About 4 to 5 hours away from Manila is Puerto Galera. It is a string of beaches located on the northwest side Mindoro Island. Composed of Coco Beach, White Beach, Sabang Beach, Big & Small Lalaguna & Tamaraw Beach. Puerto Galera is a haven for Filipinos & Foreigners alike. The cost of getting there, the accommodation, food and drinks are relatively cheap compared to Boracay or Palawan. On a tight budget, a weekend retreat for two can cost as little as $100. And that includes transportation from Manila, a room and food.
White Beach on is the longest and widest beach in Puerto Galera. It is a bit laid-back compared to Sabang but Sabang is smaller but livelier because it has more bars, shops, restaurants and discos. Sabang also boast of a floating bar in the middle of the bay where local and imported drinks are served. But both Sabang & White Beach have an active nightlife although one need not stay at one beach alone, try beach hopping when your there. You can transfer from Sabang to Small Lalaguna by foot. And in between the two beaches, there is a cozy bar on the cliff called "The Point" it has a nice view of the ocean and is open until 2 a.m. The other beaches at Puerto Galera can be reached by tricycle, jeep or pump boat. It is a common practice to rent a cottage at one resort and hop at different resorts and beaches during the day and at even at night.
You can do just about everything for your total holiday enjoyment at Puerto Galera. Day activities are usually swimming, boating, strolling, hiking, Scuba diving, snorkeling, island hopping, jet skiing, beach volleyball and of course sun bathing! One can also hire a guide to trek the mountain at the backdrop.
There is also the Ponderosa Golf Club is located up in the mountains - 600 meters above sea level, and the view is unforgettable. The beautiful view of Puerto Galera and the beaches is breathtaking.
Another interesting place to go while in Puerto Galera is the Tamaraw Falls. It is very easy to go to, just take a jeepney ride towards San Teodoro town and ask the jeep driver to drop you off at Tamaraw Falls. The falls is just meters from the road. And if you are the adventurous type, go jungle trekking through the mountains and see the Mangyan tribes people living in the jungle and you are lucky, you might get the rare chance to see the Tamaraw, a wild buffalo in the forest of Mindoro.
How to get to Puerto Galera:
To get to Puerto Galera from Manila you can get a bus to the Port of Batangas (about 2 hour trip). Almost all major bus lines in Manila have regular trips going to the Port of Batangas. From the port, the fastest way to any beach in Puerto Galera is to take a "banca" ride (outrigger boat) directly to your beach of choice. They leave the port several times a day starting at 7am (more often during peak season -the schedules change depending on the demand). There is also the "Ro-Ro" (roll on-roll off) ferryboat (2 1/2 hours trip) that leaves at noon. The Ro-Ro can accommodate cars. It docks on the Puerto Gallera pier. It leaves only once a day. You then have to take a jeepney or tricycle ride to your choice of beach. So if you are not afraid of small boats, take the "banca" direct from the Port of Batangas to your choice of beach at Puerto Galera.
Another way to get to Puerto Gallera is to catch a bus leaving everyday at the City State Tower Hotel in Ermita, Manila (tel. # 0917 694 6918) the bus takes you to the Port of Batangas where a catamaran “Si-Kat” waits to ferry passengers to Puerto Gallera. There is also a bus leaving Royal Palm Hotel (tel 02/526 2566) in Ermita, Manila at 8 a.m.
Public Buses plying Manila and the Port of Batangas:
BLTB Bus Lines: EDSA, Pasay. Tel # 833-5508, 833-5501, 913-1525
Jam Transit: Taft Ave., Pasay. & New York St., Cubao. Tel. # 541-4409, 924-7712
Tritran Transit: Edsa, Quezon City. Tel # 925-1759, 925-1758
Philtranco Bus Lines, Cubao, Q.C. Tel # 851-8079
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