurous. But don’t worry: there are holes all the way along the hull letting sunlight in so that you aren’t swimming in the dark. The Alma Jane is also a perfect dive site for underwater photography, mixing wide angle, wreck, and macro life in one dive. There are so many fish here that you may feel the need to move them out of the way to get a full view of the wreck! All that makes this one of the most popular dive sites in Puerto Galera.

Sabang Wreck (6m-21m/ 20’-69’) A really popular dive to find majestic green seaturtles swimming around or gently grazing in the seagrass. If you look closely, you’ll find all kinds of macro-life swimming around the seagrass, which they call their home.

Hole in the Wall (10-18m/33′-59’) Swim down through a hole in the wall that the water has carved out after millions of years of erosion. This truly surreal experience is made even better by the strong currents you’ll find here. In order to take a rest, big fish like to go into the Hole in the Wall as the current carries them leisurely. Divers must hold on to something for stability, but once you’re stable, you’ll be amazed at the sea life that takes refuge here.

The Canyons (30m/100′) A beautiful dive. Absorbing the nutrients at the crossroads of two water streams, this spot has some of the best coral around. There are three canyons running side by side where the fish go down to hide from the current. Octopi, eels, beautiful coral, and colorful fish – it’s all here.

Sinandigan Wall (10-30m/ 33’-100’) Filled with an absolute abundance of nudibranchs, this is a perfect spot for colorful photography. A nice

deep dive, you’ll be astounded by the sheer numbers of nudibranchs around you.

Coral Cove (10m-16m / 33’-52’) If you like macro-photography, you’ll be sure to love this spot. Filled with small little critters living in the depths, you’ll be happy to take your camera out and snap away. There is so much to see in even the smallest areas that you won’t know what to photograph next. Many of our photography divers like to dive down, then sit for 30 or 40 minutes snapping as many pictures as they can. There’s usually very little current, meaning that you can sit and take pictures with no difficulty.

Boulders (10m-28m / 33’-92’) As the name suggests, here you’ll find huge boulders sitting on top of each other. This gives lots of space for all the fish to swim between and burst out of. Look underneath a boulder, and you’ll suddenly find yourself face to fish with rare creatures like frog fish, or scorpion fish.

Verde Island (18m-30m /60’-98’) Verde Island, and the surrounding waters are known as the “center of marine biodiversity in the world.” Yes, you read that correctly. In other words, there are more species of fish in that location than anywhere else in the world, including the Caribbean and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Just a one-hour boat trip away from Puerto Galera, be sure to check this out when you come here. You’ll have amazing visibility and a rich abundance of marine life, so you don’t want to miss this.

Sabang Point (8m-25m/ 26’-82’) These descending steps are one of the favorite spots to find big schools of yellow snappers, and sometimes even pygmy sea horses. Diving down here is a sight to see, with depths starting at 8 meters, up until 25 meters.

The Hill (12m-16m/ 40’-53’) If you like photography, and macro-life, you will love this dive site. You’ll see the majestic wonderpuss displaying his acrobatics right next to the colorful nudibranchs. With beautiful pink corals carpeting the bottom of the ocean floor you’re sure to take beautiful pictures.

Monkey Beach (8m-21m/ 26’-70’)

At 21 meters depth lies a wreck of an old sail boat, lying on it’s side. You can go inside the ship to spot the cleaner shrimp in the engine room, who will come along and clean the parasites off of the fish. At a shallower depth you’ll often find lots of peacock mantis shrimps and fusiliers swimming around.

Ernie’s Cave (8m-27m/ 26’-89’) Once the home of a giant grouper called Ernie, this cave now hosts lots of glass fish swimming around. A beautiful underwater cave, with lots of marine life – this is definitely a sight to explore.

Dungeon Wall (8m-27m/ 26’-89’) Just east of Ernie’s cave you’ll find Dungeon Wall, starting off with a sloping bottom that leads up into a wall. At this site, you’ll see many lionfish, eels, and if you’re lucky, you’ll spot a pygmy sea horse or two as well.

West Escarceo (8m-21m/ 26’-69’) West Escarceo is a diving spot with really good visibility. There’s lots of coral in all colors, and the life that lives in it. Gently sloping downwards this spot gives you plenty of things to look at.

Chapter 4: Puerto Galera Marine Life Probably one of the best reasons to come to Puerto Galera is to check out the amazing creatures who live below the surface of the water. Puerto Galera is home to a wide variety of different sea creatures, which is why photographers in particular love to come scuba diving here. Whether you’re interested in macrophotography or micro-photography you’ll go home with tons of pictures. Scorpionfish Very common around Puerto Galera, but you’ll see the most scorpionfish in the Sabang area. While these creatures are usually about 8 inches long, we sometimes see them as large as 12 inches or more.

Frogfish Common in Puerto Galera, sometimes they move around a lot so they’re difficult to find. To make it even more challenging frogfish are camouflaged, that’s why it’s so important to go diving with a good divemaster who can point them out to you. The varieties of frogfish you are most likely to see are the giant frogfish and small frogfish. We have been known to have hairy frogfish, but only rarely.

Seaturtles Seaturtles are one of our divers’ favorite sea creatures. In Puerto Galera, you can see grown seaturtles as old as 60 or 70 years old, as well as juvenile seaturtles. They are mainly found in the Sabang area and grassy areas.


These colorful creatures are found in abundance in Puerto Galera leaving no wonder as to why it is considered a macro-photographers Mecca. The largest numbers can be seen at the Sinandigan Wall dive site. Bring your camera!

Seahorses Ellusive and beautiful, seahorses can be seen in many places around Puerto Galera including: Coral Cove, Secret Cove, and Giant Clams dive sites. Octopi There are a number of octopi species that call Puerto Galera home. From Mimics to the dazeling Wunderpuss to the shy Coconut, you will see a variety on most dives to the Manila Channel. Giant clams There are around 20 giant clams that were transplanted from elsewhere in the Philippines to the aptly named Giant Clams dive site. You really won't believe how large some have grown until you dive the site yourself.

Chapter 5: What Dive Gear Should I Bring to Puerto Galera? One of the hardest parts of traveling to dive is figuring out what gear you should bring with you. Lugging around your gear isn’t ideal, but it is even worse to dive with sub-par equipment. In this guide, you’ll find out what parts of your equipment to bring with you and what parts can be left at home.

A couple of quick tips:

1. One of the best things about diving in Puerto Galera is that there are plenty of dive shops with highquality gear for sale. Even if you decide to leave something at home but change your mind later, you can always buy what you need in nearby Sabang, which is just a short 15-minute drive from the main part of Puerto Galera.

2. If you choose to bring your own equipment, you may want to label it with your name before arriving to ensure that it doesn’t get mixed up with other divers’ items. Also, if you are using those cool stickers remember to use your email address! That way if you do lose something on a dive, anyone finding it can contact you  Mine say BADLADZ.com Bring your own dive computer. This is almost mandatory now in most major dive areas in the world and is certainly important for your safety & comfortable. Although you can rent them, most divers prefer to dive with their own dive computer, and of all your equipment, your dive computer is among the smallest, so there’s no reason not to bring it with you. A dive computer can usually be rented for for around 250 pesos per day. Bring your tech gear. You’re a Tech Diver? Bring it with you to Puerto Galera. There are lots of tech diving shops here in Puerto Galera, but this is so specialized that most dive shops will not have the exact equipment on hand. On the other hand, they will have lots of gear for training if you want to take a course ! Bring your camera While many dive shops have cameras for rent, you will probably prefer your own photography setup. Most dive shops don’t have highend camera gear, and if you’ve come to take photos then you shouldn’t rely on what you’ll find in the dive shops. During busier times you might be completely out of luck and the dive

shop cameras are already rented out to other divers. Bring your Camera Lights ! Lots of Macro here  Bring your own mask. It’s important that your mask fits your face correctly to avoid water leaking into your mask and obscuring your view underwater. Of course, dive shops will have masks that you can use, but you’ll feel more comfortable with your own, honestly. Don’t bring your own Regulator & BCD. Think we are crazy ? Badladz Adventure Resorts provide Apex Balanced Regulators and Aqualung Wave BCD’s as rental gear. These are probably as good or better that your own! Most Professional shops should supply this type of equipment. If your dive shop doesn’t, find one that does! Don’t bring wetsuit or fins. Same applies here. Badladz supplies only top end Aqualung Wetsuits, short, long, front & rear zip for your diving pleasure. The Fins are also Aqua Lung so you can travel without this extra weight & bulk. No matter where you dive in the world, find a shop that supplies Professional equipment.

Chapter 6: 4 Reasons to Earn your PADI Certification in Puerto Galera Perhaps you’re reading this guide, but you are not currently a diver. Maybe instead you are looking for the right place to get your PADI Open Water Certification or Advanced Open Water Certification. You are right to do your research because some places are better than others when it comes to the right environment to learn how to scuba dive.

1. There is so much to see. When a lot of people learn to scuba dive they are doing so in a confined space that is meant to resemble the ocean, but it’s not the ocean. While that’s adequate to learn the skills required to dive, it certainly doesn’t help make learning to dive very fun. Compare that to learning to dive in Puerto Galera where there are so many things to see. From colorful tropical fish to beautiful coral to shipwrecks, diving is always interesting here. You will see so much that you may even forget that you are learning while you explore!

2. Puerto Galera is close to all the dive sites. Many of our divers tell us that they spent most of their dive trips in other locations traveling in the boat to the various dive sites, or entering the dive site from the shore, taking a long slow walk and a long swim to the place where they finally went diving. This can often make too tired when you finally arrive to enjoy the dive and compromises your safety. But in Puerto Galera we are in very close proximity to more than 40 dive sites; less than 10 minutes on the boat and you’ll already be at the site getting ready to dive!

3. Lots of choices for dive shops. There are lots of dive shops and dive resorts to choose from in Puerto Galera, and you’ll be surrounded by hundreds of scuba divers from all over the world. Of course, having so many options can be overwhelming. If you feel overwhelmed and aren’t sure where to go, we’ll help you find a safe and reputable dive shop in

the next chapter.

4. Lots of stuff to do when you’re not diving or when you’re finished

getting certified. Getting your PADI certification is hard work, but you’ll have some down time. Besides that, you’ll almost certainly be spending some time in the area before and/or after your diving certification, that’s why it’s important to choose a place that offers something else to do besides diving. In Puerto Galera, you’ll find tons to do. Beach activities like jetskis, banana boats, kayaking, and paragliding are closeby at White Beach. There are also trekking tails, indigenous villages, ziplining, golf, and more. When you celebrate finishing your course, enjoy a nice dinner and a couple of drinks in one of the many nightlife spots on the island.

Chapter 7: Finding the Best Dive Shops and Accommodation In a place as beautiful as Puerto Galera it’s no surprise that there are over 50 dive shops here to help visitors explore the area. But beware: if you don’t know where to go, you may be taking a risk. Unfortunately, there are many dive shops in Puerto Galera who are more interested in taking your money than they are in providing a safe, informative, and enjoyable experience for their divers. For example, some dive shops in the area routinely send divemasters to train open water students instead of using a certified dive instructor. This can pose a grave risk to first-time divers. Other dive shops in the area have been known to load boats full of students with too few divemasters in order to maximize profits. Bottom line is: Find a shop that provides World Class, Professional Scuba Equipment for your dives. Be sure the Dive Masters are actually Certified to do this job safely Dive with small groups for a more enjoyable experience If you are taking Instruction. Do a PADI course. They are the biggest in the world for a reason !

Want to avoid these potential problems? We have a solution for you: dive with BADLADZ. BADLADZ has been in business since 1999 and helping divers earn their certifications and explore the area

since 2000. At BADLADZ, we prefer small groups of divers no larger than 6 people per boat to ensure that all divers are taken care of with qualified divemasters. Our divemasters and instructors are extremely qualified. We never ask divemasters to teach certification courses, and our instructors are among some of the best in the area, with more than 1500 dives’ worth of experience. The BADLADZ dive team is also committed to protecting the sea creatures that people come to Puerto Galera from all over the world to see. Unfortunately, many dive shops and resorts in the area do not share that commitment. Many divers can be seen contributing to the degradation of this delicate, preserved area by carelessly kicking or laying on corals, or even placing their camera on the corals to get a better photo. BADLADZ is an active member of Green Fins, a local non-profit organization dedicated to helping preserve the area through underwater litter cleanup and education aimed at helping divers understand the environmental impact of their actions while diving. If you want to dive with a dive shop that cares about doing their part to preserve the environment and teaches that in their courses, BADLADZ is the place for you to dive. You get what you pay for. Don’t shop for the cheapest dives. Even if you feel as if you are a strong diver and don’t need expert help, you are not familiar with the area. You need divemasters and dive instructors, who know the area and who are not overloaded with divers, to give you the help and direction that you need. Plus, they know where alll the cool stuff is  Go with the dive shop that has been proven to put your safety, comfort, and enjoyment first, all while helping protect our precious sea life so that it can continue to be enjoyed for generations to come. Get started today-- contact us at [email protected] to book your dive course, fun dives, and accommodation. For more information about why BADLADZ is hands-down the best place to dive and stay in Puerto Galera, head to our website, BADLADZ.com. You can also view our excellent Tripadvisor reviews here.

Next Steps Now that you have the information you need to prepare for your diving trip to Puerto Galera, get in touch with us! We’d love to help you with any other questions you might have, as well as book your reservation to stay with us at one of our two resorts. Both the BADLADZ Beach Resort and the BADLADZ Dive Resort are recipients of the 2014 Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence Award, given only to establishments with the very best customer service ratings from visitors. Ready to book your Puerto Galera dive trip? We’ll be happy to help you. Direct any questions or reservations to [email protected]. We hope that you found this resource helpful. Now there’s nothing else to do but dive! We look forward to seeing you soon here in Puerto Galera.