Puerto Galera, dubbed as the Pearl of Mindoro,
is a beach resort town located on the north shore of Mindoro Island,
130 kilometers south of Manila, and 14 nautical miles from Batangas
City. It comprises of 12 coastal districts (barangays or barrios)
and one mountain district scattered over an area of 23,247 hectares,
bordered on the north by Verde Island, on the south by Baco and
Malasimbo mountains, on the northeast by the town of San Teodoro,
and on the northwest by the Province of Occidental Mindoro.
The terrain is rugged with sometimes dense jungle,
an irregular coastline with crystal, clear water and wide sand
beaches, a natural harbor and safe anchorage. Its natural seawall,
exciting dive sites, lush mountains and white pristine beaches
make Puerto Galera one of the Philippine's top tourist destinations.
Travel time to Puerto Galera is approximately
five hours by bus and ferry from Manila. On arrival in Puerto
Galera you will travel to the resort by local motorized outrigger
boat (banca) or by ferry.
- From Hotel to Batangas pier: by buses departing
every morning from 9 am nonstop
- From Batangas pier to Puerto Galera: by boat and reaching Puerto
Galera about 14:00 hours
The whole journey takes about 4 to 5 hours from Manila to Puerto
Galera. The ferry to Batangas leaves Puerto Galera at 7:30 each
morning and enables connection to transportation back to your
hotel in the afternoon.
Climate - March to May is hot and dry;
rains and typhoons abound from June to October. November to February
is pleasantly cool and dry. Peak tourist season is from December
up to May.
Accommodation - Numerous, mostly family-run
cottages and hotel rooms of all categories are available. The
types of accommodation range from simple beach huts made of bamboo,
nipa, sawali or rattan, to comfortable, luxury, fully furnished,
air-conditioned bungalows with fully-equipped kitchens.
Divers' Paradise - The waters around Puerto
Galera teems with exotic and colorful marine life and coral gardens.
The variety of species found here outnumbers those of the Great
Barrier Reef. It is a year-round diving destination for experienced
divers as well as beginners. With over 30 dive sites all known
for their marvelous marine environment and superb visibility which
is only 10-15 minutes away from the dive centers, Puerto Galera
truly is a divers' paradise.
A number of Asia's finest dive shops in the area
offer basic and advanced courses fully guided by competent instructors
for reasonable fees. Almost all of the dive shops operate under
the P.A.D.I. or B.S.A.C. systems and regulations which are both
internationally recognized. Diving instructions, usually in English,
can be delivered in German, Swedish, Japanese, Korean, Spanish
or French by some diving schools.
Treasures? - During the Spanish times,
some galleons never reached the protection of Puerto Galera's
harbor and their treasures lie hidden in the nearby waters. Adventure
awaits the underwater world explorers!
Food - Native, as well as international
cuisine is served in a variety of restaurants, along with a wide
selection of fine wines and imported and local spirits. Nearly
every resort has its own restaurant. The dishes offered is very
tourist oriented and restaurants with international cuisine and
dishes for every taste and budget can be found mainly along Sabang
Beach and near the docks. Needless to mention, fish is the best
choice here. The prices are comparable to those in the Manila
Watersports - The waters around Puerto
Galera are rich in corals and manifold marine life. The best diving
sites are located around Sabang, near Small and Big La Laguna,
and on the north coast of Medio Island. The latter, known to world
scientists because of its treasure of botanical and zoological
specimens, abounds with thousands of terrestrial and marine plants.
Fully equipped, modern training facilities for all levels of diving
are available. At most beaches, there are surfboards, sailing
boats, hobie cats, dive masks, snorkels and fins for rent.
Shopping - Souvenir textiles and RTW are
sold in stalls along the pier, in boutiques in Poblacion and by
street vendors. Handicrafts, particularly marble novelties, rattan
and coconut products, can also be purchased. Fresh fruit and fish
can be obtained at the public market in Poblacion or from ambulant
Mailing Service - The only post office
in Puerto Golera is located near the church next to the basketball
court. Some beach resorts take care of their guests' mail for
a small charge.
Telephone - The Poblacion has Globelines
and the rest has cellular phones.
Money Matters - It is advisable to take
a sufficient supply of pesos along since the exchange rates offered
by resorts and restaurants are often 10% below the rates in Manila.
The Puerto Galera Rural Bank is located across the church. Cash,
checks, tickets and other valuables should be deposited with the
resort management with a receipt.
Police - There is a police station at
the intersection above the docks in Poblacion and on the Municipal
Medical Care - There are three medical
clinics, including a dental clinic, in downtown Puerto Galera.
However, serious ailments or injuries should be treated in Batangas
City or in Calapan or, at best, back in Manila. A new hospital
just opened last December 1, 1998.
Electricity - Since power failures (brown-outs)
occur frequently, many beach resorts and hotels are equipped with
electric generators. The voltage is 220 volts.