Puerto Galera is one of the top tourist spots in the Philippines. While other tourist destinations offer only a beach or diving or historical sites, Puerto Galera has them all in one tidy package. There are pockets of white sand beaches, mountain treks, virgin forests, historical buildings and a number of dive sites in Puerto Galera.
Puerto Galera is an island paradise in Oriental Mindoro. The Philippines is made up of 7,107 islands and one of them is Mindoro, located at the South China Sea. Mindoro is divided into two: Oriental and Occidental Mindoro. There is a small airport in Occidental Mindoro where a few flights from Manila come in. From there, tourists would still need to take a lengthy bus ride to Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro. Puerto Galera is best accessed via a ferry boat from Batangas City. It takes a total of about 4 to 5 hours by bus and ferry getting to Puerto Galera from Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. Most of the tourists who do come to Puerto Galera come primarily for its beaches and dive sites—and can actually visit both beach and dive spot at nearly the same time! Here we have detailed for you some of the best beach and dive spots for the Puerto Galera tourist’s train:
First stop is Sabang Beach. It is very popular to Western visitors for its bars, nightly parties, cheap entertainment, and dive spots. The shoreline here is short and does not have the fine sands that are common at White Beach, but it offers a number of amazing dive sites that are full of exotic corals and unique tropical fish.
Off the Sabang Beach shore is Sabang Wreck, a man-made coral reef created in 1993.
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The wreck attracts lion fish, moray eels, and batfish.
Another beach that is attracting divers is Small La Laguna Beach. The beach area is a complete opposite of Sabang. Small La Laguna is serene, quiet and perfect for a contemplative stroll. Unlike Sabang, there are no bars, discos or partying at night, but just like Sabang, the underwater view is stunning. Its coral reefs and shallow-swimming fishes make it a perfect spot for snorkeling.
On the west side of Puerto Galera not far from Sabang is the famous White Beach. This is the main attraction and the primary reason why local tourists flock to the island. White Beach is packed to the brim with fun and overcrowded with visitors, especially from March to April. Visitors come here to hit the beach, enjoy the sunset, meet people, try the many water activities, see the occasional concerts by the shore, and behold the beauty of underwater life.
The water from White Beach to Sabang and by Small La Laguna is gentle and perfect for tourists who are just beginning to learn how to dive. There is a short wall that drops to 40 feet and 50 feet. Divers get to enjoy colorful crinoids, nudibranches and an array of small reef fishes.
There are a number of dive centers, including the popular Action Divers, along the beaches. Action Divers sell and rent out scuba gear and offer professional guides and training. They are popular both for the seasoned diver and beginners. They offer easy-to-follow steps and scuba lessons so that a novice wouldn’t feel intimidated or scared.
Other dive sites in Puerto Galera are West Escarceo, Deep Escarceo, Money Beach, Ernie’s Cave and Manila Channel. Visiting these dive points or a few of them is a one-of-a-kind water experience for both the beginner and expert diver.