puerto galera

Hop on a ferry and explore the beaches and other top tourist spots in Mindoro's Puerto Galera. What are the top attractions and tourist spots in Puerto Galera? What are the must-try activities here? Where should you eat to get a taste of the best food in Puerto Galera? Read on to find out. 

Puerto Galera was a humble, quiet fishing village in the late 1970s when foreign backpackers began exploring its harbor and nearby pocket beaches. Word quickly spread of its breathtaking views and gorgeous sunsets, and it didn’t take long before tourists, both local and foreign, started coming back.

Through the years, Puerto Galera has gained a steady following especially among nature lovers, so if you enjoy spending time at the beach, hiking through the forest or exploring what Mother Nature has to offer, this is the perfect place to go to.

Puerto Galera is a Spanish term that means ‘the port of galley’, a name given by the first governor-general of the island at the beginning of the Spanish colonial period. Since the 1980’s up to the present, it has attracted many visitors and it has developed into a popular vacation spot not just for backpackers, but local visitors and families as well.

Aside from its powdery white sands and crystal clear blue water, the coastal town boasts of a rich marine life, earning the UNESCO designation as a Man and Biosphere reserve in 1973. Because of its diverse underwater coral reefs, it is also a popular snorkeling and scuba diving site, and a top destination for serious enthusiasts.

puerto galera things to do

Did you know that Puerto Galera was named 2005’s Most Beautiful Bay in the world by the Paris-based club called Les Plus Belles Baies Du Monde? It is the only bay in the Philippines to earn this distinction, which goes to show just how special it is to be included in such a noteworthy list.

You will never run out of things to do here. Puerto Galera activities are as diverse as its well renowned marine life. From high action activities like Go-carts, paintball, and waterskiing, to island hopping, sunset viewing, and nature tripping, there’s something for you that will fit your budget.

Many establishments and travel agents offer island hopping and inland tours. You can charter a boat for a beach hopping tour, or hire tourist guides if you prefer to go inland. Once you’re in Puerto Galera you can ride or hire tricycles, jeeps or vans for land tours.


Show off those tan lines and roam around Puerto Galera’s beaches

white beach puerto galera

There are a lot of beaches and islands in the Philippines, which is why a visit to Puerto Galera is not complete without a trip to one of the many pocket shorelines surrounding it. Here’s a list of some of the best ones to explore.

1. Go Snorkeling at White Beach

White Beach is a popular tourist destination in Puerto Galera and many visitors come here every year. As the name suggests, it is a long stretch of white sand and crystal blue water that is great for swimming and other water sports like jet skiing, kayaking, and banana boat rides.

It has many resorts and accommodations that will fit your budget - from luxurious 5-star hotels to mid-range resorts up to simple budget accommodations that will give you value for money.

You will also find a multitude of bars, shops, and restaurants near the shoreline, so it can get pretty crowded especially during the months of April to June, where many Filipino schoolchildren go on summer vacation and travel here with their families.

2. Unwind at Sabang Beach

Sabang Beach is one of the first areas in Puerto Galera to transform into a major tourist attraction and is well-known to foreigners. The Big La Laguna Beach and Small La Laguna Beach can be found in Sabang. Sabang Beach is more well-known for its diving sites, lively nightlife, and numerous shopping options.      

3. Participate in a Puerto Galera Island Hopping Tour

Island or beach hopping destinations typically cover pocket beaches that include San Antonio Island (also known as Medio Island), Haligi beach and Sandbar Island (located in Boquete or Paniquian Island) and Bayanan beach.

San Antonio or Medio Island is well known for a stretch of white sand that the locals call Long Beach. If you’re looking for a less crowded beach where you can slow down and enjoy a quiet moment of peace and tranquility, this is the perfect spot to go to.

You can also visit the underwater cave and go snorkeling at Coral Garden to swim with colorful fishes and see large coral plates. You can also see giant clams in their natural habitat. When the waves are not too strong, you can also go visit an underwater cave in Long Beach, where you can swim in shallow crystal clear water and enjoy the beautiful rock formations.

Haligi beach in Boquete or Paniquian Island is another quiet island located on Muelle Bay where you can relax and enjoy the calm crystal blue water. Swim with the fishes and go snorkeling to have a closer look at the marine life there. If you head south of the island you will find Sandbar Island, a small strip of land connecting Boquete Island to the mainland of Mindoro island. It is also sometimes called Elizabeth’s Hideaway.

Further west is Bayanan beach, which features a concave shaped shoreline that gives it calm blue waters, creating the perfect conditions for leisurely swimming and snorkeling. It is located just beside the White Beach.

4. Relax at Aninuan Beach

If you venture west beyond White beach, you’ll find a less crowded hidden gem called Aninuan Beach. With Mt. Malasimbo as its backdrop, this is a popular destination for couples looking for a romantic weekend getaway or families with little children in tow.  Aninuan beach is also the gateway to Talipanan beach and its beautiful falls.

5. Explore Talipanan Beach 

This is tropical paradise at its finest: with its powdery white sands, calm waters and secluded location away from the crowds, it is the perfect place to stay in for a quiet, relaxing time lazing around at the beach.

Get to know the local culture and marvel at Puerto Galera’s lush jungles

puerto galera tamaraw falls

Whether or not you’ve had your fill of the Puerto Galera beach scene, don’t miss the chance to travel inland. There are so many waterfalls and natural wonders to discover when you do!

1. Visit Tamaraw Falls

If you’re the type of person who prefers hiking and exploring the natural beauty of the island, look no further than Tamaraw Falls. This twin waterfall is about 3 stories high and runs beneath a bridge and then flows towards two man-made swimming pools, where you can take a refreshing dip. Tamaraw Falls is said to have the cleanest body of water in the province, so don’t forget your swimming gear to really enjoy the experience.

There are nipa huts around where you can have a barbecue or eat your packed lunch against a refreshing, nature-filled backdrop. There are small stores that sell refreshments and beverages as well as snacks for those who did not bring their own.

2. Discover Tukuran Falls

Another must-see natural wonder you should include in your list of Puerto Galera activities is a trip to the lesser-known but equally enchanting Tukuran Falls. It features charming rock formations and refreshing clear water that you can’t resist but dive into! When you swim underneath the falls and the water from above hits your shoulders, it’s like having a free back massage from Mother Nature.

One of the most unforgettable and unique experiences you should try here is the carabao (water buffalo) ride where a carabao pulls a wagon enough to fit 6 people. This will take you through the shallow river while you feast your eyes on the lush tropical paradise on your way to the falls.

3. Explore Aninuan Falls

Puerto Galera is just blessed with so many waterfalls, isn’t it? Aninuan Falls is yet another natural wonder that you can explore, but be forewarned: if you’re going here with small children, senior citizens, or people are afraid of heights or simply don’t enjoy walking long distances, maybe it’s best to stick to the other waterfalls.

However, if you don’t mind hiking along the river and find satisfaction in finding a hidden gem in the middle of this island, then you’ll enjoy this trip. Just be mindful of the usual dangers that come with exploring natural structures like slippery boulders or steep rock formations, and you’ll have a memorable trip. Aninuan falls is located at the foot of Mt. Malasimbo, and there is a PHP 20.00 entrance fee.

4. Trek to Talipanan Falls

Similar to Aninuan Falls, Talipanan Falls is less touristy and more rugged than the more popular Tamaraw Falls, but it is a great place to visit if you happen to be at Talipanan Beach.

If you are planning to visit that Iraya-Mangyan Village, make sure to include Talipanan Falls as a side trip and hire a local guide. To get there, you’ll have to trek through the lush jungle for about 30 more minutes.

Take a leap at these Puerto Galera activities for the adventurous at heart

puerto galera activities

Adrenaline junkies, art lovers, and music aficionados take heart: there’s more to do in Puerto Galera than just lounging on beautiful beaches or admiring its jungles.

1. Discover La Laguna

One of the more reputable go-to places located there is the La Laguna Beach Club and Dive Center, which is a member of numerous diving and resort affiliations as well as a Class A accreditation designation by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

It is a one-stop-shop where you can find comfortable accommodations, modern diving facilities, and popular activities that include sailing, kayaking, golfing, fishing, and even mountain hiking and picnic packages.

Get your wetsuit ready and commune with Puerto Galera’s rich biodiverse marine life when you go snorkeling or diving! Other water sports activities can also be availed of for an additional fee.

2. Try Different Activities at Aplayang Munti

If you’d rather stay in one place instead of going around the island, Aplayang Munti has everything you want for the perfect vacation: water sports, wholesome family activities, relaxing massage, and great food!

There is an entrance fee of PHP30.00 to get to the Water sports part, and this includes a life vest. Different Puerto Galera activities can be enjoyed here for a fee, which includes a water park, jet skiing, kayaking, snorkeling, banana boat ride, and others.

3. Visit Extreme Sports Philippines Puerto Galera

Extreme Sports Philippines claims to be your one-stop adrenaline rush in Puerto Galera, and it’s no joke - you will find all the action-packed activities you want under one roof. What sets them apart is that they take safety very seriously here, so you know that you’re in capable hands.

There are so many options to choose from: paintball, ATV’s, mud karts, go-kart racing, archery, crossbow, and a nerf arena. There’s even a bubble bump soccer which is a great team-building game that will keep everyone engaged and on high spirits!

They offer free transportation for customers coming to and from Sabang or White beach area, so make sure to include this in your Puerto Galera itinerary.

4. Get a VIP Treatment at Puerto Galera Yacht Club

The Yacht Club is filled with luxury yachts and sailboats from all over the world, and you can enjoy watching these beautiful vehicles year-round. However, the best time to view these in action during the last week of October, when the club hosts the annual All Souls Regatta. You’ll see all sorts of boats (catamarans, multihulls, racing/cruising boats) and witness them in their element.

5. Join Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival

Named after the reputedly mystical mountain Mt. Malasimbo, this yearly festival has been drawing crowds of music and art lovers since 2011. It features local and international musicians, which has included Joey Ayala, Cynthia Alexander, Radioactive Sago Project and even Joss Stone in its roster of talents from previous years.

Art installations and various exhibits by known and breakouts artists are also showcased at the festival, so it’s something you can look forward to and add to your list of Puerto Galera activities.

Where and What to Eat in Puerto Galera?

puerto galera tour

1. Tamarind Restaurant

This restaurant is an oldie but goodie. It’s been around since 1981 when more foreigners that weren’t backpackers started coming into Sabang Beach, just when the tourism boom of Puerto Galera began.

It is an open-air restaurant situated at the beachfront, so the view is wonderful. Tamarind restaurant is well known for its delicious grilled seafood, pork ribs, and steak, prawns ala tamarind marinade and other specialties.

They serve generous helpings of rice and are known for their huge portions of food, perfect for large groups. Some say this is the best place to enjoy an ice-cold beer to watch the sunset, and a great selection of alcoholic beverages as well. Budget for one ranges from PHP150.00 to PHP300.00 per serving.

2. Mindoro Sling

If you’re looking for another tried and tested alcoholic drink aside from a bottle of local fave San Miguel Pale Pilsen, why not go for the one that made White Beach famous? the Mindoro Sling!

It’s a cherry red cocktail of rum, grenadine syrup, sprite and fruit juices that can pack quite a punch, so be careful not to drink too much of it if you don’t want a hangover the next day!

You can order this at almost any bar along the beach, but the pitcher at Mikko’s Bar is said to be one of the best ones to try.

3. The Verandah

This is one of the highest rated restaurants in Puerto Galera, so if you’re in the mood to splurge for a good meal, don’t hesitate to do so at the Verandah. Located at the Out of the Blue Resort in Small La Laguna beach, they serve standard Western type favorites in a chill, casual vibe.

Dining for two will cost about PHP800.00 and above, and the place is well known for their Wagyu steak, greek salad, chili crabs, and smoked salad on toast. With a beautiful view of the beach, grab a chair and enjoy a subzero beer while people watching near the shore.

4. Fresh Seafood

If you love seafood, make sure you try Puerto Galera’s grilled squid! Most restaurants offer this since it is fairly easy to cook. The squid is grilled undercoat and seasoned with salt, pepper, diced onions, and tomatoes, then served with some soy sauce and calamansi on the side. Standard cost is PHP170.00 per 100 grams, served with rice.

Other seafood fairs to enjoy are baked mussels, tilapia, prawns, and scallops. Some restaurants feature their fresh catch of the day, and you can have this cooked for a minimum fee (about PHP250.00). In places such as Le Dan restaurant, a simple, unassuming place located at Sabang Beach, you can request their kitchen to cook any seafood you buy at the local market!

5. Arcobaleno Pizzeria and Ristorante

Founded in 1994, this Italian owned restaurant has been serving authentic Italian dishes that customers keep coming back to. Their medium crust pizza has been hailed as one of the best on the island, which is filled with fresh toppings and a generous helping of mozzarella cheese.

One order of pizza costs between PHP200.00 to PHP350.00 and is good enough for two people or more. Other Italian favorites include focaccia bread (baked fresh every Saturday), lasagna, sandwiches, and pancakes.

Arcobaleno Pizzeria and Ristorante is located near Ponderosa Golf and Country Club.

Discover the Sweet Beach Life in Puerto Galera

Indeed, for anyone looking for a quick weekend escape to the seaside, Puerto Galera beach has proven to be a tried and tested option. When it comes to accessibility, value for money, and sheer variety of things to do or places to see, there is nothing quite like Puerto Galera.

Whether you’re looking for a laidback weekend lounging by the shore, an action-packed activity to get your adrenaline pumping, a raucous party with your group of friends, or a wholesome activity with your family, there’s something that you and everyone in your group can truly enjoy.

With so many options to choose from, you’re bound to find the perfect itinerary that fits any budget size, time constraints, or personal preference. Explore the various Puerto Galera tours and activities that you can add to your itinerary.