Despite its lack of viable surfing spots, there are still plenty of reasons to visit Puerto Galera. What used to be just one of the many island paradises in the gorgeous archipelago that is the Philippines, Puerto Galera is now a burgeoning cultural hub. It’s the perfect beach location for either first-timers or veteran visitors to the country.
Puerto Galera | Photo by: Eugene Alvin Villar / Wikipedia CC
Puerto Galera’s coastal geography might not offer a lot of opportunities for surfing, but there are plenty of beaches where you can windsurf. Along with snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking, windsurfing is one of the most popular water sports on the island of Mindoro where Puerto Galera is located. There are plenty of resorts where you can either rent a board for personal use. You can also pay the local coaches to teach you how to do it for a modest fee.
Windsurfing | Photo by: Kils / Wikipedia CC
As one of the Philippines less developed islands, Puerto Galera has plenty to offer in terms of natural beauty. This includes several tall waterfalls that are open to tourist visits. There’s Talipayan Falls which is near the Mangyan Village, the lesser known Tukuran Falls, and most famous of all, Tamaraw Falls, which is less than two hours away from White Beach – the most popular beach on the island.
Tamaraw Falls | Photo by: Kok Leng Yeo / Wikipedia CC
Hang Out at White Beach
There are several reasons why White Beach is a popular destination. By day you can try out different water sports and get a tan at the beach, and by night, you can check out what some of the nearby bars and restaurants have to offer. If you’re lucky, you might even catch some of the local fire dancers performing at the beach.
White Beach | Photo by: Eugene Alvin Villar / Wikipedia CC
Few events and activities have contributed to Puerto Galera’s global fame in the same way as the Malasimbo Festival. This now annual event began 8 years ago, and it’s turned into an international music and arts festival that regularly brings some of the world’s best artists and musicians together. The most recent international artist that the festival brought to the Philippines is Australian neo-folk and jazz ensemble Hiatus Kaiyote, who wrapped up a stunning show for the visitors to the island. If you’re interested in seeing next year’s Malasimbo, the good news is that it’s fairly easy to get to Puerto Galera. Philippine Airlines has daily international flights into Manila – once you arrive at NAIA you can catch a bus to Batangas Port, where you can then take a ferry to the island of Mindoro. The bus and ferry trips will take a couple hours, but the trip is well worth several days in paradise.
Watch or Learn to Sail
The Puerto Galera Yacht Club holds its annual Easter Regatta every March until the start of April. It’s the longest-running yachting event in the country, and presents the chance to catch some of the best Southeast Asian sailing teams in action. If you’re looking to join in on the fun, Business Mirror suggests that Puerto Galera might be the best place to learn how to sail – thanks to its protected coves which offer relatively stable waters for beginners.
Looking for more Philippine adventures outside of the ordinary? Escape Manila has the scoop on the Sandugo Festival 2018 at Tagbilaran City on the island province of Bohol. The annual festival is a month-long celebration of local Boholano culture and traditions, culminating in street dancing which every first-timer to the Philippines needs to see. There’s no shortage of fun events and activities to catch on these islands.
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