Difference between revisions of "Puerto Galera"
Revision as of 06:27, 4 November 2008
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.
Puerto Galera is two 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.
Most tourists prefer the ease and convenience of the 'Sikat' tourist service. The Sikat leaves at 0800 daily from the City State Tower Hotel on Mabini Street, Ermita, Manila. The round trip ticket costs about $25 and includes both bus and ferry to either Sabang Beach or Puerto Galera. For the adventurous traveler go to Buendia LRT station and from there you will see buses and shuttle services going to Batangas pier. It cost around P180 from Buendia to Batangas pier. Be careful with your bags as the buses are notorious for pick pockets. And when you get to Batangas pier all you need to do is to ride a ferry boat going to Sabang - Puerto Galera.
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).
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 that are available in the area are: Banana Boat, Jetski, Vinta (Local Sailboat), Island Hopping, Mountain Biking, Rent a Motorbike, Rent a Banka Boat and go snokeling
Puerto Galera has numerous hotels and resorts that tourists can choose from.
White Beach Puerto Galera 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.
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.
Jeepney to Calapan (1,5h, 70P) leaves from the end of the main road several times daily. From Calapan you can take a minivan (3h, 180P) to Roxas.
PONDAROSA GOLF TREK. Another great thing to do in Puerto is to trek till Pondoraso 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.
TAMARAW FALL. it's about a 14 Km walk along the scenic road, barely any traffic, so it is safe to walk or bike there, the view is simply incredible, it's an easy 3 hour walk along this beautiful road, there are also empty beaches along the way at which to stop. The fall itself is pretty nice and you can refresh there too.