Puerto Galera

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

Visa

By car

Puerto Galera is 90 minutes 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 (SLEX) and Star Tollway 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 bound to Calapan City so you could take your car with you to Puerto Galera. Its distance from Puerto Galera is about 51 Kms and takes about 1 1⁄2 hour land drive with concreted zigzag road.

By bus

Puerto Galera is easily accessible from Areas around Manila. Most tourists prefer to take a JAM transit or BLTB bus - from its 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.

By boat

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

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

Do

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

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.

Other activities

Buy

Eat

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

Drink

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

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

Go next

Jeepney to Calapan (1.15h, 90P) leaves from the end of the main road several times daily. Air conditioned mini vans now operate also for the same price 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.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, November 12, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.