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 kid’s fare for the Starlite ferry is Php150.
Adults’ fare is Php300.
The Batangas Port Terminal fee for kids and adults is Php300.

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.

Upon arrival at Balatero Port, all the adult tourists were asked to pay for Php 50 environmental fee.

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.

The beachfront Squares Apartment at Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro.
The beachfront Squares Apartment at Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro Philippines.
The room of beachfront Squares Apartment at Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro Philippines.
Inside our family room where we stayed for two nights and three days. It has three double-decker bed.
The kitchen of beachfront Squares Apartment at Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro Philippines.
The kitchen of our room.
The TV and refrigerator of beachfront Squares Apartment at Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro Philippines.
Our room has a functional television and a refrigerator too.

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.

Mangyan Village Souviner shop.
The Mangyan Village hand made products in different designs such as bags, baskets, plates, bracelets, keychains and many more.
Mangyan Village product at Puerto Gallera.
A hand made bucket that’s still in the production area of Mangyan Village.
The mangyan Village houses.
The kind of houses inside the Mangyan Village.
The Mangyan Village elementary school.
The school at Mangyan Village with a population of 300 children.
  • 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.

The tree for curing a fever.
The medicinal tree where Mangyan people are extracting the paste from the trunk to cure fever.
The tree with a paste producing fire.
The tree with a paste producing fire.
The mangyan Village especial plant.
The special plant used in making different kinds of goods. The plant is divided into four pieces then they will dry it under the sun. Once dried and achieved the hardest quality of the plant it will be used in the production.
The mangyan Village Model house.
The model house of a typical Mangyan House.
Mangyan Village feeding house.
The Feeding house for elderly people in Mangyan Village every day at 10 am.
Way to Talipanan falls.
There are signages on the way to the falls. Some tourists have no tour guide so following the instruction along the road is a big help. The trail has much rock but we managed to pass it all. Kids are tough and so all adults. 🙂
The Talipanan falls, Pueto Galera.
The Talipanan Falls. Since its still dry season, the water current from the falls is safe for those who want to deep in the falls.

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.

The seafoods we bought from Wet Market of Tabinay.
These are the foods we bought from Tabinay wet Market. These are plates of seafood, rice fruits, and vegetables
Our favorite seafoods.
Our favorite plates of uncook seafoods.
  • 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.

The view from the second floor from our room hotel.
The view from our kitchen on the second floor of the hotel.
Our first dinner at squares beachfront apartments.
This is our first dinner in our room at squares beachfront apartment, Puerto Galera.
Our dinner at Beachfront apartments.
Completed our dinner with different kinds of vegetables.

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.:)

Our home cooked breakfast at Squares apartment.
Sauteed shrimp and vegetables and fried tanigue fish. The fish end up like this because it was too frozen even while on the pan so we end up dividing it into small pieces. After breakfast, we prepared ourselves for another tour of our second stay at Puerto Galera.
  • 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.

The Tamaraw falls of Puerto Gallera.
The Tamaraw Falls.
The entrance of artificial pool of Tamaraw falls.
The entrance to artificial pool of Tamaraw Falls.
The Artificial Pool of Tamaraw falls.
The artificial pool of Tamaraw Falls. The water is cold and too slippery for kids. They said the color of the water is blurred but the water is clean.

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.

The Aplayang Munti Rules.
This information is displayed just at the entrance of Aplayang Munti.
The aplayang Munti Restaurant.
The restaurant at Aplayang Munti.
  • 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.

The Mangroves site of Puerto Galera.
The entrance of Mangrove site Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro.
Mangrove Site entrance fee.
Adults are required to pay Php 50 before entering.
The path of Mangrove site.
The trail to the center of the Mangrove forest is made of bamboo, cement, and steels.
The Mangroves at Puerto Galera.
The incredible Mangroves of Puerto Galera.
The root of Mangroves at Puerto Galera.
The thick and well-rooted mangroves serve as the house for so many marine animals.
The fiddler crab.
The Fiddler Crab we spotted on the damp ground of mangroves area.
The tiny fiddler crab.
The fiddler crab is blue in color and hard to notice at first glance because of its tiny size. But if you look at it closely, you will realize that its the fiddler crab.
The mangroves at Puerto Galera.
This is the species of mangrove we saw in the conservation area.
The end of hanging bridge.
At the end of the hanging bridge is a long chair that is good for picture taking.
The mangrove of Puerto Galera.
Another type of Mangrove present in the area.
The mudskipper.
We also spotted this mudskipper also in small sizes but was too hard to notice on the pictures. It’s covered with mud and it keeps on sliding on the muddy ground.

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.

The sandbar.
The Sandbar Boquete Beach Club.
A jet ski is waiting for those who want to drive in the sea, inside the sandbar.
The beach of sandbar Puerto Galera.
Floating floors good for a photo opt. Serve as the artificial port inside the beach club.
The entrance gate of sandbar beach.
There is an entrance fee of Php 50 for adults.
  • White Beach

This beach is the popular tourist attraction in Puerto Galera. People tend to overcrowd on this beach especially during the summer season.

The white beach entrance of Puerto Galera.
The entrance to White beach Puerto Galera.
The Puerto Glera white beach.

There is a floating water park on the other side of the white beach. Paragliding, banana boat, snorkeling, diving, and any other water intense activities are being offered inside the white beach.

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.

Our lunch at white beach.
This is our lunch at the white beach of Puerto Galera. It has Pork sinigang soup, Yang Chow fried rice, grilled tilapia, and sizzling squid.
Puerto Galera sand castle.
The sandcastle at Purto Galera white 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.

The wet Market Tabinay.
Barangay Tabinay Wet Market.
The dinner at squares apartment.
Our casserole was full of seafood.
Another seafood dinner.
The finished product of our home-cooked dinner.

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 squares beachfront apartment beach view.
The moments we are waiting for our take out foods from the restaurant of the resort for our trip to Batangas port. This is probably the most favorite spot of our kids because of the hammock or “duyan” in tagalog.
The cute tricycle of puerto Gallera.
This is the mini tricycle that brought us 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.

The terminal fee ticket at Puerto Galera.
We paid Php 10 terminal fee for each of us, including our children.
The passengers from Puerto Galera bound to Batangas port.
The Passengers going to Batangas Port.
This is the Island Calaguas vessel that we rode back to Batangas Port.
Our Itinerary ticket going to Batangas Port.
Our Itinerary Ticket for our return to Batangas Port.
Our fast craft ferry from Puerto Gallera to Batangas Port.
Inside the Island Calaguas Ferry vessel. It has two large-screens of television in the front center.

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.

The bus ticket going to Buendia from Batangas Port.
These are the bus ticket. The left one is for our kids and at the right is for adults. Kids rate going to Buendia is Php 158 and adults for Php 197.

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.