Puerto Galera is a town located on the island of Mindoro. It’s a popular destination among scuba divers and beach goers thanks to its beautiful beaches and a number of dive sites full of healthy corals and teeming with marine life.
If you are looking for a low-key beach break with lots of diving opportunities, Puerto Galera is a great pick. Here are the top things to do in Puerto Galera.
1. White Beach
White Beach is one of the reasons why Puerto Galera is such a great beach destination. It’s the most famous beach here so yes, there will be crowds, however there is plenty of room for everyone. The beach is lined with restaurants, bars, and resorts. During the day you can lounge on the beach, swim, or partake in watersports such as jet skiing or kayaking. At night, it’s a great place to go bar hopping. Check out our list of the top 101 Best Beaches in Philippines.
2. Learn how to make a Mindoro Sling
A Mindoro sling is a popular cocktail in Puerto Galera and can be found at many of the restaurants and bars. It consists of rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, mango juice, grenadine, and sprite. It’s so popular that many of the resort bars offer lessons on how to make them. Or, if you’d rather stick to having someone make them for you, they make a great drink to enjoy at the end of the day while watching the sunset.
3. Island Hopping
Island hopping is a favourite activity throughout the Philippines, and Puerto Galera is no exception. Most island hopping tours include a visit to Bayanan Beach, Sandbar Island, Haligi Beach, then offer some time to snorkel at Coral Garden. Fishing is banned around Coral Garden meaning there is plenty of marine life to see.
4. Scuba Diving
Scuba diving is one of the main reasons why people come to Puerto Galera and there are plenty of incredibly dive sites just a few minutes off the shoreline. Popular sites include: Giant Clams, Alma Jane Wreck, Sabang Wreck, Coral Cover, and the Canyons. There are a few different dive operators in Puerto Galera so read up on reviews and shop around for the best fit for you.
5. Tamaraw Falls
According to local legend, Tamaraw Falls gets its name from the Mindoro dwarf buffalo called the Tamaraw, which is now an endangered species. The falls are actually made up of several smaller waterfalls the join together in a refreshing pool at the bottom where visitors can swim. Tamaraw Falls are located near Barangay Villaflor.
6. Aninuan Falls
Located at the base of Mt Malasimbo, Aninuan falls are another set of beautiful waterfalls that are worth visiting. Locals will offer to take you (for a fee of course) or, if you are up for an adventure, you can hike to the falls on your own.
7. Talipanan Falls
Talipanan Falls are a third set of falls located not too far from White Beach. While they are still a popular place to visit, they are less busy than Tamaraw Falls. The falls aren’t very high, but they are very picturesque and the pool of water below them is a stunning turquoise colour. It can be very tricky to find though, so you’ll likely want to hire a local guide to show you the way.
8. Tukuran Falls
The final set of the waterfalls in Puerto Galera is Tukuran Falls which is a definite favourite. From the main road it’s about a thirty-minute walk through the jungle to get to the falls that includes walking through streams and creeks (so bring shoes you don’t mind getting wet). At Tukuran Falls you can swim and even slide down the rocks into the water pools below. It’s a fun place to spend a few hours or even the day.
9. Mangyan Village
The Mangyan Village is home to a sub tribe of the Mangyans called the Irayas; an indigenous group who live on the island. These tribes have a long history on the island, and their roots have been traced back to 1250 AD when they traded with the Chinese. However, after the Christians and Moro settlers came the Mangyan population was pushed back into the mountains. Today, the Iraya Mangyans can be found in their local village in Sitio Talipanan. Visitors are welcome to come and explore the village where they can buy local handicrafts as souvenirs.
10. Talipanan Beach
Another great beach in Puerto Galera is Talipanana Beach. It’s beautiful, but not as well-known as White Beach which means smaller crowds and more opportunity to relax. It’s great for swimming, you can play volleyball or rent a kayak, and there are a number of restaurants and bars along the beach as well for you to grab a meal, drink, or snack.
How to Get to Puerto Galera
The best way to get to Puerto Galera is by land. From Manila, take a bug to Batangas (about 3 hours). At Batangas you will take the ferry to Puerto Galera. This is the cheapest option, and it’s pretty easy. However, if required, most dive centers will offer a private transfer option which will transfer you by private minivan and then a chartered boat. Keep in mind that this service is substantially more expensive than the local method.
Without a doubt, Puerto Galera is a beach Paradise. Beautiful beaches, waterfalls, and plenty of water sport opportunities promise to provide for a fun time. Puerto Galera is also one of the top scuba and snorkel destinations in Asia making it a must for any marine enthusiast visiting the Philippines.