To the south of Luzon lies the gem that is Puerto Galera. Located on the north shore of Mindoro Island, this town has been named a first class municipality by the Philippine Department of Interior and Local Government. Get to know Puerto Galera beyond its beaches with these fun and unique activities!
Snorkeling at The Coral Gardens
Puerto Galera provides tourists with one of the most scenic underwater backdrops this side of Mindoro. Get your waterproof cameras ready for the sights of The Coral Garden. What makes this landmark unique from all the rest? Not only is it considered a top snorkeling site for both professionals and enthusiasts alike, it’s also home to some of the rarest marine wildlife in the country! You could technically spend an entire day just marveling at the wonders of the Coral Garden.
- Location: The Coral Garden is located in the shallow area in Muelle Bay, between San Antonio and Boquete Islands.
- Fees: P600 (3 islands), P1000 (complete island hopping tour), P100 per head (snorkeling gear)
- Highlights: When you go underwater, look out for the famous Giant Clams of the Coral Garden reefs!
- Activity Tips: Remember not to accidentally step on the coral! This is easy to do because the Coral Garden has many shallow waters.
Take a side trip to Tamaraw Falls
Explore the gem of Mindoro beyond its beaches by taking a side trip to the beautiful Tamaraw Falls! This is a waterfall that drops 30 meters from a ravine, surrounded by plush greenery and foliage. It collects water at the bottom, turning the foot of the falls into splash pools. These turn into another series of falls that branches out in another part of the town.
Taking a side trip to Tamaraw Falls is the best way to view the magic of Mother Nature at its finest!
- Directions: From White Beach, take a tricycle ride going to Calapan Terminal, otherwise known as the “bayan” (one trike is good enough for usually 3-4 people). When you reach the Terminal, get down and ride a jeepney going to Tamaraw Falls—just ask the barkers if you’re confused on which jeep to ride.
- Fees: P100 (Tricycle Ride), P25-P40 per head (Jeepney Ride), P30 (Adult Entrance Fee), P15 (Kid Entrance Fee), P140 (Cottage Rental), P30 (Table Rental)
- Operation Hours: 7am to 5pm (The last commute trips going back to the bayan end at 7PM.)
- Highlights: Tamaraw Falls looks exactly like a postcard masterpiece. It cascades perfectly into pools and branching streams, and since it’s surrounded by so much greenery, it won’t get too hot even if you come midday.
- Activity Tips: If you’re not up to commuting because you’re traveling as a big group, you can spend a little bit more money— P1,500 more, to be exact—to hire a multicab. This option may even unlock another item on the itinerary, that of the Virgin Island, accessible from Tamaraw Falls! In Virgin Falls, you get another picturesque moment on the cliffs leading up to a solemn but gorgeous outdoor grotto of the Virgin Mary! Your trip here will be quick because the area is still non-commercialized and undeveloped.
Meet the makers at Mangyan Village
Tourists and Filipino locals from the city know Puerto Galera as a beach hotspot, but what they may not know is the city’s “other” tourist destination: Mangyan Village! This quiet village has slowly been drumming up tourist attention throughout the years, and a quick tour of the area provides a different kind of experience away from the sand, sea, and surf.
Mangyan Village lies at the foot of Mt. Malasimbo. Interestingly, it only came into existence back in the 90’s when philanthropist and businessman Jaime Zobel de Ayala created the village with his wife Donya Bea to provide shelter and sustenance to many of the Iraya-Mangyan families who were re-settled.
- Location: Banks of Tabinay River in Barangay Talipanan
- Fees: P300 (Round-trip Fare)
- Operation Hours: 9am to 7pm
- Highlights: Watch the Mangyan men and women weave their famous ‘nito’ products, or ‘native vine’ wares! They turn such simple material into baskets, beer holders, laundry baskets, and other trinkets ready for purchase!
- Activity Tips: Try and talk to the locals to get a deeper experience of the Mangyan Village.
Discover caves at Munting Buhangin
Although Munting Buhangin is close to Coral Gardens, most people don’t come here to swim. This is the place to be if you want to see a relatively uninhabited spot, away from the hustle and bustle of Puerto Galera’s more commercialized beach properties.
What’s to see here? The underground cavern of Munting Buhangin is a sight to behold, with its breathtaking emerald green waters. A small opening leads to a small cave submerged in sea water, and the hole on top of it marks the exit point.
- Directions: Munting Buhangin is a 20 minute outrigger boat ride away from the Port of Abra de Ilog (the boats usually have enough space for 7-8 people, P800 for a one-way trip). It is also possible to take a tricycle to Sigman Village and access Munting Buhangin via a 30 minute hike.
- Fees: P800 (One-way trip via outrigger boat ride)
- Operation hours: It’s open any time, just make sure you start packing up by 5PM as this area is mostly uninhabited compared to the rest of Puerto Galera’s beaches.
- Highlights: Buy locally sourced sea urchins from the fisherman for only P40—way cheaper than any grocery!
- Activity Tips: Speaking of sea urchins—Do NOT swim in these waters! They are teeming with the critters, and you could potentially hurt yourself.
Take a dip in Aninuan Falls
Called “The Towering Heights,” Aninuan Falls offers yet another nature getaway for beach-weary travelers in this part of Mindoro. Nestled at the foot of Mt. Malasimbo, similar to the location of Tamaraw Falls, the falls themselves are not as majestic as others in the region, but they make up for it with a very challenging hike!
You can’t beat the view either—the trail up to the top is something to behold. When you reach the summit, reward yourself with a cool dip in the Aninuan Falls’ shallow pools, before hiking back down.
- Directions: From Barangay Aninuan, ask if some of the locals can give you and your group a ride to your destination via jeep or van. They will usually drop you off at the jumpoff point.
- Fees: P1000 to P1500 (For a ride to the jumpoff point), P20 (Entrance Fee)
- Operation Hours: As early in the morning as you can go, in anticipation of the inevitable hike to the foot of the falls. Be sure to be down before sunset.
- Highlights: The hike itself is a highlight of the trip, but look out for the thriving ecosystem the moment you get to Aninuan Falls! Spot as many small crabs and fish as you can!
- Activity Tips: Bring your own bottled water, as it can get expensive to buy food and drinks at the top of the falls.
Enjoy a fun experience and check out other tourist spots to visit, restaurants to try and more in Puerto Galera. Discover cheap hotel deals and cheap flights from carriers like Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, and more with Traveloka!