A Diving Hotspot in Puerto Galera

“Zurecht ein Platz fur einen unvergesslichen Tauchurlaub!” says an online ad in German on a resort in Sabang, a coastal barangay of Puerto Galera. It’s “a place for an unforgettable diving holiday” in English. Sabang boasts of 20 world class dive sites. It is one of the favorite dive destinations worldwide.

Puerto Galera is known for fine sand beaches, the blue sea, tourist hotels and inns, sea foods and delightfully grilled sea-side cuisine, and its unique wildlife and lush forest. Divers frequent the Puerto for pristine diving alcoves in different spots of the province. Yet, Sabang is fast becoming the favorite among vacationers.

Sabang is best for swimming, snorkeling, and skin and scuba diving—which the village is known for. Vacationers do that day and night. The remarkable waters of Sabang never tire there. Well, for night-time rest hours, there are several night spots in the area fit for evening socials—affordable but cozy.

To get to Sabang, a land trek to Batangas International Port (about three hours from Manila) is made. Sea crafts such as taxi ferries, outriggers (pump boats), and ro-ros (the latest sea craft model) abound at the port. Outriggers are the favorite. It’s old-fashioned but makes the tour a short, fast, and relaxing one-hour sea trip costing only P 150 or a little more than $3.

During off season, visitors number below average, which is about a thousand. The numbers dwindle on rainy days. So the best time to go there with less crowding hassles is from January to February. Rates are lower compared to the just concluded Christmas season. But around end of February, expect prices to start jacking up.

Tourists flocking to Sabang from March to May (peak season) are about 1,500 to 2000 daily. In other nearby villages tourists also come in by the droves. Both foreign and local tourists love Sabang.

Sabang is easily the favorite, even when compared with other well-known tourist destinations in the country like Boracay, because of its low-budget accommodations, homey feeling, service, and of course, accessibility.

According to a shipping lines plying the Sabang-Batangas route, some 98 percent of the tourists take the outtriggers to Sabang.

Sabang, along with other five diving sites (Meulle, Balatero, Minolo, White Beach, and Talipanan) is presently reached through the one entry point, Balatero. But this is still being contested and other entry points may soon begin to re-open. While the single entry-point policy is in effect, a challenging tricycle ride—a trek closer to the wildlife of the backwoods—is the main access to Sabang.

For a most memorable vacation site even Germans flaunt online, a perfect hideaway from the bustles of daily life into an amazing undulation of coral reefs and sea life in clear sea water—not to mention the people—set out for Sabang in the Puerto.

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