Puerto Galera sandbar during hightide
Guides and Itineraries,  Philippines

Updated Guide to Puerto Galera + Travel Tips

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Whenever someone asks me for recommendation for beaches near Manila, Puerto Galera often comes to mind. There are many reasons to visit this coastal town — its famous White Beach, fun activities and tours, and numerous options for accommodations that cater to everyone, from solo tourists to families and couples.

Here’s an updated travel guide to Puerto Galera!

How to get to Puerto Galera

It will take about 4-5 hours to get from Metro Manila to Puerto Galera. Here are the commute directions.

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  • From Manila, ride a bus bound for Batangas Port. Travel time is about 2 hours.
  • From there, ride either a regular ferry or a fastcraft to Balatero Port. Travel time is 1 hour for the fastcraft and 1.5-2 hours for the regular ferry.

Balatero Port is the main port to Puerto Galera, as it’s close to White Beach. Depending on where you are staying, you can also head to Muelle Port (near Sabang) or Calapan Port. Calapan Port is a longer, alternative route in case you miss the ferries to Balatero Port.

Here are the current schedules and rates from Batangas to Puerto Galera via Balatero Port.

VesselFareFrom BatangasFrom Puerto Galera
Island Water (fastcraft)Regular – P620
Business class – P850
9AM
10:30AM
1PM

Additional trips on Friday to Sunday:

3:30PM
5PM
7AM
11AM
1PM

Additional trips on Friday to Sunday:

3PM
5:25PM
Montenegro Shipping LinesRegular – P4256AM
10AM
2PM
2PM

Here are things to note:

  • To make sure that you don’t miss the ferry or fast craft, it’s best to book online in advance. Click here to book Batangas to Puerto Galera or Puerto Galera to Batangas. If you haven’t booked a ticket in advance, then at least arrive in Batangas Port at 8AM to secure your transport.
  • There are also water taxis in Batangas Port to Balatero Port. Travel time is 45 minutes, although the fare is much more expensive (around P1500 per person).

Puerto Galera Travel Requirements

Here are the current requirements to visit Puerto Galera (Updated as of October 2022):

  • Valid ID
  • Confirmed booking at hotel/resort
  • QR code via Puerto Galera Tourist App

How to get around

For traveling near distances, you can ride a tricycle. It costs around P15-30 for a shared ride and P150-200 for a special ride (charter). There are also jeepneys to take you from Puerto Galera to other neighboring areas.

Where to Stay in Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera White Beach
White Beach.

White Beach is the most popular place to stay in Puerto Galera, followed by Sabang. For those who like more privacy and quiet, there are other beach coves and mountainside locations that offer a view of the surrounding ocean and mountains.

White Beach

White Beach is the main tourist hub in Puerto Galera. It’s home to different beachfront hotels and resorts, tours and watersports activities, cafes and restaurants, and shops. It is also the center of nightlife in Puerto Galera.

White Beach is particularly popular among families. It is convenient and everything is within arm’s reach.

Recommended stays in White Beach:

Sabang

Sabang is the next popular place to stay in Puerto Galera. It’s close to a number of dive spots, so it’s the go-to of divers and freedivers. Most foreign tourists prefer to stay in Sabang, while local tourists at the White Beach.

Recommended stays in Sabang:

Others

There are other beach locations you can stay at in Puerto Galera. Aninuan Beach is an uncrowded beach next to White Beach, ideal for those who prefer a quiet stay. Talipanan Beach is also a less-visited location with glimmering coves for those who like to bask in the sun without the crowd.

Read our review about AVSuites in Aninuan Beach.

Kat in AVSuites infinity pool

Things to do in Puerto Galera

Whether you simply want to chill or looking for an adventure, there are different activities you can do in Puerto Galera.

1. Beach bum

You’re in Puerto Galera to enjoy the beach! White Beach is of course the most famous beach cove here. Aside from swimming, you can also engage in various watersports including jetski, kayak, banana boat, and more.

There are also lesser-known beaches in Puerto Galera that you can visit, including Aninuan Beach, Talipanan Beach, and Palangan Beach.

2. Island hopping tour

Puerto Galera island hopping tour
Hali and I at our tour boat.

Visit the best attractions in Puerto Galera including its beach coves and three main snorkeling sites (San Antonio Island Underwater Cave, Giant Clams, and Coral Garden).

We loved the island hopping tours in Puerto Galera since they are fun and affordable, even for couples. There are large boats that you can rent as a group. Or you can head to the sandbar where there are small outrigger boats that can take you directly to the snorkeling sites.

3. Diving

Diving in Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera is a famous diving destination. It features over 40 dive sites, the best of which can be found in Sabang. Some of the notable ones include the Alma Jane Wreck (a 30-meter long cargo ship that serves as an artificial reef), The Canyons (famous for its challenging strong currents), Gian Clams Site, Kilima Steps, and Shark Cave.

For those who like snorkeling or freediving, there are easily accessible spots such as the Giant Clams and Coral Garden (which are stops in island hopping tours), as well as the waters in Long Beach, Coco Beach, and Monkey Beach.

4. Visit the Mangyan Village

Learn about the people in Puerto Galera by visiting the Irawan Mangyan Village — an indigenous community located in Talipanan. The Mangyans is one of the eight indigenous tribes in this province. In early times, they were living in coastal areas and trading with Chinese merchants as early as 1250 AD.

Visiting this village will let you immerse yourself in this culture and even support them by buying woven products made using nito (black fern), which is considered a form of traditional art.

5. Chase waterfalls

Step into the jungle and visit the waterfalls in Puerto Galera, including Aninuan Falls, Talipanan Falls, Tukuran Falls, and Tamaraw Falls.

You can get to these waterfalls by riding a motorcycle or chartering a tricycle. There are also land tour packages that include these sites.

6. Hike to the summit

Puerto Galera offers more than beaches. For those who love the outdoors, you can hike Mount Malasimbo. It will take you about 5 hours from jump-off to the summit, passing by the Mangyan Village and Talipanan Falls along the way.

For advanced hikers, you can also head to Mount Halcon, the highest mountain in the island of Mindoro. This will take a 2-days trip to complete.

Both hikes require a guide, so you may need to coordinate your hike in advance.

7. Attend the Malasimbo Festival

Malasimbo Festival in Puerto Galera
(Photo by Malasimbo Festival)

Enjoy the tropical paradise of Puerto Galera with good food, art, and music by attending the Malasimbo Festival. It is held every summer and features local and international music performers and artists.

Where to eat

You can find different restaurants along White Beach offering Filipino and other cuisines.

If you’re in a budget, there are regular eateries offering silog and rice meals for P100 or less. These are located along the main roads and near the local market.

Here’s a guide to the Best Restaurants in Puerto Galera.

3 Days Itinerary to Puerto Galera

Here’s a sample 3-days itinerary to Puerto Galera.

Day 15:30AM Arrival at Batangas Port
6AM – 8AM Sea travel to Batalero Port
8AM Breakfast / drop off bags at hotel/resort
9AM – 12PM Watersports
12PM Lunch
1PM – 5PM Island hopping tour
5PM Check in at hotel/resort
6PM Dinner at White Beach
Day 27AM Breakfast
8AM – 11AM Land tour
11AM Lunch
12PM – 3PM Diving
3PM Beach bum / relax
Day 37AM breakfast
8AM – 11AM Beach bum
12PM Check out at hotel
1PM – 2:30PM Arrival at Batangas Port

Puerto Galera Rates

Here are the current expenses for a trip to Puerto Galera (Updated as of 2022):

FeesTerminal fee – P30 per person
Environmental fee – P120 per person
Island hoppingPlaces to visit:
– Sandbar
– San Antonio Underwater Cave
– Coral Garden
– Giant clams
– Different beach coves depending on your package

Option 1: Rent a boat for P1600-2000 (good up to 6-8 people) + P600 for a small boat to the snorkeling spots
Option 2: Book a basic snorkeling tour for P600-700 per person (min of 2 pax)
Land tourPlaces to visit:
– Tamaraw Falls
– Mangrove Park
– Muelle Bay
– Viewdeck (overlooking view of Puerto Galera, Batangas, and Verde Island)
– Aplayang Munti (Virgin Baach)
– Optional: Mangyan Village

P1000-1500 via tricycle
WatersportsJetski – P2000 for 15 minutes
Unicorn – P2500 (good for 10 pax)
King Cobra – P2500 (good for 10 pax)
Flying Saucer – P2000 (good for 6 pax)
Fly Fish – P1500 (good for 3 pax)

Diving starts at P1300 per person
OthersMotorcycle rent – P500 for a day (excluding gas)

Puerto Galera FAQ

  • Best time to visit: Puerto Galera enjoys warm weather all-year-round. That saying, the best time to go here is during the dry season (December to May). High peak season runs from April to May so expect a surge in prices in these months, and off-peak season is from June to November.
  • ATMs: There are limited ATMs in Puerto Galera, which are located in Poblacion and Sabang. As such, it’s best to bring enough cash for your stay. Most hotels and resorts accept credit card, but smaller establishments are on a cash basis.

Puerto Galera Travel Tips

  • Puerto Galera is one of the places where it’s recommended to book a tour package (instead of DIY) especially if you’re in a group because of the ease and discounts.

About Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera literally means “Port of Galleons” in Spanish. It served as a trading port during the Spanish period and temporary shelter for ships going the Manila-Acapulco route.

In 1973, it was declared by UNESCO as a Man and Biosphere Reserve and it is named by conservationists as the “center of center” of marine biodiversity owing to its location at the heart of the Coral Triangle.

Currently, it’s a popular summer destination among locals, as well as a diving destination for beginner and/or professional divers.

That concludes our updated guide to Puerto Galera! Do you have further questions? Let us know in the comments section below!

What to read next:

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Where to stay:

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