Puerto Galera is a soothing vision of shimmering seas surrounded by lush mountains. It is considered one of the most beautiful and developed beach resort community in the country.
Starting from “backyard tourism” wherein local residents accept local and foreign tourist as stay-in guest, the island’s tourism has flourished. In the course of time, several hotels, resorts, inns and restaurants have mushroomed within the area.
There are a thousand things one can do here. Landlubbers can pitch tents, light bonfires, play volleyball, toss a Frisbee, go beach-hopping, watch the sunset, gaze at the stars, hike, go rock climbing, carom off on a motorcycle, discover Oriental Mindoro’s other tourist spots or simply live it up.
But water is certainly the main attraction of the island. Crystal clear and shimmering especially during the hot summer months, the sea framing Puerto Galera is ideal for swimming, sailing, surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving. In fact one doesn’t have to go by boat to get to a dive site. Within a kilometer from the coast, schools of Moorish idols, trumpet fish, frog fish, lion fish and leaf fish weave in and out of thriving corals and sea anemones while species of starfish – from the speckled red-and-white to the neon-blue Pacific – rest on the sandy floor.
Gradually sloping beaches – with the terrain ranging from powder white sand to grainy dark sand to smooth stones to rough coral rubble – comprise a large chunk of the island’s 25 thousand hectares. And while the Department of Tourism’s last count pegs the number of resorts at 115, pockets of isolated and virtually resortless coves and beaches are tucked between massive rock formations.
Outside of minor glitches, Puerto Galera is a tropical paradise that is both rustic and thriving. By day it echoes with the soft breeze and the pounding waves. At night, it comes to life with heady laughter and the clink of wine and glasses, only to segue once again to the barest whisper of the elements.