Underwater Cave Experience in Puerto Galera

I've been to Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro for a quite number of times, let's say, to a point that I got bored of the place. Visiting Puerto Galera's white beach once or twice a year for the past five years, every trip is not as exciting as the previous one. My recent trip, however, was unlikely similar to the past ones. I got a little surprised by our newly discovered attraction, the underwater cave, which we all experienced for the first time.

Beach cove near the underwater cave where boats dock

Puerto Galera is considered as one of the popular Philippine travel destinations because of its White Beach. It has become an alternative for Boracay, most especially for tourists and travelers that are based in Metro Manila and nearby provinces in Luzon. Only about 4 hours from Manila, Puerto Galera is very much accessible -- and cheaper -- for beach lovers who are looking for that quick weekend getaway fix. And if you don't mind a crowded beach, that is.

For the nth time, I had the opportunity to visit Puerto Galera again. No, I didn't plan for this trip but got invited by a group of friends (like how I would end up to this place for the past years). Of course, a travel freak as I am, it was always my pleasure to go with them. :P It's my first out-of-town trip this year.

If you've been to Puerto Galera, chances are you've already tried some of the water activities like banana boat ride, jet ski or island hopping. In each of my visit, snorkeling is the only water activity that I rarely miss. I have to admit that I love Puerto Galera because of its rich marine life (apart from mindoro sling). I don't dive but am impressed by the coral garden which blew me away the first time I saw it. To be honest, Puerto Galera is better than Boracay when it comes to snorkeling experience.

Big boat used for island hopping in Puerto Galera

Smaller motorized boats used to drag tourists while snorkeling

Island hopping in Puerto Galera normally costs P2,000 for a group of 6 people, if I'm not mistaken. It takes about half day and includes snorkeling. It does not include the fee for smaller boats though where tourists cling on while being dragged during snorkeling. Big boats cannot go near the shallow area of the coral garden so you need to shell out another P200 for this.

As soon as you finish snorkeling, the boatmen would offer a side trip to the underwater cave. For the past snorkeling activities that I had, I was never interested with this. Aside from the boatmen not being convincing enough for me to try this, it means an additional expense of P200 for this activity.

This time, yet again, our boatmen asked if we were interested to see the underwater cave. However, I was shocked that they were offering this trip for P600 per head! Just a year ago, the rate was only P200. Basically, everyone did not agree. I felt like they were trying to con us. The boat guides were persistent so they lowered it to P500... until P200 (so yeah, first time visitors should beware about this). After a few minutes, everyone decided to give it a go.

As soon as we reached the beach cove, which was jam-packed by other boats by the way, we got off and headed to the entrance of the cave. We took the normal path using the entrance at the foot of the cliff where the cave is, went down inside the cave, climbed up the makeshift stairway leading to the opening on top, and went down on the sharp and rocky trail. Some tourists would go the other way around depending on the number of people in front of them.

The cave is not literally found under the water but half-submerged with ocean water so you can get in with your camera and other gadgets. It could get very slippery though at the opening where you need to crawl to get inside. The cave has an opening towards the sea where the water was coming in. You just have to be careful because one can get push back and forth by the waves inside. One of our companions accidentally submerged her digital camera after she lost her balance due to the strong movement of water.

On top there is a big hole where you can see the bottom or inside of the cave. Interestingly, the top offers a sweeping view of the beach, emerald green water and various rock formations nearby.

While being on top and taking the trail going down, we understood why our guides made us bring our slippers with us. You won't get out unscathed, in case you walk on foot, due to the very sharp edges and pointed rocks that you would even feel if you're just wearing a thin pair of slippers.

Hole on top of the cave (left) and inside the cave

Francis of Pala-lagaw inside the underwater cave

Go down slowly and surely as sharp rocks could injure you at any moment

If you have been to some of the best caves in the country, you will not find the underwater cave in Puerto Galera as maginificent as them. It's small, and maybe surreal for some, but it's worth a visit if you come here for the first time.

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fbalgos said...

Yeah! I was smart enough to bring my havs. Hahaha! The view looks great. 1 thng about the snorkeling in galera, brng ur own gear.

Imelda rodriguez said...

Ang ganda grabe!! Ang galing ng mga kuha mo.

Pinoy Travel Freak said...

Thanks! :)

fifi leigh said...

cool. looks like a fun adventure, on a hot summer day.

Pinoy Travel Freak said...

Twas fun indeed :)

Jerwel De Perio said...

Cool. We have caves in the province but not as open as this one.

Sky Summer said...

Makes me wanna go like now na. I missed this kind of activities in the Philippines :(

mark pogi said...

Waaaaa. Buti ka pa, you've been to Puerto Galera for a number if times samantalang ako, I have yet to visit the place. :D

I like your take on the other side of Puerto Galera.

Franc Ramon said...

I thought I've seen a lot of attraction already in Puerto Galera and yet I haven't seen the underwater cave. That's a good reason to go back though.

Donald Pagulong said...

This I have to see when I get babk to Puerto Galera. Nice experience din. Nice photos nga pala.

Francis Balgos said...

I love my pic! hahaha! ng model sa loob ng cave

Nanardxz said...

Oh my, beautiful place i so love the waters, its so clear..

Justin Queyquep said...

This made me miss Puerto Galera. There's actually a lot that you can do in this place but we overlooked it.

Shirgie Scf said...

This is one place I would like to visit someday. I heard a lot of good things about puerto Galera. And you captured that moment great, nice shots.

lovemindanao said...

wow this is the part of PG i want to visit, i am not a fan of their beach ...too crowded already

ralph said...

wow, the beach is really crystal clear. how nice it is to bring the whole family here... just need to be careful with the corals. Yahweh bless.


Ang saya naman dito hindi ko ito napupuntahan. I have more reasons para bumalik :D

Pinoy Travel Freak said...

Yup, masaya sya. Madami nga lang tao. :)

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