Puerto Galera is not dead. While a lot and other provinces in the Philippines make its way into the list of top tourist destination in the country and in the world, this doesn’t make the other places seem less as people speak less of it. One of those in the latter sadly, is Puerto Galera. Consequently, people are missing out a lot on the wonders this town lowkey holds. If you wish to see and be amazed by these in flesh, here’s an updated Puerto Galera DIY travel guide to help you with!
About Puerto Galera
Puerto Galera is a Spanish term which actually means Port of Galleons. It is named as such since the town served not just as a trading port but also a safe haven for ships or galleons during the Spanish era especially during the months of May to November when the typhoons (hurricanes) are frequent in the country.
Presently, it is a first class municipality located at the northern part of Oriental Mindoro, a province in Region IV-B MIMAROPA (short for the provinces Mindoro Oriental and Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) of the Philippines. It can be reached in 4-5 hours by land and sea travel combined from the metro. It is one of the most visited summer destinations in the Philippines of both the local and foreign tourists as it is a home to white beaches, waterfalls and diving sites.
Puerto Galera has retained its Man and Biosphere Reserve status that UNESCO has given in 1973. Its position is threatened as the unsustainable developments in the 20th century brought by tourism and market. Fortunately, it remained in the list together with two other provinces in the Philippines – Palawan and Albay.
Things to Do in Puerto Galera
1. Beach Bumming
The town is actually surrounded by a number of beaches that you may want to visit on your Puerto Galera DIY travel. Among these are Talipanan, Aninuan,Haligi, White beach, Virgin Beach, San Antonio Long Beach and Bulabod beach. If you want to be left with nothing but peacefully quite nights with the waves, you should book an accommodation at Aninuan and Talipanan beach. If you are into parties, White Beach is the best place to be.
2. Snorkeling and Diving
Puerto Galera sits across the Verde Island passage — the Center of the Center of World’s Coral Triangle. Hence, the area of its marine biodiversity shares with that of the Coral triangle.
Most of the dive sites in Puerto Galera are good for SCUBA diving. Worry not, though, as there are also a lot that you can explore as a Freediver or snorkeler. Among those dive sites are the reef of Aninuan Beach, Coral Garden, Long Beach, Coco Beach, Sabang and Monkey Beach. At 5 to 10 meters, you can already see thriving, vibrant and sprawling colonies of corals and various species of fish.
You may also want to read: Freediving in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
3. Cove and Island Hopping
If you are staying in White, Talipanan or Aninuan, you can rent boats for island or beach hopping tours. You can get one for only Php 1,500.00 to Php 2,000.00 good for 6 – 8 persons with two to three destinations. You can just add Php 300.00 if you want to go snorkeling at the area where giant clams are located.
4. Chasing Waterfalls
Beach bumming isn’t the only thing one can enjoy in your Puerto Galera DIY travel. If you are a bit adventurous, you can also try trekking and chasing waterfalls, too. Yes, there are waterfalls that you can visit around Puerto Galera. Should you decide to stay in or near White Beach, you can rent a tricycle to bring you to these destinations. However, it’s going to be a little pricey since these falls are located far from each other.
The one nearest to White Beach is Aninuan Falls, followed by Talipanan, Tukuran Falls and the farthest is Tamaraw Falls. These are just few of the explored and usually visited falls in the island perhaps the others are left unexplored. If you want to save, just in case, you may want to rent a scooter which costs Php 500.00 only for 24 hours. You can go anywhere with it and you will also be provided with maps. However, gas is not included in the rental fee of the ride.
5. Visit the Mangyan Village
If you are into cultural immersions, then you should make your way to Irawan Mangyan village in Talipanan – at the foot of Mt. Malasimbo. Before you actually reach Talipanan Falls, you’ll pass by Mangyan Village. It is a small civilized community of Mangyans in the town that the Ayala Foundation and Zobels are supporting.
The Mangyans gather the materials that they use for these woven products at the mountain. They use “nito” or black fern and vines that they dry for days prior to weaving. Each product takes weeks or even months depending on its size and design’s complexity. While some of the products stay at the village, the Ayala foundation helps them sell the others through taking them to Ayala Malls at the metro. You can also find their products in Glorietta and Alabang Town Center.
6. Trek to Mt. Malasimbo
Aside from beaches, waterfalls and underwater wonders, you may also try to go on a hike to the tallest mountain in town: Mt. Malasimbo. It takes more or less 5 hours to get to its summit. However, you cannot go without a guide. You may coordinate with your hotel staff for it. This may cost Php 500.00 for a group of five people. On your way to Mt. Malasimbo, you may pass by the Mangyan Village and Talipanan falls.
7. Water Activities
If you are down for some adrenaline rush, you can also try the water activities available at White Beach. Among those are the following (with their respective rates):
Jetski: P2,000 (for 15 minutes)
Flying Saucer: P2,000 (good for 6 persons)
King Cobra: P2,500 (good for 10 persons)
Flying Fish: P1,500 (good for 3 persons)
Unicorn: P2,500 (good for 10 persons)
Top Places to Visit in Puerto Galera
1. White Beach
Should one mention about Puerto Galera, the vast salt water that would spoil one’s tropical state of mind, the dire need of vitamin sea and the night life that makes one young and alive (not to mention the Mindoro sling) would automatically be painted into ones’ minds. White Beach, of course, is on the top notch of these summer destinations in the island.
2. Aninuan Beach
3. Talipanan Beach
Aside from the fun water activities, the night life and island hopping offered in the beach, why don’t you try to go on an inland tour around Puerto Galera and take the path less traveled? If you want to spend a night away from the partying crowd, listening to nothing but the waves and walk at the shore under the sky full of stars, you should hit Talipanan Beach. This side of Galera offers and promises a serene, peaceful and relaxing ambiance since it is a little less traveled compared to White Beach. There are cheap but awesome inns and rooms in here and they also offer island and beach hopping activities which starts at Php 2,500.00 per boat that could accommodate 6-8 persons.
The sand isn’t that white and the shore’s a bit rocky but the sea promises you a pristine and glimmering waters under the sunlight. You should walk your way to the other side of Talipanan beach, going left beside Luca’s Pizzeria for some reasons. First, it is less crowded in that place. Second, Luca’s Pizzeria serve mouth-watering Italian cuisine which is really affordable. Their 12-inch diameter pizza ranges from Php 270.00 to Php 410.00 and their pasta starts at Php 200.00 which may be good for 3-4 servings. Lastly, the area I was previously referring to has these rock formations where crystal clear waters in the middle or these rocks lies.
4. Talipanan Falls
Talipanan Falls is a waterfalls seated along the trail to Mt. Malasimbo. It can be reached after a 30-minute trek from Mangyan Village. If you decide to hike Mt. Malasimbo, you can take a break and get a refreshing dip at the falls for a while.
5. Irawan Mangyan Village
On your way to Talipanan falls or Mt. Malasimbo, you’ll be able to pass by the Mangyan Village and Community. The locals said that the community is inaugurated by the Ayalas and Zobels in 2005 but they have been there even before that. According to some locals, some natives can also be found in Bulalacao. They have their own schools and activity centers inside as well. Tourists who visit the village can also buy handicrafts originally made by Mangyans. You can also buy legit pearls from here, too!
|An elementary school for Mangyans|
According to our guides, folks from Manila usually come here every weekend to teach the Mangyans and at the same time develop this center.
6. Welcome to Puerto Galera Sign
The Welcome to Puerto Galera sign is located just beside the Tamaraw falls. It is along the Puerto Galera-Calapan Highway.
7. Tamaraw Falls
Tamaraw falls is one of the many falls that you can visit in your Puerto Galera DIY adventure. Of the four, this is one is the most accessible as it is just literally by the highway. The falls extends to the other side of the road where there are man-made pools you can swim into for only Php 30.00.
8. Virgin Beach at Aplaya Munti
If you’re coming from White beach and you’re going to Tamaraw falls, you can pass by Aplaya Munti where the Virgin beach is located. It’s quite a good spot to take photos at a highway with the beach as the background.
These spots are just few of the many places that you can explore on your Puerto Galera DIY adventure. You may opt to visit all of these if you’re staying for a long time or replace some in your itinerary. The other must-see spots are Haligi Beach, Sabang beach, Aninuan Falls, Tukuran Falls, Bulabod beach, Mt. Malasimbo, Infinity Farm, Puerto Galera Mangrove Conservation and more. If you can’t visit everything at once, then it’s a good reason to keep on coming back!
Getting to, Around and Away
How to Get There
Option A: via Commute from Manila to Puerto Galera
- Take a bus from Pasay, Starmall Alabang or Buendia bound for Batangas Pier. Travel time is more or less 2 to 3 hours. Fare is at Php 200.00 to Php 250.00.
- From Batangas Pier, take a fast craft, Water Taxi or RoRo bound for Balatero, Puerto Galera. Fare starts at Php 255.00 for RoRo (estimated travel time 2 hours). Fare at fast crafts is at Php 500.00 and Php 1,000.00 for water taxi for a passenger of 9 (estimated travel time is an hour or less). Pay a terminal fee of Php 30.00 at the terminal.
- From Balatero Port, take a tricycle to your inn/hostel.
Option B: Commute via Calapan
- If you happen to miss the fast craft or RoRo bound for Balatero, you may also opt to take a trip to Calapan. Sea travel takes more or less three hours then an hour to an hour and a half land travel from Calapan to the town of Puerto Galera.
- From Calapan port, you may take a jeepney bound for Puerto Galera for Php 80.00 per person.
- You can take a tricycle from the drop off point to your inn/ hostel or hotel accommodation.
From Tingloy, Batangas to Puerto Galera
You can also travel straight to Talipanan from Tingloy, Batangas to Puerto Galera. Local boatmen fromTingloy offer boat ride from there (Masasa Beach) for only Php 100.00 per head.
Ferry Schedule as of January 2022
|Vessel||Fare||Travel Time||From Batangas||From Puerto Galera|
|Island Water fast craft|
(MV Calaguas/ Calayan)
|Php 500.00||1 to 1 1/2 hours||7:00 AM|
|Montenegro Shipping Lines|
|Php 255.00||2 to 2 1/2 hours||8:00 AM||2:00 PM|
|Montenegro Shipping Lines|
(MV Ilo-Ilo fastcraft)
|Php 340.00||1 to 1 1/2 hours||6:00 AM|
Currently, the Roro of Montenegro Shipping lines and Island Water fast crafts are operating. Also, take note that when the ferries/ vessels do not meet the target number of passengers, the management would cancel the trips.
There are two ways to get around Puerto Galera. The first one is through chartering tricycles. Each trip costs Php 100.00 to Php 200.00 (for three persons) depending on the destination. Renting the tricycle for the whole day would cost Php 1,000.00 to Php 1,500.00 depending on the destinations and number of passengers (maximum of 3). On the other hand, you may opt to rent a motorbike for only Php 500.00 per day. Gas, though, is not included.
Puerto Galera Travel Requirements
At the time of writing (January 2022), the following are Puerto Galera’s travel requirements that you need to prepare prior to your trip:
Entering Puerto Galera through Batangas Port:
- Booking confirmation from your hotel, inn or hostel.
- Vaccination card or certificate for fully vaccinated travelers
- 24-hour valid negative RT-PCR or antigen test.
- Approved Travel Pass-Through Permit via S-pass. Secure the QR code as they are scanning it at the entrance of the port. Sign up and log in here: https://s-pass.ph/
- Valid ID
- Php 120.00 environmental fee
Leaving Puerto Galera:
- Approved S-pass from your destination (i.e. hotel/ inn/ hostel). Secure a copy (printed or digital) with a clear QR code. The S-pass should clearly have the travel date (present date), validity date of travel, place of origin and destination.
- QR Code from the Traze App. They scan it at the PPA Passenger Terminal Building.
- Valid ID.
Where to Stay in Puerto Galera
Below are budget-friendly resorts that you may choose from to accommodate you in your stay in the beach. These resorts are at the beach front. You may want to check on their Facebook pages for reservations and queries regarding their rates.
2. Inifinity Resort
Mobile: +63 917 7926 353
Infinity Resort Facebook Page
3. Sunny Beach Resort
Mobile: +63 916 7453 931
Sunny Beach Resort Facebook Page
4. Yoyo’s Inn/ Yoyo Resort
+63 906 2898 399
Yoyo Resort Facebook Page
Things to Remember for your Puerto Galera DIY Travel
- If it’s your first time coming to Batangas Pier, do not let these persistent souvenir vendors carry your stuff. They will only bring you to the stores were you can buy souvenirs. They have the tendency to sell overpriced items and even ask you to pay for them. You can actually report these people to the security personnel around the port as what they are doing is strictly prohibited.
- The safest trips to book when coming to and from Puerto Galera is the 8:00 AM (RoRo) and 1:00PM (from Batangas), 2:00 PM (from Puerto Galera). The succeeding trips would usually cancel due to small number of passengers.
- Always bring cash. The ATMs are mostly found in Sabang and most stores or establishments would only accept cash.
3 Days 2 Nights Puerto Galera DIY Itinerary
7:00 AM – ETD from Batangas Port
8:30 AM – ETA White Beach
10:30 AM – Brunch
11:30 AM – Start of island/ beach hopping (San Antonio Long Beach, Virgin Beach, Sandbar, Snorkeling at the giant clams’ area)
3:00 PM – Trek to Aninuan Falls (optional)
5:00 PM – Back to White beach for water fun activities/ sunset watching
7:00 PM – Dinner and Night life
7:00 AM – Breakfast
8:30 AM – Start trek to Tukuran Falls
11:00 AM – Tamaraw falls/ early lunch on the way
2:00 PM – Aplaya Munti Beach
4:00 PM – Bulabod Beach
Note: You can actually enjoy bathing in the running waters and basin of Tamaraw falls through checking in to the resort below for only Php 30.00.
6:00 AM – Breakfast at White Beach
7:30 AM – Mangyan Village
8:00 AM – Start Trek to Talipanan Falls
11:30 PM – Lunch at Talipanan Beach
12:30 PM – Wash up and pack up
2:00 PM – ETD from Balatero Port
You can go to Mangyan Village and Talipanan falls by foot since you have to do trekking in here. A guide, however, is necessary. You may ask staff from the inn or resort that you will be checking into for tour guides and this will cost you Php 250.00 ($5.00).
3 Days 2 Nights Sample Puerto Galera DIY Budget
DAY 1: Php 2,105.00
Bus fare (Manila to Batangas Pier) – Php 200.00
Ferry ticket – Php 255.00
Terminal Fee – Php 30.00
Puerto Galera Environmental Fee – Php 120.00
Day 1 Accommodation – Php 500.00
Food – Php 500.00
Boat rental (Php 2,50.00/ 5 persons) – Php 500.00
DAY 2: Php 1,530.00
Tricycle rental (Php 1500.00/ 3 persons, they would only allow 3 for long distance trip) – Php 500.00
Tamaraw falls entrance fee – Php 30.00 (for those who will swim)
Day 2 Accommodation – Php 500.00
Food – Php 500.00
DAY 3: Php 1,000.00
Tricycle from White Beach to Talipanan v.v. (Php 400.00/ 3 persons) – Php 135.00
Guide fee (Php 500.00/ 5 persons) – Php 100.00
Food – Php 300.00
Terminal Fee – Php 10.00
Ferry Ticket – Php 255.00
Bus fare from Batangas Pier to Manila – Php 200.00
GRAND TOTAL: Php 4,635.00