Where To Stay Resorts Dining Things To Do
Your free map of Puerto Galera’s Beach Resort Areas
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Where To Stay Puerto Galera Beach Resorts & Lodges
Where to stay Puerto Galera beach resorts and guest houses? Puerto Galera is blessed with the widest range of beach resorts, hotels and guest house accommodation of any water sports destination around the country and makes for an ideal Philippines beach resort holidays. Whether your budget is that of a backpacker or of a business tycoon there are beach resorts or holiday packages somewhere here that will suit your pocket. Whether for romance and tranquility or for rambunctiousness and camaraderie, Puerto Galera is a primary Philippines beach resort holidays destination. A small but varied selection of beach resorts and resort hotels are offered here to give you a feel for where to stay in Puerto Galera for the best of Philippines beach resort holidays.
PGYC Cottage For Rent
The PGYC Cottage is effectively a studio apartment within the grounds of the Puerto Galera Yacht Club, good for 2-4 persons and available for daily or weekly rental to Members of PGYC, Reciprocal Clubs and guests. Facilities include an en-suite bathroom with hot & cold showers and a kitchenette. Being within the yacht club grounds, guests will have use of the club bar and restaurant. Plus, within a few minutes along the Mangrove Walk, there is easy access to snorkeling and beach-hopping adventures and the many other attractions of Puerto Galera through the Tourism Office - located beside the replica Spanish galleon.
click the image for details
Looking beyond the yacht club you should consider the resorts and guest houses that partner with the PGYC and that offer discounts to PGYC Members - just show your PGYC Membership Card at check-in.
GUEST HOUSE, HOTEL & RESORT PARTNERS of PGYC
Puerto Galera’s GALERA LODGE guest house offers a selection of generously proportioned rooms for couples, while the Lodge House is designed to accommodate family or friends. Along with hot & cold showers, many of the guest rooms have their own cooking facilities. The Galera Lodge also features an al fresco coffee shop & restaurant set in a bright and airy garden environment, less than ten minutes walk from the Yacht Club and from the town proper.
T: +63 945 991-8350 or visit facebook.com/GaleraLodge
The Manor At Puerto Galera
Puerto Galera’s 5 star resort hotel accommodation. The MANOR AT PUERTO GALERA sits atop the rain forested hill behind the Puerto Galera Yacht Club, The Manor offers the best resort accommodation in the vicinity. Well appointed for those with a need to be cosseted and pampered, with access to an infinity pool, swimming pool, badminton and spectacular views across five bodies of water. Ideal for recreation, wedding receptions, honeymoons and team building. Now offering scuba diving at Aardvark Divers. Acclaimed as the best five star resort hotel in Mindoro, with the best Presidential Suite south of Makati.
T: +63 926 937–7908 or visit facebook.com/ManorPG
The Warehouse / Bahay Isla
The WAREHOUSE / BAHAY ISLA has a long history of accommodating sailors and tourists in a hostel environment. Quiet, secluded, homely with good home cookin': where you order your dinner in the morning and your breakfast in the evening - to give them time to buy and prepare. Just a few minutes walk from the yacht club and the pier, The Warehouse / Bahay Isla (“island home”) is perfect for couples or for families who need just an extra bed. The Warehouse can arrange your activity itinerary to include such things as: sailing, scuba diving, trekking and golf. Conversations at the bar can run on into the wee-hours, the music is guest selectable and the beer is ohhh sooo chilled.
T: +63 43 287-3731 M: +63 905 245-7855 or visit facebook.com/bahayisla
Utopia Resort & Spa
The UTOPIA RESORT & SPA offers a truly 5-star experience in Puerto Galera. Located atop a hillside in Palangan, on the road between Muelle to Sabang, it offers commanding views both East and West without any traffic noise or overlooking properties. Offering luxurious suites and separate cottages, with a premier Spa experience to be found nowhere else on Mindoro Island. This is a modern utopia - a place of ideal perfection - just waiting for you to imbibe the exquisite views and enjoy the especially prepared food at Bistrot Utopia.
T: +63 43 287-3681 M: +63 926 600-2554 or visit utopiaresort.ph
THE BAY AREA RESORTS & HOTELS
Where to stay in the bay area? Only a small collection of beach resorts and resort hotels accommodations are available within the bay area of Puerto Galera because there has been a concerted effort to protect the natural beauty afforded by the mangroves and sheltered coves. The bay area is a complete contrast to White Beach. Most beach resorts and resort hotels accommodations in the bay area are very peaceful, at the same time as being convenient to the yacht club and the town.
Puerto Galera Villas
Puerto Galera Villas offers a unique Yachtsman’s Holiday Package with a combined waterfront villa and sailing yacht, located in Dalaruan Bay, Puerto Galera. Ideal for a group of four to ten persons who want to fill their vacation with the peace and tranquility of a secluded waterfront villa but also enjoy day–sailing along the coast or across the Verde Passage. A resident boatman and housekeeper will ensure that almost every whim is catered for. If you are looking where to stay in Puerto Galera and want privacy, tranquility and diversion the Puerto Galera Villas could be your choice.
T: +63 917 810-6653
BIG LALAGUNA BEACH RESORTS
Where to stay in Big La Laguna Beach? Big Lalaguna Beach is probably the best beach for swimming & snorkeling because it has many areas of sandy bottom and easy water entry, as well as roped off areas over corals to protect swimmers from bankas. The Big Lalaguna Beach water is crystal clear 99% of the year; the corals are vibrant and varied. When looking at where to stay in Puerto Galera, Big Lalaguna Beach is far enough away from the boisterous nightlife of Sabang Beach so that evenings can be peaceful and romantic. Big La Laguna Beach is full of scuba–diving–focused Philippines beach resorts and resort hotels for families, couples and individuals.
Lalaguna Beach Club & Dive Centre
One of the most established Philippines beach resorts and scuba dive shops on Big Lalaguna Beach offering mid–priced accommodations, a swimming pool, an international menu and a comprehensive range of water sports activities, with equipment for hire, in addition to scuba diving. Lalaguna Beach Club’s new scuba dive shop has all the scuba diving equipment you could possibly need to rent or want to buy; Lalaguna Beach Club & Dive Centre also operate a liveaboard dive boat for scuba diving packages around the Philippines.
T: +63 917 794–0323 W: llbc.com.ph
SMALL LALAGUNA BEACH RESORTS
Where to stay in Small La Laguna Beach? Small Lalaguna Beach actually has a larger beach–front than Big Lalaguna Beach and offers a wide variety of beach resorts and resort hotels. Small Lalaguna Beach has areas of rocks and broken corals in the shallows, so this is not the best beach for swimming but it is closer to Sabang Beach and therefore more convenient for those who also need an entertainment fix between scuba lesson and scuba certification. Some of the most spectacularly colourful sunrises in Asia have been photographed on Small Lalaguna Beach.
El Galleon Resort & Hotel / Asia Divers
The most established dive shop & resort hotel on Small Lalaguna Beach and a pioneer in the development of scuba diving as a sport in Puerto Galera. When looking for where to stay in Puerto Galera the good, mid–priced rooms overlooking the swimming pool, supported by an extensive international menu at the beach view restaurant, make El Galleon / Asia Divers the best scuba diving holiday choice for the culinary connoisseur – a guest chef is usually in residence during the high–season at El Galleon. El Galleon / Asia Divers could be your base in Puerto Galera for a scuba / technical diving or free–diving adventure. Asia Divers stocks a wide range of international brand scuba diving equipment for rent and for sale.
T: +63 917 814–5107 W: asiadivers.com
SABANG BEACH RESORTS
Where to stay in Sabang Beach? Sabang Beach is the ‘party beach’ with bustling entertainment that spans all the hours of day and night. Sabang Beach is all but gone at high tide, with beach resorts and resort hotels competing with the waves for space. If you want to swim here you are advised to go out to one of the two floating bars that are anchored one hundred meters off the waterfront. In fact, the floating bars are probably the most relaxing place to get the best views of the notable Philippines resort environment of Sabang Bay. Billiards/pool, discos and bars are the nightlife feature of Sabang, along with Sabang’s reputation for accommodating every taste.
Capt’n Gregg’s Dive Resort
Capt’n Gregg’s is the longest running dive resort on Sabang Beach and has been a magnet for scuba divers and backpackers to Puerto Galera since the late 1970s. The open seascape views from many of the modest rooms, combined with the spacious panoramic restaurant, make Capt’n Gregg’s Dive Resort a great place for contemplating the previous night’s spoils over a late breakfast. Capt’n Gregg’s is also the spiritual home of the Puerto Galera HASH. If you want your scuba diving holiday to include HASHing and substantial breakfasts, choose Capt’n Gregg’s.
T: +63 43 287–3070 W: captngreggs.com
Things To Do In Puerto Galera
In 1980 there were only two reasons to visit Puerto Galera for a vacation: snorkeling and scuba diving. Since then the popularity of Puerto Galera as a multi-sports holiday destination has grown in leaps and bounds, to the point where snow-skiing is about the only sport that is not featured here at least in some small way. Today, the majority of the sports are associated with sand and sea but increasingly the forests hillsides, rivers and trails have become somewhere to explore by various means and for various reasons. Here are some of the main reasons to consider Puerto Galera as your ultimate sports destination:
When scuba diving in Puerto Galera there are almost too few superlatives to describe the experience. Whether your scuba diving passion is deep or shallow, wall or bottom, reef or rock, wreck or coral, drift or drop. Puerto Galera has it all when it comes to the ultimate Philippine scuba diving package; and, it even has its own coral species — anacropora puertogalerae — that has been found nowhere else on Earth.
If you are not yet a scuba diver you will find that most beach resort dive shops will offer a PADI Discover Scuba course to see if other scuba diving packages with scuba certification are what you want to get into or, you can jump straight in and sign up learn to scuba dive with a PADI Open Water Diver course. With an Open Water Diver scuba certification you can follow the route through PADI Advanced, PADI Dive Master to PADI Instructor or branch out and become a Wreck Specialist or a Technical Diver; scuba certification for all levels is available in Puerto Galera. Nitrox, Trimix and other exotic breathables are on offer. Rent your scuba equipment of buy scuba diving equipment from almost any dive beach resort dive shop in Puerto Galera – all international brand–name scuba equipment is available.
The mangrove–lined inner bays of Puerto Galera offer the opportunity for a day of sailing in a dinghy, imbibing nature and embracing the sumptuous tranquility of a tropical marine sanctuary. Sailing here makes a perfect Philippine holiday vacation experience.
If you want to learn to sail then the Puerto Galera Yacht Club offers three–day modular sailing courses that will equip you to enjoy the sport of sailing anywhere on the planet. Warning: Learn to sail in the pristine waters of Puerto Galera and sailing anywhere else may seem less beautiful.
The largest and the longest-running sailing regattas in the Philippines happen in Puerto Galera. At Easter and at Halloween you can join sailors from around the World as they descend on Puerto Galera for more fun than you can easily image, sailing with intent across and along the Verde Island Passage.
The safe but breezy waters off Boquete Beach are the perfect location for windsurfing.
If you already know how to windsurf and simply want to rent a board then resorts along most of the beaches will provide. If you do not know how to windsurf then ask you beach resort and you will be up and surfing within a day and racing within a week.
Whether seeking romance in secluded mangrove–lined inlets or battling the iron–man currents and waves in the tide–rips along the Verde Passage, kayaking is the most environmentally friendly way to discover the 42 kilometers of shoreline that define Puerto Galera.
Kayaking packages including kayaks for rent are available from most water sports focused beach resorts. If you are alone and want to recruit a kayaking guide, most beach resorts will introduce someone who is knowledgeable about kayaking in the area and any current safety and environmental issues.
Particularly within the inner bays, but also off Lalaguna, Long Beach and Coco Beach, the snorkeling opportunities in Puerto Galera are too good to miss. A day of snorkeling in Puerto Galera can convince you to take up scuba diving as a hobby.
If you plan your snorkeling trip well in advance you can join the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) on one of its regular –surveys of the sea–grasses and shallow corals. And of course you simply must go snorkeling over the giant clam beds, which will leave you open mouthed with excitement.
Puerto Galera is rapidly becoming a freediving destination for those with the will to go below on just one mouthful of air. In the not too distant past a World record depth for freediving was established (since bettered) off El Galleon Resort on Small Lalaguna Beach. The close proximity to the very-deep Verde Island Passage has attracted many international freedivers and some dive resorts are now specializing in freediving training.
For those who really must get their adrenaline rush through speed but find a drift dive in a six knot current or a twelve knot spinnaker run or a 25–knot windsurf ride a little tame then Jet Skis are tolerated, to be used off the beaches that face the Verde Passage, including Sabang Beach and White Beach; ask at your chosen beach resort and please observe the speed limits where they apply.
Perhaps surprisingly, sport fishing is not a huge sport around Puerto Galera but there are at least two sport fishing charter outfits you can engage here. Trolling for Spanish mackerel & Mahi-mahi and bottom fishing for snapper and grouper are the most popular, but you may hook into a barracuda, tuna or a marlin out at the East or West ends of Verde Island Passage.
For the most panoramic views of Puerto Galera you simply must not miss a trip up the mountains to the Ponderosa Golf & Country Club where, with very modest green–fees, you can play golf on one of the world’s most dramatic 9–hole golf courses . . . guaranteed to challenge your short game.
If you do not want to bring your own golf clubs then you can rent suitable golf club sets from the Ponderosa Golf & Country Club. And if you have friends who don’t play golf then still take them along for there is plenty to see and do for non–golfers including relaxing at the clubhouse restaurant. All the best beach resorts will organize transport up to Ponderora Golf& Country Club – the golf course in the mountains or you can rent a cottage at the golf club itself, with spectacular views over the Verde Island Passage and some of the most colorful sunsets.
You can hike through the rainforested hills and study the flora and fauna including rare wild orchids and birds or, you can become a beachcomber and walk from bay to bay at low tide. Alternatively you can hike up to the waterfalls (the Tukuran Falls is by far the best waterfall adventure) and bathe in the crystal clear and refreshingly cool mountain streams.
For those who like running instead of hiking then Saturday afternoon is when the Puerto Galera HASH House Harriers assemble at Capt’n Gregg’s Beach Resort and Dive Shop for a run (or brisk walk), around some time–hewn headland or along an ancient forest trail, towards the On–On of the day, where to consume a friendly beer or more.
"Bird ", "birding", "ornithology", "twitching", whichever way you call it is one of the reasons to explore the mature forests and mangroves around Puerto Galera. Here you will find hornbills, oriels, kingfishers, egrets & herons, eagles & kites mixed with a plethora of smaller forest birds, and at least two birds endemic to Mindoro Island - Mindoro imperial pigeon and the Mindoro bleeding-heart dove. Plus (seasonally), with the onset of Winter in the northern hemisphere many raptors migrate South along the West coast of the Philippines; Mindoro Island offers a convenient, relatively uninhabited expanse of forested terrain where to find food.
One of the most spectacular and enjoyable river trekking adventures in Mindoro is found on the way to, and above, the Tukuran Falls. You can trek or you can ride a carabao-cart to the Tukuran Falls and then clamber into the foothills of Mount Halcon - the highest mountain peak on Mindoro Island. There are other treks, such as to the Talipanan Falls, with ancient history and unusual wildlife still lingering along the forested paths . . . you just have to decide how far you want to go.
The Puerto Galera museum provides an interesting insight into the history and changed culture of the town through the Spanish, American and Japanese colonial periods. Located near the church above Muelle Pier the museum is open most hours of daylight, except on Sundays.
Other specialist museums in Puerto Galera are the Galleon Ship museum and the Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Center.
Where To Dine in Puerto Galera
Since the early 1980s Puerto Galera has become an international destination for back–packers and the rich–and–famous. Alongside its growth in popularity as a place of relaxation and sport, eateries and fine restaurants offering the full spectrum of cuisine have blossomed to sate the appetite of the tourists and locals alike. From White Beach to the Bay Area and around the headland beaches we offer here a selection to sustain you as you explore the wonders of this island paradise.
Puerto Galera Yacht Club
The Puerto Galera Yacht Club offers a varied menu of international gastronomic delights, from hearty soups and sandwiches to steaks and sashimi. The naturally air–conditioned restaurant and bar is a great place for a romantic dinner for two. For birthday parties and weddings you will find it hard to beat dining under the mango tree overlooking the lawns and garden. The club is most famous for its Wednesday Curry Night and the Saturday Night Bar–B–Q and the selection of the coldest beers in Puerto Galera.
T: +63 917 520-5874 for opening hours and reservations (recommended for Wednesday Curry Night and the Saturday Night Bar–B–Q)
Seaside Grill & Resto Bar
The Seaside Grill & Resto Bar roof-top restaurant at White Beach, Puerto Galera, is unique because it offers a varied seafood menu (as well as other popular dishes, such as pastas and salads) and offers the best view of the whole of White Beach from above. The Seaside Grill & Resto Bar caters for seafood lovers like no other restaurant in Puerto Galera, from prawns and fresh fish to clams and mussels. The Seaside Grill & Resto Bar is a great place to meet, enjoy good value dining, refreshing drinks and to get a front row seat for the spectacular White Beach sunset.
T: +63 995 639-6207 for reservations during peak hours, otherwise just walk on up!
The Capt’n Gregg’s dive resort restaurant is one of the oldest beach front restaurants on Sabang Beach, and caters for international tourists with an extensive menu of hearty fare. Breakfasts here, overlooking the Verde Passage, are the perfect solution to a night of partying. Take your time to soak up the view in the naturally air–conditioned restaurant located high above the beach and far from the madding crowds. Capt’n Gregg’s evening Bar–B–Qs are sumptuous and the service is very pleasant.
T: +63 917 540–4570 for opening hours, reservations not required except for groups.
Arthur's Restaurant El Galleon
The El Galleon Beach Resorts & Hotel restaurant has been located on Small Lalaguna Beach almost as long as Puerto Galera has been a destination and prides itself on its sea–view, al fresco dining experience. Guest chefs are frequently in attendance and the staff are efficient and very helpful. For parties and other celebrations the pool–side can add another dimension to your dining experience and the management is happy to organise events tailored to your needs.
T: +63 917 814–5107 reservations not required except for groups
Lalaguna Beach Club
The Lalaguna Beach Club restaurant on Big Lalaguna Beach is the essence of Puerto Galera, offering a menu that encompasses the needs of the scuba diver and the beachcomber. From overstuffed sandwiches and full–size burgers to steaks and seafood, the choice is hard to equal and the service is friendly and efficient. Consistently good value, the naturally air–conditioned restaurant offers a welcome to all who climb the steps.
T: +63 917 794–0323 reservations not required except for groups
A Brief History Of Puerto Galera
History of Puerto Galera: before Puerto Galera became one of the best Philippines' holiday beach resort and scuba diving destinations it was one of the oldest settlements of the religious missionaries, founded by the Spanish in 1574 as the provincial capital of Mindoro Island. However, the history of Puerto Galera goes way back into the metal age and probably beyond. Artifacts found at ancient burial sites at Lalaguna and Minolo suggest that a thriving culture existed here for many millennia before the Spanish arrived. Occasional Chinese records from as far back as the 10th century suggest frequent trading with the indigenous Mangyan peoples: exchanging glazed porcelains for gold, jade, corals, shells, birds, rattan and other forest products that were abundant on the island. The Mangyan still live a traditional loincloth–lifestyle in the surrounding forested hills and can occasionally be seen in the town selling woven abaca items and trading gold recovered from the rivers and streams.
The port town of Puerto Galera was probably named after Spanish ships that were based here during the early years of colonization – Galeras (English = galleys — two masted, shallow draft, rowing/sailing ships) known locally as "prau" or "parao" – that were employed as short distance trading vessels, doubling as warships when required to subdue the populous or thwart attacks from Chinese pirates or nearby island chieftains. Varadero Bay, Puerto Galera, was originally a ship repair facility, probably with a dry-dock of sorts; Varadero translates from Spanish to English as "dry-dock".
The popular translation of Mindoro [Island] to "mina de oro" (Spanish - gold mine) may have been the first arriving Spaniards' misinterpretation of the native word "Minolo", referring to Puerto Galera's, Minolo Bay. Recent academic and archeological research suggests that the shore of (and hillside behind) Minolo Bay was probably the site of the largest human settlement along the North Mindoro coast prior to the Spanish colonization. Whilst there is definitely gold in the valleys and mountains of Mindoro, there are no records of significant quantities of the metal ever having been mined or shipped from here, so Mindoro translated as "gold mine" may be simply fanciful.
With the arrival of tourism in the 20th century it became more important to determine the origin of the name "Puerto Galera" and in recent times the romantic translation, “The Port of Galleons”, has held sway over the more academic alternative "The Port of Galeras". No matter the actual origin, Puerto Galera certainly offered a safe anchorage for many a galera and probably the occassional galleon, during tropical storms and typhoons (hurricanes/cyclones) that frequently cut across the country during the months of May through November.
After the Spanish arrived, Puerto Galera was accorded the status of the principal seat of government for Mindoro but lost this status in 1837 as the focus of agriculture and commerce shifted East along the coastal plains; and, Calapan took over the role of provincial capital. [Puerto Galera was briefly the provincial capital again, in 1902 and 1903, when the Philippines was first under American colonial rule] More recently, on December 26, 1973, PD (Presidential Decree) 354 was issued, by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos, making Puerto Galera a reservation area under the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme.
More recently, in November 2004, Puerto Galera was voted a member of the UNESCO affiliated ‘The Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World’.
And beauty is what you will find: entering Puerto Galera's inner bays through either the Manila (West) or Batangas (North) channel for the first time it is impossible not to be splashed by the residue from eons of Nature's rich evolution that has elevated Puerto Galera to a metaphor for paradise.
Find out about what to do and where to stay in Puerto Galera in the sections above.
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