In April 1570, the Spaniards arrived in Bombon (now known as Batangas), and later sailed through the Isla Verde passage, landed and called the place Puerto Galera (the port of Galleons). Legazpi, became the first Spanish governor-general of the island.
The traditional economy of the city used to be fishing and subsistence agriculture, but with the boom of tourism at the end of the 1970s, the service sector became more and more important and led to population and economic growth. Of the 13 villages (“barangays”) in Puerto Galera, half of them now rely on tourism-based activities for sustenance. Tourism now represents the core activity of the city economy which is well known for its beaches, scuba diving and entertainment activities, including “go-go bars”. Among the beaches in Puerto Galera are Sabang Beach and White Beach, which have an active nightlife with numerous bars and restaurants. Both places are directly accessible from Batangas by bangka regular lines. On the West, where is only a local boat connection to Abra de Ilog, the planned road between the two cities has not been completed yet. On the East, the city connects by road to Calapan through the Mindoro circular road.
How to get there?
Take a bus bound for Batangas Pier like Ceres, DLTB and JAM Transit in LRT Buendia (Manila), Cubao (Quezon City) or Alabang South Station (Muntilupa). Travel time is roughly 2 hours depending on traffic.
From Batangas Pier take a boat to White Beach, Sabang or Muelle. Ticket cost from 250 to 500 PHP (depends which line) + 30 PHP terminal fee + 50 PHP environmental fee upon arrival in Puerto Galera. Travel time is roughly 1.5 hours.
If you are with car or motorcycle you must take a RORO boat to Balatero. There is only 1 RORO to Balatero as I know, in 10am from Batangas. It will cost you 1150 PHP is your are with motorcycle. For car little bit more. Travel time is 2.5 hours. From Balatero to Puerto Galera is only 10 minutes driving. Alternatively, you can take RORO to Calapan. I recommend Fast Cat roro because it is the fastest one. Price is similar as to Balatero. From Calapan to Puerto Galera you will need to drive around 1 hour. You can find roro schedule here: https://www.fastcat.com.ph/schedules/
If you are not budgeterian and like hassle free traveling, I can recommend you seaplane operated by AirJuan. Their seaplane dock is located in the CCP area, between the Manila Sun Cruises Terminal and Gloria Maris Restaurant. Landing is in White Beach in front of Elizabeth’s Hideaway Resort. Travel time is around 40 minutes. You will enjoy stunning view of Taal Lake and Volcano and beautiful Batangas province. This extraordinary experience will cost you 6500 pesos in one direction.
THINGS TO DO IN PUERTO GALERA?
- Party in White Beach
Puerto Galera is popular weekend (party) destination for many Filipinos. The nightlife in White Beach is very much adult-oriented, and for those with an open mind and a desire for new experiences, there is no shortage of fun things to do after dark. There are many cabaret shows which are very entertaining and quite cheeky too. White Beach is also famous for it’s very talented fire dancers.
2. Diving in Sabang
Sabang is one of the most popular beaches in Puerto Galera especially among divers. There is so many diving resorts offering diving courses for affordable prices. Diving rates start at PHP 1,300.
3. Go to Bulabud beach.
If you do not like crowded places, Bulabud beach is great place for you. Foreign and even local tourists probably never head about this hidden gem. Pristine water and coral refs will make you happy. Local people will treat you as family. If you like to go there, type in waze “Dulangan Road”. When you reach Dulangan road just drive until end of the road and you will reach the beach. When go back dropby in Watering Hole, the best restaurant in Puerto Galera.
4. Visit Tamaraw Falls.
It is just near Bulabud and Dulangan, so you can take some selfies there. Nothing else really to do there. Maybe you can swim under the falls. It is probably the most pictured spot in Puerto Galera. You can see it in my first picture above.
5. Tukuran Falls
Much better than Tamaraw falls definitely. Drive to San Teodoro and watch for the Tukuran Falls sign. At the end of the road, pay the carabao cart and head for the falls. The area is very clean. Its quite and peaceful, great for picnic and swimming under the falls
Where to eat?
For me, the best place is Watering Hole (R & R beach bar in Google Maps). Affordable prices, cheaper than rest of Puerto Galera, huge meal sizes and irresistible authentic European food (they have European cooking master chef). You can also play a pool or drink some beer while counting waves.
Where to stay?
I always staying in Summer place. It is on half way from Puerto Galera town center and Sabang beach. Very peaceful and quiet place with stunning view and spacious rooms. Very hospitable European owner and his stuff can arrange for you whatever you like in Puerto Galera.