Scuba Diving: There are almost too few superlatives to describe the experience of diving Puerto Galera’s fantastic submarine ecosystem. Whether your passion is deep or shallow, wall or bottom, reef or rock, wreck or coral, drift or drop, Puerto Galera has it all. And it even has its own coral species -- anacropora puertogalerae -- that has been found nowhere else on Earth.
If you are not yet a scuba diver you will find that most dive shops will offer a Discover Scuba course to see if scuba diving is something you want to get into or, you can jump straight in and sign up for a PADI Open Water Diver course. From Open Water you can follow the route through Advanced, Dive Master to Instructor or branch out and become a Wreck Specialist or a Technical Diver. Nitrox, Trimix and other exotic breathables are on offer. One of the great things about choosing scuba diving in Puerto Galera is that everything from your fins to a wing can be rented, so there is no need to put any heavy stuff in your hand-carry.
Spectacular drop-offs, deep dives, caves, wrecks, and a richly varied marine life await the visitor. The variety of hard and soft corals is amazing -- there are more than 500 species (the entire Caribbean only has around 60). Divers commonly see sharks, rays, moray eels, octopus, and sea snakes, along with innumerable species of fish, including groupers, jack, tuna, surgeonfish, parrot fish, sweetlips and lionfish, to name a few. Of the 100,000 known species of shellfish, over 21,000 are found here, including many that are unique to the Philippines. It's a diver's paradise!
The mangrove lined inner bays of Puerto Galera offer the opportunity for a day of sailing in a dinghy, imbibing nature and embracing the sumptuous tranquility of a tropical marine sanctuary.Want to up the pace a little then the same dinghies are used for the Wet Wednesday Sailing Experience, held every Wednesday afternoon (when the emphasis is on having fun) starting at the yacht club. Hobie 16s are also available for rent from a number of resorts and from private owners. Three times a year (Halloween, New Year and Easter) the Puerto Galera Yacht Club organises sailing regattas for bigger boats and these and other events are open to everyone who has the desire to race boats across the Verde Passage and along the outer beaches.
If you do not know how to sail but want to learn then the Puerto Galera Yacht Club offers three-day and five-day sail training courses that will equip you to enjoy the sport of sailing anywhere on the planet. Warning: Learning to sail in the pristine waters of Puerto Galera can affect your view of subsequently sailing anywhere else.
The safe but breezy waters off Boquete Beach are the perfect location for windsurfing and every year (usually in early February) Puerto Galera plays host to windsurfers from all around the country and from overseas; Puerto Galera is one of legs on the national windsurfing championship racing circuit.
If you already know how to windsurf and simply want to rent a board then the windsurfing school on Boquete Beach will provide. If you do not know how to windsurf then the same school will have you up and sailing within a day and racing within a week.
Whether seeking romance in secluded mangrove-lined inlets or battling the iron-man currents and waves in the tide-rips along the Verde Passage, taking a sea-kayak is the most environmentally friendly way to discover the 42 kilometers of shoreline that define Puerto Galera.
Kayaks are available for rent from the yacht club and from most water sports focused resorts. If you are alone and want to recruit a kayak guide, most resorts will introduce someone who is knowledgeable about the area and any current safety and environmental issues.
Particularly within the inner bays, but also off Lalaguna, Long and Coco beaches, the snorkeling opportunities are too good to miss. A day of snorkeling in Puerto Galera can convince you to take up scuba diving as a hobby.
If you plan your trip well in advance you can join the World Wide Fund for Nature(WWF) on one of its regular eco-surveys of the sea-grasses and shallow corals. And of course you simply must snorkel the giant clam beds, which will leave you open mouthed with excitement.
For those who really must get their adrenaline rush through speed but find a drift dive in a six knot current or a twelve knot spinnaker run or a 25 knot windsurf ride a little tame then Jet Skis are tolerated to be used off the beaches that face the Verde Passage.
For the most panoramic views of Puerto Galera you simply must not miss a trip up the mountains to the Ponderosa Golf Club where, with very modest green-fees, you can play one of the world’s most dramatic 9-hole golf courses . . . guaranteed to challenge your short game.
If you do not want to bring your own golf clubs then you can rent suitable sets from the Ponderosa Golf Club. And if you have friends who don’t play golf then still take them along for there is plenty to see and do for no-players.
HIKING & TREKKING
You can trek through the rainforested hills and study the flora and fauna including rare wild orchids and birds or you can become a beachcomber and walk from bay to bay at low tide. Alternatively you can hike up to the waterfalls and bathe in the crystal clear and refreshingly cool mountain streams.
For those who like running instead of hiking then Sunday afternoon is when the Puerto Galera HASH House Harriers assemble at Capt'n Gregg's for a run (or brisk walk), around some time-hewn headland or along an ancient forest trail, towards the On-On of the day where to consume a friendly beer or two.
The Puerto Galera Range Group is where you can occasionally find the local crack shots proving to each other who is the best on the day. Visitors are welcome and you can hire a pistol and ammunition for live-ammunition target shooting. Paint-ballcompetitions can be arranged through Badladz or the all new Battlefield Livegame, using environmentally friendly, infra-red rifles and machine guns, is now available by prior arrangement through Mission Special.
The Puerto Galera museum provides an interesting insight into the history and changed culture of the town through the Spanish, American and Japanese colonial periods. Located near the church above Muelle Pier the museum is open most hours of daylight, except on Sundays.
ON/OFF ROAD MOTORCYCLES
Some of the terrain around Puerto Galera can only be appreciated by going off-road and the only practical way to do that is to hire a motorcycle. Hire a motorcycle for day or a week of exploration and you can discover sights that few have seen before.
If a lot of speed and a fair amount of mud is what you are after, then you need to strap yourself into one of our zippy little 150cc Mud Karts and hit the X-Treme Sports Philippines Off-Road Adventure Track!