Here’s a fun fact: Did you know that, so far, Puerto Galera is the only Philippine bay listed in the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World? That’s not all there is about Oriental Mindoro’s coastal gem. Here are 10 tourist spots you need to go to if you’re looking for unusual locations and trails that are off the beaten path!
The Abandoned Resorts of Talipanan Beach
They say that White Beach is for the locals, while Sabang is for tourists. But what about the other beaches? Pack your swim trunks and take a half-hour walk away from the busy crowds on Puerto Galera’s more spotlighted shores. Immerse yourself in sea, sand, and sweet serenity at Talipanan Beach, which is almost always devoid of other tourists.
What’s even more interesting to see in Talipanan is how it’s littered with abandoned resorts that just didn’t make it to the tourist boom. The outlying structures create a stark contrast with the white sandy beaches, infusing Talipanan with character.
- Location: Talipanan Beach is considered the furthest away from White Beach. (Walk 20-30 minutes till you see bouldering rocks along your path)
- Fees: P100 for tricycle transportation
- Operation Hours: 24 hours
- Highlights: Definitely the graffiti-marked abandoned resorts, which give Talipanan Beach a creepy, grungy aesthetic.
- Activity Tips: It’s not the cleanest beach on the island, so be aware of where you throw your trash so you don’t add to the clutter!
Trek to Tukuran Falls
Tukuran Falls is literally referred to as a hidden paradise within a paradise. It’s a small waterfall surrounded by greeneries as far as the eye can see. This gem of a tourist spot is a backpacker’s dream destination, and the water that flows from the crevices of the Falls comes fresh from the mountain. It won’t be easy getting here, but Tukuran Falls promises the journey will be worth it!
- Directions: From Puerto Galera Town, ride a jeep bound for Calapan City. Pay the fare of PHP 40 per head for San Teodoro, which is 34kms away. When you reach San Teodoro, alight from the jeep and make arrangements with a local tricycle driver who can take you to the falls immediately, and can take you back to San Teodoro. (There is no public transportation readily available to and fro Tukuran, so it’s great if you can negotiate a good rate for the driver, back and forth!) You may also take the Carabao Sled, which can host about 6 people. This will only take you to the falls and back to the starting point of the trail.
- Fees: P40 for the fare to San Teodoro & P200 toP400 for the tricycle driver
- Operation Hours: 7am to 5pm (though the last ride going back to Puerto Galera is at 7pm)
- Highlights: Riding a carabao and the mountainside road going to the Falls is already an adventure. Enjoy the tall coconut trees surrounding all the rivers, and the crystal clear waters that are cleaner than you would expect!
- Activity Tips: DO NOT WALK from the city proper to the Falls! It’s near impossible, as many locals have warned! Also, bring lots of insect repellant.
In Puerto Galera, remote towns are often overshadowed by the mainstream tourist destinations. If you want to take a breather from sharing the beach with other people, or if you’re simply looking to upgrade your Mindoro trip, consider going to Bulalacao. This island is special because it actually consists of 13 untouched islets. When you look at them from a bird’s eye view, they form an uncanny resemblance to a shooting star, which is where the name of the island comes from!
- Directions: You can go there by air, if you book a flight to the nearest airport which is the one in San Jose, Mindoro. Then, just hail a jeep or bus going to Roxas, since it will pass through Bulalacao. If you wish to travel by land, start at Calapan. Bulalacao is three hours away, so the best and easiest way to get here is via van.
- Operation Hours: 24 hours
- Highlights: Go beach hopping to all 13 of the islets, trek to the Tree Park for a busy afternoon of adrenaline filled activities, pass by Mangyan Village, camp, or maybe even take a quick side trip to the nearby outer islands of Romblon and Aklan!
- Activity Tips: Bring your own snorkeling gear in case the area does not provide you with any.
Puerto Galera’s Floating Bars Nightlife
While it’s no secret that Puerto Galera has a booming nightlife, did you know that their party scene extends all the way out into the ocean? That’s right, Puerto Galera is a proud home to floating bars, which are literally boats turned clubs, restaurants, and party hubs. These are actually rarer than they sound, as only a couple of beaches and hotels offer the service. In Puerto Galera, the Bikini Floating Bar is the best choice.
- Location: Find it floating along Sabang Beach, near the Ferry Terminal.
- Fees: Beers and other cocktails are within the PHP50-200 range, which is relatively affordable especially for foreign tourists.
- Operation Hours: 24 hours
- Highlights: The neon signs are hard to miss and the experience makes you feel right at home with the locals.
- Activity Tips: Make sure not to dive into the dark waters after drinking, and always be safe!
Light the way in Sinandigan
Of course being a coastal town, Puerto Galera has to have a lighthouse, right? Visit Sinandigan, which has a lighthouse passage giving you an unbeatable view of the Isla Verde—the Green Isle! This is also a one of many diving spots, and many people also visit Sinandigan for the colorful underwater flora and fauna that inhabit the nearby beach!
- Directions: From Sabang, simply ride a bus to the neighboring barangay Sinandigan, or you can book your hotel or inn in Sinandigan immediately, and just transfer via van. You may also ask around Sabang if some of the tricycles there have routes passing by Sinandigan, or if you can ride behind someone’s motorcycle (angkas). Some have even opted to walk!
- Fees: P30 (Tricycle Fare)
- Operation Hours: 24/7, though it is not recommended to trek up the lighthouse at night.
- Highlights: Staring at the expanse of land and sea from the top of the lighthouse, checking out the cool diving spots around the shore, including Pink Wall, West Escarceo, Hole in the Wall, and Dungeon Wall, and Wreck Point!
- Activity Tips: Double check the danger level from the coast guard if you’re planning on diving after seeing the sights on the top of the lighthouse. Some diving spots may be more suitable for advanced divers, with some requiring PADI certification.
Enjoy a fun experience and check out other restaurants, things to do and more in Puerto Galera. Discover cheap hotel deals and cheap flights from carriers like Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, and more with Traveloka!