Down to the dive site: The Canyons
Dive site name: The Canyons
Dive type: drift dive, reef dive
Depth: 20 – 30m
Viz: 6m – 20m
Skill level: experienced divers only
Getting there: eight minutes by boat
Alongside the magnificent gorgonian fans, teeming triggerfish, and underwater hot springs of Verde Island, there is one other dive site in Puerto Galera the mere mention of which will raise the pulse of anyone who knows about it: The Canyons!
The site, discovered in 1981, was rated among the “50 most beautiful dive sites in the world” by CNN in 2012.
With spectacular underwater formations, swirling, pounding current, huge sea fans, and schools of batfish, jacks, and groupers, this is not a site for the faint hearted or uninitiated – nor is it a dive you will ever forget.
We take one of our powerful, spacious, covered LLV speedboats on the eight-minute trip out to the point of Sinandigan headland, and drop in around Hole in the Wall.
It is not every dive pro in Puerto Galera who can reliably guide their group to the three descending natural rock canyons, carved out by the power of the waters which create one of the most exhilarating drift dives in Puerto Galera – an area rightly famous for its drift diving.
But our team will get you there every time, keeping each small group (we never dive with more than five divers per pro, and usually fewer) in a tight pack to ensure proximity to an experienced professional in the strong current.
From Hole in the Wall, you let the current take you for a short drift to the first of the three Canyons, and then up and over or around the canyon walls to the deeper, and then deepest of the three, which bottom out at 24, 27 and 30m respectively.
Sheltered from the power of the waters you can kneel on sandy bottom here and catch your breath, looking up at the teeming schools of Snapper, Giant Trevallies, Sweetlips, Barracuda, and Emperor fish attracted by the current.
Such a profusion of fish also brings larger predators: manta rays, thresher sharks, hammerheads and even whale sharks have all been spotted here.
At the end of the third and deepest canyon there is an old Spanish anchor embedded in the rock – great for a photo.
Not one for a novice, it’s a dive only offered to Advanced Open Water divers and above, depending on experience and our PADI professionals’ judgement of a diver’s inwater skills.
Best done on nitrox to increase bottom time at these depths, this dive changes dramatically depending on the tides and lunar cycle.
It ends with a blue water ascent and a safety stop in blue water – where you’ll discover just how far from the coast you’ve been swept on Puerto Galera’s signature drift dive.
This one is not to be missed, and definitely one for the memory books!