Puerto Galera / Sabang - Mindoro
Diving Puerto Galera and Mindoro
Puerto Galera is situated relatively close to Manila, on the island of Mindoro. Puerto Galera is in the northern part and divided into several smaller villages. For Diving I recommend Sabang.
Diving can be done year-round, however, the best season will be between October and March. Because it's the dry season. Prices will rise as well because the country, in general, will see many more tourists.
Diving shops are plenty in Sabang, dotted all along the beach front. It's the main attraction here with over 30 different dive sites.
When entering the port of Balatero from Batangas Pier you will have to travel east for 10 minutes to the lovely little town of Sabang. The town is built around the 3 Lagunas: Sabang, Little, and Big laguna. There are many hotels, resorts, restaurants, and shops to find so that you won't be bored between dives!
Be aware that there is only 1 ATM in Sabang, and it doesn't always work. You might have to take a taxi to Puerto Galera town.
During the weekends a lot of bars and discos open up just behind the bay area!
Additional Information Puerto Galera
Some general advice and tips:
Don't take the speedboat they will offer you for 10.000 pesos.
This will only be a valuable option when traveling in groups of 15 people or more.
There is only 1 ATM in Sabang, and it doesn't always work, bring enough cash or take a taxi to Puerto Galera town.
50 pesos - Covid pass.
30 pesos - Port ticket.
120 pesos - Environment fee on arriving at Balatero.
250 pesos - Trike to Sabang.
How to get there?
To get to Puerto Galera you have different options:
By Air: Puerto Galera receives flights 2 times per day from Manila. They will be serviced by small propellor planes, which is the easiest yet most expensive option.
As of writing, these airplanes aren't operating anymore, but they might be in the future.
By Car: From Manila, you arrange a taxi that will take you to Batangas Pier in 1,2 hours. I recommend using the "grab app" that gets the most value.
By Bus: Buses leave hourly from this bus station and you can go straight to Batangas Pier or Batangas City. If you arrive at Manila airport, just use a taxi or grab an app to take you there.
Once in Batangas Pier/City: If you want to travel to Balatero, Puerto Galera on the same day you should leave early. Ferries leave from Batangas Pier as early as 6 AM, while the last ferry departs at 4 PM. They are not hourly though and are subject to cancellation if not enough people come in. The earlier you leave, the more chance the boat will leave.
If you decide or are forced to arrive later than 4 PM, I suggest booking a hotel in Batangas City and leaving early the next morning as there are no decent hotels in Batangas Pier.
You will most likely be dropped off at the main intersection in Batangas Pier, from which you can easily walk 100 meters and you will see a yellow fence to your right with some security guards nearby.
This is the port entry and you can buy your ticket at a counter. Either chose a fast ferry or RoRo slow ferry.
The fast ferry will bring you to Balatero in 1 hour (595 pesos) and the slow ferry will take 2 hours (400 pesos). Personnel will show you to your boat.
Once arrived in Balatero, arrange a trike (motorcycle with side span) to take you to Sabang in 10 minutes.
Sabang is located just east of Puerto Galera's main entry point: Balatero.
As you can see below, there are plenty of dive sites to explore around this part of Mindoro!
"12: Alma Jane"
The Alma Jane is a large wreck just outside the Sabang Laguna. It sits around 30 meters deep and is connected to the bow with a mooring line. You will drop down and swim around, slowly ascending to the top of the wreck and when your decompression limit is reached, you will usually shallow up to the laguna, to end your dive in a beautiful coral garden.
You can see large snappers, scorpion fish, and schooling fish.
Maximum depth: 30 meters
"13: Sabang Wrecks"
The Sabang wrecks are 3 wrecks in the Sabang bay area. Around 20 meters deep maximum you can swim to each of them: a wooden sailboat, a big wreck engine, and a normal boat. You can penetrate 1 of these wrecks filled with smaller fish and cleaner shrimp. You can see turtles and stone fish hanging out here as well!
Maximum depth: 20 meters
"17/18: Monkey Beach/ Ernie's Point"
These dive sites I decided to combine since most of the time you will swim from one to the other. These dive sites are all along the northern coastline just east of Sabang.
The dive starts with a small wreck that is host to frogfish and continues into a sloping reef/ coral garden.
Maximum depth: 22 meters.
"19: Dungon Wall"
A bit further away you will find Dungon wall. A beautiful dive site starting with a sloping reef, transitioning into a small wall for about 50 meters, and ends in a stunning coral garden. The dive is versatile, easy and the coral is incredibly healthy.
Maximum depth: 22 meters
Perhaps one of the most famous dive sites in the Philippines!
This dive site isn't necessarily pretty and can be very challenging. You will drop down on either side, depending on currents. After swimming a little bit over mostly sandy bottom you will see the canyons appear. There are 3 canyons, or channels if you will. Currents converge here and so do big fish. You can see everything here from big pelagic fishes to thresher sharks!
Maximum Depth: 28 meters
"32/33: Coral cove & Boulders"
We combined this dive. You will start at Coral cove. Which is a wreck dive at 27 meters depth. Afterwards, you can cross the bay towards the Boulders dive site, mostly covered by a very beautiful coral garden.
You can see a lot of cool macro, moray eels, stonefish, and scorpion fish!
"35-37: Verde Island"
One of my favorite dive sites I have ever been to. Verde island is about 1 hour by boat from Sabang but worth the trip. It's best described as a huge pinnacle dive. The geography of the site is simply amazing and the amount of fish impressive. It's a deep and relatively challenging dive site with possibly strong currents. I highly suggest watching the video impression below!