Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Island Hopping and Snorkeling in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro

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If you're at White Beach, Puerto Galera and you find the beach shore to be too crowded to relax and enjoy the water then you have another choice. All you have to do is go out there and wait 'till a man approach you and offer you an island hopping tour plus a snorkeling experience. Do not worry because they were boat agents of the islands and that is just a normal scene in the beach front of White Beach.

How to get there (to Puerto Galera)?
From Cubao, ride an ALPS bus going to Batangas (Batangas Port). Their bus terminal is located near the Ali Mall and fare is 175 pesos per pax. It took us 2 1/2 hours to reach Batangas Port. Alight at Batangas Port, you'll be mobbed by people who worked on different ferry companies that will persuade you to get their service and to take you to Puerto Galera. My tip is ti entertain them. Compare their prices and bargain with them. In the end, we get the Father and Son line to get us to Puerto Galera. Why? Because they give us a 7 + 1 promo. Since we're 8 in the group. 7 of us will pay 500 pesos and the other one is free. That 500 pesos is a two-way ride (Batangas Port - White Beach, Puerto Galera and vise-versa). Regular ferry ride is 270 pesos per pax (one way).

You'll know they're boat agents because they have these laminated boards on their hands that is printed with photos of islands near White Beach and activities like snorkeling and caving. I've talked to some of these agents and they have standard price for each and every activities on their list. Well, of course there are also some sneaky boat agents which offer a bit higher price than the others so be very careful. As for island hopping, it only cost 1,500 pesos and good up to 8 pax (approximately 188 pesos/head). I tried to haggle the price and somewhat make it to 1,300 pesos but no one bite my bait. They're really strict to their standards. Oh well, atleast we tried.

Early morning ride!
The package includes: trip to Sandbar Island, Bayanan Beach, Haligi Beach and to the an island where small boats await that can bring visitors to the snorkeling area (separate payment). Unfortunately, like what I said on my previous post of this trip, we only stayed here over the weekend and had a limited time. Having said that, we didn't had the chance to visit all of the spots included on the package. Nevertheless, we never regret getting this tour.

Our first stop is the island wherein small bangka (boats) await. These small bangka will take you to the under water cave (additional 200 pesos/pax), giant clam shell snorkeling area (additional 200 pesos/pax) and to the corals snorkeling area (additional 200 pesos/pax). We were hesitant at first because it was too pricey. Imagine, additional 600 pesos for 3 more activities? But who cares... we're there and who knows when can we ever go back again here. So again again, i tried to haggle the price and thank God because we got the 3 activities for 500 pesos/pax.

Food trip + Selfie inside our bangka
I'm just enjoying the view

Underwater Cave

Located on one of the small island in Oriental Mindoro lies an underwater cave which became very known to tourists who visit the province. The cave is too small that it can be explored by a few minutes. Though the entrance and exit of this cave are small, underneath it is a bit bigger that can be fit up to no more than 20 persons. Get ready to get wet as you tried this activity. The water inside the cave can get shoulder deep/high.

The island is jam packed with other tourists
What to expect inside...
Me at the exit point

Giant Clam Shells and the Corals - Snorkeling Area

Our next stops are the 2 snorkeling areas of this trip. We first visited the area where giant clam shells are being cultivated and protected. It was so nice to see that these things are being protected in the area. I didn't know that Mindoro Oriental's water is a treasure as its water is so rich.

Off to the snorkeling sites

Just when I thought I already saw how beautiful the water of Oriental Mindoro by diving into the giant clam shells area, well, I was wrong. As we reach the 2nd snorkeling area and started diving into it... I was stunned on what I saw. Different kinds of fishes (which are colorful), corals, sea urchins, water plants... all! I also saw sword fishes, Nemo (clown fishes), and humongous-sized fishes! I was speechless of the life I saw underneath it. If only I have go pro, I could have documented it... Arrrrrggghhh! Tip: Before going here, bring/buy a slice of bread. Then as you dive, bring that bread with you. Lots of fish will surely go to your side.

Donna, Claire and Dingdong Dantes their boatman

If there is one activity that I couldn't forget on this trip is the time wherein we were in the 2nd snorkeling area and the boatman told us to hold on the rope placed on the side of the boat. The boat will run slowly and all we have to do is to hold tight on the rope and place our heads on the water and watch what's underneath it as the boat roams around the area. Weeeee! The experience was really priceless!

By the way, life vests and snorkeling masks are included in the package.

That's me exploring the 2nd site :)
Snorkeling while I am being dragged by our boat
The water is so clear that you can clearly see the fishes underneath it

This Other Beach...

Lol me. Yup, I didn't get the name of this island/beach. The water is also pristine and clear but I was disappointed when I saw a ketchup bottle floating on the water. Aw. I hope people become more responsible on their waste. Let's trained ourselves to protect the earth. Aw. 

Anyway, please feel free to leave a comment if it happens you knew the name of this beach. TIA!

I wish this area will preserve its beauty
Self timer mode again!

We missed to visit other beaches and islands because of lack of time but we surely had fun with this tour. The place and activities are very recommendable. I must say it is a must try but please... please be responsible enough of your waste. Lets have fun and protect our surroundings at the same time. Thank you.

Breakdown of Expenses:
Island Hopping tour - 1,500 Pesos / 8 pax = 187.5 Pesos per pax
Tricycle ride (White Beach to Boat pier, one way) - 50 Pesos / 4 pax = 12.5 Pesos per pax
Mini Bangka Tour (Caving, Giant Clam Shell, Coral) = 500 Pesos per Pax

22 comments:

  1. Sana mapuntahan ko yan this year!!!

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  2. Sir, were yo able to get the contact number of the boatman that offered you the tour? We are planning to go there on may this year thanks

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    1. I only manage to save the number of the boat agent - 0926 734 7804 - Kuya Marlo. But you can ask him that you want Tatay Johnny to be your boatman.

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  3. The island where that other beach is located is called "Maniknik" Island. (so we've been told by the boatman who took us for our Island hopping tour) I was in Puerto Galera last month and the experience was totally awesome. :) It was low tide around the time we went and my friends and I climbed that rock behind your last photo. The wind above gave us such a rush and I totally liked the view. Now I plan to visit every year! Yay! XD

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    1. Thanks Anna Li! I can edit out now this blog post and add the name of that beach. :)

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  4. Hi! We plan to go there this weekend and would like to try their Island Hopping and Snorkeling activities. I’m currently planning our itinerary. We’ll be arriving on Saturday morning and will come back to Manila on Sunday lunch time. Since we are constraint with time, I would like to check how long you spent with the Island Hopping?

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    1. Hi Chelao, we spent 3 hours for this trip but we didn't able to see other 2 islands due to lack of time. So I recommend you to allot 4 hours or more to fully enjoy each spot included in the package

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  5. Hi! Me and my friend will go there this May. I just want to ask if they still offer island hopping for two, or is there some kind of sasama kami with other groups?

    Thanks!

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    1. They can accommodate you with these activities but the price will not change. Instead, you two will have to shoulder the said price

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  6. I remember my first time snorkeling here, there were lots of huge sea urchins underneath and giant sea stars and brain corals too that seemed to be near my touch on my eyesight but they says it still more feet away from the surface. Unforgettable Coral Garden, that's what they call the snorkeling site. It was a great experience to see underwater world in Puerto Galera. It is one of the richest marine biodiversity in the country.

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    1. Oh so that's what they call this place. Yup, I agree with everything you stated. Nakakamiss mag snorkeling dito :)

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  7. Hi what hotel do you stay in? thanks

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    1. We stayed at White Beach Lodge

      http://geejaytravellog.blogspot.com/2014/03/white-beach-of-puerto-galera-oriental-mindoro.html

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  8. Hi! Great post! do you think it's ok to bring my dslr during the island hopping and snorkeling tour even though I don't have a waterproof case. :( Im thinking of leaving my dslr with the boatman when we snorkel. haha!

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    1. its always a risk bringing a camera on island hopping but if you really want to capture that moment then take that risk... dala ka nalang ng plastic or invest on a dry bag para iwas aksidente. Ayun :)

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    2. Haha! right. May I know what type of camera did you use? is it underwater digicam or dslr with waterproof case? if so, may I know what brand yung case? im so sorry daming tanong. :(

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    3. Its ok. :) Well, I used Canon 60d for this blog post and all photos were taken from the boat because I don't have a waterproof case.

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    4. Hi, if we're going to stay at white beach resort and resto bar, are there also agent who offers island hopping tour like yours? Is there specific time? Our check in is 2pm kasi or can we go on island hopping first before we check in, what can do you think isthe best thing to do? :) thanks a lot.

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    5. Agents are found all over the beachshore and restaurants. They're hard to miss :) promise. To fully enjoy the island hopping, i suggest allot 3-4hours for this activity. 2pm is fine, just drop your baggage at your hotel then start the island trip as quickly as you can

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  9. Infinity Resort & Spa - offer Puerto Galera package and promo for romantic and family getaways. Infinity Resort & Spa is the most luxurious beach resort and hotel in Puerto Galera, Philippines

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