Difference between revisions of "Puerto Galera"
Revision as of 15:22, 13 September 2007
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 3hrs 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 $24~$30 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