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No mountains. The highway from the dock to the city is at sea level.
Renting Gear. It is not a dumb idea. Because PG sees a high volume of diver traffic of all sizes and all skill levels, there is plenty of gear to be had. You can typically get some good equipment without a problem so long as you stay at one of the many reputable resorts - and there are plenty.
Shallow Reef. The dive area at Puerto Galera (PG) is called Sabang. It is a small town not far from PG. Sabang consists of three connected areas. The largest, near Atlantis and most of the resorts, does not have a 'house' reef worth diving. In fact you would probably be run over by the boats. The reef in front and to the right (looking from shore out) of the La Laguna, the third of the inter-connected areas (10 minute walk or boat trip), has a very good reef for beginners.
If you refer to the Atlantis website's Dive Site Locations (http://www.atlantishotel.com/dl/puer...20divesite.pdf)
I am speaking of site number 2. It is a walk-in / walk-out site as well as a site where a boat can drop you off. The other shallow sites noted on their map; 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 and around the point are not on a beach and not walk-in / walk-out sites. So, to get comfortable, I suggest that you dive site #2 your first day, then head off to some of the other sites. Caution - while the other sites are shallow (refer to map details) they are not always without current. Nothing to worry about, just to know about.
Are you taking the ferry from PG to Batangas then over the road to Manila?
If you go thru Tagaytay there's some altitude about 3,000 ft above sea level... There's another way back to the city thru the South Superhighway... This is the faster and better route there. The Tagaytay route is better if you live in Cavite area.
Have fun and dive safe.
Originally Posted by mccabejc
Last minute questions before I leave for Manila tomorrow:
Planning on diving near Puerto Galera. Maybe Atlantis Resort. Anyway, a couple of questions:
In the trip between Manila and Puerto Galera, do you go thru any mountains, so that I'd have to worry about delaying the return to Manila because of the altitude?
I want to rent all my equipment there, including regulators, etc. Is that a dumb idea, or is the rental equipment there in decent shape?
Are there any nice shallow reef dives in the area? I'm fairly new diver (25 dives), and would like to take it shallow and easy.
I had assumed you would be on the South Super Highway, which is the way all shops and resorts would take you (fastest route), UNLESS you or someone in your party asked to take the scenic route, which is up over the Tagaytay mountain ridge (beautiful volcanic lake), which Ben mentioned.
Depending on what time you arrive, and how tired you feel, you may want to consider the Tagaytay route as a 'scenic' option on your way down to the ferry at Batangas, but not recommended on your way back if you are saturated . . . just to be sure.
Most of your questions have been answered been already, but just want to add my 2 cents.
Atlantis is well run, the dive shop is well organized and safety conscious with a great group of guides and the restaurant is one of the best ones in PG. Their rental gear will be in good shape and well maintained.
I should tell you though that I'm prejudiced, Pedro, the shop manager, was my instructor for DM (he was at a different shop then) and Pedro and Andy (resort manager) were CD's on my IDC.
There are plenty of shallow reefs around, the longest boat ride (unless you go on a day trip to Verde Island) to most any dive site is only 15 minutes. There can be quite a bit of current, but the guides will take the current and your experience into account when planning a dive.
If you have arranged your transportation through Atlantis you won't have to worry about the mountains, as Tom as already mentioned. Depending on traffic (and it can be horrendous in Manila), it will take 2.5-3 hours from the airport to the coast and then the boat ride will be about 1 hour.
Hope you have a safe and a fun trip. Tell Pedro, Andy and the gang Drew says Hi!
PS: the cute Filipina running around doing her DM course is my girlfriend Cristina.
Thanks guys. Very helpful. I really appreciate it.
If you go to this web site you will find a review of many of the resorts here in the Philippines including 14 in Puerto Galera. I am not supporting or challenging the reviews (CYA statement), just providing you with additional information for your trip.