I visited the Casalay resort in Puerto Galera in the Philippines.

Casalay resort in Puerto Galera in the Philippines was a surprise and a nice resort for relaxation and diving. Puerto Galera in the Philippines has developed a reputation for good diving over the years. In recent years also a lot of other things. Here today there is a lot of party life, nightclubs and restaurants that have grown up. Diving has continued to live on in parallel and still attracts divers from all over the world.

I went on a short trip to see if it is possible to experience Puerto Galera and have a nice relaxing vacation and diving without all this surrounding and I found the Casalay Boutique resort which was quite the opposite of many other places.

Easy to get to Puerta Galera

It's easy to get here from Manila. It is only two hours by car south from the airport. Then you go with either a small speed boat for 14-16 people from the small port of Berberabe. A really small port located just south of the city of Batangas. Toilet and a small shop are available waiting for the boat and it doesn't take more than 30-40 minutes to get to Casalay resort. You can also go here with one of the fastcat boats from Batangas main port to Balatero port. Those boats hold up to 150 people and take about 60-80 minutes plus a short boat ride to the resort. The same in reverse when you are going further or home.

On the west side of LaLaguna opposite Medio Island is a small family resort, Casalay (ka-sa-lei). Here you have peace and quiet and only a few bungalows that are conveniently located on the slope facing the pool and sea. The rooms are simple but clean and tidy. All rooms have a balcony with seating facing the sea and you are surrounded by lush greenery. Here you have nature close at hand all the time. There is a small beach and a nicely located restaurant with a view of the water and a small bar by the beach.

Good beds, shower, toilet and air conditioning, just what you need. The resort is small and family friendly. Everyone can probably go here, solo travelers, couples, smaller groups or hard core divers. Regardless, you will have a quiet and relaxing stay because here the only things you notice are a few passing boats or the chatter of divers on their way to or from their dive.

Very good food and wonderful diving

The food was consistently very good and here you can find everything from vegetarian dishes to meat, fish, seafood, international dishes and Filipino. We tried several of them and the taste was really good on everything and the food was well prepared and nicely laid out with well sized portions. We also tried some of the desserts and they were yummy and enjoyable.

The diving was managed from the small diving center and we went out to some of the dive sites in the area that have made Puerto Galera famous over the years. All dive sites are close here and all dives are from a local boat called bangka (meaning boat in Tagalog). Frogfish, snappers, bumphead parrotfish, nudibranchs, crustaceans, shoals of butterfly fish, scorpion fish and various corals and anemones along with sponges color the reefs and offer good diving. Here we could do up to four dives a day, but I settled for two. Every day there was a little massage by the pool and hopefully they will soon finish their new spa which was under construction.

The diving center was small but here there was diving equipment for rent and it was good and it was orderly. There were showers at the diving center and it was close to the boat when we were going to dive. Soon they would move the diving center closer to the pool and beach so it would be even easier. For those who would like to take a diving course, it will be really practical and convenient.

Easy to combine and travel onward in the Philippines.

For those of you who want to go further in the Philippines and combine, it's easy. Being so close to Manila, getting to the airport is quick. You can combine with any of them resorts and destinations that the Philippines offers. Also liveaboard can be combined with for those who wish.

Overall, the visit was very pleasant. Casalay resort is for you who want safe peace and quiet. Here it is relaxation and vacation and you alternate with the diving that has made Puerto Galera famous over the years. It's not luxury, but the food and the tranquility make it a luxury to be here. The fact that the resort is then very affordable does not make it any worse.