What are the top attractions to visit in Puerto Galera?
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Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro is a highly recommended place to visit for a vacation both with a group of people or alone. It’s located on a big island in the western part of the Philippines offering it some protection from seasonal typhoons. Puerto Galera means “The Port of Galleons” named so by the first Spanish settlers because of its port’s convenient location to shelter ships or galleons from bad weather.
Puerto Galera is now known for its beautiful white pockets of beaches and rich coral and marine life and is visited by both locals and foreign travelers to get a taste of its natural attractions. Thinking of visiting this hidden paradise? Here are some of the best things to do while you’re in Puerto Galera.
Have Fun at White Beach
White Beach is undisputedly the most popular beach and location of Puerto Galera. As per the beach’s name, White Beach has stunning white sand, cerulean waters, and rich marine life and coral reefs off its coast. Enjoy the sand and water during the day while partying all night at the beachside establishments. Most of the popular resorts and restaurants are located at White Beach. It’s also a popular spot for locals to hold music festivals and concerts and because of its unspoiled marine life, it’s waters are also a great spot for snorkeling and diving.
There are a lot of agencies and locals that island hopping tours in town, especially if you’re in White Beach. They’ll usually take you to less crowded beaches on secluded islands nearby. This usually includes Haligi Beach, Bayanan Beach, Sandbar Island, and Coral Garden with each having a unique experience to offer. Travelers will get a taste of the best unspoiled white sand beaches and snorkeling sights in the region. And if they want to see more, they can make additional payments to their guide to take them to nearby locations not included in the tour package.
Visit the Iraya Mangyan Village
Puerto Galera is home to the local tribe called Iraya Mangyan of the indigenous group that originally lived on the coasts but withdraw into the mountains when the Spaniards arrived. Today, they’re living peacefully at the Iraya Mangyan Village at the foot of Mt. Malasimbo, nine km away from the center of town. People can come and visit this unique village and admire the Iraya Mangyans culture. Buy crafts and souvenirs intricately made by the villagers from local nito vines to support local artisans.
Experience Eco-Adventure at Puerto Galera Adventure and Recreational Ecopark
While you’re visiting the Iraya Mangyan Village, head further up Mt. Malasimbo to partake in a fun eco-adventure experience at Puerta Galera Adventure and Recreational Ecopark. The recreational eco-park is just on top of the hills of Mt. Malasimbo giving a great view of the mountain’s rainforest, Puerto Galera, and the gorgeous coastline beyond. Of course, visitors can partake in recreational activities such as cargo net climb, hanging bridge, and a 600-meter cable zipline.
Peek at the Underwater Cave in Puerto Galera
One of the highlights of Puerto Galera is its underwater attractions, specifically the underwater cave located at San Antonio Island in a place called Coral Garden. Travelers can access this beautiful natural attraction by commissioning fishermen to take them to the island or join an island hopping tour with a stop on San Antonio Island. Tourists can get a chance and see giant clams, huge plates of corals, and swim at the emerald pool of the underwater cave.
Admire the Sunset
Sunsets at Puerto Galera are probably some of the best in the world. Beachgoers will get a treat every sunset as the sun goes down over the horizon and seemingly disappear under the sea. Travelers will practically get this gorgeous view of the sunset from any point on the island.
Relax at Ensenada Beach Resort
If you’re looking to spend a few days for a staycation in a quiet place by the beach, the Ensenada Beach Resort is the ideal resort in Puerto Galera. The resort is located beachside with plenty of rooms and cottages that have a full view of the white sand and waters. The resort is decorated with rustic local furnishing made up of local materials and has an in-house restaurant. Relax on their private beach or get a boat ride to a nearby snorkeling sight.
Celebrate at the Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival
For lovers of music and art visiting Puerto Galera, catch the local festival called Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival, a yearly festival that takes place on the island since 2011. Named after the majestic Malasimbo mountain, this local festival has been getting drawing bigger and bigger crowds each year since it was first held in 2011. Local and international musicians perform to large crowds at the Malasimbo amphitheater while artworks are showcased by local and foreign artists.
Visit Tamaraw Falls
Tamaraw Falls is made up of twin waterfalls three stories high that are said to be the cleanest waters in the province. It’s about a 30-minute ride away from the town center located near the West Nautical Highway. Visitors will have to take a short hike up a paved zigzag path to reach the waterfall. The Tamaraw Falls flows directly to two manmade pools where visitors can take a refreshing dip after their short hike.
Find Souvenirs at Muelle Port
Muelle Port is one of the four ports in Puerta Galera and is the busiest as it serves as the main port for ferries coming in and out of the municipality. With thousands of visitors coming in and out of Mueller Port each day, locals established a number of shops selling their local crafts and wares with notable shops selling one of a kind trinkets. Visitors can find unique souvenirs to bring to their loved ones.
Take a Sip of Mindoro Sling
As the saying goes “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” so while in Puerto Galera, take a sip of the popular cocktail Mindoro Sling named after the island, of course. This local cocktail was invented on the island and quickly became popular with the locals for its sweet fruity taste. This alcoholic drink is said to be popularized at a local bar called Mikko’s Bar to the point where most establishments have it on their menu.
Visit Tukuran Falls
The Tukuran Falls is referred to as the “Hidden Paradise” by locals because of its location in the Calsapa village, 45 minutes south of Puerto Galera. Travelers need to hire a vehicle to reach the fall’s trailhead. From there, travelers are required to pay for a guide to take them through the 30-minute trail heading to the falls. Local carabao owners can be hired to a small group of people pass a river. The adventure is all worth it as the view of the beautiful cascades of the falls through emerald swimming holes is quite the sight and great for taking a dip.
Discover Talipanan Beach
One of the best lesser-known attractions, Talipanan Beach is a beautiful stretch of powdery white sand beach with calm turquoise waters without the crowds. The beach is located just near the Iraya Mangyan Village where interested visitors can hire a guide to take them directly to Talipanan Beach for a side trip. It’s the perfect place to truly relax and unwind. As a side trip within a side trip, visit the nearby Talipanan Falls.
Go to Aninuan Beach
Aninuan Beach is a great alternative to the more popular White Beach. The white sands and amazing cerulean waters are still there but with fewer crowds and tourists. Plus, it’s just minutes away from White Breach via vehicle. Aninuan Beach is a very popular beach for couples, families, and teenagers to relax because of its more romantic atmosphere. It’s also quite close to Talipanan and serves as a getaway.
Relax at Haligi Beach
People can reach Haligi Beach through island hopping tours as mentioned above. The beautiful white sand beach is located on Boquete or Paniquian Island just off Muelle Bay. Visitors will instantly feel relaxed on the quiet beach or swim at its calm blue waters. They can even snorkel and interact with the rich marine life off its shore.
Get a Henna Tattoo
There are plenty of shops along the beaches of Puerto Galera that offers commissions for henna tattoo, especially on the more popular spots like White Beach. Prices depend on how big and intricate the designs are but people can haggle and negotiate to get their body art done by these talented artists.
Get a Massage by the Beach
Lastly, one of the best things to do on a tropical and paradise-like island is to get a massage by the beach. It’s the ultimate form of relaxation with an amazing backdrop of the calm blue waters. Many resorts and even beachside shops offer different kinds of massage to visitors and it’s a highly recommended thing to do on this list.
Puerto Galera Travel and Tour Packages
Si-Kat Ferrybus Tickets (Round Trip and One Way) for Puerto Galera and Manila
Reach the dazzling seas and lush mountain landscapes of Puerto Galera in no time! Secure reliable transfers between Manila and Puerto Galera aboard the Si-Kat Ferrybus, the island’s leading transfer service! Just hours away from the bustling capital of the Philippines, escape to the island’s exotic embrace by traversing roads and oceans with ease.
Searching for the best Puerto Galera hotels, resorts and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our complete list of affordable hotels and resorts via Agoda or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.