puerto galeraFind out what’s so special about Puerto Galera and why you should travel here. What are the tourist spots and things to do in this coastal town? When is the best time to visit and how do you go here from Manila? Which resorts and hotels should you stay in depending on your budget? Here’s everything you need to know about planning a getaway to Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro.

Puerto Galera doesn't fall far behind its big brothers in the tropical country when it comes to white-sand beaches, 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 for locals and foreign tourists alike.

That’s right; it’s not just Boracay and Palawan with enviable beaches! The Philippines is full of amazing spots like those superstars, and Puerto Galera has earned its keep to be alongside one of the country’s best.



This island is perfect for casual vacationers and serious water sports junkies alike. It’s known to be a popular diving site, boasting a precious marine life. Plenty of resorts in Puerto Galera have opened their doors throughout the years to answer the demands of people who want to soak up nature and stay in this beautiful place. That’s precisely the kind of attention it deserves as UNESCO recognized it as a Man and Biosphere Reserve in 1973.

Travelers who are shortening in time can see the best of Puerto Galera on the weekend. However, it’s still better if you can pace the trip for about three to four days to allow yourself to soak in the full experience. By the end of this post, you should be confident in planning a trip and make the most of your vacation.

Pack your bags and whip out your notebooks, because you’re up for a wonderful trip in this ultimate guide to Puerto Galera.

CONTENTS 

Going to Puerto Galera

how to go to puerto galeraYour 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.

By Bus

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.

By Private Car

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.

By Ferry 

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.

Regular Ferry

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.

Fast Craft

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. 

By Seaplane

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.

Best Time to Go to Puerto Galera

philippines puerto galera

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. Also, you can not miss the annual music festival. There is a high chance to avoid the rainy season if you have done the homework and know the typical climate and weather. Read on to find out more and what to wear to best enjoy your vacation. 

Holiday and Summer Season| December to April

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. 

Peak Season

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. 

Malasimbo Festival 

Puerto Galera Travel Guide | Guide to the Philippines

There will be a lot of people around March or April when the annual Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival is happening. If you’re looking to meet new people, hang out with people at night, then go ahead and enjoy what this slice of paradise has to offer.

Rainy and Off-Peak Season| June to November

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.   

Climate and Weather

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:

Puerto Galera Travel Guide | Guide to the Philippines

Source: NOAA

What to Wear

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.

During the day in June to September, always have an umbrella in your bag. You can still wear breathable summer outfits if you're on 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.

Getting Around Puerto Galera

puerto galera tourOnce 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:

Jeepney 

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. 

Tricycle

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.

Private Car or Van 

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. 

Where to Stay in Puerto Galera

puerto galera resorts

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. 

Types of Accommodations

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. 

Vacation Rentals

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. 

Hostels 

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. 

Neighborhoods and Areas 

Puerto Galera has different coastal areas that tourists can explore and stay in, but these three are the most famous ones:

White Beach

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 walking distance from White Beach. 

Sabang 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. 

Aninuan Beach

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. 

Accommodation Highlights in Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera Travel Guide | Guide to the Philippines

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:

Luxury 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.

Mid-range Accommodations

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: 

Lalaguna Villas Luxury Dive Resort and Spa

Lalaguna can very well be a luxury option, if not for the mid-range price. It offers a private villa-like hotel with complete furnishings, room service, spa, pool, minibar, and a gym to boot!

Mermaid Resort

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.

Budget Accommodations

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.

Badladz Apartments

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.

Sabang Oasis Resort

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.

What to See and Do in Puerto Galerapuerto galera packages

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!

Go Island-Hopping

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!

Explore Diving Spots

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.

Go Snorkeling

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.

Try Extreme Water Sports

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!

Visit Waterfalls

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.

Unwind at Beaches

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. 

  • Palauan Beach - It is a lesser-known beach where you can lie on the sand to sunbathe or have a dip in the water. 

  • Talipanan Beach - It is another uncrowded beach destination that offers a romantic and relaxing vibe for watching the sunset and swimming. 

Dance at the Malasimbo Festival

If you’re a fan of indie or dance music and generally having a good time, consider booking tickets and including this in your trip itinerary. If you're heading to Puerto Galera from March or April, it's one of the most anticipated events in this beach destination for local and foreign tourists. 

Some of the most famous artists that have headlined Malasimbo include Joss Stone, Big Mountain, and Ky-Mani Marley, son of Bob Marley. 



What to Eat and Drink in Puerto Galera

puerto galera tourOf 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.

Local Cuisine

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. 

Recommended Best Restaurants and Bars

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.

Relax Restaurant

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.

Capt’n Gregg’s

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!

Practical Information and Tips

Before you start planning your Puerto Galera trip, take note of these travel tips for a hassle-free vacation. 

Currency 

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. 

Language

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. 

Sample Itinerary in Puerto Galera

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.

Day 1: Arrival + Water Sports + Island-Hopping 

  • 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

Day 2: Land Tour + Diving 

  • 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

Day 3: Swimming + Check 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.