Puerto Galera Mindoro island

Paradise close to Manila

Puerto Galera is a coastal town in the northwest of the province of Oriental Mindoro. It is located at the south-western end of the Isla Verde Passage, about 130 kilometers south of Manila. It is also located in the same region as the more renowned and popular, Palawan. Puerto Galera has become a very popular weekend beach getaway for many locals and expats due to its close proximity to Manila, and its numerous pocket beaches and many snorkeling and scuba diving spots. It is also renowned in Asia for some of the most diverse coral reef diving. It is consistently regarded among the top diving destinations in the Philippines.

Among the beaches in Puerto Galera are Sabang Beach and White Beach, both of which have an active nightlife with numerous bars and restaurants. Big La Laguna Beach and Small La Laguna Beach are also considered part of Sabang. Even though there are a number of resorts lining the beach in those areas, Sabang itself is where most of the action is.

Puerto Galera is a haven for scuba divers

Puerto Galera is one of the main technical diving destinations in Asia. For those that are into scuba diving, there is excellent diving found less than 5 minutes from Sabang Beach. Technical Diving International (TDI) have many dive centers in the area. They offer a full range of TDI courses from basic to advanced.

Behind the beaches are the generally unexplored mountain ranges of central Mindoro. The sensational views of Puerto Galera’s natural harbor and the Verde Island Passage are breathtaking. These mountains are where you can find the tranquil and popular Tamaraw Falls. This is only about 17kms from Sabang, or about 40 mins via tricycle.

Something for everyone

Puerto Galera is a great place to go and has something to cater for everyone. There are a large variety of resorts covering various price ranges. Beachside resorts, mountaintop resorts, white sand beach resorts, diving resorts – Puerto Galera has it all. Throw in the beautiful water, the diverse marine life and reefs, and the party atmosphere and there isn’t too many better places in the Philippines – especially that close to Manila. You can check out more by watching my vlog here or reading my blog here.

Puerto Galera Mindoro island

Medio Island, on the outskirts of Balateros Cove, is one of the many islands you can enjoy. There is so much breath taking beauty as you island hop around Puerto Galera.

Puerto Galera Mindoro island

This is a great example of the many pocket beaches you will find around Puerto Galera. Totally uninhabited, white sand, palm trees, and how’s the color of the water?!

Puerto Galera Mindoro island

Tamaraw Falls is a popular tourist attraction due to its multi-level falls. It caters to tourists with a small local style restaurant-cum-resort. There are a few lookout areas that follow the flow of the falls as they cascade down the mountainside.

Puerto Galera Mindoro island

White Beach is about 12 km’s away from Sabang and is the longest stretch of white sand beach in Puerto Galera. When I first went there in 2006, it was relatively under-developed. It has now become a thriving attraction, especially for locals.

Puerto Galera Mindoro island

Big La Laguna. We didn’t actually stay here but we spent the day here. We were treated to some unbelievable snorkeling adventures among the amazing coral reefs.

Puerto Galera Mindoro island

Sabang is the epicenter of activity in Puerto Galera. Although the beach there isn’t the best beach in Puerto Galera, it more than makes up for it when the sun goes down.

How to get there

The best way to get to Puerto Galera from Makati is to drive to Batangas Port via the SLEX and Star Tollway, and then take a boat across. The drive to Batangas Port from Makati is about 100kms and takes approximately 90mins.

There are several options as the route from Makati to Batangas is a common one. Taft Ave terminal is the best bet, and you can expect to pay about P250 one way to get from Makati to Batangas Port.

Once at Batangas Port, you then catch a boat across to Sabang Beach in Puerto Galera, which takes approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. The boats leave every hour from 7am until about 4pm. The cost is P250 per head.

Dezza´s Tip

I fully recommend partaking in some island hopping when in Puerto Galera. Boats are readily available for day hire from around P1500 for up to about 8 people. This allows you to explore all around the area taking in the different beaches and attractions Puerto Galera has to offer.

If you want to party, then Sabang is the place to stay with a very active nightlife that includes numerous bars, with the famous floating bar of Big Apple Resort the main stay. If you want a bit more of a chilled white sand beach get-up with slightly less action, then White Beach is the place to stay.