Many people consider it the poor, and cheaper, cousin of Boracay, but if are looking for a beach to relax without a big effort, or extra flight cost, this place won’t disappoint you.
Puerto Galera town (city proper) is nothing more than a little town without nothing to see. It’s the White beach or Sabang that should head if you plan a leisure trip. Since both places have a connecting boats with mainland, you can skip completely Puerto Galera town, unless you need to link both places by land.
White beach and Sabang are different in scenario and activities, so depending of you are looking for, you can choose which one it best fits you.
White beachThis one km white sandy beach, located on the Northwest of Mindoro, with crystal, calm waters and sandy bottom offers relaxing opportunities for beach bums. The coastline is packed from edge to edge with beach restaurants backed by low to mid-range resorts. The beach and its resorts are hidden from the main road, up to a point it’s easy to miss the beach if you are coming from Puerto Galera town.
Daily ActivitiesBesides the usual sun tan, you can rent a jet ski, hop on a banana boat, go on a snorkeling or island hoping tour. The tours usually start at 1500php.
It’s also possible to rent motorbike to explore the island. Expect to pay at least 350php/day.
For last, if you have your snorkeling mask, you can snorkel on the west end of White beach without the need of a tour; there you can find a few reefs, corals, and tropical fishes.
Night ActivitiesThe white beach is mostly a Filipino family destination, therefore the night life is usually reduced to a few beach restaurants and bars which play music and have lady-boy performances. If you are looking for something different, give the “liki tiki” floating bar a try.
Budget AccommodationAlmost all of the hostelry are mid to low-range resorts. Many of them have A/C rooms as well as fan rooms. Practically none of them has a beach view. The prices on the high season tend to be overpriced. The basic room is around 1500php. If search hard you can find as low as 700php for your own room during the high season. On the low season, you can get far better deals.
Getting ThereFrom Manila, you can get there by catching the Ceres bus (167php) at Buenodia bus station, with destination to Batangas. It’s about 2h journey depending on the Manila traffic.
Get off at Batangas Pier and catch the regular boats to White Beach (275php). It’s another 2h journey.
TransportationThere are no jeepneys to Puerto Galera. You have to go on a tricycle or motorbike. The fix price for Puerto Galera is 150php, although the locals only pay 25php, but if you bargain hard and tell the driver that you can accept other passengers, you might get a 50php trip.
From white beach, there are regular boats to mainland. Although, the last one can be around 5pm.
AnnoyancesThe constant beach vendors hassling you can early disturb your peace. Some beach restaurants have a sign ‘No vendors allowed’, still it’s hard to get rid of those pesky sellers.
The overpriced cost of everything. Accommodation and transportation don’t have, in many cases, fixed price, so in many cases they charge you ridiculous high prices that don’t reflect the quality of the service.
SabangThis little town is the opposite of Sabang in many senses. The coastline is jammed with diving resorts, and the narrow street behind it with go-go bars. It has no beach, and the waters, although in general clear, are the harbor of the diving anchored boats. Sabang is mostly a diving hub or the place for anyone looking for some go-go fun. This place only has two crossed streets, one with the bars and another that leads to two steep exits.
Daily ActivitiesThe main reason to stay in Sabang is to go diving. If you want to do some free snorkel, try it on Monkey beach. It is supposed to be good, from what I have been told, but expect a steep, tedious walk or an overprice motorcycle ride.
Night ActivitiesSabang has some bars where old westerners tend to hang out, but in general the main attraction is the go-go bars.
Budget AccommodationIf you are diving, the resorts will slash you the price of accommodation. Otherwise, you best bet are the hackers who wait near the pier. They might give you a better offer than the reminding hostelry.
If you want the cheapest offer and are willing to do some daily exercise, try looking on east hill of Sabang. The quality is low but so it’s the price.
Getting ThereThe route is the same as from Manila to White beach, only a different boat.
This boat ride is only one hour but it’s more seldom than to White beach.