Beautiful, amazing, relaxing and exquisite, how else can I describe Puerto Galera? Found in the province of Mindoro, Puerto Galera is one of the popular and most visited white sand beaches in the Philippines. This blog will take you to a quick tour to this amazing place.
The gang decided to sojourn this place as our 2nd getaway for this year. Of course we had to prepare things such as money (most important), itineraries (Tamaraw Falls, Tukuran Falls, Virgin Island and White Beach) and accommodation. Though, the beach has been dubbed as overrated, we still longed to visit the place since we were all first timers.
We rode a bus (Jam Liner) heading to Batangas Pier for only Php. 200.00. We left Jam Liner Kamuning at about 3:30AM. The travel took almost 3 hours and a half because we reached the Pier at about 5:30AM. We took the opportunity to sleep since we were all sleepless.
We bought two-way boat ticket that cost us Php. 700.00. As per hotel’s instructions, we had to take “Father and Son” boat as it would bring us to Talipanan Port (There were lots of shipping lines there to choose from that offer almost the same price).
We boarded at about 6:30AM, but the boat started to sail at 7:20AM because we waited for the boat to be filled with passengers.
The travel was kinda shaky and vomit-inducing due to huge waves. It was another opportune time to sleep and get rid of shaky motion.
After an hour or so, we reached Puerto Galera. Everyone of us was elated and got more excited as the crystal clear water and white sand welcomed us.
The weather that time was just perfect for under-the-sun water adventure.
We paid the environmental fee (Php. 50.00 each) as we entered the gate. There was a shuttle provided by the El Cañonero (hotel where we booked ourselves in) to fetch us and to bring us to and from there.
Upon reaching the hotel, we settled our stuff and started dipping into the water while waiting for the food (our meal for Tukuran Falls).
Finally, everything was ready. At first, we thought that it would be just a tricycle (as agreed) that would bring us to Tamaraw Falls and Tukuran Falls, but surprisingly, it was a jeepney. (It was so big for us that we even joked about bringing the whole barangay (community) for excursion.)
We left for our first destination: Tamaraw Falls. The road going there was paved, but meandering. We stopped once to pee and of course to take photos (one thing that should never be forgotten).
The travel to reach Tamaraw Falls, which we thought would take only half an hour, took us an hour. Anyways, our patience in travel was all worth it.
The view was simply amazing with the fair weather. It was fun to see the cascading fresh water from the top. In spite of its inviting rowdy water, we did not dip nor did we experience the water; nonetheless, we did enjoy our time there. (Entrance fee to Tamaraw Falls is Php. 30.00.)
After taking pictures, we started the road trip anew to reach Tukuran Falls. The nearer we got to the place the hungrier we became.
The road heading to Tukuran Falls was rocky, dusty and bumpy. And the mood outside the jeep was very native and tranquil. Indeed, it is very relaxing when you are in the countryside.
At last, we reached our destination at about 12PM. We knew already that we had to trek less than a kilometer to reach the Tukuran Falls. However, the people there (guides) suggested to rent a carabao (Philippine national animal) since we had to carry our lunch and bags. The rent is Php. 450.00. It was not in the plan, but, why not? We were there to experience new things in the first place, right? The carabao ride was a great challenge as the cart was terribly wobbly. The road was bumpy too, and we had to pass through the river and mud. The travel was really a challenge, yet worthwhile.
We saw lots of outlanders trekking the same trail, and we were impressed by them because they did not mind getting into the mud nor the effort of brisk walking on an unstable trail. (We joked that “The ones who have more money are struggling than us who are on shoestring”.)
We reached the Tukuran Falls after a rigorous carabao ride. We had to pay another Php. 200 for the cottage. Again, it was another unprecedented expenses. (We thought that we could just leave our things somewhere.)
The water falls is short, but the water is clear and inviting that made me more excited to dip since we felt extreme heat along the way. Guides told us that the center of the basin was beyond human height deep. (Oh no! I don’t know how to swim)
After settling down, we took our dainty lunch along with the other foreigners. There were Americans, Europeans and Koreans. (I didn’t ask their nationality, I could recognize their language.)
We still enjoyed our lunch and filled our hunger albeit this was not the one we were expecting.
As soon as we finished our lunch, we started trekking to visit the other part of the falls. Someone volunteered to guide us and carry our things.
The falls was unpoppulated and tranquil because there are few people coming in that place, and it was not really popular among local tourists.
Struggle is real. Yeah, we enjured the hardship of climbing and stretching our legs to cross from one rock to another. Nonetheless, it’s all worth it when you see the stupefying nature up there. The scene was very enchanting. The water was cool and fresh that I tried to drink it. It was tasteless and odorless, though.
Green panther that we are, we went further to follow our instinct that something hidden would await us there. Yes, our instinct was right (which is correct most of the time) there was a hidden beauty that amused us a lot.
After being astounded by the awesome beauty of Tukuran Falls, we took our way going to our next destination: Virgin Island. (The beach is open not only for virgins. Lol) Going back was another challenging carabao ride that we had to get through with.
I asked the carabao owner if I could sit on the carabao, but he was afraid that the animal would go wild because he doesn’t know me.
We rode our service upon reaching the jump-off point. (We gave our guide a tip and bought some souvenir items from them as a compensation.)
Along the way, we passed by a hanging bridge, and our driver paused to allow us to take some photos with it. (I used to be pleased by this kind of guide/driver. They are lenient and considerate with their guests.)
The bridge was not that frightening because it is made up of steel and concrete materials.
We came to Virgin Island at about 4:30PM. The beach was nice, and only few people were there. Entrance fee is Php. 5.00. The shoreline was not that long. The waves were bigger and higher than with Talipanan and White Beach. The sand was not white and fine, and it had pebbles and crushed shells, so it was sort of painful if you walked on it barefooted.
Of course, we could not leave the place without experiencing what’s in it. We dipped and swam in the water with a bit of fear because of the huge waves that seemed to engulf us. The water is not that clear that we couldn’t see the seafloor. So, we could not fathom the deepness of the water.
By 7PM, after an enough time of resting and checking instagrammable shots, we proceeded to white beach to take our dinner and experience a lively night at the beach. (They say that Puerto Galera trip is never complete without experiencing the “party all night”.) We hired a tricyle (provided by the hotel for Php. 300 to and fro) to bring us to the white beach. We knew that we could walk along the shore to reach it, but the way seemed unsafe at night.
We were very hungry when we came there, hence we immediately looked for a restaurant that offered native cuisine. (Most of the meals there were pricey and overrated.)
Puerto Galera is also famous for fire dancing entertainment. If you wish to have a photo opp with the fire dancers together with their blazing fire balls, you got to give a tip of only Php. 10.00 per person.
The next day, after having our breakfast, we decided to come back to the white beach anew to spend the rest of our day and enjoy the beach under the sun. (swim wear √ sunglass √ flipflops √ camera √ sun protector √) All set!
We decided to stay in this part as not to be bothered by plenty of people in the main part of the white beach. The calmness of the place made us enjoy our time dipping in the water. It was a perfect opportunity to temporarily escape from laborious city life.
Truly, nature will appease your burdened mind and soul. Also, it will bring lots of realization in life, and make you a new you.
By 2PM, we tidied up and packed our things to chase the last boat trip (3PM) going back to Batangas Pier.
It was a very worthwhile Puerto Galera experience with friends. I’ll surely visit this place soon.
Mightier than the waves of the sea is His love for you.
BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES
● 400.00 (to and fro) bus from Cubao to Batangas Pier.
● 50.00 Environmental fee
● 3,000.00 (5pax) Hotel accommodation
● 700.00 (to and fro) Boat from pier to Puerto Galera
● 3,500 (5 pax) Jeepney service
● 450.00 (to and fro) Carabao ride
● 200.00 Tukuran Falls cottage
● 50.00 Entrance fee for Tukuran Falls
● 50.00 Exit fee