Where: Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, Region IV-B (MIMAROPA), Philippines
Who: Alexi, Alonzo, Mita, Paps, Yaya Judy with Mr, Mrs & Little Miss Wanderlust
When: April 24 2015
What: Little Miss Wanderlust's birthday beach get away!
A coastal town just an hour boat ride from Batangas port, Puerto Galera got its name from the Spanish meaning "Port of Galleons" as centuries ago, where trading vessels anchor their ships. The beach is very well known among tourists for its numerous pocket beaches, and lots of SCUBA and snorkeling spots.
Puerto Galera area was declared Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1973 as it boasts some the most diverse coral reef diving in Asia. Its "center of the center" of marine diversity in the world is Verde Passage which is the waters between Batangas and Mindoro. The coral reefs house about 60% of the world's shore fish.
From Manila, there are several bus lines that heads to Batangas Port with average travel time of 2.5hrs.
Then, from the port, going through the lines, and security checks, (If it is a holiday as port will be crowded - so avoid sembreak and long weekends.) you are going to board an outrigger boat that will go directly to Balatero, Sabang or Muelle Port. And depending on where you are staying (most likely White Beach) the boat will unload at the mini port on the corner of White Beach.
Last time we went there back in college days of '06, there was no port in white beach, and boats just comes and go anywhere on the beach, which wasn't organized and can't swim without boats unloading new arriving passengers.. It is really good that they have just a specific spot for passengers from boats to be unloaded just in the corner of the beach.
**However, this wasn't our route, as the resort we are staying is away from the main island of Puerto Galera. So we have a pre-arranged boat to bring us from Berberabe Port to our resort, and vice versa.
If you want an easy less hassle trip, you can hire a private boat, Berberabe Port is better as there are less crowd, and no security screening crap. The price may be a bit steeper than the public boat, but if you are a group of 5 or more it can be economical.
Directions to Berberabe Port: (Only if you have arranged private boat)
>From Batangas Port exit, turn left towards Batangas City.
>After 3.0km keep right past the ‘Lions’ Monument and make the next left turn at 3.4km.
>Drive to the next intersection at 3.7km and turn left.
>Head straight until you see the sign for Lobo, SM Mall and the Shell refinery at 4.1km and turn right. >Follow the signs to SM Mall, Lobo and the Shell refinery, on the way you will cross a bridge at 5.1km and shortly after you will see the Pontefino Hotel.
>Before arriving at the hotel turn right at the Y intersection at 5.6km that will take you to the new SM Mall at 6.2km.
>Continue straight past the Mall, past the Shell station and keeping left, lookout for signs to the Shell refinery.
>At 8.9km you will pass over a small bridge, and at 10.1km arrive at the Shell refinery.
>Continue along the winding road around the refinery.
>At 12.6km you will pass the flour mill (beware of the speed humps near the entrance gates),
>And at 13.8km take the small dirt road on the right immediately at the end of the Flour Mill fence (about 100 meters after the second speed bump). 200 metres down this road is Berberabe Beach.
Puerto Galera has been a long time favorite tourist spots, popular even for the college students especially on their semestral breaks, and even for young professionals just wanting to get out of the city, for the weekend to have fun.
Being so popular among tourists as it is also near Manila, there are MANY PLACES TO STAY in Puerto Galera.
Depending on your preferences, and budget, just do your research. Some go out there to have fun and party at the beach 'till sunrise, accommodations at White Beach is best recommended. While some just want to enjoy peace, quiet and what nature has to offer, its stay away from White Beach and try looking for resorts on other beaches or islands.
Mr & Mrs Wanderlust's Review
Buri Resort & Spa
+Nice and spacy rooms away from the noise and party
+Has 2 mid sized swimming pools for kids to enjoy also boasts pool villa rooms.
+Has nice and courteous staff
+Massage was good
+Kid friendly as they have beach toys that can be borrowed no charge
+Always with new towels near pool or if going to beach
+Guard always offers beach mat if they see guest going to beach
-More than 100-step stairs for pool villa rooms, not recommended for seniors
-Advertised pool in the "pool villa" is so small. Just like a mini jacuzzi.
-No Breakfast included in rooms.
-Food is expensive (as seen above breakfast is around 400+ PHP
-The beach is not so good as it is muddy, not great for swimming but great chill spot
Price: $$$ 5-10,000PHP for family.
Service: 4 star - Service & staff were very helpful and nice
Facilities & Amenities: 4 star - Good facilities, but pool in villa is too small, beachfront so-so.
Restaurant (foods): 3 star - No free breakfast, expensive, nothing special.
Bar: 4 - There is a bar in the resort but nothing special.
Overall: 3.75 /5 star
1. Enjoy the beaches
Island hopping and enjoy the different beaches like White beach (the most crowded), Boquete Island, San Antonio Island, Aninuan Beach, Lalaguna Beach, Long Beach in Medio Island.
2. Explore Marine Life
In the waters of Puerto Galera which is well known around the world to have one of the most diverse underwater life. Boats can bring you to the Coral Garden, see the giant clams and take a look at the underwater cave. Be advised that once you are in Coral Garden, you have option to swim by yourself of hire another small boat to take you around the Coral Garden. Excellent dive spots for sure are waiting for SCUBA divers with many rentals around White Beach.
3. Motorized Water Activities
And lots of it in White Beach. Banana boat, Flying fish, Jet ski, Windsurfing and Parasailing.
4. Support Local Culture
Try to meet the local Mangyan community. See the Excavation Museum, the Mangyan Heritage Center.
5. Chase them waterfalls
Tamaraw Falls is the most accessible one. But there are other waterfalls worth going to, such as Tukuran, Aninuan, and Talipanan.
6. Mt. Malasimbo
For the mountain enthusiasts out there, it would definitely provide a good adventure and great views. The Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival happens during summer at the foot of this mountain - a natural amphitheater. Local and some international bands come to celebrate music and art.
7. Experience Nightlife of Puerto Galera
When the sun sets, White Beach gets even more busy, as restaurants by the beach prepares their setup to get crowds of customer. Fire dancing and loud music is present everywhere and different bars have different gimmicks, but surely you must try the famous "Mindoro Sling" a cocktail made of rum and fruit juices.
Accommodations - Hostel Bed - PHP 700
Accommodations - Family Room - PHP 2,000
Accommodations - Resort Room - PHP 3,000
Shopping - Souvenir T-shirt - PHP 200
Shopping - Souvenir bracelets - PHP 10 - 100
Activities - Island Hopping - PHP 2,500 ++ (depends on size/capacity of boat)
Activities - Smaller boat for Coral Garden snorkeling - PHP 200 per head
Activities - Jet Ski - PHP 2,000 / 30 minutes
Activities - Parasailing - PHP 1,500 per head
Activities - Day hike at Malasimbo with guide - PHP 1,500
Food - Restaurant - PHP 500 per meal
Food - Eatery / Canteen - PHP 200 per meal
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