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Puerto Galera

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Luzon : Mindoro : Puerto Galera
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Puerto Galera is a town on the northeastern coast of Mindoro Island, Philippines. Among travelers it is commonly known as encompassing the region surrounding it. While a small town itself, other adjacent smaller towns, such as Sabang and White Beach, are the primary destinations; however, all are lumped together as Puerto Galera as it hosts the ferry terminal (to Batangas) through which most people arrive.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Puerto Galera is three hours away from Metro Manila. If you're already in Manila, getting there is pretty easy. Having a car is very convenient, all you need to do is drive through South Luzon Expressway turn right to Star Toll gate and then head to Batangas Pier. From there, you can either park your car and ride a ferry going to Puerto Galera or have your car ride a RoRo(roll on, roll off) ship so you could take your car with you to Puerto Galera.

By bus[edit]

Puerto Galera is easily accessible from Areas around Manila. Most tourists prefer to take a JAM transit or BLTB bus - from it's terminals along EDSA Cubao. These ply every hour between Cubao (Manila) and Puerto Galera pier. The Sikat tourist service operates one trip per day and is convenient for people staying in Manila close to Ermita.

  • JAM transit, BLTB and Sikat tourist service, Ermita, Manila. The round trip ticket costs Php1,400 (about US$31) and includes both bus and ferry to either Sabang Beach or Puerto Galera. It reaches Sabang at 1 pm afternoon
    For the adventurous traveler go to Buendia LRT station in Manila and from there you will see buses and shuttle services going to Batangas pier. It cost around P180 from Buendia to Batangas pier. And when you get to Batangas pier all you need to do is to ride a ferry boat going to Sabang - Puerto Galera.
    JAM Transit operates buses every hour from Manila Cubai and Buendia bus terminal to Puerto Galera pier. The trip costs about 200 pesos and takes about 2 hours
     edit

By boat[edit]

Scheduled ferries arrive at Puerto Galera mostly from Batangas but also from other islands. From there, most people immediately depart for Sabang (known for SCUBA diving) or White Beach (a stretch of white sand holding small restaurants and bars).

Crossing the waters between Batangas Port and White Beach can be a thrill by itself especially during the meeting of the tides when the sea can be quite rough. However, the boatmen know these waters very well, so there is no need to be hysterical.

From Boracay you can go with the big ferry to Roxas and from there with a local jeepney or hire a van to Puerto Galera/ Sabang Beach.

Get around[edit]

At the harbor you will find lots of people trying to get you to ride with their tricycle. For a 5 minute trip, they will try to make you pay 200php, but the real price is 15/20php (one person/two person) (8th March, 2011) so insist on paying that. You can also find them everywhere in town and get a ride to White Beach, Sabang etc. At night when it gets dark, the prices changes to higher rates (for example, instead of 20php you pay 50php). In Sabang there are 3 motorcycle rental providers. For 500php you can rent a scooter for the whole day. You have to mind the local traffic rules, of course.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Beaches: White Beach is a good alternative to Boracay if you do not have much money or time. One of the interesting aspects of many Philippine beaches is that there are no piers at the destination so boats typically go as close to the beach as possible. Passengers disembark through a wooden plank and either have to wade through knee high water or be piggybacked by muscular boatmen. Other beaches include Talipanan Beach, Bayanan Beach, Haligi Beach, Long Beach, Panlilio Beach, Coco Beach, La Laguna Beach, Encenada Beach, Bulabod Beach, Boquete Island and San Antonio Island. About 32 beaches are found around Puerto Galera meaning there's a lot to choose from. Avoid April and May when room rates rise triple or double of the ordinary price because many flock to the beaches during the long weekend in Holy Week. The waters of Puerto Galera are home to giant clams as well as dolphins and corals.
  • Lush Forests: The forests of Puerto Galera are home to many flora such as orchids, birds and fauna such as orchids and waterfalls.
  • Tamaraw Falls, (15km from Puerto Galera on the road of Calapan). Tamaraw Falls is just a few minute ride from White Beach by rented van. The water from the Falls collects into a pool under a bridge. It is quite cold and invigorating. A few meters up from the pool, one can enjoy the pounding waters that gush through the boulders. Just a few kilometers down the road is a beautiful beach.  edit
  • Coral Reefs
  • Hidden Valley. A paradise lost and is off the beaten track, ask your hotel for directions to get to there.  edit
  • Mangyan Village. A group of Nomadic peoples living in the mountains of Mindoro, they're the natives of Mindoro however now the Tagalogs form majority of the population. They have struggled in preserving their culture by avoiding outside and modern western influences. To see them, a reliable guide is needed. Respect and behavior is a must when visiting them just like how you want people to behave when they visit your home.  edit
  • Alag Riverbank. Get to Alag riverbank by jeepney passing scenic views of the mountains by jeepney. This is the best spot to Kayak, depending on how fast the river flows the trip might last for 3-4 hours.  edit
  • Muelle Bay. A beautiful hidden hideout. It has a natural harbor where most ferries and boats dock, the bay is lined by a row of shops, bars and restaurants, enjoy the scenic view of the bay while having lunch or a romantic dinner. Get your cameras ready :)  edit
  • Reptile Zoo. Not to be missed by reptile lovers, it has a set of snakes, crocodiles and lizards.  edit
  • Talipanan Falls, Mangyan Village (follow the trail out of the village up the stream). After a 20 minute walk, you can take a swim at a secluded little waterfall.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Accredited masseuses can give you massage right on the beach. To prevent hanky-panky, in-room massage, other than in an especially designated room at the hotel, is prohibited. Aside from Scuba Diving, golf is also another activity, a golf course is available.

Diving[edit]

Most visitors to Puerto Galera are attracted by the excellent scuba diving provided by the protected marine sanctuary. There are a number of dive shops in the area (estimated at around 35) that provide access to a macro (i.e. small life) heaven. The dive sites that feature a large variety of small sea life with the occasional shark or turtle. Several sites are drift dives and often turn into (strong) current dives with the best diving (for coral and small life) being at 20m or 60 feet. Almost all of the dive sites are within a 10 minute boat ride of Sabang which allows you to spend your surface interval on the shore and it also allows most shops to offer as many as four dive trips (single tank) each day. Prices for a single dive are around $26~$32 for a single tank dive, including equipment rental, boat and dive guide, with discounts for more dives and if you have your own equipment.

  • Badladz Adventure Divers, (next to Muelle Pier), 0063 (0)43 287 3693 (), [1]. Small personal dive shop catering to beginners and experienced divers, operated by a bunch of very friendly Instructors and divemasters that go out of their way to make your diving safe and enjoyable. They offer all PADI courses from beginner intro dives and open water courses right through to Divemaster at very reasonable prices and small class sizes so that everyone gets a chance to learn the dive skills at their own speed and time , they also offer group discounts and multiple day diving discounts. Tell them what type of diving you want like corals , drift dives, wall dives or critter dives and they will go out of their way to make it happen .Also they have all new equipment and wetsuits .Tel:  edit
  • South Sea Divers, (Sabang Beach), +43 287-3052 (), [2]. One of the first dive shops in the area, founded in 1983. Experienced and knowable shop with lively staff. Owner sky is very inviting and will answer any diving or even give you cool anecdotes about life in Sabang. The atmosphere truly adds to your vacation. Proper shop with everything you could want and all the gear you may need. Learn to dive or just go on a fun dive. Tech courses offered as well. Very reasonable rates.Worth checking out.  edit
  • Blue Ribbon Dive Resort, (Small Lalaguna Beach), +43 287 3561 (), [3]. Quite a new establishment (May 2010) Blue Ribbon Dive Resort started as a small dive shop then a year later took over the neighboring Sunsplash Resort. They offer some very good value dive packages, and have a team of very friendly yet professional staff. Recently being upgraded to a 5 Star PADI dive resort (December 2011), the gear is very well maintained, and they also off 'Floro-Diving', night diving with a blue light, which special goggles that show the fluorescence underwater. They are very camera friendly, and enjoy finding the critters that make Puerto Galera famous. They offer all PADI courses up to Assistant Instructor, with all the specialties. Their restaurant offers live music every night, a themed buffet every night, including Indian, Mexican, Thai and Seafood. The mixed fruit shake here is also amazing. They are located on the tranquil beach of Small Lalaguna, only a 5 minute walk from the nightlife in Sabang.  edit
  • Big La Laguna Beach Resorts, (Big Lalaguna Beach), +63 920 416 0502 (), [4]. Big La Laguna Beach Resorts is an operation comprised of 2 separate resorts in the stunningly beautiful bay of Big La Laguna. The resorts are Campbell's Beach Resort and Scandi Divers Resort. Both resorts offer a wide variety of rooms to suit all budgets; from cozy beachfront rooms, to 3-bedroom suites, and everything in between. The rooms are all clean and comfortable, and most of them are beachfront. Scandi Dive Resort has a very professional dive center, with very experienced staff and friendly staff. Aside from fun dives, they do dive courses from beginners all the way up to instructors. The location of these resorts it what really makes them special; Big La Laguna Bay is very quiet and peaceful, with a pristine beach and some of the best views in Puerto Galera. It's a great place for swimming, snorkeling and relaxing on the beach. Be sure to visit Scandi's Skybar, which has a large terrace upstairs. Perfect for enjoying the sunsets whilst enjoying a cocktail or two!  edit
  • Frontier Scuba, (west Sabang Beach), +63 917 540 8410 (), [5]. Run by Rick Kirkham, one of the most experienced instructors in the Philippines, this 5-Star Instructor Training Center is one the busiest, smaller dive centers. They offer complete packages with guided diving, transfers, accommodation and meals. The attached restauarant Hemingway's is consistently voted the best restaurant in Puerto Galera. They offer the complete range of recreational dive courses from Discover Scuba (experience a dive),PADI Open Water, PADI Divemaster and SDI Instructor courses. TDI technical diver and instructor courses are offered up to Advanced Wreck and Advanced Trimix. Nitrox, trimix, sodasorb and rebreather tanks are available to rent  edit
  • Scuba Scuta, Palangan Puerto Galera (2 mins from Muelle Pier), +63909205843032, [6].  edit
  • Sea Rider Dive Center, Small La Laguna Beach, +63 921 588 5994, +63 906 454 5602 (), [7]. Locally owned with an excellent instructor, friendly and helpful staff. 900 pesos per dive.  edit

ATM's[edit]

  • Puerto Galera has 3 ATMs
  • Sabang Beach only has one and it's often "offline". There are three ATMs in Puerto Galera that accept international ATM cards (Cirrus, Plus etc, Mastercard is not listed but works anyway) Max. withdrawal 10,000 PHP per transaction. The ATM in Sabang Beach has been offline for weeks as of Feb 1 2014. Bringing US 100's in cash is a smart move if you plan to stay in Sabang and do not want to go into town every other day, not to mention this avoids the 200 peso ATM fee. Or do your banking in Manila before you arrive.

Other activities[edit]

  • Ponderosa Golf Club, (20 minutes from City proper). Another great thing to do in Puerto is to trek till Ponderaso Golf, from White Beach take the road going to Puerto, walk about 15 mins, then you will see a sign for Ponderosa Golf. The road is uphill and provides a fantastic view of Puerto Galera, after an hour of healthy walking you'll be rewarded with good food at the golf club. Bring plenty water with you and protect yourself from the sun.  edit
  • Puerto Galera Yacht Club, (take a boat from Muelle pier), [8]. Learn to sail a dinghy with a 3-day beginner course at the yacht club. PHP 7840.  edit
  • Stairway Foundation, Barangay Aninuan, [9]. International NGO working with street children and victims of child sexual abuse. Visitors can tour the center and learn about the issue of child sexual abuse and how Stairway uses creative expressions in order to raise awareness.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Souvenir items.

Eat[edit][add listing]

There are many restaurants near Muelle Pier, Puerto Galera and Sabang Beach.

  • Le Bistro D'Agathe, Muelle Pier, [10]. A French restaurant that also has a bakery for fresh baguettes that is no longer there.  edit
  • Foodtrip sa Galera, White Beach. 24 hours. good food, great value. $2 up.  edit
  • Foodtrip Chicken Inasal, White Beach (At the beach front). 24 hours. Very good grilled food, Very nice seafood menu, very reasonable prices.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sabang beach at night is famous (or infamous) for girly bars that tend to close just as quickly as they pop up. It also has billiard rooms and discos where you can party into the wee hours of the morning.

The Jager Bar (http://www.thejagerbar.com/)

Floating Bar - enjoy a beer on a boat off the coast of Sabang.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Puerto Galera has numerous hotels and resorts that tourists can choose from.

  • White Beach Puerto Galera [11] has a prime location at the center of White Beach. It offers modestly furnished but comfortable rooms. Each room is air-conditioned and comes with a private toilet and bath with shower and tub, cable TV, and room safe. The hotel also has an Internet cafe, bar and restaurant, Jacuzzi, and conference room. Water sports are available. that tourists can choose from.
  • Lagundian Hills Lodging House [12] at White Beach. Phone Number: +63(0)2 400-8547 or +63(0)916 644-4157 / e-mail: mailto:lagundian@gmail.com. All rooms are well maintained and have views of the beach. Some rooms can accommodate up to eight guests, some have kitchen.

Tourists will also find many cheap bungalows to stay on white beach. These cost from 500 pesos to 1500 pesos a night, you can get better rates during week days.

  • Sea Jewel Beach Resort, White Beach, 63 2 5534898, [13]. Twin, triple, quad and family rooms, all equipped with Air-conditioning, and 21-inch flat screen TV with cable channels. Facilities and services are Restaurant and Free Wi-Fi Internet access. From PHP 1,350.00.  edit
  • Aninuan Beach Resort [14] Price: USD $50. Phone Number: +63920 931 8946 or +63920 931 8924.
  • Tamaraw Beach Resort, 6392234, [15]. The owners are building a large conference centre just 5 metres from the main accommodation block and bungalows. On the other side just 2 metres away the Sunset at Aninuan hotel is building a 3 floor extension. The access from the road to the beach is now severely restricted and only a small path remains for foot traffic. Best rates on official website start at Php 800.  edit
  • Blue Crystal Beach Resort, Palangan (10 minutes from Muelle Piera), +6343-287-3144, [16]. checkin: 02:00PM; checkout: 12:00 Noon. Air-conditioned rooms and suites that face their private beach are equipped with bath and shower, cable TV, mini-bar and refrigerator, private terrace, and Wi-Fi internet. The resort has a scuba diving center, swimming pool and offers a wide range of day trips by boat and jeepney. PHP 995.00 per person per night for double occupancy and PHP 895.00 per person per night for multiple occupancy.  edit
  • Franklyn Beach Resort, Palangan, + 632 522-3738 / +63 43 287-3182, [17]. Atop a hill overlooking the sea. The stunning sea view is arguably the rooms’ best feature, but the amenities also provide a certain amount of comfort. Each accommodation has Internet access, a ceiling fan, and toilet and shower with hot and cold water. At 8th March 2011, they didn't provide internet access, they didn't know that they even had an internet booking system and they didn't have any water in their swimming pool. But other than that, they were really nice and the view where as great as the homepage says. Rates start at PHP 1,170.  edit
  • Buri Resort & Spa, Cove Area, 8120722, [18]. Buri Resort & Spa has undergone a dramatic transformation since it first opened in 2001 with five simple cottages and now has 12 villas. USD140+.  edit
  • Blue Water Lodge, (60 m from White Beach), (02) 514 88 38 (), [19]. Each accommodation is air-conditioned and fitted with cable TV and a private toilet and bath with hot & cold shower. The Standard Rooms have one Queen-size bed, while the Deluxe Rooms have two. Rates start at PHP 1,000.  edit
  • Manalo′s Guesthouse, (five-minute walk from famous White Beach), 09176096072 and 09176674077, [20]. Each room is air-conditioned and fitted with a living room/ lounge area, kitchenette, and private toilet and shower. Rates start at PHP 1000.  edit
  • Myra and Medelaine’s Place, +63 043 287 3602 (), [21]. Myra and Medelaine’s Place is located right along the famous White Beach, is conveniently near many attractions and dive spots, and provide a host of conveniences. The Resort is all about comfort and variety. You can choose among nine guestrooms: Standard, De Luxe, and Family Rooms. Some rooms feature a queen-size bed instead of a single or twin bed. White Beach, San Isidro, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. Rates start at PHP 1,050.  edit
  • White Beach Resort, Bar and Restaurant, White Beach, 09178258643, 09228358643, [22]. In the tropical paradise that is Puerto Galera lies White Beach Resort, Bar and Restaurant – a modest beachfront retreat that is big in comfort, but easy on the pocket. Why look for frills when the necessities are already at hand? This Puerto Galera accommodation comes with air-conditioning, a toilet and shower, and dining area. In the morning, see the sunshine spill from the skylight through your room's balcony. Best rates on official website start at Php 1,110.00.  edit
  • Badladz Adventure Resort (Badladz Adventure Resort), Muelle Pier (Right at Muelle Pier), +63 919-577-2823 (), [23]. Badladz Adventure Resort is located at the quiet end of the main tourist pier. It is only 6 km from both Sabang and White Beach. This makes it a nice alternative to the crowds at both these locations. Each room comes with A/C, Hot Water, cable TV and a spectacular view over the yachts at Puerto Galera Bay. There's free WiFi. The included Mexican Restaurant is one of the bests restaurants in the whole area. A diveshop is part of the resort. Rates start at P990.  edit
  • Tropicana Castle Resort, Sabang Beach, [24]. checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00nn. Tropicana Castle Resort is located in the tropical surroundings of Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera. The resort offers fully-furnished rooms and a a roof-garden restaurant that serves local and international cuisines.It looks like a real castle. Php1750.00.  edit
  • Scandi Divers (Scandi Divers Puerto Galera Resorts), Big La Laguna, +63 43 287 3551, [25]. Scandi Divers (Scandinavian Divers) is one of the resorts in Puerto Galera on Big La Laguna Beach. It's a short walk to Sabang, but quiet and relaxing. It's a great place to come for scuba diving as they have their own fully-equipped dive shop and boat; 25 USD per dive. The restaurant is fantastic too, with great-tasting dishes from all around the world. From $45USD.  edit
  • Campbell's Beach Resort, Big La Laguna Beach (End of beach walking from Sabang), 63-43-287-3466, [26]. checkin: 2 pm; checkout: Noon. Quiet all waterfront rooms at the end of the Big La Laguna Beach, a 15 minute walk or a short boat or tricycle ride from Sabang. Restaurant featuring international food with emphasis on Thai food. Guests use pool and dive center 50 meters next door at Scandi Divers. Free Wi Fi From 29 usd.  edit
  • Encenada Beach Resort, Brgy. Palangan, 63-43-2873083, [27]. Their Puerto Galera resort offer rooms equipped with private toilet and shower. Some of the facilities and services offered are restaurant/bar with free Wifi, meeting room for 30 pax, beach football activities, group adventure tours, jeepney, motorcycle, scooter rentals, diving and snorkeling activities. Rates start at PHP 1,400.00.  edit
  • Bangera Inn, white beach. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 12nn. just a few steps from the beach, affordable and nice. 1000.  edit
  • Squares Cafe & Apartment, Small Tabinay Beach (Only 1km from Puerto town), +63 9158070628, [28]. Fully furnished apartments right on a quiet beach in the village Small Tabinay on the outskirts of Puerto Galera. Have WiFi. All apts have a separate bedroom and a kitchen.  edit
  • El Canonero, Muelle Pier, +63 9476901352, [29]. checkin: 2 p.m.; checkout: noon. Located directly at the Muelle pier. Each room has optional aircondition, private bathroom with hot shower, good cable TV and free WiFi. The Bar and Restaurant is nice too. Rates start at P600 for a room without aircon 600.  edit

Get out[edit]

Jeepney to Calapan (1.15h, 90P) leaves from the end of the main road several times daily. Also, air conditioned mini vans now operate for 100P and have fewer stops. From Calapan you can take a minivan (3h, 180P) to Roxas.

Jeepney/Tricycle to Balatero where a boat, M/S Caribbean, leaves daily at 10AM for Abras de Llog, 180php one-way, 10php terminal fee. Easy entry into Mindoro Occidental. An easier and cheaper option compared to chartering your own pumpboat or going to Abras via Batangas.

Visa[edit]

  • Immigration Office, (in the public market buildiing). M-W, 9AM-4PM. Most visa related issues can be taken care of by Right Honerable Rudi and Nestor from the Calapan Immigrations Office. They hold hours here Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday only ope until noon .Xerox services are available nearby, often required for visa extension applications. Maps and where to go guides are also available there for a modest fee.  edit
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