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Puerto Galera

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Revision as of 14:26, 19 December 2011 by 180.191.195.12 (talk) (added listing Tropicana Castle Resort)

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Puerto Galera

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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.

Get in

Visa

  • Immigration Office, (in municipal building, near police office). M-W, 9AM-4PM. Most visa related issues can be taken care of by Rudi and Nestor from the Calapan Immigrations Office. They hold hours here Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Xerox services are available nearby, often required for visa extension applications.

By car

Puerto Galera is three 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.

By bus

Puerto Galera is usually easily accessible mostly in the Areas around Manila, most tourists prefer the Sikat tourist service.

  • ''Sikat'' tourist service, (+63)2-7089628. The Sikat leaves at 0830 daily from the City State Tower Hotel on Mabini Street, Ermita, Manila. The round trip ticket costs Php1,400 (about US$31) and includes both bus and ferry to either Sabang Beach or Puerto Galera. For the adventurous traveler go to Buendia LRT station in Manila and from there you will see buses and shuttle services going to Batangas pier. It cost around P180 from Buendia to Batangas pier. And when you get to Batangas pier all you need to do is to ride a ferry boat going to Sabang - Puerto Galera.

By boat

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).

Crossing the waters between Batangas Port and White Beach can be a thrill by itself especially during the meeting of the tides when the sea can be quite rough. However, the boatmen know these waters very well, so there is no need to be hysterical.

From Boracay you can go with the big ferry to Roxas and from there with a local jeepney or hire a van to Puerto Galera/ Sabang Beach.

Get around

At the harbor you will find lots of people trying to get you to ride with their tricycle. For a 5 minute trip, they will try to make you pay 200php, but the real price is 15/20php (one person/two person) (8th March, 2011) so insist on paying that. You can also find them everywhere in town and get a ride to White Beach, Sabang etc. At night when it gets dark, the prices changes to higher rates (for example, instead of 20php you pay 50php). In Sabang there are 3 motorcycle rental providers. For 500php you can rent a scooter for the whole day. You have to mind the local traffic rules, of course.

See

  • Beaches: White Beach is a good alternative to Boracay if you do not have much money or time. One of the interesting aspects of many Philippine beaches is that there are no piers at the destination so boats typically go as close to the beach as possible. Passengers disembark through a wooden plank and either have to wade through knee high water or be piggybacked by muscular boatmen. Other beaches include Talipanan Beach, Bayanan Beach, Haligi Beach, Long Beach, Panlilio Beach, Coco Beach, La Laguna Beach, Encenada Beach, Bulabod Beach, Boquete Island and San Antonio Island. About 32 beaches are found around Puerto Galera meaning there's a lot to choose from. Avoid April and May when room rates rise triple or double of the ordinary price because many flock to the beaches during the long weekend in Holy Week. The waters of Puerto Galera are home to giant clams as well as dolphins and corals.
  • Lush Forests: The forests of Puerto Galera are home to many flora such as orchids, birds and fauna such as orchids and waterfalls.
  • Tamaraw Falls, (15km from Puerto Galera on the road of Calapan). Tamaraw Falls is just a few minute ride from White Beach by rented van. The water from the Falls collects into a pool under a bridge. It is quite cold and invigorating. A few meters up from the pool, one can enjoy the pounding waters that gush through the boulders. Just a few kilometers down the road is a beautiful beach.
  • Coral Reefs
  • Hidden Valley. A paradise lost and is off the beaten track, ask your hotel for directions to get to there.
  • Mangyan Village. A group of Nomadic peoples living in the mountains of Mindoro, they're the natives of Mindoro however now the Tagalogs form majority of the population. They have struggled in preserving their culture by avoiding outside and modern wester influences. To see them, a reliable guide is needed. Respect and behavior is a must when visiting them just like how you want people to behave when they visit your home.
  • Alag Riverbank. Get to Alag riverbank by jeepney passing scenic views of the mountains by jeepney. This is the best spot to Kayak, depending on how fast the river flows the trip might last for 3-4 hours.
  • Muelle Bay. A beautiful hidden hideout. It has a natural harbor where most ferries and boats dock, the bay is lined by a row of shops, bars and restaurants, enjoy the scenic view of the bay while having lunch or a romantic dinner. Get your cameras ready!
  • Reptile Zoo. Not to be missed by reptile lovers, it has a set of snakes, crocodiles and lizards.

Do

Accredited masseuses can give you massage right on the beach. To prevent hanky-panky, in-room massage, other than in an especially designated room at the hotel, is prohibited. Aside from Scuba Diving, golf is also another activity, a golf course is available.

Diving

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.

  • Blue Ribbon Dive Resort, (Small Lalaguna Beach), +43 287 3561 (), [1]. Quite a new establishment (May 2010) Blue Ribbon Dive Resort started as a small dive shop then a year later took over the neighboring Sunsplash Resort. They offer some very good value dive packages, and have a team of very friendly yet professional staff. Recently being upgraded to a 5 Star PADI dive resort (December 2011), the gear is very well maintained, and they also off 'Floro-Diving', night diving with a blue light, which special goggles that show the fluorescence underwater. They are very camera friendly, and enjoy finding the critters that make Puerto Galera famous. They offer all PADI courses up to Assistant Instructor, with all the specialties. Their restaurant offers live music every night, a themed buffet every night, including Indian, Mexican, Thai and Seafood. They are located on the tranquil beach of Small Lalaguna, only a 5 minute walk from the nightlife in Sabang.
  • Frontier Scuba, (west Sabang Beach), +63 917 540 8410 (), [2]. Run by Rick Kirkham, one of the most experienced instructors in the Philippines, this 5-Star Instructor Training Center is one the busiest, smaller dive centers. They offer complete packages with guided diving, transfers, accommodation and meals. The attached restauarant Hemingway's is consistently voted the best restaurant in Puerto Galera. They offer the complete range of recreational dive courses from Discover Scuba (experience a dive),PADI Open Water, PADI Divemaster and SDI Instructor courses. TDI technical diver and instructor courses are offered up to Advanced Wreck and Advanced Trimix. Nitrox, trimix, sodasorb and rebreather tanks are available to rent
  • Badladz Adventure Divers, (next to Muelle Pier), 0063 09062214972 (), [3]. Small dive shop, operated by a very friendly Instructors. They offer all PADI courses from beginner intro dives right through to Assistant Instructor at very reasonable prices with group discounts and multiple day diving discounts. Also available are snorkelling trips, kayak rental and Beach BBQ's. Tel:
  • Scuba Scuta, Palangan Puerto Galera (2 mins from Muelle Pier), +63909205843032, [4].
  • Scandinavian Divers, Big La Laguna Beach. Scandinavian Divers. 25 USD per dive.

Other activities

  • Ponderosa Golf Club, (20 minutes from City proper). Another great thing to do in Puerto is to trek till Ponderaso 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.
  • Stairway Foundation, Barangay Aninuan, [5]. International NGO working with street children and victims of child sexual abuse. Visitors can tour the center and learn about the issue of child sexual abuse and how Stairway uses creative expressions in order to raise awareness.

Buy

  • Souvenir items.
  • ATM machine, (Allied Bank, on the hill before the pier). This is currently the only ATM in town that accepts international ATM cards (Cirrus etc) Max. withdrawal 10,000 PHP per transaction.

Eat

There are many restaurants near Muelle Pier, Puerto Galera and Sabang Beach.

  • Le Bistro D'Agathe, Muelle Pier, [6]. A French restaurant that also has a bakery for fresh baguettes that is no longer there.
  • Foodtrip sa Galera, White Beach.

Drink

Sabang beach at night is famous (or infamous) for girly bars that tend to close just as quickly as they pop up. It also has billiard rooms and discos where you can party into the wee hours of the morning.

The Jager Bar (http://www.thejagerbar.com/)

Floating Bar - enjoy a beer on a boat off the coast of Sabang.

Sleep

Puerto Galera has numerous hotels and resorts that tourists can choose from.

  • White Beach Puerto Galera [20] 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.
  • Lagundian Hills Lodging House [21] at White Beach. Phone Number: +63(0)2 400-8547 or +63(0)916 644-4157 / e-mail: mailto:[email protected]. All rooms are well maintained and have views of the beach. Some rooms can accommodate up to eight guests, some have kitchen.

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.

  • Sea Jewel Beach Resort, White Beach, 63 2 5534898, [7]. Twin, triple, quad and family rooms, all equipped with Air-conditioning, and 21-inch flat screen TV with cable channels. Facilities and services are Restaurant and Free Wi-Fi Internet access. From PHP 1,350.00.
  • Aninuan Beach Resort [22] is on the Tropical Island of Oriental Mindoro, fronting the South China Sea. Only 3 1/2 hours by car and ferry boat from Manila International Airport. It is a walking distance from White Beach—the place for young people to go for the nightlife, 10 Km away from the Sabang Beach—another place to visit for the nightlife and its many diving schools, and 15 minutes away from the Puerto Galera port by jeepney or boat. Phone Number: +63920 931 8946 or +63920 931 8924. Price: USD $50
  • Tamaraw Beach Resort, 6392234, [8]. The owners are building a large conference centre just 5 metres from the main accommodation block and bungalows. On the other side just 2 metres away the Sunset at Aninuan hotel is building a 3 floor extension. The access from the road to the beach is now severely restricted and only a small path remains for foot traffic. Best rates on official website start at Php 800.
  • Pirate Cove Beach Resort, Palangan Puerto Galera (Free Transfers from Muelle Pier), +639205843032, [9]. Situated in a tranquil bay on crystal-clear waters, only minutes away from the Muelle Pier in Puerto Galera, Pirate Cove is truly a tropical paradise in the Heart of the Philippines. At Pirate Cove you will be immersed in the stunning local scenery as we have 8 ocean facing bungalows, surrounded by lush tropical plants and greenery, and a bar and restaurant, featuring local and international wines and cuisine, only feet from the water's edge. The island of Mindoro is surrounded by some of the most bio-diverse waters in the world, and diving enthusiasts will be truly amazed at the number of world class dive sites only minutes away. Scuba divers can make use of our well equipped and profesionally run dive school to be taken on underwater tours of the many stunning dive sites. Is also the only resort offering guests the opportunity to try out the incredible Scuba Scuta !
  • Blue Crystal Beach Resort, Palangan (10 minutes from Muelle Pier, Puerto Galera), +6343-287-3144, [10]. checkin: 02:00PM; checkout: 12:00 Noon. Blue Crystal Beach Resort is in Palangan, Puerto Galera and offers luxurious accommodation to very reasonable price: PHP 995.00 per person per night for double occupancy and PHP 895.00 per person per night for multiple occupancy. Fully ai-conditioned rooms and Suites face our private beach are equipped with bath and shower, cable TV, mini-bar and refrigerator, private terrace, and Wi-Fi internet. The resort has scuba diving center, swimming pool and offers a wide range of day trips by boat and jeepney. The coral garden directly is probably one of the most unique snorkeling sites in the Philippines.
  • Lan-Sei Water Resort, White Beach, 63-922-8LANSEI or 63-917-5301192, [11]. The Lan-Séi Water Resort is the perfect destination for a fabulous Puerto Galera vacation. Nestled in a pristine setting distant from the hassles and noise of nightlife yet accessible to all diverse spots and rich resources of Puerto Galera, this resort is a perfect getaway for family and friends. With unmatched style, decor, superb hospitality, and best amenities, Lan-Séi Water Resort is a very special place to visit for a truly remarkable experience. You will see the difference!
  • Franklyn Beach Resort, Palangan, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro 5203, Philippines, + 632 522-3738 / +63 43 287-3182, [12]. Franklyn Beach Resort in Puerto Galera, Mindoro can be found nestled atop a hill overlooking the sea. The stunning sea view is arguably the rooms’ best feature, but the amenities also provide a certain amount of comfort. Each accommodation in our Puerto Galera, Mindoro resort has Internet access, a ceiling fan, and toilet and shower with hot and cold water. At 8th March 2011, they didn't provide internet access, they didn't know that they even had an internet booking system and they didn't have any water in their swimming pool. But other than that, they were really nice and the view where as great as the homepage says. Rates start at PHP 1,170.
  • Buri Resort & Spa, Cove Area Puerto Galera, 8120722, [13]. Nestled in the Batangas Channel inside Puerto Galera Bay, which was recently named one of the Most Beautiful Bays in the world by the Paris-based Club des Plus Belles Baies du Monde, Buri Resort & Spa has undergone a dramatic transformation since it first opened in 2001 with five simple cottages and now has 12 luxury villas ideal for romantic getaways or family get-togethers. USD140+.


  • Blue Water Lodge, (02) 514 88 38 (), [14]. The true value of vacations is measured by the fun experiences you have. And you're guaranteed just that at Puerto Galera's Blue Water Lodge without having to spend a fortune. Blue Water Lodge is in Puerto Galera, approximately 60 m from White Beach. Each accommodation is air-conditioned and fitted with cable TV and a private toilet and bath with hot & cold shower. The Standard Rooms have one Queen-size bed, while the Deluxe Rooms have two. White Beach, Puerto Galera, Philippines . Rates start at PHP 1,000.
  • Manalo′s Guesthouse, 09176096072 and 09176674077, [15]. The location of Manalo’s Guesthouse in Puerto Galera, Philippines is just a five-minute walk from the famous White Beach. Your accommodation at Manalo’s Guesthouse in Puerto Galera features all the essentials for a pleasant stay. Each room is air-conditioned and fitted with a living room/ lounge area, kitchenette, and private toilet and shower. White Beach, San Isidro, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. Rates start at PHP 1000.
  • Myra and Medelaine’s Place, +63 043 287 3602 (), [16]. Myra and Medelaine’s Place is located right along the famous White Beach, is conveniently near many attractions and dive spots, and provide a host of conveniences. The Resort is all about comfort and variety. You can choose among nine guestrooms: Standard, De Luxe, and Family Rooms. Some rooms feature a queen-size bed instead of a single or twin bed and all rates includes daily breakfast. White Beach, San Isidro, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. Rates start at PHP 1,050.
  • White Beach Resort, Bar and Restaurant, White Beach, Puerto Galera, San Isidro, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines, 09178258643, 09228358643, [17]. In the tropical paradise that is Puerto Galera lies White Beach Resort, Bar and Restaurant – a modest beachfront retreat that is big in comfort, but easy on the pocket. Why look for frills when the necessities are already at hand? This Puerto Galera accommodation comes with air-conditioning, a toilet and shower, and dining area. In the morning, see the sunshine spill from the skylight through your room's balcony. Best rates on official website start at Php 1,110.00.
  • Badladz Adventure Resort (Badladz Adventure Resort), Muelle Pier, Puerto Galera (Right at Muelle Pier), +63 919-577-2823 (), [18]. Badladz Adventure Resort is located at the quiet end of the main tourist pier. It is only 6 km from both Sabang and White Beach. This makes it a nice alternative to the crowds at both these locations. Each room comes with A/C, Hot Water, cable TV and a spectacular view over the yachts at Puerto Galera Bay. There's free WiFi. The included Mexican Restaurant is one of the bests restaurants in the whole area. A diveshop is part of the resort. Rates start at P990.
  • Tropicana Castle Resort, Sabang Beach Puerto Galera , Philippines, 5203, [19]. checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00nn. Tropicana Castle Resort is located in the tropical surroundings of Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera. The resort offers fully-furnished rooms and a a roof-garden restaurant that serves local and international cuisines. Php1750.00.


Get out

Jeepney to Calapan (1.15h, 90P) leaves from the end of the main road several times daily. From Calapan you can take a minivan (3h, 180P) to Roxas.

Jeepney/Tricycle to Balatero where a boat, M/S Caribbean, leaves daily at 10AM for Abras de Llog, 180php one-way, 10php terminal fee. Easy entry into Mindoro Occidental. An easier and cheaper option compared to chartering your own pumpboat or going to Abras via Batangas.

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