Puerto Galera Top 10 Dive Sites

World Class Dive Sites at Sabang, Puerto Galera, Philippines

More than 30 dive sites. 5 days is not enough vacation time.

But we'll give you the Top 10 anyway! Depending on your level, interests and experience, we know where to take you to get that dive high.

For macro photographers, we definitely have some of the BEST macro spotters here.

Look no further if you're after nudibranchs, molluscs, moray eels, shrimps, squids, pygmy cuttlefish and seahorses. Sea turtles or "pawikan" are also plenty in season!

For adrenaline junkies, our 10 years of diving experience in Sabang, Puerto Galera will help ensure safe diving when the currents are as strong as a hurricane at Canyons, Verde Island or Alma Jane. Most divers will agree that Sabang, Puerto Galera is well known for very good and very fast drift diving!

Read on for our Top 10 and don't forget to check out our dive map here

Top 1: Canyons

A world class exhilarating drift dive, this is “the dive” to do in Puerto Galera if you are an experienced diver with a taste for the fast and furious.

Drop in close to the Hole in the Wall and let the current take you deeper along the slope until you reach an area where currents and mother nature has formed three spectacular canyons in the reef. The canyons all have sheltering walls and sandy bottoms, where you can kneel down and rest – and watch the big fish fighting in the current above your head.

On all sides of the Canyons, the slope quickly drops down to 40 meters plus, so the only way once you get to the Canyons is… up!

Try to stay for a while and admire the schooling drums, trevallies, batfish, sweetlips and the big sea fans. Inside the canyons you’ll find octopus, scorpionfish, sea snakes and other reef fish.

At the end of the third and deepest canyon (30 m), there is an old 1.5 meter anchor embedded in the rock, where divers often meet and hold on before letting go and starting the blue water ascent.

This is the one dive site where even bigger animals are sometimes spotted: Manta rays, thresher sharks and hammerhead sharks have all been seen here. This is a dive site that changes every time you experience it, on a slack tide it can be a gorgeous dive for photographers, whereas on a strong ebb it can scare the most jaded of divers.

Best done on Nitrox of course, the dive ends with a blue water ascent and a safety stop in blue water. By the time you exit, you’ll find that you’ll have drifted far off into the ocean. Make sure that you stay with and behind your guide at all times.

View Sabang, Puerto Galera Dive Map here

Top 2: Verde Island

Considered a special trip from Sabang, Puerto Galera. Boat arrangements will have to be made in advance to go here.

1 hour away from the Sea Rider Dive Center lies this spectacular dive site that's just hours away from Metro Manila. While we won't argue that there are amazing sites in Boracay, Palawan, Tubbataha, Subic and Apo Reef -travelling to some of these places will require flying or more than 5 hours of driving.

There's great visibility and abundance of marine life at the dive sites of Verde Island and we must say that surviving the challenging currents (read: Washing Machine) will be something to brag about.

Giant Trevallies, Barracudas, Sweetlips, Banner Fish and Tunas are abundant! This paradise is also great for macro photography.

View Sabang, Puerto Galera Dive Map here

Top 3: Hole in the Wall

Situated on Escarceo Point, the actual hole in the wall is a short tunnel at 12 meters through a mini mountain that constitutes the dividing range between ebb and tide.
This makes for a very beautiful –and sometimes VERY exciting– dive.

As is common in an area where currents meet, you can expect lots of schooling fish: Drummers, sweetlips, trevallies and snappers. The occasional pair of giant trevally can be seen hovering high above the rocky outcropping.

Whilst you swim through the hole, beware of the lionfish and scorpionfish that are common here, as well as the feather like hydroids growing on the walls – they sting! Good buoyancy is a must.

The top of the wall is covered in colorful soft coral attracting many colorful fish.

Octopus, frogfish, turtles, sea snakes, anything can appear here. On the other side of the wall lies another wall, definitely worth exploring if the current allows it: Covered in soft coral, sponges, green tree coral and fans, it is the hiding place for many morays and puffers and it drops off into a flat lunar like landscape with whole gardens of whip corals, vibrating in the current.

This can be a very easy dive, even novices -with good buoyancy control– can dive it. Beware however that on strong floods, the current can get very tough and down currents are common, making you bounce up and down as a yoyo on your way to the surface. Stay close to your guide and to the bottom!

View Sabang, Puerto Galera Dive Map here

Top 4: West Escarceo

This is a sloping reef dive site for everyone especially photographers as it starts in shallow water and can go to 30 meters with fantastic marine life, table and boulder corals.

Schools of yellow tail fusiliers and tuna can be seen here along with the favorite: Trigger Fish! Corals, sponges, sea fans and feather stars are also plenty.

An absolute easy drift dive leading to the Canyons / Hole in the wall if the the currents are caught correctly.

View Sabang, Puerto Galera Dive Map here

Top 5: Sinandigan Wall

This dive site is heaven for macro photographers especially on a flood!

More than 10 species of Nudibranchs can be seen here along with the Frog fish, Harlequin Sweetlips and Crocodile Fish. A little effort must be made to find some under rocks and corals.

Tree corals and sponges line this dive site -seeing a Lionfish is very common.

View Sabang, Puerto Galera Dive Map here

Top 6: Monkey Beach

A coral slope down to 20 meters makes this an easy dive, except from when currents are running – you can pick up quite a lot of speed here.

If you drop in the middle of the bay, you will most likely encounter a wreck at 18 meters, tilted to the side.

Many frogfish, especially the black variety, have made this area their home. Look around in the sand and you’ll find lots of small holes, most of them inhabited by the shy jaw fish.

See anything green running swiftly over the sand from one coral to the next? It’s probably a mantis shrimp, they are very common here.

Plenty of small reef fish, crinoids and nudibranchs.

View Sabang, Puerto Galera Dive Map here

Top 7: Alma Jane

Perfectly situated in 30 meters depth in close proximity to the dive shop, the wreck of the Alma Jane was sunk in 2003 (but looks about two decades older).

Originally a Filipino cargo vessel, she was stripped of dangerous objects before sinking and is today a perfect artificial reef standing upright on the sandy bottom.

Follow the mooring line down to the rudder, where you will always find groups of sweetlips, batfish and rabbit fish. Along the outline of the wreck, big scorpionfish try to blend in and puffer fish try to hide under the hull.

The super structure is fast falling apart, but countless lionfish have made it their home, as well as trumpet fish and large snappers. Frogfish are very often found sitting on the wooden structure and a big variety of shrimps hide under the debris.

Take a closer look and you will find the wheel among the fallen down objects midship.

The Alma Jane make for a perfect swim through with its wide beam and deep draft, light comes in from several skylights so there is no need for more than a small torch. This is an excellent NITROX dive.

View Sabang, Puerto Galera Dive Map here

Top 8: Sabang Wreck

An easy dive site for the very beginners. The white sandy beach extends into the water and makes for a perfect place to start an easy dive.

On each side of the beach, reef areas with both hard and soft corals follow along the sandy bottom, to make for a perfect first encounter with the reef. Teeming with reef fish such as antheas, parrot fish, surgeon fish, and the home of many species of anemones with different kinds of anemone fish.

The reef is mainly made up of staghorn or fire coral, as well as some table corals.

This is also a good area to snorkel.

Look closely in the sand. Flounders, shrimps with their gobies, pufferfish, pipefish hiding in the grass, schools of juvenile cat fish and many other critters will not make you disappointed. If lucky, you may also come upon the wreck of a small speed boat laying in 12 m of water.

View Sabang, Puerto Galera Dive Map here

Top 9: The Hill (Muck Dive)

The top of the hill lies in 5 m of water, covered with coral heads, sponges, large green tree corals and lush fields of soft coral. It then slopes down in all directions to a maximum of 15 m where a sandy bottom takes over scattered with hard coral and a proper treasure chest for finding unusual critters.

The dive site is well protected between three islands, but the current can get quite strong on the wrong tide, so make sure to ask your dive master – or you might miss the dive site.

This is one of the dive sites where the shy but beautiful mandarin fish lives. They come out of their fire coral home around dusk to play, or if you’re lucky, to mate.

Blue ringed octopus and flamboyant cuttlefish have been sighted here, as well as giant cuttlefish and lots of moray eels.

If you come here at dusk, you’re also likely to find shrimps, crabs and lots of brittle stars crawling over the reef.

View Sabang, Puerto Galera Dive Map here

Top 10: Dungon Wall

The name is derived from the large and unfortunate ship that sunk here in a typhoon many years ago. It is visible from the surface still, and rests in only a metre of water.

The shallow parts of the bay are magnificent, the majestic table corals spread to catch the rays of the sun. Amongst them play many of the smaller fish that are so often overlooked.

Spectacled hawkfish, standing guard with their brilliant marks around their eyes and the neon damsel fish, fish of such an iridescent blue that is rarely seen in nature, antheas and blue- green chromis all hover over the reef.

This is an easy dive, but the currents can get strong so be prepared for a beautiful ride along the coral slope

View Sabang, Puerto Galera Dive Map here