Swapping spontaneous backpacking trips to real journeys to live well

Puerto Galera DIY Motorcycle Trip Around the Island: NO Beach, Just Inland Sights, Food and Nightlife Guide

PUERTO GALERA DIY TRAVEL GUIDE ITINERARY


DIY Travel guide to Puerto Galera
An impromptu decision to unwind outside the metro brought us to Puerto Galera. It was too soon that it was impossible for me and K to plan how do we make the most out of our trip since we are not serious beach bums. We just really want to see a beach, feel the sands under our toes and enjoy each other's company. This was his third trip and this was my first trip here. My standards when it comes to beach escapades are high given the fact that I have visited the islands of Palawan (El Nido, Coron & Puerto Princesa), Boracay, Camarines Norte, Cebu, Caramoan, Dumaguete, Surigao del Norte and Sorsogon already. I doubt the beaches of Puerto Galera would earn my two-thumbs up. Let's see!    

Introduction to Puerto Galera
Puerto Galera's beaches can be compared to Boracay and Palawan in the 1970's and earlier. As a matter of fact, the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program International chose Puerto Galera in Mindoro province one of their nature research center. Its reefs were declared as a marine sanctuary during those years too. In 2005, Puerto Galera became the Most Beautiful Bay by the Paris-based Les Plus Belles Baies Du Monde or the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club.

Muelle Bay, for the longest time was the entry point to Puerto Galera. Its picturesque, clear natural harbor which is geographically protected from typhoons was already a known route among merchant ships since the Galleon Trade in the 10th century. Today, I doubt that it is still the most beautiful and safest in the world. I am not sure if there are enough presence of many shallow reef rich with beautiful corals it was known way, way back.

Along Sabang beach, I feel so hurt seeing a sewage coming from a nearby Puerto Galera beachfront resort untreated and dirty as hell flowing freely straight to the ocean. I want to scream and stop it but who am I to do this? HOWEVER, there's a small ray of light I can see somewhere. To avoid what happened to Boracay, the local government unit of Puerto Galera's has a campaign that is all about building sewerage collections and treatment plant costing Php 90 million each for 3 major beaches in Puerto Galera. I do hope this will be done soon and implemented hundred percent!


muelle bay puerto galera travel guide


First thing first
We made sure we have an accommodation to stay in Puerto Galera. He booked us two nights at Bellevue in Sabang beach. I quickly did some googling and scoured Tripadvisor, I learned that the White Beach is better because of its powdery sand than Sabang Beach. However, I trust and love him. I will stay wherever he chooses. This trip is not about seeing so much but spending more time for us together.

You can click HERE  our review about Bellevue Cottages, very Instagrammable beach house with the best view of the sea in Puerto Galera.


BELLEVUE COTTAGES SABANG BEACH PUERTO GALERA BLOG REVIEW


Our Puerto Galera Itinerary  
We took the Jac Liner bus in Buendia Terminal. One way fare is Php 197. We were lucky that the bus left thirty minutes after we arrived. It is already close to 12 noon when we left and we arrived at around 3 pm. After a few hours on a ferry via RDI Genesis, we arrived already late afternoon in Puerto Galera. Tired, hungry and literally there's nothing we can do so we used this time to just chill out and be ready for what's going to happen the next day.

First Night 
After a quick nap, we decided to take a walk and wanted to drink some alcohol. We had  quick drinks at Big Apple, a bar and restaurant along Sabang Beach. It is frequented by mostly foreigners. I can say that 80% of the ones eating and drinking there are Westerns. We like it because it is beachfront and the place is huge. K ordered a bottle of cold San Mig dry and I ordered a chilled glass of white wine. 

Then we saw a floating bar not far from the shore called Bikini Bar with up and down floors. There's a small boat that brings people there for free! In less than five minutes we moved to Puerto Galera's Bikini Bar! It's pretty small boat that can accommodate around fifty persons. No, the ladies serving the drinks are not wearing bikinis but shorty shorts. Yes, they are wearing skimpy tops showing the cleavages! We only saw 4-5 Western guys drinking a beer. One of them rang the bell, that means he is going to pay one drink of our choice for all! He has mucho dineros!

We are drunk but we are still hungry so we went to a shabu-shabu restaurant in Puerto Galera. Too bad I forgot the name!

First Day 
We woke up a bit late - it was past 9 am already! We did not blamed ourself for not setting the alarm clock to an earlier time because we just want this trip to just slow down. We are not on a race of having the most visited tourist destinations in Puerto Galera.  

We chose to explore Puerto Galera via DIY because we really do not want to be controlled in terms of the amount of time we want to spend in one place nor we wanna be in a group that follows a standard list of places to visit. Puerto Galera is an island - we cannot rely on public transport in going to point A to point B so we decided to rent a motorbike. It was the best decision we have done! In our own experience, tricycles are asking expensive prices and jeeps do not pass by frequently at the places we need them. The amount of time and money we saved for renting a motorbike in Puerto Galera is huge. 

Renting a motorcycle in Puerto Galera  for one whole day is Php 400. The motorcycle owner typically requires that this bike should be returned around 6-7pm. How about the gasoline? Well, typically if they give you a motorcycle with full tank you should also return it full tank also.

You can read here our guide about the rates of motorcycle for rent and shops in Puerto Galera.


motorcycle rent in puerto galera


It took us a couple of hours of searching for a nice deal until we were able to find a motorbike for hire in Puerto Galera for Php 300.  We haggled a bit because it is already 12 noon but requested if we can return the vehicle at 10 pm because from Sabang beach we want to experience the nightlife in White Beach too. Good thing, we found a super nice motorcycle for rent shop owner in Puerto Galera who granted our special request at no additional cost!



Without any fixed plans, K drove the motorcycle out of Sabang beach. Here's a list of what we visited by chance:

Puerto Galera Mangrove Conservation and Ecoutourism Area
Entrance fee: Php 30
Instagrammability factor: 6 out of 10
The Puerto Galera Mangrove Conservation and Ecotourism area occupies 17.8 hectares of land and water. Established in 2015, this is  home to 13 mangrove species dominated by Rhizophora, 6 seagrass species dominated by Thalassia hempricii and live coral reef cover with a variety of soft corals species found at the deeper portion of the reef. Colorful birds, abundant invertebrates and fish fingerlings including a mudskipper (amphibious fish) also call this place home. The Mangrove Ecotourism Site of Puerto Galera is supported by DENR BMB SMARTSEAS Project.  

You can click HERE our travel guide to Puerto Galera Mangrove Conservation and Ecoutourism Area

PUERTO GALERA MANGROVE AND ECOTOURISM AREA BLOG REVIEW


We asked the lady accepting the entrance fee of the mangrove site if there's any nearby tourist spots in Puerto Galera we can visit. She said yes, there's a waterfall we're gonna see if we just keep on driving the road forward. 



Tamaraw Falls Puerto Galera
Entrance fee: Free
Instagrammability factor: 6 out of 10
We only spent less than an hour here. We do not want to swim - we just wanna see this waterfall. I like the fact that it is very well-kept. I did not see any candy wrappers scattered around this waterfall. Even the road in front of it is clean!

You can click HERE our travel guide to Tamaraw Falls in Puerto Galera


diy trip to tamaraw falls puerto galera mindoro


It is already mid-afternoon. We can feel the heat and our stomach growling so we decided to go back to our accommodation in Sabang beach. We do not want to see another waterfall that looks like the one we visited and another beach that looks like just the same as the one near our hotel. We took a nap from 4pm up to 7pm then off we go to the White Beach of Puerto Galera!



And oh, before hitting the sack we went back to Big Apple in Sabang beach because we think it is one of the best restaurants in Puerto Galera. We ordered one big pizza plus one glass of San Mig light for K. I opted for service water. 


We overslept as usual. We woke up at 8 pm then took the motorcycle to White Beach. Man, Sabang beach to White Beach is 30 minutes to 45 minutes! There's a big difference of these two really. They're right! The real action is in White Beach. Gay comedians, poi dancers and other live performances happen along White Beach. The crowd is bigger and wilder here. I have no regrets though because we really appreciated the nice and quiet atmosphere in Sabang beach. There are more restaurants also to choose from and only in Puerto Galera I have seen a giant barbecue (pork and chicken) that is 4-5 times bigger and tastier than the ones I eat in Manila and even in other parts of the Philippines. Sabang Beach's sand has peebles (big & small) and it is brownish in color. White Beach is powdery and smooth! However, I cannot tell what's the true color is since we went there during the night.
puerto galera nightlife guide


Special Mention to the String of Bars along White Beach
Though Sabang beach has neverending list of bars and restaurants, I would say White Beach is still the best for nightlife in Puerto Galera. On our last night, we made sure to visit the White Beach to see the outdoor free live performances of gay comedians. Each bars have its own gimmick like gay performers or singers of all ages doing funny or crazy acts to attract guests and hopefully buy their drinks and food while they watch. 

The sand in White Beach is entirely opposite in Sabang Beach. It is made of powdered sand that is so soft under the feet unlike the one in Sabang which is made of pebbles. I suggest better to wear your slippers or sandals all the time while walking here. 

In White Beach, I enjoyed watching the poi and fire dancers. Like Boracay, I also saw white sand castles but I do not have a photo of that because there's a fee if you want to pose beside it and have a photo there.  

It is only in Puerto Galera I have eaten "giant" grilled meat barbecues. I am used to the typical stick of barbecue here in Manila and other parts of the Philippines where it is made of sliced pieces of meat. Here in Puerto Galera, particularly in White Beach, one jumbo chicken, pork or one whole bangus barbecue paired with a cup of steamed rice is enough to call it a dinner.  You can click HERE my Nightlife and Restaurant Guide to Puerto Galera. 

Second day
As usual, we woke up close to noon already. We checked out from Bellevue Cottages but we're not going home yet. We had a beachfront breakfast at Seaside Beach Resort. K opt for an American breakfast and me a Pinoy breakfast, tocilog. 

We took a jeep ride from Sabang beach to Muelle Port then rented another motorcycle again. We want to visit Mangyan Village, a group of indigenous people in Puerto Galera. They used to live on top of Mount Malasimbo many decades ago but Jaime Zobel de Ayala convinced them to live "normally" by moving to the lowlands. He let these Iraya Mangyan tribes to live in a piece of land he owns for free.


mangyan village puerto galera

On our way to Mangyan Village, we saw Puerto Galera's wind farm! We tried to take photos using our phones but it did not work. Too bad it is a bit far for us to check but for sure when we come back, we'll definitely go here.


We spent a total of 4 hours in this Mangyan Village. We find it hard because there were no banners along the road that point its direction. Even in the main entrance it has no name at all. We only knew we arrived in the right spot because we asked one local who was walking down the street.



You can click HERE our review about the Iraya Mangyan Village in Puerto Galera



We boarded the RDI Genesis ferry at 6pm. We also learned that you can't buy a roundtrip ticket in Puerto Galera like Muelle to Batangas then vice versa because they follow first - come - first - serve basis. We could have chosen an earlier departure but we live and learn for our mistakes. 
By 9pm we found ourselves in Manila - back to reality! 
  

1 comment

  1. Hi, great post!

    It seems like you did not have a hard time at all with your commute from the Batangas City Pier. I have been reading about boat trips cancelled and scams from the pier making it hard for tourist to go to Muelle/Balatero Puerto Galera.

    ReplyDelete