While I was planning my family getaway in Puerto Galera, I reminisced my adventurous Summer 2011 trip in Zambales where I hopped from one island to another, and my Summer 2012 escape to down south Visayas where I and my friends snorkeled the coral gardens of Dauin, Negros Oriental. Since this would be the first time I tagged my family along (including Mac and his family, too), I made sure they’d experience the thrill of being in the hands of the vast oceans 🙂
If you’re planning on a budgeted beach travel, you might wanna try Puerto Galera. It’s just 3-4 hours from Manila, with white sand beaches, and offers a lot of water activities. There are also cheap but satisfying accommodations (see Tribal Hills Mountain Resort)
As we walked through the long stretch of White Beach in Puerto Galera, we were offered by boat agents to grab their “Island Hopping and Snorkeling” package for a standard price of 1,500 Php good up to 8 pax (187/pax). The deal seems good (cheaper) since according to blog reviews I read before our trip, boats usually costs 2,000-2,500 Php. So we took the offer and scheduled our activity to be on afternoon of the next day. Agent got our contact number.
While having our free breakfast in Tribal Hills Mountain Resort where we stayed for our 3D/2N vacation, a boat agent named Kuya Roger offered us his 250Php/pax package for Island hopping and snorkeling. We told him that we already had an arrangement with another boat agent for a cheaper price. He explained our options to make it easier for us to decide:
Option 1: Boat @ 1500 for 8pax
Drop off and pickup is at Minolo Terminal (see map) so we have to commute from White Beach to Minolo at 100 Php per tricycle. Since we are 8, we would end up spending another 400 Php. So the total cost still would be 1900Php
Option 2: 250Php / pax (kuya Roger’s offer)
Drop off and pickup is at Tamaraw beach which is just a small walking distance from White Beach. The total cost for us would be 2,000 Php
We opted to take Option 2 to stir away from the inconvenience of commuting from one town to another.
We went down to Tamaraw beach where we would board the boat. We were a total of 20 pax in the boat which was pretty uncomfortable. I remember my previous boat experiences wherein our group was the only passengers of the boat… That was more fun and we were free to do whatever we want. Anyway, our first stop was to what they call “Coral Garden”. The coral bed was pretty shallow so big boats like ours were not allowed. We had to rent an additional smaller boat that would lead and drag us above the coral bed so we won’t have to swim against the current. Four of us wanted to experience it so we paid another P150 x 4 = P600 for two boats (2 pax per boat only). The original price was P200 per head but we haggled down to P150. Manong was offering us P100 per head if we would also avail all 4 of their activities (P100 per activity per pax) including Giant Clams and Underwater Cave. I wasn’t interested with the offer because I have previously read that those weren’t as exciting as they are marketed. While we were snorkeling, other members of our group just staye at the bigger boat since at their age, they were afraid to go further 🙂
After snorkeling, we went island hopping to 2 islands. I forgot the name of the 1st one where there were tons of dead white corals.
As our last stop, we hopped to Bayanan Beach where we enjoyed the huge waves crashing to the shore.
Finally, we left bayanan beach and we were dropped at Tamaraw Beach. Before going back to our hotel, we crossed the rocky border from Tamaraw to White beach to eat dinner. It was a very long day for us since we also had trekking in the morning so we went back to our hotel right after dinner to enjoy the pool and the peaceful mountains of Aninuan Mountain. 🙂