Puerto Galera Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
Our usual routine at Puerto Galera, swim, get a tan, get a massage, snorkel, go drinking, and tons of bonding.
Below are my tips for taking a trip here:
It's easy to go to this beach. Again being so close to Manila. You can get any of the buses scattered along the EDSA highway, either at Cubao or Buendia LRT going to Batangas port. They normally charge Php150 up. Then take any of the ferry's going to whichever beach you want to explore.
Make sure you have enough money, or at least get money from the only and new BPI ATM at the terminal since you wouldn't be able to find any at Galera.
We've always just looked for a place to stay as we arrive at the beach, you can try booking ahead if you know anyone or find anything on the net prior, especially if it's the summer season (Mar-May).
The beach is not so big, you can walk from end to another in about 30 min, making it easy to have morning and afternoon strolls and is the rationale behind seeing someone I know every time I go there.
The prices of the services and food at Galera are mostly regularized as I've previously mentioned so you'll get mainly the same prices no matter where or whom you go to.
The food would cost around Php 60 as the cheapest which is normally the breakfast and we'd get lunch and dinner viands priced from Php 110 up depending of course on what you get. You can also choose from the fresh fishes and meats and have it grilled at the resto of your choice, these we always patronize. Do not be surprised with the far cry of the drink prizes compared to what you get in Manila, of course what better way to make money than boost up the prices of a prime commodity at the beach, refreshments. A small shake would cost at least Php70 and mineral water would be as high as Php50 for a mere 20ml, I think ,or whatever the smallest bottle is, sorry am not very good with measurements;-) So I'd say better to bring water at least.
There are tons of liquor available here, try out the famous Mindoro sling, I forgot how much it cost, but it's a pitcher of gin and vodka mixed with pomelo juice and apple slices. It seems a bit light but can give you a good hangover if you're not careful.
You have boats and boatmen everywhere trying to get you to take their boats for snorkelling. Normally we haggle for the price, and for 2 yrs now they have allowed travellers to mix up in boats. You used to have to rent the entire boat which made it ridiculously expensive if there were just 2 or 3 of you going. The boat prices are now normally at Php550 for each person if you're good at haggling, that is inclusive of the goggles and life jackets. The boatmen would bring you to at least 2 islands where you could enjoy the corals and fishes. You get dropped off a little bit farther from the shore but no need to be scared if you got your life jacket on. This time though due to the tide, the sea was highly agitated that led to a lot of baby fish bites, ouch! You can also have yourselves carted from one snorkelling spot to another if you're not content with the spot your boatman dropped you off, for Php50. This is done by grabbing onto the legs of the other boats, a great way to build your biceps;-)
We always make it a point to get a massage at the beach which costs Php 200 for an hour, where your local masseuse gives you a full body massage using either baby oil or coconut oil (if you're okay to smell like rice cake) on the beach sands. A great way to pamper your body.
You can also try out their henna tattoes (which I've never tried so I wouldn't know the price), and you have bars playing dance music every night. If it's the summer season you can witness a concert or whatever event if you're lucky, or watch the crazy gay pole dancers strutting their stuff in their respective bars.
Over the years though, this has increasingly become a gay hangout, nothing against them but just to set your expectation. So do not get surprised though with the interesting mix of the crowd.
Overall it's your quick, affordable getaway from the hustle bustle of Manila and yeah, I'd say it's worth taking the trip.