Tuesday, November 19, 2019

2019 DIY Travel Guide to White Beach, Puerto Galera

Island hopping at Puerto Galera

Popularly recognized as one of the most beautiful bays in the world, White Beach in Puerto Galera has not lost its charm, despite shifting Philippine tourism's focus to other beaches in the country, it's still one of the most charming islands in the country to visit.

White beach, Puerto Galera 

Coron, El Nido, Boracay and Siargao have been the latest beach attractions in the Philippines where tourists flock whole year round.

Puerto Galera, once considered as Asia's most beautiful diving spot, ultimately took a backseat. But one thing those popular beaches can't beat Puerto Galera - its close proximity to Metro Manila.

Beautiful day at White Beach, Puerto Galera

Just three hours away (in an early morning trip) from the Philippine capital, Puerto Galera is a perfect choice for weekend trippers to escape the hustle and bustle of the metropolis and drift to a beach.

It awaits guests to plunge into a fascinating beach adventure. Like Boracay, when the sun goes down, White beach in Puerto Galera also springs to life.

It's a natural paradise to unwind comes weekend. The fresh breeze rolling from the ocean, the sounds of the crashing waves, the irresistible emerald sea, the dense forest that drapes in the background with imposing mountains clip into the irresistible crystal-clear  water, and the long coastline with powdery sand, beckon an idyllic retreat.

White beach, Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera has plenty of wonders to offer. Rich in marine life, gorgeous garden corals, magnificent cliffs that lure adventure seekers to plunge into diving, sun-kissed beaches with wide beachfront, food and restaurant, it is a good spot to loosen up and let one's hair down.

Its picturesque beauty gives every visitor a piece of paradise and a delightful leisure break with a breathtaking view of the ocean .

Recognized by UNESCO as a Man and Biosphere Reserve in 1973, this first class municipality of Oriental Mindoro facing the Verde Island passage offers exciting snorkeling and diving adventures, and other equally fun-filled water sports activities.

White beach, Puerto Galera

The municipality has four beaches to choose, depends on travelers' mode of a beach life.

White Beach - The most popular among Puerto Galera beaches. It is where the vibrant beach night life can be experienced. When the sun goes down, White beach rises to life

Talipanan Beach - More quiet and relax. I haven't been to this beach but according to my research, has a long coastline than the White beach and no break water. Ideal for guests who seek a quiet bliss.

Aninuan Beach - Same beach atmosphere as that in Talipanan and just next to White beach.

Sabang Beach - This is the diving destination in Puerto Galera. If you like some adrenalin rush water activities, this is the best destination for you.

The choice of a destination in Puerto Galera depends on one's mode for a beach adventure. For a quieter, more relax and subdued beach getaway, choose either Talipanan or Aninuan.

Bayanan beach, Puerto Galera 

For some entertainment of live bands and a wide variety of fun watersports then White beach is a great choice. But if you like some rush on the cliffs and want to go diving, Sabang beach is a perfect choice.

We chose the White Beach because it is where all the fun and thrill of a beach trip rose to life, a place where a squad goal can go an extra mile and where food and nights with live bands can be enjoyed.

Music heals tired soul and the sound of the waves swishing through the calm evening offers a good breather. A great atmosphere to experience a care-free life. During our visit, after dinner, we sat at the powdery sand while listening to the live bands.

OUR TRIP!

In the early morning of November 16, Saturday, we left Buendia in Pasay for Batangas port.

It was right after our shift and overtime but did not mind the exhaustion, we're more excited with the thought of getting off from the city life.

By 2:30, we're crunching out of SLEX and rose among the shadows of the countryside landscape of Batangas, two hours later. At 4:30, at the crack of dawn, with some excitement rising up on our chest, we alighted at Batangas pier.

Some porters bounced up to guide us to the ticketing booth. It was our first time to be at this area so we have no idea where to go.

We just rushed to the first ticketing booth we spotted. Quite not a good idea because there are plenty of shipping lines to choose with affordable rates. But we just walked to the first booth we saw. The Montenegro shipping line ticketing booth.


It was a fast craft type but a lot cheaper than I expected. One way ticket only cost us Php289.00, slightly lower to the projected cost of Php300.00 I estimated when I created our budget itinerary. We also paid the terminal fee of Php40.00 per head before getting inside the departure area.

The weather was fine when we left Batangas port at 6:00 in the morning. The vast sea was calm, no roaring waves and shaky voyage.

Before the morning mist in the sky cleared off, we arrived at Balatero port in Puerto Galera. It was 10 minutes before seven!

And when we disembarked, the Saturday golden sunrise just rolled up the Mindoro skyline resonating a relaxing weekend!

We reserved a room for five at Bluewater Lodge, a transient type of room without freebies aside from the toilet paper but very clean and conducive for sleeping.

Just a 3-minute walk from the White beach shoreline. Glad the owner allowed us to check in at 7:00 in the morning. 

Per night of this dormitory-type room is only Php1,500 for four persons but the owner allowed us to occupy the room without additional charge for an excess head.

After leaving our bags in the room, we're up for the adventure. We walked to the beach area and met several boat men holding a signage of their offers.

Mostly packages for island tours. Originally, we wanted to try the banana boat but the ride will cost us Php250.00 each because we're only five.

When someone approached us offering an island tour package of Php1,500.00 for five persons, we decided to do island hopping instead. But we're not prepared for the details of the inclusions of the tour haha! 

So while on board the boat and navigated the azure sea, the man pulled up his menu pack and began his lengthy explanation of the package of the tour.

What to do, what to choose, where to go, where to take a plunge. Geeez! So the package of 1,500.00, after all, was not the way we thought it would be when we left the port. 

Since none of us couldn't stay afloat longer than 5 minutes, we were advised to take the paddle boat instead, but with additional fees.

This will tow us above the water while doing some snorkeling stuff. I hesitated. I've no penchant on snorkeling because I dreaded submerging into the sea.

I couldn't swim and corals, no matter how lively the view is, never fascinate me. Only my three colleagues, Bea, Yeng and Aileen went to the paddle boat, while Aly and I remained in the motor boat. 

We spent lunch at Haligi beach, the usual destination for island trippers to take lunch and take a break from the island tour. Such a great meal service. They served fresh sea food in generous serving. Affordable and tasty! 

This is a highly recommended lunch trip if you visit Galera. The lunch buffet style of 1,200.00 four persons consist of sinigang na bangus with vegetables, inihaw na tilapia, roast chicken, liempo, soft drinks and rice. 

The last destination of our island tour was at <strong>Bayanan beach</strong>. Such a subdued, peaceful tropical beach life awaits at this hidden cove. 

Unspoiled and very remote with nothing in sight but imposing mountains and emerald sea, the dense forest and verdant trees covered the long stretch of the coast. 

The sun-kissed ivory sand lapped by rushing waves, though with pebbles, is a great place to have fun. 

The pristine atmosphere of Bayanan beach with its rugged shoreline and irresistible azure that turned to emerald-green water entice visitors to enjoy the island trip and be captivated with its natural scenery. Everything was pure calmness. 

As though time stood still. Nothing but humming of the ocean and the sounds of the roaring waves rattling the environment. 

We had a great time taking pictures here, enjoying the lapping of the waves and the irresistible blue green water.

White Beach is a great excuse of not dreaming to go to Boracay. They shared the same lifestyle by night anyway and both have a gorgeous beach front. 

Though Boracay is a lot heftier and swanky than the Galera counterpart. At sunset, everything seems picture perfect. 

The hot red hue in the horizon slowly drifts to the soft smoky orange as the sun dips the sky. The calm sea glimmers in pale peach and the horizon turns subdue.

I have visited Boracay in 2013. I was impressed with the view of the ocean and the sparkling aquamarine water. 

The powdery sand that never leaves any traces of dirt in my feet and the morning walk while the hot sun falling at my back. It was amazing. 

But believe me, my childhood dream was to visit Puerto Galera. Ever since I saw a Filipino movie where lead characters honeymooned in White Beach, I have not ceased of dreaming to visit Puerto Galera someday. So this trip is a sort of a dream come true for me.

And as the sun goes down, White beach rises to life. Bars and restaurants turn wild. Lively music from bands and karaoke bars filled up the air and the noise of guests blended with songs and guitars.

But what I love about the place, more than the vibrant evening, is the beach view itself. Relaxing, inviting, it offers the best sanctuary for a tired mind and body. By just laying in the sand alone and watch time goes by already made up my day.

Bayanan beach

We had a great sleep, calm and relax as if we haven't slept in years. So on Sunday morning we were not able to do some sunrise viewing. But we had our last chance to enjoy the beach in the morning. 

At half past seven, we did some walk on the shoreline, drifting far away on foot, reaching the mountain that draped to the sea. Such a terrific sight to behold, the waves  forming curves before dropping ashore calm senses. 

White beach offers a pure bliss to those who seek peace from deep within. With its beautiful shoreline and wide beachfront, there's plenty of space to enjoy the place and be amazed with its captivating scenery.

Night time in Puerto Galera 

How To Get There

Puerto Galera is closer to Metro Manila, around three hours by bus and boat combined if you leave at early dawn.

The easiest route to follow if you're coming anywhere from Metro Manila is through Buendia in Pasay. It will take you out of SLEX and to the province of Batangas.

- Take a bus from Buendia to Batangas port. 
- During our trip, we boarded DLTRB bus at 2:30AM. 
- Make sure to disembark at the pier and not at the grand terminal.
- As soon as you get off the bus, porters will approach you to carry your bags, refuse politely if you don't have heavy luggage and walk straight to the ticketing booth.
- Secure your ferry ticket and pay for a terminal fee at a nearby booth.
- Proceed to the departure area and wait for your schedule to be announced.
- If you're going to White beach and Aninuan, make sure to choose a trip to Balatero port. Travel time is less than an hour, around 50 minutes, in fast craft.
- If you're going to Sabang and Talipanan, Muelle is the nearest port.
- At Balatero, there are tricycle and multicab waiting to take you to your lodge in White beach.
- Tricycle ride is Php120.00 for 3 persons while multicab is Php25.00 for each person. During our trip we chose to ride in multicab.

Getting Around Puerto Galera

The easiest way to go around Puerto Galera is by tricycle. From Balatero port to moving around the area, tricycle is the primary mode of transportation in the island.

There are multicab but it takes time before you can get on board since it needs to be full before it leaves.


Motorcycle is also another thing. In fact, you can rent one if you know how to drive this vehicle.

However, it's quite expensive to hire a motorcycle to move from one place to another. So stick with tricycle especially if you decide to do an inland tour.

Island hopping stopover

By boat. Island hopping is one of the most popular activities in Puerto Galera. And as soon as you reach the White beach, agents and boat men will crowd you over to offer island tour packages. 

Even hotel and lodge owners where you book your stay have their own island adventure packages for their guests.

But the most affordable rates are those being offered by boat men along the White Beach area. So go around before you decide.

What To Do In Puerto Galera

Depends on what type of beach traveler are you, the island has plenty of things to offer and never short of any fun activities for an exciting beach getaway.

Bayanan beach stop over

Island tour - This is one of the most popular beach activities in Puerto Galera to indulge if you have no pinch on diving. The tour package includes beach hopping, snorkeling, turtle sight seeing and cave visit.

Inland tour - A great alternative if you're tired seeing around the island. Usually offered by tricycle drivers for PhP800.00 per 3 pax, the itinerary will take you to Tamaraw falls, Mangyan village and Virgin beach.

Diving - Puerto Galera has been known as Asia's most popular diving site due to its thrilling cliffs that plunge to clear emerald sea and the spectacular coral gardens.

Night life and Booze - White beach is Luzon's answer to Boracay in the Visayas. The vibrant island life picks up when the sun goes down. Along the beach line, bars and restaurants rose among the shadows of tropical trees and buildings for an electrifying night filled with music, live bands, videoke and booze.

Food trip - If you're a gourmand traveler and always equates a relaxing beach trip with a hearty food, Puerto Galera, especially White beach and Talipanan are sort of wonders. From simple meals to local dish favorites to international cuisines, the island offers.

Island hopping lunch time

Where To Stay In Puerto Galera

Depends on which Galera beach you are staying, accommodation varies from luxury, 4-star hotels, to cheaper rooms like transient inns. 

In White Beach, there are hotels and lodging houses mushroomed along the beach line. During our visit, we stayed at Bluewater Lodge, a transient inn type with clean, spacious rooms conducive for sleeping and resting. 

Just a 3-minute walk from the beach line, Bluewater Lodge is a great place to stay if you are cutting your budget and just want a place to sleep. No wi-fi but there's a television in the room. 

The lodge owner is very accommodating too, Ms. Madilyn Despi, she allowed us to have a check in at 7:00 in the morning! Only Php1,500.00 per night for five persons. Contact number: 09277131514

Budget and Expenses
  1. Bus fare from Buendia to Batangas port: 197.00
  2. Montenegro fastcraft from Batangas to Balatero port: 289.00
  3. Terminal fee: 40.00</li><li>Environmental fee in Balatero: 50.00
  4. Multicab fare from Balatero to White beach: 25.00
  5. Room accommodation at Bluewater lodge: 1,500.00 or 300.00 each
  6. Island tour package: 1,500 or 300 each. If you can't swim, you'll be transferred to a paddle boat which has an additional cost of 250.00 each.
  7. Tricycle ride going to the island tour port: 70.00 one way (good for 5).
  8. Lunch at Haligi beach: 250 each
  9. Dinner: 100 If you want to enjoy the night, this will rise up to 500 depends on your food trip, videoke cost and booze drinks.
  10. Breakfast at White beach, we only spent: 100 including iced tea.
  11. Tricycle from White beach back to Balatero port. We hired two tricycle with a total cost of 260.00 (we divided it by 5) 
  12. Ocean jet fastcraft: 250.00
  13. Terminal fee (Balatero port): 10.00
  14. Bus from Batangas port to Cubao: 207 because it was a premier bus. You can opt to ride a bus with a cheaper rate.
Morning grind at the White beach 

If you decide to have an inland tour, we heard some tricycle offers Php800.00 for three persons.

The inclusions of this package: a visit to Tamaraw falls, Mangyan village and Virgin beach. The rate includes entrance fees to those destinations.

Other watersports activities you might get interested to try, with rates vary depending on the number of capacity per amenity and how many are you in a single ride.
  • Banana boat - 1,000.00 for 10 persons
  • Flying saucer - 3,500 for 6 persons
  • Parasailing - rates vary so better check with other operators
  • Jet ski - 2,000 per 15 minutes, single person
  • Flying fish - 1,500 per 3 persons

Our Itinerary for this Trip:

Day 1: November 16, Saturday
  • 1:00AM - left Boni for Buendia
  • 2:30AM - depart Buendia for Batangas port.
  • 4:30AM - arrival at Batangas port
  • 6:00AM - depart Batangas port via Montenegro fastcraft for Balatero.
  • 6:50AM - arrival at Balatero
  • 7:00AM - left Balatero in multicab to White beach. Only 15 minutes travel.
  • 7:15AM - Check in at Bluewater lodge
  • 8:30AM - start of our island tour
  • 11:30AM - lunch at Haligi beach
  • 1:00PM - left Haligi beach for Bayanan beach. Our last destination for this island tour package.
  • 2:00PM - back to the port and left immediately for White beach.
  • 2:30PM to 7:00PM - siesta because we're so terribly tired. We did not have any sleep the other night as we traveled straight from our shift.
  • 7:00PM - dinner at White beach. Strolling around, idling at the powdery sand while having long conversation. I went back to our room at 11:30PM while my colleagues enjoyed the night in a videoke bar.
Day 2: November 17, Sunday
  • We're supposed to wake up at 5:30 in the morning to view the sunrise at the beach side but we had a great night sleep.
  • We were up at 7:00 o'clock, donned beach wear and headed to the beach at 7:30 just before the glare of the morning sun becoming spiky
  • Did not take the plunge because the waves started rising. We just took pictures and did a leisure beach walk until 9:30 in the morning.
  • 9:30AM - breakfast at the beach front
  • 10:30AM - shopping for souvenirs
  • 11:00AM - back at the lodge and fixed our things.
  • 1:00PM - check out and headed back to Balatero port. We dropped by at the Ocean jet ticketing booth.
  • 1:20PM - Paid for terminal fee then proceeded to the departure area.
  • 1:30PM - boarded the Ocean jet fastcraft for Batangas port.
  • 1:45M - fastcraft left Balatero and sailed the Mindoro sea for Batangas.
  • 2:30PM - arrival at Batangas port.
  • 2:45PM - boarded Ceres bus for Cubao
  • 6:00PM - a long travel from Batangas to Cubao due to heavy traffic.
  • 8:00PM - home sweet home 😊

Check availability of rooms in Puerto Galera at lower rates follow this link!

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