Puerto Galera, Mindoro
Puerto Galera, on the North coast of Mindoro Island, is one of the most famous Philippine cruising destinations offering safe moorings and anchorage. Puerto Galera's main bay is considered a typhoon shelter and has been used since before recorded time as a sailor's refuge, where boats may be protected from passing storms. Puerto Galera is also one the World's foremost scuba diving destinations and boasts some of the most diverse marine life of anywhere around the planet.
Moorings In Puerto Galera
Puerto Galera Yacht Club
The Puerto Galera Yacht Club manages and maintains 28 moorings within the main bay and another five in Dalaruan Bay to the northeast. At any given time there are probably a handful of moorings available for visiting yachts. If you arrive during peak season (typically between December and April) you may have to wait for a mooring to become available. In such circumstance there is a large anchorage, off the Sandbar resort (see image above) to the northwest of the 28 moorings, where visiting yachts are allowed to drop anchor. During peak season it is recommended that you make advance booking for moorings.
The Puerto Galera Yacht Club moorings are served by a free service boat to get you from your boat to either, Muelle pier or, the yacht club itself.
The Puerto Galera Yacht Club organizes sailing regattas during Easter, New Year and at Halloween, plus cruising rallies at other times of the year. The Halloween regatta (All Souls Regatta) attracts the largest number of sailing yachts of any yacht club in the Philippines.
The Puerto Galera Yacht Club also offers sailing lessons: free to Puerto Galera school children; and, for a fee to others, who come from all around the World to learn to sail in the most beautiful bay in the World in the Philippines. Every year, high school groups from as far away as Dubai come to Puerto Galera to learn to sail and to scuba dive.
There are no places to haul-out a keel boat in Puerto Galera although catamarans may beach in Minolo Bay - to the West of the main bay. There is zero-tolerance to pollution and discharge from yachts with the main bay.
Visit the Puerto Galera Yacht Club website: www.pgyc.org
Around Puerto Galera there are many Marine Sanctuaries and Marine Protected Areas where it is forbidden to anchor. In some of these locations the municipality has installed mooring buoys to enable visitors to tie-up to enjoy the spectacular underwater scenery. These recreational moorings are not considered safe for overnight stops if there is any wind or wave action.
Anchoring In Puerto Galera
Anchoring in and around Puerto Galera is forbidden in Marine Sanctuaries and Marine Protected Areas. Specific information about the location of such areas can be obtained from the yacht club or from the Tourism Department. Because scuba diving and snorkeling are significant financial assets for Puerto Galera, to avoid damage to the coral there are very few places where anchoring is allowed apart from the afore mentioned anchorage to the northwest of the 28 yacht club moorings, off the Sandbar resort.
Puerto Galera Tourist Attractions
Puerto Galera is known globally for its scuba diving and competitive sailing, but that is only a part of the story.
Puerto Galera has been a significant tourist destination since the 1980s and now supports almost all water sports plus a selection of on-land sports and activities: kiteboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, sport fishing, jet ski, parasailing, river trekking, golf and off-road vehicles. In addition to these pursuits, there a places where you can trek in the mountains, that dominate the skyline of Puerto Galera, and where you can learn the ways of the Mangyan – the indigenous peoples of Mindoro Island.
Scuba diving and snorkeling are significant tourist draws in Puerto Galera because of the abundant coral and the marine life that it supports. However, because Puerto Galera lies along the shores of the Verde Island Passage, which is a migration route from the Pacific Ocean to the West Philippine Sea for larger marine creatures, there are many pelagic species to engage you here, from sea turtles to whales. There are a few wrecks to explore but the real attraction is the many unique species of marine life that exist only around Puerto Galera.
Some of the best restaurants outside of Metro Manila can be found in Puerto Galera – especially for steaks, ribs, authentic Italian and Thai cuisine. Strangely perhaps, seafood has become less easy to find in Puerto Galera during the past decade, largely because the former fisherfolk are now more actively involved in the tourist industry, so the fish mostly come from farther afield and are thus more expensive.
Puerto Galera town has two banks that have ATMs that are connected to international networks and are usually working. A couple of the better resorts, farthest from the town, have Internet connected ATMs, which are almost as reliable but cost more per transaction.
Puerto Galera Transport
Land transport around Puerto Galera is provided by tricycle and jeep – not required in the town as nowhere is beyond walking distance. Inexpensive and frequent, if a little cramped at times, these motorized transports enable easy access to everywhere you may wish to go around Puerto Galera.
There is a frequent daily ferry service between Batangas City and Puerto Galera during the hours of daylight. The ferries are mostly air-conditioned although some have naturally ventilated areas for a handful of passengers. There are also vehicle ferries that take passengers between Batangas City and Puerto Galera.
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