Puerto Galera Travel Guide: Sun, Sea, Sand and Unlimited Fun

Puerto Galera

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.

Puerto Galera
The Sandbar at Boquete Island

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!

Puerto Galera
Elizabeth Resort

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.

BOOK YOUR BUS FROM MANILA TO BATANGAS

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.

BOOK YOUR FERRY FROM BATANGAS TO PUERTO GALERA

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.

BOOK YOUR FERRY FROM BATANGAS TO CALAPAN

Puerto Galera
Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

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.

Destination One-Way Round Trip
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

Going Away

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.

BOOK YOUR FERRY FROM PUERTO GALERA TO BATANGAS

BOOK YOUR FERRY FROM CALAPAN TO BATANGAS

BOOK YOUR BUS FROM BATANGAS TO MANILA

Puerto Galera
Mangyan Village

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

Infinity Resort

Infinity Resort
Aninuan, Puerto Galera
Starts at P6,000 (Two-Person Room)

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Sunset at Aninuan Beach Resort

Sunset at Aninuan Beach Resort
Aninuan, Puerto Galera
Starts at P5,000 (Two-Person Room)

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Top-Rated Budget Accommodations in White Beach Area

Amami Garden Spa

Amami Garden Spa
Aninuan, Puerto Galera
Starts at P600 (Two-Person Room)

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Bamboo House Beach Lodge

Bamboo House Beach Lodge
Santa Fe, Bantayan Island
Starts at P1,000 (Two-Person Room)

BOOK NOW

Sabang Area

Top-Rated Hotels in Sabang Area

Friday's Puerto Galera

Fridays Puerto Galera
Santo Niño, Puerto Galera
Starts at P5,000 (Two-Person Room)

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Lalaguna Villas Luxury Dive Resort

Lalaguna Villas Luxury Dive Resort
Sabang, Fe, Puerto Galera
Starts at P4,000 (Two-Person Room)

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Top-Rated Budget Accommodations in Sabang Area

Grace Hotel

Grace Hotel
Sabang, Puerto Galera
Starts at P800 (Two-Person Room)

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Dahilig Resort

Dahilig Resort
Palangan, Puerto Galera
Starts at P600 (Two-Person Room)

BOOK NOW

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.
    • Rates:
      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
Puerto Galera
Friday’s Puerto Galera

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

Sabang Area:

    • 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
Puerto Galera
Art installation in Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

Sample Itinerary in Puerto Galera

Day 1:
Travel from Manila to Puerto Galera
Beach: Explore White Beach, Aninuan Beach and Talipanan Beach

Day 2:
Island Hopping and Snorkeling: Bayanan Beach, Maniknik Beach, Haligi Beach, Boquete Sandbar, San Isidro Underwater Cave, Giant Clam and Coral Garden

Day 3:
Mangyan Village, Tamaraw Falls and Aplayang Munti
Travel from Puerto Galera to Manila

Puerto Galera
Scuba diving in Sabang

Expenses / Logistics

Particulars Cost
Bus: Buendia to Batangas Port P197/person
Ferry: Batangas Port to Puerto Galera (Balatero Port) P300/person
Terminal Fee: Batangas Port P30/person
Environmental Fee P50/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

Tips

  • 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