It is fun exploring various small islands while sailing on banca. Do not go towards Sabang and neighboring beaches as those all are congested. Also do not hire banca from your resort as they will charge you almost double. We had a short ride to "White Beach" and booked banca for PHP 1,000 for five hours. Boatman at our resort was demanding PHP 2,200.
kinda tiring but super fun
We did snorkelling, we paid 700 pesos all in,which includes the rent for the boat going to the coral garden,aside from it, theres another smaller boat which guided us along the coral garden,the snorkelling achuchu(i mean stuffs used in snorkeling). But i think its too much coz we have some other people paying for the bigger boat we've rented.
we also did kayaking,300 pesos for 2 person; jetski:2500/hour; banana boat 100/person
we also had our henna tattooes: mine was 200 pesos;my hubby's tattoo:300
banana boat was super fun but kinda scary because you would just fly off of it but you have your lifevest naman so its safe. be careful coz someone's foot might be on your face,i've been kicked accidentally on my forehead..man im talking about seeing stars when you got hit!! it's painfu and i got dizzy afterl!!
by the way dont forget to bring your cameras so you'll have your pictures taken while doing all of these coz we forgot ours!! we only had ours before doing these stuffs!! -sigh- we've only used our mobile phones' camera.
puerto galera tips
accomodation depends which day you arrive. if you arrive friday , rates would be cheaper esp if you get there in the morning, you can get a place for 15oo to 2k. Come Saturday, cheapest rates go up to around 3k; then goes down again on sunday
i can't remember the name of the bar, it's coco-something, a reggae place on the far right portion of the beach (facing the island). it's a chill-place, if you wanna get out of the noisy dance club scene..
food options: if you're not too choosy, go to the carinderias towards the inner portion of the island (abt 5-10 min walk). food's a lot cheaper than on the beachfront. plus you can buy de lata and ask them to cook it for you for a minimal addtl charge. Ü
- Budget Travel
Pick the right dive shop
I had a tough time finding just the right dive shop. Typically, I will look for 5-star PADI venues that have good equipment well-organized.
This strategy kind of failed in Sabang because of an unusual feature of the place. NOT all dive shops share a common price. In every other place I've dived, there's a more or less set price that most shops adhere to. In Sabang, there is a very wide range from 900 pesos per dive to0 1700, equipment rental included. To complicate matters, some shops have their own hotels where you can get a break on room or dive depending on the deal and the whim of the people you talk to.
I ended up at VIP divers, who is a partner to Action Divers. They were cheap, BUT! Although friendly on the surface, the underwater experience wasn't user-friendly. We rushed through sites, the equipment was spotty and the price mysteriously increased at the end... 3 strikes and you're out.
A much better shop is the filipino-run Sea Riders. The extra 10 minute walk to Small La Laguna was worth it. Top notch equipment, top notch divemasters and a great attitude awaits. I mostly dove with DM Bong who has the eagle eyes of a local who has been plying the waters for years. He adapted himself to individual divers' preferences - from photographers like me to drift divers to deep divers. He's versatile and a nice guy just to hang out with.
- Diving and Snorkeling
Eat, drink and make merry but don't expect much
Sabang is chock-full of little eateries that range from nothing special to mediocre. I didn't find much in the way of special food, but that doesn't mean it isn't there.
There are a few fresh fish places, but nothing like what you'd find in more sophisticated destinations like Boracay or much of the rest of Asia where you can find great restaurants ready to grill up your order.
Drinking is a popular entertainment and with 30-50 peso San Miguels, one can quietly go blotto on a budget. There's also a few night spots, but they really don't have the appeal of many other locations. A too-typical entertainment is a cable movie in the hotel room
Dive in to the action
Puerto Galera, or more specifically, Sabang is a renowned dive center just a few hours from Manila.
There is a tremendous amount of macro-life in the reefs surrounding Sabang with way too many photos to share from nudibranchs to a multitude of fish with a decent selection of coral.
This colorful collection can provide days of diverting fun, but Sabang's not exclusively a diver's paradise (though that's its primary appeal). There's some good beaches, some water sport and boating around, but it ain't no Boracay.
- Diving and Snorkeling
One of the best thing to do on a beautiful beach with lush corals. I recommend you should do snorkelling one two best site are Coral Garden and Long Beach. To get there hire a boat usually locals will offer you for this, rates is 150 Per head, for groups minimum of 10 heads per boat for 1,500 pesos higher than this is not applicable of course you should always negotiate because others will really tend to increase their prices if you dont negotiate
- Water Sports
- Adventure Travel
One thing you should not forget to do is try the nightlife in Puerto Galera, the stretch of white beach has a lot of Bars which offers alcoholic beverages other than beer. Prices are average very affordable. Most of the finger foods they offer are grilled. Dont forget to order the famous cocktail drink "Mindoro Sling"
This place was in the cove and the water was crystal clear. This place was very good for snorkelling, swimming or just relax whole afternoon. We hire a private banca for 1500 pesos and the owner waited for us for the whole 6 hours
Banana Boat Ride
This is one activity you shouldnt miss when you are in Puerto Galera, for 100 pesos per head for 15 minutes you will be riding a banana shaped inflattable pulled by a 150HP speed boat then will make a full turn making the inflattable loose its balance. In short you will loose your balance, dont worry this activity is safe because you will wearing a life jacket.
- Water Sports
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Go Scuba Diving
There are more than 25 dive sites at or around Sabang Beach in Puerto Galera.
Stuff to see:
4 frogfish - one is orange, one is gray, one is green, and one is black
the smallest seahorse - about half the width of your index finger
There are more than 20 dive shops to choose from
I was just there last July 10 and the weather was glorious, there was
partial cloud cover which kept the sun from burning me too much, the
waters were not too warm, the currents went with the tides, visibility
was good, maybe 20meters average at around 20 meters down.
From Puerto Galera you have to drive south along the east coast of Mindoro island about 15km to be at Tamaraw Falls. It is a beautiful recreation area, much different from the scenery you are used to see in Philippines.
- National/State Park
after renting a boat ($20) for beach hopping and snorkeling, you can ask your boatman to bring you to the floating bar. but there's nothing really special about it. just a bar that's well, floating. plus, the prices of their drinks are twice as that of the bars on the beach. maybe the only good thing about it is that they have their own videoke machine (for those who love to sing).
if you're staying in white beach where all the activities are, it still wouldn't hurt to try the other beaches around the island. you can rent a boat for as low as P1,000 ($20) and ask the boatman to take you to the other 'quieter' beaches where you can enjoy a little privacy. and in case you wouldn't wanna go far, there's one right beside white beach, not even 10 minutes away from it.
before you go snorkeling, buy a loaf of bread from the store, which costs around P25 ($0.50), so the fish will go near you.
at the port, we got a boatman to take us to two areas for P1,000 ($20). while at the first snorkeling area, a boatman of a smaller boat approached us and asked us if we wanted him to take us to the shallow water coral reefs that the big boats couldn't reach (but the place was also in that area). we agreed at P50 ($1) per person. he took us around the area for an hour. actually, i think he stops only when your content and done with your snorkeling.
the big boat then took us to another area just near white beach where the floating bar was. we didn't snorkel anymore but got a drink and took pictures instead.
honestly, i've been to other areas in the philippines and the snorkeling in galera (near white beach) is bad. the coral reefs are dead and the schools of fish are not that varied. i wouldn't do it again.
- Budget Travel