Puerto Galera: A Hidden Gem in the Philippines
Puerto Galera has been the highlight of our trip to the Philippines and a destination we recommend to all visitors. Known for its snorkeling sites and beautiful beaches, Puerto Galera is a small town on the north part of the island of Mindoro and just a 1 hour ferry ride south from the Port of Batangas on the main island. We stayed on White Beach for 3 nights and here are the reasons why we believe you should make a stop here on your next trip to the Philippines:
1. Beautiful Sunsets
We stayed in the Finesse residence on White Beach which is part of the coast facing the west. We were blessed with beautiful sunsets over the ocean for 3 days and because of this, we highly recommend staying somewhere in the proximity of White Beach.
2. Unbelievable Snorkling
For roughly 800 Phillipines pisos per person (20 CAD or 15 USD), we were able to get our group of 10 a full day private island hopping and snorkeling tour. We visited 4 different snorkeling spots and had the opportunity to see beautiful corals, big school of colourful fish including a bright blue starfish and huge turtles. On top of this, we had the opportunity to visit 3 private beaches which were completely empty and beautiful. The colours were difficult to capture with our camera but it was truly an unbelievable experience.
3. Proximity to Beach
Finnesse Residence where we stayed was 10m away from beautiful beach and there were plenty of other similar options nearby. While I would not reccomend our specific hotel as it wasn’t very clean, we did manage to negotiate a very good price for 3 rooms (less than 40 CAD per room per night) which made this a very affordable stay right beside the beach.
4. Local Life
One of the coolest things about visiting Puerto Galera is that in the 3 days we spent there, we only saw a handful of tourists. When you see a large quantity of locals, you usually know that you are right spot.
Another nice aspect of the area is the abundance and variety of fresh foods. In the mornings we were able to buy freshly caught fish that we would cook for lunch or dinner. There were vendors walking around selling food such as taho (steamed soft tofu in syrup) and other various rice-based treats. Our family could even go in a small walk within the mountains and pick up some mangoes that were deliciously sweet (and free!).
As with most places in this part of the world during summer, we recommend waking up nice and early to go for a swim while the heat is still bearable. We woke up at 6am to go swimming most days and would then retreat in the shade for most of the day until sunset. The morning swims were very peaceful as the water was crystal clear with very soft waves and no crowds. A soft pink glow would be cast across the sky and create a lovely reflection over the water. The sunset swims were also enjoyable as the orange sun blazed across the sky but it also resulted with larger waves and larger crowds.
Overall, we highly recommend that you check out this lowkey spot, you won’t be disappointed!