You can never get enough of Puerto Galera. You might think it is just about the beach, but think again. Tourists come back here every year to try out a new experience that they did not have the time to do earlier. Some foreign tourists even overstay here for months or years. There are just so many fun activities in Puerto Galera that would make you want to come back for more.
Puerto Galera is located in the island of Mindoro, across the South China Sea from Batangas City. The most obvious and primary activities to try out are the water activities, such as swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving, among others. Then, if you want to stay dry for a change, you can check out the equally exciting land-lubbing activities, such as mountain trekking, biking, hiking and golf, to name a few.
The best beaches for snorkeling and diving are Sabang Beach, Big La Laguna Beach and Small La Laguna Beach, which are all strung together. Off their calm shores are candy-colored reefs and a host of exotic marine life forms. There are several dive shops at Sabang too where goggles, fins and other diving necessities are sold or rented out. You can also hire a professional guide to take you to the coolest dive areas.
Fun water sports are best experienced in White Beach, the prime beach in Puerto Galera. It is always brimming with tourists and guests. There are facilities around and on this beach for sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, fishing, and jet skiing.
On the land side, Puerto Galera is also a popular destination for mountaineers and trekkers. Mount Halcon, which is a few miles away, is one of the most difficult peaks to climb. Its elusiveness keeps pulling in expert mountain climbers from all over the world to challenge this infamous mountain, despite the official warnings from the mayor that it is not climbable.
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Can anyone really resist such a challenge? For those who would actually heed the warnings, however, Mount Malasimbo is available and is a far easier climb. There are jeepneys going halfway up to the popular Ponderosa Golf and Country Club on top of this mountain. The view here of Puerto Galera and the blue sea is simply stunning. There are also other natural wonders to visit, including a few waterfalls and caves scattered about the area.
Cultural tourism is alive in this region. The province of Mindoro is home to the endangered Tamaraw, a unique species of the water buffalo. The Puerto Galera mountains are also home to the Mangyan tribe, an indigenous people whose lifestyle remains ancient and whose settlements remain untouched by modern technologies. There are also ancient ruins in Puerto Galera’s town proper. Puerto Galera is rich in such historical attractions because it is actually a very old city, and was established by the Spanish in 1574.
Besides all of this, there is also shopping to be done. Along the ruins and by the beaches are quaint shops and kiosks where tourists can buy all sorts of cool stuff and souvenirs such as shell necklaces, trinkets and “Puerto Galera” shirts. “Not more of those cheesy travel shirts!” you might say, but be honest: how better to tell people where you’ve gone for your last vacation than to plaster it over your apparel? And if that’s not your thing, you may still avail of other souvenirs here, including the subtler accents of necklaces, bracelets, and even desk paperweights.
There are just so many activities in Puerto Galera that vacationing here for just a couple of days is not enough. But perhaps the most dreamed-of activity in this island paradise is beach bumming. Spend hours doing nothing while sprawled on the powdery white sand, caressed by the tropical sun and cooled down by a gentle breeze coming from the clear-blue sea.