Learn How to Scuba in the Philippines on Thanksgiving- SOLD OUT

November 17-25 (Saturday through Sunday)



If you are already certified CLICK HERE.

This year’s Thanksgiving is going to be a little more adventurous and a little more fun than your previous ones. Pick up your phone, call your family, and tell them that this year you will have to skip Thanksgiving with them because you are going to the warm-water, tropical, beautiful Philippines to learn how to scuba dive!

The Philippines is one the most beautiful countries in the world and one of the best places in the world to scuba dive. The only bad thing about learning how to scuba dive in the Philippines is that you will be so spoiled, it’ll be hard to match your first diving experience!

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Our location will be Puerto Galera on Mindoro Island, one of the most beautiful locations in the Philippines with some of the greatest dive sites in the world. Puerto Galera is also listed as one of the most beautiful bays in the world (http://world-bays.com/puerto-galera-bay/)!

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Puerto Galera is actually a great resort area for both divers and non-divers. Because there is so much to do besides diving, this will be a great trip to bring your friends, family, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc., even if they don’t want to learn how to scuba with you. There are beautiful  beaches to lay out and snorkel, as well as tons of other activities including hikes to water falls, 4x4 adventures, ziplining and even an adventure park.

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As always, we are taking advantage of the weekend and arriving on Saturday before Thanksgiving to make this a 9-day vacation, but only have to take 3 days off work. Actually we’ll have to take the Friday off too, since the flight crosses the timeline, so 4 days off work for a 9-day vacation; still awesome.  Now, because we cross the timeline, we can leave late on Sunday and enjoy one extra full day in the Philippines and arrive back in the U.S. Sunday earlier, so we truly have full days. I love traveling back from Asia because on the way back you arrive before you left! :-D :-D

We are staying at El Galleon dive resort, one of the best dive resorts in Puerto Galera. We will arrive on Saturday, do the certification on Sunday and Monday and then have the rest of our stay in which we will have an unlimited diving package. We’ll go out twice a day on a boat and do two dives with a guide who is also an instructor. This will be the perfect package to learn how to dive and get some good experience. We will even do a few night dives for those of us who feel comfortable enough to take that next step!file. GIF 4

And since the area has so many activities besides diving and so many beautiful places to see, we will plan on taking two days in which we can choose to go diving only in the morning and then arrange with the hotel to take us to do some of the activities and see some of the other places in Puerto Galera. All the activities besides diving will be optional and carry an extra cost, although things in the Philippines are so cheap, those costs will be very small.


Here is our planned itinerary:


Arrive at any time. Our rooms will be available after 1 PM, but if some of us arrive before that (I’m probably going to), I can see if the hotel can have our rooms available earlier. Either way, we’ll have a secure place to leave our luggage and enjoy the day at the resort.



Two dives as part of your certification in the morning and free day in the afternoon.



Two dives as part of your certification in the morning and free day in the afternoon. At the end of those two dives you will be an Open Water Certified Scuba Diver!



We’ll go out in the morning on a boat to do your first two guided dives as a certified diver! Again, this will be the perfect set up for a newly certified diver, since you will have a guide (who is also an instructor) with you the entire time.

In the afternoon we will have an optional (extra cost) beach hopping outing in which an El Galleon’s boat will take us to different beaches in Puerto Galera to snorkel, lay out at the beach, etc. Or if you prefer, you can stay and do two more dives in the afternoon at no cost.

At night we will arrange transport (extra cost) to take us to town for dinner and a drink. As it turns out, the Philippines have some unique drinks that they say every tourist should try! Check this out: https://alcoline.ph/blog/filipino-alcoholic-drinks-try/



Full day of guided boat diving with optional night dive (12.00 extra for the night dive)



We’ll do two dives in the morning. In the afternoon we will do an optional (extra) outing to Extreme Sports Philippines where we can ride ATV’s, go-karts, zipline and do a bunch of fun stuff! http://www.extremesportsphilippines.com. Or if you prefer, you can stay and do two more dives in the afternoon at no cost.



Full day of guided boat diving and optional night dive (12.00 extra for the night dive).



Full day of guided boat diving. At night we will arrange transportation (extra cost) to go to the village of Sabang where we can have dinner and go bar hopping for our last night in the Philippines.



It’s our last day, but because we will be crossing the timeline on the way back, we can leave late in the day. We will see how we feel, but it would be fun to once again arrange transportation (extra cost) with the hotel to take us to beaches in the area where we can go snorkeling lay out, and just enjoy our last day in the Philippines.



-1,395.00. I know, crazy cheap, right??? For seven days of unlimited diving with breakfast included! The Philippines is pretty inexpensive. Now, we got 4 rooms for this price. Once those rooms are taken, the price will go up to 1,595.00.

- A deposit of 300.00 (non-refundable) secures your reservation. Then you have until August 17, 2018 to finish making your payment. Once we receive your deposit, we will send you an invoice for the remaining amount. When you make your payment, you will be asked for your email. MAKE SURE YOU LIST AN EMAIL YOU CHECK DAILY WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR PAYMENT. THAT'S WHERE YOU'LL RECEIVE YOUR INVOICE, QUESTIONNAIRE AND ALL THE EMAILS IN REGARDS TO THE TRIP.


- Full payment is only due on August 17, 2018, three months before the trip. So you have a lot of time to pay. You can make payments in any way you prefer so long as you are fully paid by the due date.


- If you make payments or pay in full before the due date, your payments (minus the deposit) are refundable before the due date (August 17, 2018). After that, all payments are entirely non-refundable. We STRONGLY suggest that you get travel insurance to cover you in case you need to cancel your trip for any reason.



- All the hotel stays at double occupancy (please see ABOUT OCCUPANCY below).

- Four certification dives on November 18 and 19 (two dives per day).

- Five days of unlimited guided boat dives (up to four per day) from Tuesday, November 20 through Saturday, November 24.

- Tanks and weights.

- Transportation to and from Manila airport to the hotel if you arrive within the guidelines on FLIGHT GUIDELINES below.  If arrive or leave at a different time, you’ll have to arrange your own transportation or pay extra for El Galleon to come pick you up.

- Breakfast at El Galleon from Sunday, November 18 through Sunday, November 25.



- Flights (see FLIGHT below).

- Optional activities including the ones listed on the itinerary.

- Meals unless specifically stated in the itinerary.

- Travel insurance (highly recommended). We do offer Travel Guard travel insurance and will send you a link to purchase it once you pay your deposit. You can also get insurance with any company you would like.

- Tips to guides, drivers, staff, etc. 

- Rentals besides tanks and weights. Equipment rental is 16.00 per day without computer, 21.00 with computer and can be arranged at El Galleon.

- Souvenirs or anything extra you would like to get.

- Anything not described in the itinerary.



- Double occupancy: you will be paired up with someone of the same gender as a roommate. Unless you have someone that you are already coming with, of course. 

 - Single supplement (if you want a room for yourself): 600.00

- The last people to RSVP and pay the deposit MAY have to be put in triple occupancy rooms (if we end up with an odd number of men or women).



- We’re not setting a deadline but we’re limiting the number of people to 20, including experienced divers and new divers for this trip. We STRONGLY recommend that you put your deposit down ASAP. This way we can reserve your place. For every trip we do there are people who come in too late because they kept thinking about it too much.  Life does not wait for you if you hesitate. You know this trip was in your bucket list, so jump in right now!!!! :-)



Flights are NOT included. Flights are very easy to book nowadays on your own and some people want to do side trips, so it gets really unpractical to include flight. Besides many of you can use miles or other ways of making your flight free or saving money if you book it by yourself.  So instead of including air, we will give you guidelines so you can go to Kayak.com, Cheapoaire.com, Expedia.com, Orbitz.com, or any booking website and book your own. The best time to book a flight is usually 2-3 months before (the best day is Tuesday and the best time is between 12:00 and 3:00 PM).  We will book ours at that point and e mail the group telling you what we got.  If you do book the flight, we’ll meet at LAX. If not, we’ll just meet you there.

I did a quick search and already found flights as low as 400.00 round trip! I found a direct flight for 700.00 round trip and will probably buy that one about 60 days before.



- Arrives in MNL at any time on Saturday, November 17 up until 7:00 PM. We will have to be shuttled to Puerto Galera from Manila, which is a 3 hour drive, so we can’t arrive too late.

- Leaves MNL on Sunday, November 25 at any time after 4:00 PM.




- PADI’s Open Water Certification consists of a classroom or online session, five pool dives (done usually over two days) and four ocean dives (done usually over two days). The itinerary and package we put together has you taking the classroom or online course and doing your pool modules beforehand, so you don’t have to waste your time during our vacation doing those things. You can contact any PADI dive shop and arrange those, and I can help you with that. If you prefer to do it all in the Philippines, that is possible too, but I strongly recommend against it because you want to spend your time in your vacation diving; not sitting in a classroom or diving in a pool. You can email me if you have any questions and we can discuss this.

- All the optional activities will be arranged and paid for at El Galleon.

- Because of the adventurous nature of our trips, our itinerary and some locations are subject to change due of weather, tides, road conditions, logistics and other unforeseen circumstances. It’s not likely, but it could happen. Whenever we make a change in the itinerary, we will do our best to keep the integrity of the trip.

- Passport is required, of course, as in all international travel. Your passport must be valid for 6 months after our return date of November 25, therefore it must be valid until at least May 25, 2019. If you don't have a valid passport or if you passport expires before May 25, 2019, make sure to get started on a new one ASAP. Here's the link for the Department of State Passport section: http://travel.state.gov//content/travel/en.html

- As of the time of this posting American Citizens don’t need a visa for the Philippines. If you have a foreign passport, you may need a visa. Here's the Philippines Embassy page so you can look into that: http://www.philippineembassy-usa.org

If you need to take care of any those issues, make sure to get on them ASAP so you don't get held up because of some unexpected delay. We've had people missing trips and losing their money because they waited too long, had unexpected issues come up, and couldn't take care of them before the trip started.



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