|PUERTO GALERA INFORMATION
Puerto Galera, one of the oldest Spanish settlements in the Philippines, was founded in 1572, becoming the first provincial capital on Mindoro Island. It is situated on the northern peninsula of the island, approximately 160 km from Manila. As early as the 10th century, Chinese, Malay and Indonesian merchants were already doing business with local traders, and Puerto Galera is where the replenished their provisions.
Mindoro Island is separated from Luzon by the Verde Island Passage. Waters are flushed by the current of the South China Sea, resulting in strong currents of up to 6 knots. This makes the area well known for its spectacular, exhilarating drift dives. The Verde Island Passage is very deep so clear water is very common to the dive sites of Puerto Galera, along with a fantastic variety of underwater flora and fauna.
The diversity of hard and soft corals, along with hundreds of species of tropical fish life makes Puerto Galera one of the most popular dive destinations in the Philippines. The 5 km foreshore of world class dive sites is a protected area and marine sanctuary. Visibility varies from 10m/30ft to 30m/100ft, sometimes even better depending on water temperature, current strength and wind direction. The best diving conditions are usually from April to September, as water temperature reaches 29 C, the seas are at their calmest and visibility is at its clearest. In December, water temperature can drop to as low as 22 C on the deeper dives due to thermo clines caused by upwelling of clear, cooler water. However, conditions remain good enough for year round diving.