Port of galleons is the English translation of Puerto Galera, as it was literally a safe haven for galleons and ships during heavy storms or squalls in the ancient era. With its deep natural harbors and enclosed bays, its very purpose as a secure anchorage remains true today.
Puerto Galera is a town in the northern coast of Mindoro Island, a vibrant destination and tourism hot spot of the province of Oriental Mindoro. It sits at the middle of the southern edge of Verde Island Passage, dubbed as the “center of the center of world’s marine biodiversity”. Its accessibility and proximity to Metro Manila and Southern Tagalog Region help make the town one of the most sought after destinations in Luzon.
The town has approximately 42 kilometers of coastline and a diverse underwater ecosystem that serves as home to variety of marine species, thus it is without a doubt that it is hailed as among the most popular and best dive destinations in the world. Coral gardens carpet its reefs, ship wrecks dot its seabed, tropical marine species dwell on its rich waters. In 1973, UNESCO designated Puerto Galera as a Man and Biosphere Reserve.
More than the bounty of its waters, Puerto Galera is blessed with abundance of natural wonders with variety of flora and fauna some of which are endemic to the place, from sea to summit, beneath and above. It is included in the elite list club of the “Most Beautiful Bays of the World” and with numerous white sand beaches, panoramic coves, verdant mountains, majestic waterfalls, snaking rivers and streams, picturesque sunrise and sunset, vibrant nightlife and more, Puerto Galera definitely has it all!
How to Get to Puerto Galera
Puerto Galera is roughly three (3) to four (4) hours of land and sea travel from Metro Manila. The common jump-off point is the Port of Batangas that connects the town’s passenger ports (Muelle and Balatero) to mainland Luzon.
A. Manila – Batangas – Puerto Galera
Bus: Manila to Batangas
There are numerous buses from Cubao, Sampaloc, Buendia and Alabang going to Batangas Port. Departure is almost round-the-clock from the combined operations of JAM, Alps, Crow and Ceres Bus, fare from Buendia is P197 (as of February 2019) and travel time is two (2) to three (3) hours. You can book your bus tickets from Manila to Batangas below.
Ferry: Batangas to Puerto Galera (Muelle or Balatero)
In Batangas Port, catch a fast-craft or slow ferry (Ro-Ro) to the port you wish to go to – Muelle (near Sabang) or Balatero (near White Beach). There are numerous departures daily, almost every hour from as early as 5AM to as late as 7PM. You can book your ferry tickets from Batangas to Puerto Galera below.
B. Manila – Batangas – Calapan – Puerto Galera
If you miss the direct boat from Batangas to Puerto Galera, another option is to take a Ro-Ro ferry from Batangas Port to Calapan which has a 24-hour operations and then a one-hour van or jeepney to Puerto Galera. You can book your ferry tickets from Batangas to Calapan below.
Going Around and Away
Inland: Jeep, Tricycle, Motorbike, Bicycle
The basic mode of transportation inland are jeepney and tricycle. Minimum regular fare is P8 for jeepney and P10 for tricycle. For special short-distance trips, you can charter a tricycle for as low as P150 (good for 3 persons). Meanwhile, a tricycle tour of Tamaraw Falls, Mangyan Village and Aplayang Munti costs P800 (good for 3 persons). Big groups may opt to charter a jeep or van. There are also motorcycles and bicycle rentals around in town for those who prefer to tour the town on two wheels.
White Beach to Sabang and Back: Regular jeepneys ply the route, fare is P35 per person (as of October 2019). Trip usually starts at 5AM with last trip at around 6PM but schedule usually changes based on foot traffic.
Puerto Galera to Calapan: Jeepneys and vans to Calapan are stationed at Jeepney Terminal in the town proper (near the public market). One-way fare from Puerto Galera to Calapan is around P100, travel time is at least one (1) hour.
Island Hopping: Outrigger Boat
To visit other islands, beaches, coves and the snorkeling sites, charter an outrigger boat to take you there. Island hopping rate starts at P1,800 for a boat that fit up to six (6) people. However, to reach the snorkeling sites, you need to transfer to a paddle boat that costs P200 per person per site.
If you wish to travel by boat to specific destination in town, you may charter a boat at Muelle Port (near the town proper). Here’s the standard boat rate as of October 2019 for a boat that can fit maximum of six (6) passengers.
|Muelle Port – Sandbar||P200/boat||P400/boat|
|Muelle Port – Buri Beach||P200/boat||P400/boat|
|Muelle Port – San Antonio / Underwater Cave||P230/boat||P460/boat|
|Muelle Port – Fridays||P250/boat||P500/boat|
|Muelle Port – Coco Beach||P250/boat||P500/boat|
|Muelle Port – Big La Laguna||P300/boat||P600/boat|
|Muelle Port – Small La Laguna||P350/boat||P700/boat|
|Muelle Port – Coral Garden||P400/boat||P800/boat|
|Muelle Port – Sabang Beach||P400/boat||P800/boat|
|Muelle Port – Long Beach||P500/boat||P1000/boat|
|Muelle Port – Haligi Beach||P500/boat||P1000/boat|
|Muelle Port – Bayanan Beach||P500/boat||P1000/boat|
|Muelle Port – Tamaraw Beach||P700/boat||P1400/boat|
|Muelle Port – White Beach||P1000/boat||P2000/boat|
|Muelle Port – Talipanan Beach||P1200/boat||P2400/boat|
Fast-crafts and boats going to Batangas Port depart from the ports of Muelle and Balatero as early as 5AM to as late as 6PM daily. If you miss the boat or if they are full, you may opt to take a ferry from Calapan. You can book your ferry tickets from anywhere in Puerto Galera or Calapan to Batangas as well as bus tickets from Batangas to Manila below.
Where to Stay in Puerto Galera
Tourists in Puerto Galera usually stay in either White Beach or Sabang. White beach is popular to local tourists while Sabang is the go-to place of foreign tourists mostly scuba divers. Both have wide array of accommodations and vibrant night life.
White Beach Area (Including Talipanan / Aninuan)
Top-Rated Hotels in White Beach Area
Sunset at Aninuan Beach Resort
Top-Rated Budget Accommodations in White Beach Area
Amami Garden Spa
Bamboo House Beach Lodge
Top-Rated Hotels in Sabang Area
Fridays Puerto Galera
Lalaguna Villas Luxury Dive Resort
Top-Rated Budget Accommodations in Sabang Area
Sights and Activities in Puerto Galera
- Beach and Island Hopping: Puerto Galera has numerous white sand beaches, the most popular is the busy White Beach in San Isidro where numerous hotels and lodges can be found. Beside White Beach are Aninuan Beach and Talipanan Beach which are less crowded and quiet compared to White Beach. Then there’s Tamaraw Beach, Bayanan Beach, Haligi Beach, Long Beach, Sabang Beach, Coco Beach, Fridays, Buri Beach, Encenada Beach, Bulabod Beach, Panlilio Beach, La Laguna Beach, Boquete Sandbar and more.
- Scuba Diving, Free Diving and Snorkeling: With more than 30 dive sites and easy access to Verde Island, Puerto Galera is a scuba divers paradise! Some of the most popular dive sites are Alma Jane, Sabang Wrecks, Hole in the Wall, Sharks Cave, Sinandigan Wall and Japanese Wreck, among others. Most dive operators are located in Sabang including Big Apple, Octopus Divers, Scandinavian Divers and Cocktail Divers among others
- Waterfalls: There are four known waterfalls in Puerto Galera and perhaps more in the mountains. The the tallest, most popular and easily accessible is Tamaraw Falls, located along the national road some 15 kilometers from the town proper and 21 kilometers from White Beach. Meanwhile, Aninuan Falls is closest to White Beach, just two (2) kilometers away but requires 45 minutes of trekking. There’s also Talipanan Falls just four (4) kilometers from White Beach and the farthest Tukuran Falls which is around 25 kilometers from the town proper.
- Mountains: Mount Malasimbo, Mount Alinyaban and Mount Talipanan offer hiking and biking trails, and other activities such as rappelling and ATV ride.
- Events and Festivals: Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival, Puerto Galera Water Sports Festival, De Galera Festival, Kaaldawan Iraya, Bathub Regatta, Puerto Galera Yacht Club All Souls’ Regatta, etc.
- Watersports: Boating, kayaking, para-sailing, banana boat ride, flying fish, unicorn, king cobra, flying saucer, jet-ski ride, etc.
Unicorn: P2,500 (good for 10 pax)
King Cobra: P2,500 (good for 10 pax)
Flying Saucer: P2,000 (good for 6 pax)
Jetski: P2,000 (per 15 minutes)
Flying Fish: P1,500 (good for 3 pax)
- Eco-tours: Baclayan and Talipanan Mangyan Villages, Aguada Tree Park and Hibiscus Garden
- More: Puerto Galera Excavation Museum, Sinandigan Lighthouse, El Canonero de Mariveles Memorial, Minolo Cross, Behiya Garita (Guardhouse), Puerto Galera Yacht Club, Panderosa Golf Club
Where to Eat in Puerto Galera
There are lots of restaurants to choose from offering variety of dishes and specialties – Filipino, Chinese, Korean, Italian, Western, etc. Some of the most popular are:
White Beach / Talipanan Area:
- Luca Cucina Italiana
- El Canoneros’s Octopus Restaurant
- Ciao Italia Pizzerias
- Hamsa Bar Lounge Resto
- Resto Veranda
- Casa Mia Ristorante Italiano
- Hemingway Bistrot
- View Point Bar and Restaurant
- Tamarind Bar and Restaurant
- Vesuvio’s Pizzeria
- The Verandah Restaurant
- Full Moon Bar and Grill
- Jack Daniel Apartments Restaurant
- Papa Fred’s Steakhouse
- Relax Restaurant
- Bella Napoli Pizzeria Ristorante
- Capt’n Gregg’s
Sample Itinerary in Puerto Galera
Travel from Manila to Puerto Galera
Beach: Explore White Beach, Aninuan Beach and Talipanan Beach
Island Hopping and Snorkeling: Bayanan Beach, Maniknik Beach, Haligi Beach, Boquete Sandbar, San Isidro Underwater Cave, Giant Clam and Coral Garden
Mangyan Village, Tamaraw Falls and Aplayang Munti
Travel from Puerto Galera to Manila
Expenses / Logistics
|Bus: Buendia to Batangas Port||P197/person|
|Ferry: Batangas Port to Puerto Galera (Balatero Port)||P300/person|
|Terminal Fee: Batangas Port||P30/person|
|Terminal Fee: Balatero Port||P40/person|
|Accommodation in White Beach||~P1000/night (2-person sharing)|
|Island Hopping + Snorkeling||~P1,800/boat (6-person sharing)
+ P200/paddle boat/person/snorkeling site
|Budget for food for three days||~P1,000/person|
|Miscellaneous Expenses (trikes, souvenirs, personal expenses, etc.)||~P1,000/person|
|Tricycle Tour||P800/tricycle (3-person sharing)|
|Terminal Fee: Balatero Port||P10/person|
|Ferry: Puerto Galera (Balatero Port) to Batangas||P300/person|
|Bus: Batangas Port to Buendia||P197/person|
- Best time to go is during dry months – November to May
- LTE mobile signal is widely available for Globe and Smart
- Credit cards are accepted in major establishments
- ATM and banks are available in town
- Money changers are available in town
- Public and private medical and dental clinics are available