If you are having a stressful week in Manila and wanting to have a quick escape from all the fuss, Puerto Galera in Oriental, Mindoro Philippines is the place to be!
Its proximity from Manila and cheap costs of travel are the main reasons why you should choose to visit here whether you are a busy individual who needs to relax a bit without sacrificing much time or just someone and a group of friends who are looking for an adventure!
So grab your backpack, put your shades on, ready your camera, switch on your adventurous side and we’re good to go!
GETTING TO PUERTO GALERA
For this Puerto Galera trip, I tag along with my group of friends. Even if you are not a frequent traveler or backpacker, Puerto Galera is so accessible to reach. Bus terminals in Cubao, Quezon City, Buendia, Makati City and Taft Avenue, Pasay City have buses you can ride going to Batangas Pier that leave every hour. It takes around 2.5 hours to get to Batangas Pier from Manila. A one-way fare costs approximately Php175.00. In our case, we chose ALPS Bus in Cubao since it is the terminal nearest to our place.
Upon reaching Batangas Pier, take a ferry to Mindoro Island. You can explore two main spots on the Island namely White Beach, Puerto Galera and the diving village of Sabang. In our case, our destination is the White Beach. It is a long stretch of white sand beach. If you are also a beach addict like me, you can’t say no to this!
There are various ferry companies offering trips to Puerto Galera at the pier so you will not run out of options. Try to canvass for cheaper ones. One-way ferry ticket usually costs approximately Php280.00. But if you will avail round-trip tickets, you will be charged for only Php500.00 like what my group bought. Just make sure you know when the date is and the time you are coming back. Environmental fee (Php50.00) and terminal fee (Php30.00) should be paid at the Batangas Port Passenger Terminal too. A trip from Batangas Pier to White Beach takes about an hour. First ferry trip departs around 7:30 AM to Puerto Galera, and ordinarily, the last trip is until 5:00 PM.
WHAT TO DO IN PUERTO GALERA?
We arrived in White Beach, Puerto Galera at 11:00 AM. As we are expecting, the weather is so lovely, the sun is shining bright, fresh air, the water is calm, and we are all wearing a beautiful smile! Yey, finally a break from the City! As always, the feeling I get whenever I see the beach is I’d like to splash myself on the water and shout literally… YOOHOO!!!
Apparently, I can’t wait to hang-out in the beach, so my initial thing is to immediately check-in our booked accommodation, drop my items, change clothes, swim and get some tan but unfortunately, we arrived earlier than our check-in time which is 2:00 PM. So for that, we decided to check something to eat for lunch. There are a lot of options to where you can eat just walk along the beach front and choose. If you are into grilled viands and unlimited rice, this is heaven for you! You know Filipinos eat rice from morning to evening, so this is definitely worth the money for us, in our language—“Sulit!” Food usually ranges from Php100.00-Php200.00.
Oh, by the way, we stayed at VM Beach Resort for three days two nights (Friday-Sunday), and we paid Php4, 500.00 for a Family Room. It is an excellent place to stay and just by the beach.
After we got settled at our accommodation, we finally hang out at the beach and decided to try the banana boat ride! When you are with a group, the activities you need to experience and pay to get cheaper since you are dividing it into your team. Usually, banana boat activity costs Php250.00/per head, and it is a ten seated boat. In our case, since we are only a group of 6, they just charge us Php2, 000.00 instead of Php2, 500.00. It is my first time to do the banana boat ride. I was a little scared, but it was super fun! Not too evident in the video right?!
The next day, we did the Island Tour. VM Beach Resort fixed our tour because the owners also have their boat and guide for the tours. They gave us a rate of Php2,000.00 for the 6 of us, that includes snorkeling, fish feeding, and visit at the hidden cave and another beach, the tricycle ride, fees and all. It is the cheapest offer after we canvass around, so we grabbed it! There are a lot of people that will offer you tours so just canvass around same as we did, compare prices and do the haggle! This way you will get to save money!
NIGHTLIFE IN PUERTO GALERA
Everywhere I go I always check and try to experience the nightlife. I am surprised how lively nightlife in White Beach, Puerto Galera is! There are fire dancers, drag queens performing, karaoke, bars and more! If you do not like to spend much money on drinking in bars, you can just buy a group drink and just sit in the sand under a bright moon just like what my group did! It is chill and a great time for fun conversations!
If I can only extend our stay here, I will but of course work is waiting in Manila, but definitely, I will go back to this place and explore other parts of the island to share with you!
Hope you guys enjoyed reading my Puerto Galera experience! Try to visit the Philippines, and see for yourself!