The rhythmic sound of the waves, the soft fluttering sound of the winds, the hush whispers of the night and the gentle greeting of sunrise. It is truly a paradise! This is how I see Puerto Galera…a small paradise in the Island of Mindoro that is blessed with pristine beaches, beautiful mystique waterfalls, caves and nice people.
Puerto Galera, one of the oldest Spanish settlements in the Philippines, was founded in 1572, becoming the first provincial capital on Mindoro Island. It is situated on the northern peninsula of the island, approximately 160 km from Manila. (source: www.puertogaleradive.com)
the view of sunset from the resort where we stayed
It was 7:30am when the Jam Liner bus going to Batangas Pier left the Kamuning bus station. The three of us were all excited. It’s been five years since we had our last out-of-town vacation not to mention that it’s our first Puerto Galera get-away. We reached Batangas Pier at 9:30am. We didn’t have a hard time buying tickets because a man assisted us all throughout the process. We paid P220 ($5.50) each for the boat ride and P30 ($0.75) for the Environmental User’s Fee.
At Batangas port. That’s hubby, with red backpack, while paying the Environmental User’s Fee.
It was also my first time to ride a boat that was why I was a bit nervous but when I saw that the outrigger boat is big enough to accommodate about 40 persons plus the luggage, I felt the excitement again. It took us 50 minutes before we finally set foot in Muelle Pier, one of the three piers in Puerto Galera…one is at White Beach and the other one is at Sabang.
The outrigger boat to Puerto Galera. It can accommodate 40 persons plus luggage.
We took a tricycle (the most common mode of transportation in Puerto Galera) and paid P10 each ($0.25) going to Nirvana Hotel where we booked for 3 days and 2 nights. Since it was lunch already, we had our lunch at the hotel’s restaurant after checking in then explored the resort for a while then took a nap.
By 6:00pm, a tricycle fetched us from the hotel and sent us to White Beach. Good thing that the receptionist referred his tricycle driver friend who served as our guide as well during our stay in the island. White Beach is like little Boracay with restaurants, bars, clubs, street vendors and fire dancing at night. If you want to enjoy the night life rather than relax, White Beach is the right place. There are many hotels and hostels along White Beach not to mention the restaurants that are offering unlimited rice and iced tea.
Fire dancing at White Beach
The next whole day was spent island hopping, snorkeling and swimming. We paid P3,500 ($87.50) for the whole day adventure with lunch included. The first stop was at the Sandbar where we had picture taking while waiting for our boat. Then we were transported to the Coral Island for the snorkeling. The snorkeling and fish sighting are superb. It’s a must to bring underwater or water proof camera to get good shots of the fishes and corals. Too bad we don’t have a waterproof camera. 🙁
Snorkeling at the Coral Island
After an hour of boat ride and snorkeling, our bangkero dropped us off on a small white sand island. There, we spent a few hours swimming. Our girl enjoyed it so much.
Our girl enjoying the white sand.
Last stop was the Tamaraw Falls. Yes, it’s another first for me and RJ. It was our first time to see waterfalls and it was so amazing that left us in awe. The water from the falls is collected on a man-made pool on the other side of the bridge where everyone can dip and swim. It was also in Tamaraw Falls where we had our lunch. As I have mentioned, the lunch was included in the tour package. Our guide, served us grilled pork belly, grilled chicken, salted egg, onion and tomato ensalada and fresh buko juice.
The amazing Tamaraw Falls.
We went back to the hotel at 5:00pm, too exhausted to take a dip in the pool. We just had a nap, ate our dinner then went back to sleep again. The next day, we spent the whole morning swimming in the hotel’s pool while drinking the famous Mindoro Sling, then had our lunch and went back home.
Our Puerto Galera exploration is one of our unforgettable vacations not just of the many first times we had but because of how lovely and enchanting the island is. Sun, sea, sand, beautiful corals, rich marine life, waterfalls, caves and greens in just one island. It truly is paradise!