Puerto Galera, Mindoro
Puerto Galera is an ideal place to do island-hopping from Luzon or a place to relax on pristine white sands and clear, warm water. It is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro. Waters are flushed by the current of the South China Sea, resulting in strong currents of up to 6 knots. The most famous beaches for swimming are White beach and Tamaraw Beach, while beaches near Sabang have best facilities for coral-cruising. For more tranquility try Big and Small Laguna Beaches. Puerto Galera also offers excellent inland nature walks.
According to the 2000 census, Puerto Galera has a population of 21,925 people in 4,424 households. It lies approximately 100 miles due south of Manila. The place is situated on the north tip of Mindoro Island across the Verde island passage from Luzon (the main island where Manila is situated.) Travel time to Puerto Galera is around five hours by bus and ferry. Upon arrival to Puerto Galera you travel to the resort via local motorized outrigger boat (banca).
This place is 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. As early as the 10th century, Chinese, Malay and Indonesian merchants were already doing business with local traders, and Puerto Galera is where the replenished their provisions.
Puerto Galera has become the top diving destination in the Philippines. Excellent diving is found less than 5 minutes from the Sabang area. The diving generally focuses around the areas either side of Escarceo Point which is famous for its current rips. Strong currents are a feature of the diving in Puerto Galera and it is good advice to employ the services of an experienced local guide or dive centre. Behind the beaches are the huge and generally unexplored mountain ranges of central Mindoro. A particular local attraction is the nine-hole golf course perched on the hillside above White Beach which commands spectacular views over Puerto Galera’s natural harbor and the Verde Island Passage.
If you want to visit and explore this wonderful place, there is a wide selection of ferries in going to Puerto Galera, depending on which port guests intend to enter. (There are three main entry points to Puerto Galera by way of its port facilities Muelle Pier, Balatero Pier and Sabang Beach and two alternate entry points direct to White Beach and Talipanan). Calapan City also serves as a gateway to the town via an all-weather road. The trip from Calapan to Puerto Galera takes about 2 to 3 hours depending on whether and road conditions.