Puerto Galera is one of the oldest Spanish settlements within the Philippines. As early as the 10th Century, Malaysians, Chinese and Indonesian merchants were already doing business with local traders. Puerto Galera is where they replenished their provisions and was also known as the Port of Galleons. The harbour was an excellent location for the Spanish Galleons to refuge from heavy storms and typhoons.
These days, you’ll find paradise. Puerto Galera is blessed with one of the world’s most beautiful natural harbours. Now known as the “Pearl of Mindoro”, it is world-famous for splendid beaches, coral reefs, and exquisite dive sites for new and experienced divers alike – all in a relaxed, laid-back beach atmosphere.
Puerto Galera is located on the northern peninsula of the island of Mindoro, 130km south of Manila (2.5-hour drive) and about 14 nautical miles from Batangas city (1-hour boat ride). Behind the irregular coastline with its clear water and wide sand beaches are the vast and mostly unexplored mountain ranges of central Mindoro. The terrain is rugged with sometimes dense jungle. Indigenous tribes still live scattered over the mountainsides.
Puerto Galera is a popular destination for its beautiful bays and natural harbour offering a safe anchorage, a selection of 32 beaches to visit and for its delightful scenery. Sabang Beach, including Big Lalaguna and Small Lalaguna Beach, is the main resort area for foreign tourists. At the same time, White Beach is popular amongst local (Filipino) tourists and has seen a significant development boom in recent years. Both have numerous restaurants and bars along the beachfront and an active nightlife.
The Batangas/Puerto Galera area forms the centre of the golden triangle – The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia – renowned for their coral and fish species.
Peak tourist season is from mid-December up to May, and although the weather is better, visibility can be lower. Average year-round temperature is 25-28ºC
Hot Dry Season: March to May
Cool Dry Season: November to February
Wet Season: June to October
For nearly 50 years Puerto Galera has attracted scientists studying the eco structure of microorganisms, animals and plants. The diving is famous for its diversity and divers return time after time to marvel at creatures large and small. There are dives for all levels, from easy training dives amongst pristine coral to thrilling drift dives. The area is noted for its opportunities for macro photography, fish and invertebrates, but there are plenty of larger subjects to photograph.
There is excellent snorkelling along most of the rocks from the eastern end of Sabang Beach to Escarceo Point. The Verde Island passage is very deep, making it one of the leading technical diving destinations in Asia. A variety of wrecks have been sunk in the area. The 30+ dive sites are all within a 10 to 15-minute bangka ride from the beach, which makes for easy and convenient dive planning. Each dive site offers a multitude of marine life, consisting of trevally, lionfish, moray eels, nudibranchs, triggerfish, parrotfish, turtles, sharks, eagle rays etc.
Due to tides and currents, the visibility varies between 12 metres to 40 metres.
21°- 24°C from December to February and 25°- 30°C from March to November, 3-5mm wetsuit
Because of its geographical location, Puerto Galera is well protected from ocean swells and typhoons by the nearby small islands and mountains, making diving a year-round activity. June to October has the best visibility.
La Laguna Point
A short wall from 12m to 15m with lots of small reef fish, nudibranchs and colourful crinoids. Usually calm with a gentle current. Visibility can reach 20m.
Ernie was a large lone grouper, sadly departed. There are two small caves, one at 22m and the other at 27m. There is a plentitude of fish life, as well as the smaller reef fish and occasionally, sharks. There are good stony and soft corals, sponges, small gorgonian sea fans and crinoids. Usually calm with medium-strong currents. Visibility can reach 20m.
Located east of the southeast corner of the southern headland of Escarceo Point. Here an overhanging wall at 10m is covered in soft pink corals and cup corals. This can be recommended as a good night dive. It is usually calm with little current, can become rough with a strong current. Must be dived on a flood tide, when visibility can reach 20m.
The Washing Machine
Located at the centre of the south side of Verde Island. Accessible by banca or live-aboard boat. A high-voltage dive comprising a series of small canyons at 15m with currents going in all directions, throwing you around. This dive is often done as a day trip. Recommended for more advanced divers; can be very rough.
The Shark Cave is an overhang 30m long. Sharks rest up here during the day. There are lots of different species underwater. The area is teeming with the smaller reef fish which open out when the current is running. Located East of Escarceo Point. Very rough with fierce currents. Visibility can reach 20m.
Explore beautiful, serene tropical beaches, relax on the sand while the waves gently lap on the shore. The most notable beaches to visit are Haligi Beach, Pebble Beach, Talipanan Beach, White Beach and Aninuan Beach.
There are a few waterfalls and swimming holes in the surrounding area. Talipanan Falls in a short hike and rewards you with a beautiful, cool blue swimming hole to relax in. Tamaraw Waterfalls are very accessible and lovely for a quick dip. Tukuran Falls is a great place for a picnic!
Take a local village tour to Mangyan and get an appreciation of local village life. Purchase local handicrafts and don't miss out on delicious local cuisine. We highly recommend baked mussels and grilled squid!
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