By various contributors
Asia’s top dive destinations can still surprise and delight. Jump into unexpected “worlds within worlds” in this revealing expose
A dramatic set of three canyons on the northeast side of Puerto Galera, right at the tip of the Island, on the Verde Island passage. This dive site is like “Snakes and Ladders” for divers – the canyons are 20 to 28 metres deep, and staged one after the other, from the shallower to the deeper. Jump in and swim over the top of the first canyon, then through a narrow drop down and rise up again.
Being located on the passage exposes this site to strong currents, which means it is rich in nutrients, and draws in schools of fish, like giant trevallies, sweetlips and snappers.
Located an hour’s boat ride from Puerto Galera, Verde Island offers great topography diving in one of the Philippines’ most diverse marine environments.
“If Yosemite National Park were a reef, it would look like this,” said the editor of Undercurrent magazine. “Pinnacles” dive site takes its name from the rocky pinnacles that rise from over 100 metres deep to kiss the surface on the east side of Verde Island. Hard and soft corals have grown all over the rocks, shaping a vertical reef with massive gorgonian fans and sponges. Butterflyfish, juvenile angelfish, schools of the small, dark red tooth trigger fish, sea snakes, frogfish and some large pelagic schools can be easily spotted here.
BELOW Dramatic topography wreathed in profuse life – Puerto Galera diving will surprise and delight
Puerto Galera is accessible by ferry via the public port in Batangas, 110 km south from Manila. Several resorts like Atlantis offer private transportation from Manila for its guests, which shortens trip time by half.
Atlantis Resort on Sabang Beach offers hillside Flintstone-like accommodation in an all-inclusive dive vacation format, with excellent meals at Toko’s restaurant and up to five boat dives a day. Small dive groups, climate controlled camera room, and new boats. Go to