White sand isn’t exclusive to Boracay. Puerto Galera is the cheaper and nearer option.
Your annual family beach trip shouldn’t have to break the bank. But where can you go?
Also known as the Budget Boracay, Puerto Galera is the best place to get value for money. You can get the same experience of white sands and island-hopping over here without the need for an airplane ticket.
Why Puerto Galera?
Nestled in the white beaches of Oriental Mindoro, Puerto Galera is part of the prestigious list of French-chosen Most Beautiful Bays in the World.
While it is basically a tamer and budget-friendly version of Boracay, the local snorkeling and diving scene is world-class. According to UNESCO, Puerto Galera is sanctuary to 152 coral species and over 180 species of branches and nineteen mangrove species.
The region also has nine out of the world’s sixteen seagrass species. The night life isn’t as hopping (but there are still quite a few bars) and the beach isn’t as crowded, making it perfect for family getaways with small children.
Puerto Galera offers attractions that the whole family can enjoy, with minimal expense as long as you plan your trip well. You can divide Puerto Galera attractions into two categories: land trips and boating trips.
Take your kids to see the giant clams or taklobo. Dive in to see the clams yourself or have your boatman bring one up for you and the kids to see.
You can also take some snorkeling gear to see the natural underwater habitat found in the region. Rent a boat for a day and your guide can take you to see and feed an underwater marine community.
For the ultimate marine life adventure, ask if your boatman will allow you and the kids to hold on to a rope as he glides through the water, taking you through a marine habitat bursting with fish and other sea creatures!
Aside from lounging around the beach, you can also visit Tukuran Falls after an amusing carabao ride that the kids will never forget.
Once you get to the falls, indulge your kids in even more swimming in the clear, cold water. Be careful of the slippery rocks–but make sure you urge your kids to dive or jump off at least once!
Puerto Galera is one of the most beautiful bays in the world.
Where to stay in Puerto Galera
Another great thing about this trip is that you can find very cheap accommodations for up to six (6) people in a room.
Most resorts also offer free shuttles from Muelle port to their location. One of the cheapest options is the Bangera Inn that charges Php 1,500 for a room that can accommodate up to six people. However, if you don’t mind the heat, you can get an electric fan room at some of the hostels for as low as Php 500 for up to four people.
Another option is the Las Villas Natividad resort that offers the same rate at Php 1500 with a working kitchen for anyone who stays in their rooms. This means that you can cut food costs by sourcing raw ingredients from the beach or nearby markets and cooking them at your accommodations.
You can also go to slightly more expensive hotels like the Tribal Hills Resort which offers a 3D/2N package that includes breakfast for four at Php 8,000.
Getting to Puerto Galera
While bloggers and travel enthusiasts differ in terms of bus lines that they ride, the way to Puerto Galera from Buendia Manila lasts roughly three-and-a-half hours through the following:
- Ride the LRT and go to the Gil Puyat Station.
- Go to the JAM Liner bus station and ride the Batangas Pier CALABARZON bus. There are only two stops for this trip which are the Batangas Grand Terminal and the Batangas Port.
- Alight at Batangas port. From there, you can choose from different shipping lines that can take you to Puerto Galera.
- If you aren’t taken to White Sands directly, you can ride a boat from Muelle Pier to your accommodations
Don’t let your kids out of your sight on the boat!
Click ‘Continue Reading’ to see our full 3D/2N itinerary for a family of four in Puerto Galera.
A trip to Puerto Galera is perfect for the whole family.
3D/2N Itinerary for a family of 4 in Puerto Galera
You don’t have to think about what to do in Puerto Galera because we’ve put together a whole three-day vacation for you that does just Php 16,000 in damage for a family of four!
- Commute to Puerto Galera – Php 400++ per person
- Check in to your hotel – Php 1500 per night
- Lunch at Food Trip sa Galera or any other restaurant near your accommodations – Php 500++
- Laze around and enjoy the beach on your first day
- Go to the market to buy breakfast ingredients to cook at your hotel in the morning – Php 200 ++
- Cook breakfast at the working kitchen in your hotel
- Contract a boatman to take your whole family on a day trip – Php 2,500
- Go see the giant clams in the morning
- Go back to your hotel for lunch or eat at VM Eatery and try the Grilled Porkchop – Php 600++
- Go Island hopping to the Virgin Islands to collect shells and pebbles
- Feed the fish in the Marine Biodiversity area
- Go back to your hotel to freshen up and prepare for dinner on the beachfront
- Have dinner at one of the many bars fronting the beach like Isla’t Alon – Php 1,000
- Take photos with the fire dancers at 8:30pm – tip them at least Php 100
- Have breakfast at the hotel or go out for different fare at VM Eatery or Food Trip sa Galera – Php 600++
- Book a carabao ride to Tukuran Falls – Php 450
- Have a refreshing, cold dip in the falls – Php 200
- Return to your hotel in time for the ferry to leave – Php 225 per person
- Reach Batangas Port
- Commute back to Manila – Php 167
You basically spend around Php 4,000 for airconditioned room accommodations and day trips per person! You can bring your per pax rate down to Php 3,000 if you opt for the cheapest electric fan rooms.
If you have bigger kids, you may want to ask about more challenging activities like scuba diving.
Puerto Galera Travel Tips
If you want to make the trip even cheaper but no less enjoyable, here are some great travel tips from seasoned Galera pilgrims every year:
- The true budget trip is to buy meat and ingredients from the Parkway grocery and cook them in your hotel. These accommodations always have working kitchens for their guests to cook food.
- Buy water in Parkway and ask your kids to bring small bottles that can be refilled with the water you buy from the grocery. Do not drink tap water. Buying water from restaurants can add up to Php 40 for each meal.
- Confirm your departure date and time as soon as you get to the terminal on your way to Puerto Galera. You aren’t ensured seats on the way back so it’s best to pay and reserve your seats as soon as you arrive at the port.
- Avoid the Minolo line if you can simply because it may take a lot out of your vacation time to use their services. Instead of taking you to White Beach, they take you to Muelle Pier and then ask you to ride a shuttle.
- When riding a bus to Galera or going back to Manila, make sure that it passes Star Tollway. This route does not take long as opposed to the buses that go through the small Batangas towns.
- Bring your own toiletries and towel if you are opposed to using worn out, sandy towels at the resort. These towels are always very clean but you can easily see that they are old.
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