I love Puerto Galera! More popularly known as White Beach. It’s just a few hours from Metro Manila Philippines. And it’s a tropical paradise. Click to see the Vlog
Puerto Galera is an inexpensive paradise if you know where to go that is. Otherwise it’s more like a Party Beach that tends to get more exciting after sundown. Don’t get me wrong, the actual White Beach at Puerto Galera is beautiful.
Many beaches have fine white sand, and calm clear aqua-marine water.
The sundowns over the sea are more often stunning than not. But when you turn around you see the bars, restaurants, shops and occasionally a crowd. Yet fear not, because private beaches, resorts and jungle backdrops abound. Personally I prefer using airbnb.com to find lodging – I’ll include the link for my most recent experience in this posting.
There is a lot to do in Puerto Galera. It’s on the Massive Island of Mindoro which is still part of the Luzon region. This video shows how to get to Mindoro from Luzon
The list ranges from the standard beach activities like wave-runners, banana boats, para-sailing to day trips. Most of the day trips are available from local Filipinos that are hawking the adventures up and down the beach. There is some haggling involved, and most of these guys speak English well enough to strike a deal.
The most rewarding and fun activities I have found in Puerto Galera are the Island hopping and the waterfall excursions.
I’m a beach lover, I love the hot sun, the vista of the sea and lounging in the cool refreshing water. The deal with White beach is that it’s a long strip spanning a few resorts and a few public areas. The best spot within walking distance of the Party beach is called Talipanan beach. When you walk along the beach you will pass the Tamaraw and Aninuan beaches. Both are quiet and associated with private resorts, but anyone can walk along them or swim there.
Talipanan beach is quiet, and seems like it is deserted. I have never seen more than 2 or 3 people/couples, or families there at anytime. It is backed by tall palms and green foliage and offers an amazing view of the mountains, the sea and distant islands.
The water is calm and clear, although the surf tosses up a lot of small coral and stones. This is manageable; but due to this, I highly recommend a pair of aqua socks for getting in and out of the water.
The Native village is walking distance from the beach, and from there just a short unreal hiking jungle trek to the hidden Talipanan falls.
This is a beautiful, peaceful and adventurous destination that I have surprisingly never seen on the placards the tour guides on the beach offer. Probably because they can’t charge too much money to guide visitors here. But ask about a bit – And a guide will come your way. You almost don’t need one, the native village in Puerto Galera and the river are easy to find. But knowing where to leave the river and cut up the mountain trail will need an observant, or experienced hiker to find without a guide.
This Youtube Vlog shows my first visit as I travel with a guide on foot to the village, up the river and the mountain into the jungle.
On my second trip I took a tricycle /Trike from white beach for 100 Pesos (about $2.00) to the native village. The driver offered to return in 3 hours to take us back. I easily found my way up the falls to the top. Where I climbed to the second set of falls and flew the DJI Mavic Pro aerial drone way up over the jungle canopy – All I could say is WOW, you can see how deep in the jungle wilderness this hidden location is in the 2nd Vlog.
How to choose good yet affordable lodging using airbnb.com
For me priority one is near da’ beach mon’. Followed by security, I travel with a lot of gear, and if i’m leaving it in the room, I want to lock it up and forget about it. Worrying if your stuff is safe is a drag when you are trying to get your Indiana Jones on.
Sign up for an ABNB account, Select the location, a price range, narrow a filter or two, Air con is always nice, and type in Puerto Galera (MIMAROPA), or Talipanan (Abra de ilog). You can have your own private beach hut for $10 U.S. a day. But might have to skip the hot shower – But hey… It’s the Philippines. It’s friggin’ hot here.
This Airbnb super host unit is walking distance to Talipanan beach, and barely a 10 minute trike ride to the main party white beach. Here is the link to the Blue house. These guys are super hosts indeed, It was an easy smooth airbnb in and out experience. Absolutely zero issues, half the cost of a resort, and just as comfortable. There are many cheap resorts, cheap bare bones rooms located right on White beach. The first time I went I stayed in one of these lil’ gems. You can see that on this Vlog.
What if you don’t want to deal with the airbnb route?
And you want more than a glorified closet on white beach – You can’t go wrong with the wonderful amenities offered by Sunset at Aninuan beach resort. Check out my experience in this Tube Vlog.
Dining and nightlife abound on White beach at Puerto Galera
Although if you want an actual dining experience you might be somewhat limited. Personally I have two go-to’s that have never disappointed. The first is really low-key, right on the end of the beach. Gilbert’s food Hauz & family Store.
It’s a bit of an odd name, like they were tryna be up in the hizzy or something. But didn’t quite get the hip-hop culture spelling right. I don’t know – I should have asked. But I was just loving it, and took it all in stride. Prices here are astoundingly cheap, with a decent menu offering a good mix, thankfully with healthy options.
They even cooked some dishes upon request to be more vegetarian based.
Cost wise the food was a steal. But you will do better at the grocery market on the main strip for grocery items or chilled beverages.
The nicest actual dining in Puerto Galera near White beach is at the Sunset at Aninuan beach resort.
The resort now offers seating open to the public, so I would say: Just walk in. That’s what we did, and we were the only peeps hanging up in that jawn. A really nice dining experience, great selection of foods, and many healthy as well as casual fare options. There are also a ton of bars along white beach offering Videoke and food & drink specials with fire dancer shows.
Cash and ATMS in Puerto Galera White Beach
A good thing to know is that there are ATM machines in White Beach. However they are not capable of making international transactions. These puppies only access local Philippine bank accounts. If you run out of cash, you will either need to wire it to yourself (or) travel to the city which is about 10 KM and a couple hundred peso tricycle ride. There is a Palawan Pawnshop remittance center right on the main strip, the xoom.com app worked like a charm for me.
A reliable money transfer service app
Xoom at one time had been known to lock me out of my own U.S. account (because) I was accessing it from a P.I. URL/Server. But they seem to have gotten past this, and I have never had the problem when using the iOS version of the app. Thank goodness for Xoom. I recommend setting up an account before traveling to the Philippines if possible.
Island hopping is a mixed bag
First off, it’s a nice trip, this video shows the full coral garden experience. You will get to be in the water, there is snorkeling, and an adventurous element visiting the various locations. This amenity seems to have changed a bit over the last few years. It is pricier now than before.
Pricing for the boats
You will pay one price between 2,000 and 2,500 pesos depending on how you haggle. And then you will pay for two boats to facilitate this tour at the same time. Why two boats? Well… The big one to take you out to the hopping region, and the little one that tows you through the shallows while you tour the coral gardens.
To Sea cave, or not to see the cave?
The sea cave is included, even if you tell them you just want the snorkel trip. A sea cave adventure could be pretty cool, but it can also be a bust. See what I mean in this vlog vid. Basically if the surf is too rough, you will be able to take selfies in the mouth of the cave – But will not be permitted to enter it and travel through it to the beach cove. Which is what would be pretty cool.
Oh and one more thing…
Ironshore, it’s sharp, it’s unforgiving, and it is what the cave is made of. You might want to bring a decent pair of shoes to make the slippery, precarious descent to the cave mouth.
If you pass on the Sea Cave, as a result It gives you more time to snorkel around the Coral Gardens. Which can be very relaxing and beautiful.
Puerto Galera waterfalls
Finally, there are some beautiful falls in Puerto Galera in addition to the Talipanan trek. The most popular and tame are the Tamaraw falls. When you make the trip to Tamaraw, I would recommend going full bore and checking out the hidden Tukuran falls. It is definitely an adventure.
If you have any questions, or comments please feel free to share them here or use the contact form to ask me
- Enjoy Puerto…. It’s Awesome!