Explore the laidback white beaches and underwater treasures of Puerto Galera. Find out the best time to visit, how do you go here from Manila, the best resorts to stay in, and where to eat in this guide.
Puerto Galera doesn't fall far behind the more famous beaches in the Philippines when it comes to stretches of white-sand, vibrant nightlife, and gorgeous sights to see.
Situated on the island of Oriental Mindoro, it’s one of the more accessible beaches from Metro Manila that is well-loved especially by local travelers.
Aside from its white beaches, it is also known to be a popular diving site, boasting precious marine life. There is also a multitude of resorts here for rest and relaxation that can fit any budget.
Read on to find out everything you need to know when planning a trip to Puerto Galera.
The municipality of Puerto Galera has started accepting leisure travelers, and those fully vaccinated don’t need to present a negative RT-PCR test. Visitors can enjoy its white sand beaches and underwater attractions.
Travelers who have negative RT-PCR test results can enter the municipality of Puerto Galera. Fully vaccinated individuals* are exempted from presenting a negative test result and instead must present a COVID-19 domestic vaccination card issued by a legitimate vaccinating establishment or a Certificate of Quarantine Completion showing the holder’s vaccination status. All travelers are also required to register with s-pass.ph.
However, accommodation establishments have the prerogative to require guests to present a negative RT-PCR test result even if they are fully vaccinated, so check in advance with the hotel or resort before booking.
Travelers are required to undergo health and exposure screening at the Puerto Galera border, and those who exhibit symptoms will not be allowed entry.
*A fully vaccinated individual is someone who has more than or equal to 2 weeks after having received the second dose in a 2-dose vaccine; or more than or equal to 2 weeks after having received a single-dose vaccine
Travelers can board a fast craft or a roll-on-roll-off (RoRo) ferry from the International Port of Batangas to either the Port of Muelle or the Port of Balatero.
Here are the requirements you need to prepare before your trip to Puerto Galera:
A Negative RT-PCR Test Result or a Vaccination Card/Certificate
All travelers need to present a negative RT-PCR Test Result before they are allowed entry into the municipality. For fully vaccinated individuals, they must present a COVID-19 domestic vaccination card issued by a legitimate vaccinating establishment or a Certificate of Quarantine Completion showing the holder’s vaccination status as an alternative to the negative RT-PCR test result.
QR Code from S-Pass
All tourists need to present their QR code from S-Pass upon entry and exit, so make sure you are registered before arrival.
After you are allowed entry to Puerto Galera, you must observe the following protocols:
Minimum health standards: Mask and face shield
Individuals are required to use face masks and face shields in public, practice social distancing, and wash their hands regularly.
With the exception of emergency situations, all travelers are expected to follow the curfew hours of 12 MN to 4 AM.
Consumption of Liquor
Liquor consumption is allowed but hand hygiene and social distancing must be maintained and glasses and bottles must not be shared.
Leisure travelers can enjoy the famous white-sand beaches of Puerto Galera or explore its more than 40 dive sites teeming with marine life.
Most activities in Puerto Galera include trips to the beach or exploring its marine life. It's best to plan your vacation here based on the season and weather. Find out when is the best time to visit and when is the peak season.
A lot of people hit Puerto Galera during the holidays and summer months from December to April, which is indeed when the place entirely comes to life.
Most locals travel during these seasons because of the excellent weather and local events. It is also the scheduled school breaks, so expect that accommodations and tourist spots will have a lot of tourists.
From March to April is when summer is its peak season, so expect a lot of vacationers during this time. The best hotels and resorts will most likely be fully booked too so better to book in advance.
June to November is usually the off-peak months because of the rainy season in the Philippines, so the crowd is a little bit less than usual. If you’re looking for more tranquil and calm, you can pick these months to plan your trip. Hotels may offer discounts during your stay at this time as well.
Be mindful of checking weather updates before booking your stay in Puerto Galera, especially during the rainy and off-peak season.
The weather is consistently warm all year round. The highest day time temperature is at 33°C. The months of July and August are the wettest, but the heat is still warm.
December and January have the lowest temperature of the months with high temperatures at around 29.5°C and most moderate at 20-23°C.
Here's an overview of the average monthly temperature in Puerto Galera:
The sun and heat are most active during daytime in March to April so layer up on your sunscreen and sun protection gear and wear breathable clothing.
Nights from December to February can get a little chilly so make sure to bring a light jacket if you're hanging out by the beach.
But another layer of clothing can help you stay warm during unexpected shower storms. Nights during this season can get a bit cool, especially if there are showers so always bring a jacket with you if you're outdoors.
Your main jump-off point when going to Puerto Galera is Manila. It only takes around 3-4 hours to get there from Manila. You can either make a land trip to Batangas Pier by bus or by private car then sea travel by ferry or RoRo or fly directly by seaplane.
It is the more common option for most vacationers. The most popular route is the bus from Manila to Batangas Pier. Major bus lines have regular trips from Buendia LRT (Light Rail Train) station in Pasay City and Cubao, Quezon City terminals.
Regardless of where you come from, it will cost you around Php 200 one way. If you’re coming from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City, the Buendia LRT terminal is your best option.
Trips start at 12:00 am until 10:30 pm, and there’s a bus every 30 minutes. You could try your luck being a chance passenger.
However, if you want added convenience, it’s best to purchase tickets online at the bus line websites. The travel time from the terminals to the Batangas Pier takes approximately 1.5-2 hours, depending on traffic conditions.
The route of the private car is pretty much the same as taking a bus and ferry. However, you will have to leave your vehicle at the Batangas Pier and ride a ferry. You can also load it on a Roll-On Roll-Off vessel (RoRo) if you want to take your car with you to Puerto Galera.
Navigation apps like Google Map and Waze will be your handy guide on finding your way to the pier. You may ask assistance for the RoRo if you wish to bring your ride, or secure the rates from the admin office about parking fees.
Once you’re at the Batangas Pier, go to Terminal 3. You can choose to ride a regular ferry or a Supercat (fast craft) depending on the schedule and your budget.
If you’re planning to go to Sabang beach, choose Muelle Port as your destination. If you're visiting White Beach, on the other hand, select pier Balatero.
You have to purchase another ticket this time for the ferry. It operates on a first-come-first-serve basis. The travel time takes approximately 1.5 hours and costs around Php 550.00 round trip.
There’s an option to ride a catamaran vessel. You can also board this from Batangas. It’s considered a safer ride versus the ferries when the waves are active, or the weather is particularly bad or unpredictable.
It doesn’t go directly but instead alights in Calapan Port. From here, you can take a jeepney or van directly to your resort in Puerto Galera.
The travel time from Batangas to Calapan is 1 hour, while Calapan to Puerto Galera is 1.5 hours. Ticket fares are depending on the age of the passenger.
If you’re looking for a fast and no-hassle way to get to the island, a seaplane is the best option. It only takes 30 minutes from Manila, making it a perfect getaway choice for extremely busy vacationers who want to make a quick getaway.
As of writing, there’s only one seaplane carrier that makes round trip flights from Manila to Puerto Galera, twice a day: Air Juan. You pay for speed and convenience. It is one of the newer methods to get to the destination as well.
Once you arrive in the Batangas pier, there are additional fees upon entry at Puerto Galera and an environmental fee. When you leave, there will be another exit fee at the port headed to Batangas pier. From the dock, you have these options to choose from when getting around:
Classic Filipino jeepneys ply the major roads of Puerto Galera. You can ride these if you're traveling to and from the different towns in the Oriental Mindoro, especially if you're coming from the pier areas. These can carry 10 or more passengers at a time. Often, the driver waits for the jeepney to be full before leaving the pier.
These are the main transportation options if you're traveling short distances within the towns or significant areas of Puerto Galera. It can fit 4-6 people depending on the layout of the tricycle. Compared to the jeepney, tricycles can get through narrow roads because of its smaller size.
If you want to explore other areas or other destinations in Oriental Mindoro, hiring a private car or van with a driver is a good option. It is perfect for you if you’re not familiar with the local public transportation and are traveling with a big group or kids.
Hiring a private car or van with a driver will also provide you with a local driver who is knowledgeable on the tourist spots.
Puerto Galera is full of beach and island resorts that can fit any budget. But you also have to consider which area you will be staying in most of the time so you can book your hotel there.
In this section, we'll break down your options for different types of accommodations. Based on their amenities, the tourist areas where you can book your hotel, and recommended places to stay based on your budget.
Depending on your preference and budget, you can choose from different accommodation options from beachfront resorts, vacation houses for rent to guesthouses for backpackers.
Read on to find out what these accommodations offer to guide you on which ones are perfect for what you need.
Island and Beach Resorts or Hotels
As a beach destination, most accommodations are island and beach resorts. The most premium resorts are found in front of the beach or on islands and have full amenities, including breakfast. The more affordable ones are located near the beach but don't have beachfront access.
Several private vacation houses are available for rent to travelers that you can book online. Travelers have these houses all to themselves or shared with other tourist groups. The apartments are usually equipped with a kitchen and cooking items so renters can prepare their food.
Puerto Galera also has budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses for backpackers. These are cheaper compared to hotels and resorts but are often offering the basics only like a bed, private or shared room, and private or shared bathrooms.
Puerto Galera has different coastal areas that tourists can explore and stay in, but these three are the most famous ones:
It is perhaps the most popular beach and you can find most of the accommodations, tourist activities, and nightlife here. Malasimbo Festival is also held just within walking distance from White Beach.
This area is famous for diving spots, so it's no wonder it has the most number of diving resorts. Next to White Beach, this is also a popular tourist destination. However, the pier for this area is different from White Beach since it's located at a different part of Puerto Galera.
This beach area is situated right next to the more famous White Beach. You can opt to book accommodation here if you want a less touristy and quieter stay. Take note that you will have to hire a tricycle to go to the tourist spots outside of Aninuan Beach if you're staying in this area.
Infinity Resort and Spa in Puerto Galera
Now that you know what types of accommodations are and the most popular areas. Read this section for the best options for your resort and hotel accommodations. We included the options based on luxury, mid-range, and budget-priced accommodations:
You can also go all out on your trip and live like royalty! Plenty of premium resorts are close to prime diving and nature spots as well, which makes for a great view. Here are some of the top-rated resorts that provide you with complete amenities for the most comfortable and worry-free vacation:
Infinity Resort and Spa
This boutique resort is located in a 2-hectare property surrounded by mountain and river views and offers a tropical getaway for relaxation and fun water sport activities for couples and families.
The resort also has accommodations with balconies for a romantic sea view, with sofa, a flat-screen TV and private bathrooms. There's also a children's playground in the resort.
It has a playroom with darts for the adults as well. So you can enjoy after you've had your fill of lounging by their infinity pool with a stunning sea view.
Fridays Puerto Galera
This eco-friendly and luxury resort located in the lagoons of Muelle Bay in Boquete Island is regarded as one of the best resorts and beaches in Oriental Mindoro.
It features 23 beachfront rooms with air-conditioning, hot shower, 49-inch TV, safety deposit box, and bathroom amenities. They also have a bar and restaurant for al fresco dining and a swimming pool including a kid-friendly pool.
Atlantis Dive Resort Puerto Galera
If you’re looking for Grecian interiors, lovely location, and a suite-type room, head on over to Atlantis Dive Resort! It’s been featured in many publications for its unique charm too.
Marco Vincent Dive Resort
This hotel won the Traveler’s Choice Awards of 2019 in TripAdvisor for hitting the sweet spot of perfect pricing, A+ hospitality and service, beautiful amenities, and charming aesthetics.
Out of the Blue Resort
You get views of the Verde Strait if you stay at this hotel, plus splendid treatment from their dedicated concierge. If you don’t feel like hitting the beach, they have two pools available for your convenience.
Lalaguna Villas Luxury Dive Resort and Spa
Photo by Lalaguna Villas
Lalaguna is another luxury option that offers a private villa-like hotel with complete furnishings, room service, spa, pool, minibar, and a gym to boot!
Looking to step up your hotel and resort experience a notch? It still won’t cost you a lot, but it can offer some more amenities you’re after.
If you’re looking for something a bit more mid-range, here are some suggestions for you that are rated highly by tourists because of their amenities and beach access:
If you’re looking for somewhere spacious, Mermaid Resort will be your best bet. With modern Filipino home interiors, it’s still cozy and great for the family.
Blue Crystal Beach Resort
This resort has one of the best beach fronts in Puerto Galera, tucked away from the crowd and commotion. If you want some peace, you should consider this at the top of your list.
It’s doable to visit Puerto Galera while you’re on a budget. With plenty of guesthouses, inns, and apartments available for you to choose from, you can find comfort in the inexpensive accommodations below.
These are some of the budget-friendly accommodations located in the inner streets of Puerto Galera’s beach areas with good reviews from tourists:
Habitat Guest House
Clean, decent, budget-friendly hotel in Sabang with complete basic amenities such as Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and a kitchenette. Overnight stay prices inclusive of breakfast.
It is another great hotel option that’s light on the pocket. This apartment has homey interior styles and provides extra services like laundry service, wheelchair access, and multilingual staff. The reservation is including breakfast.
It is a clean apartment complex in Sabang with a swimming pool and bar awaiting its guests on the ground floor. It also has basic amenities, small presents, and breakfast.
One thing’s for sure: it’s impossible to get bored on this beautiful island. If you’re not one for organizing your trip yourself, you can consider availing of Puerto Galera packages for tours. If you are up for adventures, read on to find out what things await to explore!
There’s much to see in Puerto Galera. If you want to get away from the crowd for a while and discover other islands, you can book a quick island-hopping tour. You’ll see a maximum of four islands, namely:
Boquete Island/Sandbar Island - Locals called it “Sandbar,” which is a 50-meter white sandbar that connects Boquete Island to the main island of Mindoro. It is an excellent spot for swimming and snorkeling.
San Antonio Island - This small island is in the west of Sabang Beach and is known for its underwater cave. You can swim in the natural pool of the cave, shaded from the scorching heat of the sun.
Coral Garden - A prime snorkeling and diving spot in Puerto Galera abundant with vibrant corals and sponges that are home to various types of sea creatures.
Bayanan Beach - It is one of the most beautiful beach destinations in the island hopping tour. You can chill on the sand or go for a fun swim here.
Each location boasts tranquil waters and even more gorgeous nature spots. Include these activities in your itinerary, it never goes wrong!
Video by the Philippine Department of Tourism
There are a lot of snorkeling and freediving tours in the Philippines. But Puerto Galera is known as one of the most beautiful diving spots as it boasts colorful and breathtaking sights under the sea.
People from all over the world visit this place for diving alone. Some of the things you can see are remnants of ships that have crashed around the area a long time ago. A vibrant garden filled with corals of every hue, a shark cave, and huge clams that you never thought existed.
Diving tours are must-try, no matter your skill level. There are several diving spots you can choose from, such as Hibo Reef, Sabang Wreck, and Tamaraw Rocks. They vary in depth and underwater sights, so make sure to ask a knowledgeable guide as to what they can refer to.
If you’re not too keen on diving, but you still want to explore the beauty underneath the ocean, snorkeling would be your best bet. You may not be going as deep, but there’s still a lot you can see from a shallow depth.
The waters in Puerto Galera are clear enough for exploring. The good news is, it’s a bit lighter in the pocket, too!
The three main spots you should go to are the San Antonio Water Cave, Coral Garden, and the Giant Clams site. You can combine this with your island-hopping adventure or rent a boat to do this activity solo.
You can find several extreme watersports and beach activities in the Philippines, such as parasailing, flyboarding, and jet-skiing. In Puerto Galera's White Beach, you can do it too.
It is perfect for adrenaline junkies who love heights or speeds. It will be easy for you to avail of any of the activities mentioned above as many licensed operators who will convince you to try it out. Go ahead and try an event you haven’t done before, even just once!
You can also take side trips in Puerto Galera and check out some of the waterfalls to visit near the area. The most famous one is Tamaraw Falls, which you can pass by if you take the option of riding the Supercat. You may also visit Aninuan Falls, Tukuran Falls, and Talipanan Falls.
If you're not into water activities, lounge around and enjoy the beach are also doable here. You deserve a break to bum around too. Go ahead and relax or swim at these beaches in Puerto Galera. You can flag down a tricycle or hire a private van for a beach hopping tour.
White Beach - This is the top tourist spot where most of the resorts are located. Aside from lounging by the beach, you can go swimming, snorkeling, or try water activities.
Aninuan Beach - Located right next to the famous White Beach, this secluded beach is a perfect spot if you want to relax with the waves as your background. Go here to watch the sunset without the crowds.
Talipanan Beach - It is another uncrowded beach destination that offers a romantic and relaxing vibe for watching the sunset and swimming.
Of course, food is one of the most critical parts of any trip. The restaurants you eat in can largely influence your budget, and can even make or break your experience.
Be mindful of your diet restrictions and food allergies before going to a specific restaurant. It’s a good thing you can reach out to most of these restaurants and view their menu online before you go.
As a beach and diving destination, Puerto Galera has become home to foreign tourists aside from the locals who live here. So it's not surprising that the restaurants here include a wide variety of cuisine from Filipino to Italian.
Seafood is fresh here, so don't miss the opportunity to eat at beachfront restaurants offering grilled fish, squid, shrimps, and more.
Some are even presented on a table of the banana leaf, lining up with steaming white rice. It is a Filipino eating tradition called a boodle fight where you're supposed to eat with your hands.
Similar to Boracay, Puerto Galera also has a vibrant nightlife, so you'll see a lot of bars here lined up by the beach filled with tourists at night. Not to miss is the Mindoro Sling, their local version of the Singapore Sling.
Its version is a concoction of rum, tropical juices like orange, pineapple, mango, lime, with grenadine syrup and lime soft drink. A shot glass of this isn't enough so order up a pitcher or a tower for your group.
Check out some of the most popular restaurants to fill you up after an active day swimming or diving.
The Verandah Restaurant
This highly-rated resto serves a fusion of Filipino-Asian cuisine. Their specialty is seafood, but they also have gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian-friendly options. People love to drink quality wines and cocktails here too!
Papa Fred’s Steakhouse
Judging from the name of this resto itself, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a place that offers traditional American cuisine in Puerto Galera. The ambiance is pretty romantic, so this is a great venue option for dates. Don’t worry, if you have vegetarian friends with you, they can still tag along as this resto will present food options for them.
Jack Daniel’s Apartments Restaurants
It is the top-rated resto and it’s more moderately-priced than the above options! Described as a “hidden gem,” this is the place people keep coming back to no matter what cuisine they want to eat.
They have an international cuisine that satisfies just about any palate, so you’re sure to find a new favorite each time you visit.
If you want to have traditional Pinoy comfort food dishes, Relax Restaurant might be your top pick. They serve large portions of your favorite silog (viand with fried rice and egg) meals and sisig to daring options such as seafood curry and spicy katsu.
To round off this list, you can’t go wrong with visiting a local pub to get your drinks while you enjoy the views of the ocean. It’s a great place to hang out with equally yummy meals to boot, all without burning a hole in your pocket!
Before you start planning your Puerto Galera trip, take note of these travel tips for a hassle-free vacation.
The majority of establishments accept payments in Philippine Peso (PHP) and cash, so make sure that you bring enough before heading to the beach areas and your resort.
There are ATMs in the Batangas Pier, also a few in some towns. But it's not guaranteed that these machines will be always online. Credit cards are accepted in some resorts, usually the luxury ones, so it's best to check with your resort first.
Locals speak Iraya, Filipino, and English. The majority of the resort and tourism-related employees are fluent in essential to intermediate English so that communication won't be a problem here for foreign tourists.
You can do most of the activities in Puerto Galera and have an excellent stay for three days and two nights. However, it’s your discretion whether you want to extend or if you don’t have that much time to carve out from your schedule. Here’s a sample itinerary you can base your trip on or tweak along the way.
5:00 am - Depart LRT Buendia bus station bound for Batangas Pier
7:00 am - Arrive in Batangas Pier; buy tickets and pay fees
7:30 am - Depart the Pier
9:00 am - Arrive Puerto Galera main proper. Ride a trike to your hotel, early check-in.
10:00 am - Try water sports: jet-skiing, banana boat, or parasailing
12:00 nn - Lunch at Relax Restaurant
1:00 pm - Book an island-hopping tour and snorkeling experience: Choose among the Giant Clam site, San Antonia Island Sandbar, Bayanan Beach, and Coral Garden.
5:00 pm - End of an island-hopping tour
5:30 pm - Stay at the beachfront to relax, watch the sunset
7:00 pm - Dinner and drinks at Capt’n Gregg’s
10:00 pm - Lights out
6:30 am - Wake up for free breakfast at the hotel
7:30 am - Hire a tricycle for a waterfalls tour and discover other sights: Tamaraw Falls, Aninuan Falls, etc.
11:00 am - Lunch
12:00 nn - Go diving
2:00 pm - End of diving experience
3:00 pm - Afternoon snacks (merienda) or head back to the hotel to rest
4:00 pm - Chill by White Beach, swim and relax by the shore
6:30 pm - Dinner at The Verandah Restaurant
8:00 pm - Check out the nightlife
11:00 pm - Lights out
6:30 am - Wake up for breakfast at the hotel
7:30 am - Swimming by the beach or swimming pool at the resort
11:00 am - Lunch at Jack Daniel’s Apartments Restaurants
12:00 nn - Check out from the hotel
1:00 pm - Ride a boat to Batangas Pier
2:30 pm - Arrive at the Batangas Pier; board bus bound for Manila
5:00 pm - Arrive in LRT Buendia bus station
Explore Puerto Galera
And that was it for today’s virtual tour of Puerto Galera! Of course, it’s going to be much more impressive if you go there in person. Since flight times or fares don’t usually fluctuate, it’s more manageable to save up for your trip there or settle on a schedule with your family or friends.
Bookmark this page if you need to keep coming back to the destinations listed above. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask the locals in the area, they will be more than happy to assist you in making your stay more enjoyable and comfortable.
Start planning your trip to this well-loved destination in Oriental Mindoro! Check out Puerto Galera tours and activities to plan out your getaway from Manila.