The first part of our trip will be a 5 night stay at the luxurious Puerto Galera Resort. Puerto Galera is well known for its numerous scuba diving sites and has some of the most diverse coral reef diving in Asia, located at the very heart of the “Coral Triangle”. The area also features numerous pocket beaches and stunning tropical scenery. More recently, in 2005, Puerto Galera hit the international tourism limelight when it was given “The Most Beautiful Bay in the World” award by UNESCO, only the third bay in Southeast Asia to receive this prestigious rating. Declared a reservation area in 1973, Puerto Galera lies on the northern tip of the island of Oriental Mindoro, approximately 110 km south of Manila. Most of the prime diving spots are located in Sabang, one of Puerto Galera’s twelve coastal districts. Mindoro Island is separated from Luzon by the Verde Island Passage. Waters are flushed by the current of the West Philippine Sea, claimed by many to be the center of marine biodiversity in Asia. This is resulting in strong currents making the area well known for its spectacular and exhilarating drift dives. Puerto Galera also boasts over 180 species of nudibranch as well as numerous fish and turtle species, making it a prime destination for underwater photography. Behind the beautiful beaches are the huge and generally unexplored mountain ranges of central Mindoro.
May 29, 2021 - June 13, 2021
Atlantis Puerto Galera Resort
Azores Liveaboard in Tubbataha Reef
During the second part of our trip, you will find yourself in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Welcome to Tubbataha! Tubbataha Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and only accessible by liveaboard 3 months of the year. We will embark on this liveaboard from Puerto Galera Resort. Tubbataha is located in the Sulu Sea, at the very center of the Coral Triangle between Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Rarely visited due to its location and status as a marine preserve, Tubbataha is made up of two reefs, simply referred to as the North and South Reefs. They both enclose a sandy lagoon. In the southern tip is an islet with a lighthouse. This is used as a rookery for birds and is frequented by turtles. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is home to no less than 573 species of fish, 373 species of corals, 11 species of sharks, 12 species of dolphins and whales, nestling hawksbill and green sea turtles.
Northern Tip of North Atoll
Fissures and crevices lead into it where nurse and whitetip reef sharks can be found resting during the day. Small manta rays, stingrays and spotted eagle rays, together with numerous turtles have all been spotted. The wall has huge gorgonian fan corals, soft corals and barrel sponges. Blacktip, whitetip and grey reef sharks can normally be seen patrolling here in numbers.
Southern End of North Atoll
Malayan, Wallstreet and Amos Rock are the pick of the dive sites. Fans and macro will enjoy these sites with Denise pygmy seahorses clinging to the sea fans. See scorpion fish, moray eels and even ghost pipefish. Don’t worry pelagic fans, you can still see huge dogtooth tuna, sharks and spanish mackerel in the blue.
Northern Tip of South Atoll
Highlights include Black Rock, T Wreck and Eiger Wall. You will lose count of the number of green and hawksbill turtles in the area. Look out for marble stingrays in the sand. Eagle rays often cruise by and expect to see large grouper and giant trevally.
Southern End of South Atoll
This area is known for its lighthouse and is home to famous divesites Delsan Wreck and Black Rock. Hammerheads are the most prized sighting here as well as occasional whale sharks passing by. Look out for guitar sharks in the shallows.
Jessie Beazley Reef
The charter finishes with a couple of dives at Jessie Beazley Reef. You can see schools of bumphead parrotfish munching on the corals. Watch out for inquisitive napoleon wrasse. The shallow reefs are full of colorful tropical fish like the regal angelfish and titan triggerfish.
Southern End of North Atoll
The dive starts on a gentle slope that is covered in superb unmolested corals and ends with a wall covered with dramatic gorgonian fans where sharp eyed divers can often spot pygmy seahorses. If there’s current, you’ll come across a wide variety of large fish, including narrow-barred spanish mackerel, giant trevally, red snapper, napoleon wrasse and giant groupers. You’re almost certain to see whitetip and grey reef sharks. Look out for manta rays, spotted eagle rays and both green and hawksbill turtles closer to the surface. Other fish that can be seen include rainbow runners, african pompano, angel fish, leaf scorpion fish, fire dart fish and down deeper, decorated dart fish.
Where we will stay…
Dive Day Schedule
- Day 1: NORTHERN TIP OF NORTH ATOLL
- Day 2: SOUTHERN END OF NORTH ATOLL
- Day 3: NORTHERN TIP OF SOUTH ATOLL
- Day 4: SOUTHERN END OF SOUTH ATOLL
- Day 5: SOUTHEAST OF NORTH ATOLL
- Day 6: JESSIE BEAZLEY REEF
Deposit: $1000 CAD
Travel Insurance: Cancellation insurance and out of province medical insurance recommended. We highly recommend DAN Insurance.
Documentation: Valid passport for at least 6 months prior to the date of return.