Our Experience at Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro Phillippines
Just recently, we came back from our Halloween vacation and I’d say that it was an underrated vacation and an unexpected one. We thought that we will just stay in the house during the holidays but our love for the beach wins again. We did not plan for this trip too much so I just did a quick preparation, plus we are in the middle of attending Halloween parties for the kids so my mind is preoccupied with so many things. But just in time for our trip, I manage to prepare everything despite our busy schedules. We chose Puerto Galera as this is one of the nearest beaches just near Manila.
How We Got to Puerto Galera
At 4 am on the morning of November 1, we woke up so early just to get a taxi. We chose a taxi for faster travel time. The bus can be one of the options too for going to Batangas port, just go to the Buendia Bus terminal and find a bus bound to Batangas. The taxi driver asked us for Php 5000 for the drop off to Batangas Port. We paid all the toll fees we passed on the way to Batangas Port which is around Php450. At exactly 7 am we arrived at Batangas Port. There are many passengers inside the port despite the early schedule. We chose to go Balatero port going to Puerto Galera but we realize later on that Mulle Port is another option as well as it is the nearest port to our hotel. The fast craft ferry we rode that time is the Starlite vessel that left at 7:15 am at Batangas Port.
The travel time from Batangas port to Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro is 45 minutes. We chose to sit at the lower part of the vessel. We seated in front of Television so the kids can watch a movie while on the way to Puerto Galera. There is a mini-store of instant noodles and chips inside the vessel so we bought snacks for our kids. The Starlite fast craft vessel has friendly staff that assisted any passengers that are in need of assistance. We had a hassle-free trip to Puerto Galera under Starlite Vessel’s fast craft.
Before we can go to our hotel we decided to book for our ticket back to Batangas Port so we could stay Puerto Galera without thinking and worrying about our return ticket. So if anyone from you reading this and you had a plan to visit Puerto Galera, better book your return ticket to Batangas Port right away, on the day of your arrival at Puerto Galera. Expect long lines at any ticketing office if you book on the day of your trip.
Where We Stayed at Puerto Galera
There are many hotels and resorts options at Puerto Galera but we end up booking the Squares Beachfront Apartments as this is the hotel with a kitchen inside the room. We wanted to cook for our own meal during our stay in the hotel and the squares apartment is our main option. We booked via phone call to the owner of the resorts, paid for a reservation fee and settled the total payment on the day we arrived at the resorts. The room rate we got for the family room is priced at Php 4500 for one night, we stayed for two nights so we paid a total of Php 9000.
Places to Visit at Puerto Galera
- Mangyan Village
Right after we drop our luggage at the resorts we started exploring Puerto Galera. On our first day, we visit this Mangyan Village with a population of 1000 people. Their primary source of income is making different kinds of goods from a special plant. From the entrance of the village is where its stores located.
- Talipanan Falls
Inside the Mangyan Village can find the Talipanan Falls. The trek to the falls from the village will take up to one hour for the back and forth. We left the village by 12 noon. They required us to get a tour guide going to the falls to help our kids. Our tricycle driver volunteered to go with us too and help our youngest daughter on walking. During our walk, the tour guide explained that they are getting their medicines from the sticky paste of the selected trees to treat fever in their village. As well as the used of the paste from other trees as a source of fire in their village.
We stayed for 15 minutes and gave time for the kids to play in the water. Our Children enjoyed the cold water. After soaking on the water we started to go down back to the Mangyan Village. We have reached the entrance of the village by 1 pm, rested for a while, change the clothes then we directly go to the wet market of Barangay Tabinay near our resorts. By 4 PM we are already inside our room apartment. For our first day tour, we paid the driver of Php 800. We played and swam first at the beach of squares apartment before we started cooking our first cooked meal of the day.
- Swim inside the Squares Beachfront Apartments
Whichever hotel you are in, make sure to go to the seaside nearest your hotel to enjoy swimming in the clean water. You can enjoy the beach just like what we did from the beach of our hotel.
By 8 Pm on our first night, we’re already on our bed. Watched for a few hours and went to sleep by 9 PM. We woke up by 7 am and prepared our first breakfast. It doesn’t look so delicious and inviting in the picture but I promised that these tasted simply delicious.:)
- Tamaraw Falls
Just nearby our hotel we hired a tricycle driver as a tour guide. We ask him to bring us first to Tamaraw Falls. The trip to Tamawaw falls from our hotel takes up to 15 minutes. The falls is situated just nearby the road. We paid the registration fee which is 45 pesos for each adult, kids ages ranging from 1-6 are still free. Then we took a few photos of the falls with a tamaraw statue just near the falls. Next was we went down the artificial pool on the other side of the road.
While my husband tried to swim at the artificial pool we bought a buko or young coconut and drink its water from the restaurant just near the pool. The one buko juice is priced at Php 50. Afterwhich, we head out to our next destination.
- Aplayang Munti Water Park
The Aplayang munti is a water park with inflatables slides, trampoline, towers, bridges in the middle of the beach. We decided to not go inside as our kids are still not advisable to do this water intense activity.
- Mangrove Conservation and Eco-Tourism Area
This is probably the highlight of our trip here in Puerto Galera. We enjoyed walking at the hanging bridge leading to the center of the Mangrove forest. We saw different kinds of small marine animals in the damp environment of the mangroves. The view is very picturesque and there are photographs of the mangroves species surrounding the area. The kids learned a lot when we told them that these mangroves serve as the nursery house for many small aquatic animals in the ocean. Children saw as well the unique marine animals that they don’t usually see on our regular beach trips.
Our driver turned to be as a tourist guide said that this mangroves site supposed to have a floating restaurant as well but the request was disapproved by the DENR. We could understand why it has been disapproved because this mangrove site is a gem and a sanctuary on the earth that needs to be protected.
- Sandbar Boquete Beach Club
This place is ideal for diving and snorkeling or for those who want to swim in the ocean. With a scenic view inside the beach and restaurant. There are available rooms for those who want to stay inside the beach.
- White Beach
This beach is the popular tourist attraction in Puerto Galera. People tend to overcrowd on this beach especially during the summer season.
We went to the white beach just to check the sand and its surroundings. We had a short play on the sand and a quick swim on the water then ate lunch from the restaurant just near the beach.
After our lunch meal, we went to the wet market again and just bought the same set of seafood we ate on our first dinner inside the hotel.
We woke up early on the following day which is also our last day at Puerto Galera. Sauteed pork and mix vegetables for breakfast, sunny side up eggs and plain rice. We prepared our things and stayed outside the room while waiting for the right time to go to Balatero Port.
The fare to Balatero Port was Php 150. This kind of small tricycle is still very few from Puerto Galera. It called “Tik-Tok” from Thailand and India. We saw that this was made from India. It caught our attention because of the smooth feeling or gentle ride we had on it, compared to the ordinary tricycle that’s too shaky while running. OUr return to Batangas port was scheduled at 12:45 PM. We arrived by 12:10 PM and the lines for our vessel are started to form.
We arrived at Batangas Port at around 2 in the afternoon. There are taxis waiting outside the port and buses going to Manila. We chose to ride the bus as we are not in a hurry anymore since our trip has just ended. The bus left the Terminal by three in the afternoon. The Bus Terminal is located just in front of the Batangas Port.
We arrived at the Buendia Bus terminal by 5:45 PM, and 6 PM at our house. We did not expect too much on this vacation but we did enjoy a lot. This is our second time to be at Puerto Galera. The first one was when we only have our firstborn and we just stayed at Coco beach resort. The location of its resort is slightly hard to go out of the island so we stayed just within the resort. This time it was different as we had a chance to explore the tourist destinations of the municipality of Puerto Galera. We are happy as Kids continue to learn the importance of the mangroves and the value of the environment to every organism. They are always excited wherever we go, so now they are waiting for our next adventure.