Diving and snorkeling enthusiasts will indeed enjoy discovering the different corals and colorful and very diverse marine life of La Laguna Beach.
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.
Puerto Galera on Mindoro Island is probably The Philippines best known scuba diving destination. Actually the majority of all dive operators and resorts are situated in a small village called Sabang which is just 10 minutes from Puerto Galera. Mindoro is a large island to the south of Manila and the resorts are on the north east coast.
Mindoro is a beautiful island with much to explore and Puerto Galera is a stunning natural harbour originally used by Spanish Galleons but now much visited by yachts from all over the world. The coastline around here is truly spectacular and with deep bays and inlets surrounded by tropical forests it is a nature lovers and photographers dream. For the adventurous there are many secluded beaches and hidden valleys just waiting to be explored.
Sabang has attracted visitors and residents from different parts of the globe and has now developed a very cosmopolitan feel, this is reflected by the wide range of restaurant styles and resorts available. Needless to say, seafood and Filipino food is popular but you can also eat English, German, Thai, Mexican and Japanese amongst others. There are a good number of bars and Sabang has a busy night time scene.
In addition to diving, the adventurous water sports enthusiast will also want to go kayaking, snorkelling, wind surfing and sailing. Back on land there is a golf course just a few kilometres from the resort and there are many opportunities to visit local waterfalls, go jungle trekking and island hopping. The beach adjacent to the dive shop and resort is perfect for sunbathing and for watching the world go by. Sunset cruises are available and there are also motorbikes for hire.
The quality of the diving is what draws so many people here and the ease of access from Manila is a big help. The port of Batangas is just two hours from central Manila by road and then from Batangas a 45-60 minute boat journey will bring you into Puerto Galera or directly on to the beach at Sabang. Puerto Galera is 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.
Nowadays it's one of the most visited tourist destination in the Philippines. With its coves sandwiched by the gentle swaying palm trees and crystal-clear turquoise water, a visit to Puerto Galera is a sort of a dream vacation or trip come true in escaping the noisy and traffic inflicted city life. Once a very rustic and dull rural town, its discovery by the late 1970’s paved the way to many tourists, domestic and foreigners to get mesmerized with its natural charm and beauty.