Though I’ve been to Puerto Galera countless of times because of it’s close proximity and affordable possibilities, it wasn’t until recently that I really learned to fully appreciate the island. Dubbed as the poor man’s Boracay, I’ve come to realize that Puerto Galera is more than just its crowded White Beach and its world known diving around Sabang.
Sure, you’ve heard of Tamaraw Falls and even hiked to the hidden Tukuran Falls. You may even have snorkeled around the giant clams. But this list is not about what many of you may already know. I’m not going to bore you with the typical to do list with parasailing, scuba diving, jet skiing, blah blah blah. That’s old news. I’m talking low-key here. Things that you might have seen on Facebook but never really figured out where it was from. So keep on reading and make a mental note of these pretty awesome things to do in the island for your next long weekend.
1.) Aninuan Beach
If Sabang Beach is for foreigners and White Beach is for the locals, Aninuan Beach is for the beach bums that’s just tired of the crowds. It’s an underrated beach, and although it isn’t exactly a replica of White Beach, it’s good enough if you fancy being surrounded by less people and still be on a beach. Yes, you can have your cake in Puerto Galera and eat it too! We had it all to ourselves in the afternoon. Then before sunset, a group of local boys came by to play soccer. The crowds aren’t a fan because it’s a 15-20 minute walk away from the main hub and there are very minor bouldering rocks that may seem intimidating until you get around it. If by any chance, walking is absolutely not an option, you can take a tricycle for 100 php ($2) one way.
2.) Mud Karting
It is exactly what it sounds like. It’s not entirely a secret, but I didn’t hear about it until this year. Extreme Sports Philippines in Puerto Galera is a pretty cool spot to gather up the squad not only for a good round of mud karting or ATV riding— but they also offer paint balling, crossbow shooting, and many other fun activities. It’s located near the port but they offer free roundtrip pickups from your hotel during the low season. It’s a nice little break from the beach especially if you’re looking for more action and jet-skiing back and forth around White Beach just isn’t cutting it anymore.
3.) Abandoned resorts at Talipanan Beach
Just a few more meters away from Aninuan is Talipanan Beach. Another forgotten beach, Talipanan may just give you the peace and quiet you’re looking for. It’s not entirely as nice as White Beach or Aninuan, but my favorite thing about this beach are the ruins of abandoned resorts right on the shore. It’s creepy, eerie, and beautiful in they’re own beautiful abandoned way. Go on a gloomy day to catch it’s spooky energy if you’re down for a little fun photo shoot! (READ: Abandoned Resorts On The Beach)
4.) Amihan Villa
I would recommend Amihan Villa only for the couples or anyone really committed to avoiding the crowd. It’s located in Aninuan so it’s basically a 5 minute walk to the secret beach I just told you about. I loved staying there because it’s quiet and very secluded from the loud noises that are inevitable in White Beach or Sabang area. You get a good view of the ocean, great customer service, a pool, and a spacious room. Just be warned that it takes a short climb to reach the place because it’s located on a hill. Definitely not for kids, elderly, or physically impaired. If you do decide to stay, ask for the room upstairs on the left side for the best view in the house!
5.) Pink Tacos
I did mention that my husband and I take tacos very seriously, right? Well we also have very high standards about it considering that he was born and raised in Orange County and I lived in New Mexico for two years and worked at a Mexican restaurant in high school. So let me just tell you now that when I say a taco is good, it’s actually legitimately good. I was almost about to snub off this little spot, Puerto Taco, along the street behind White Beach because come on, if Manila fails and disappoints me with their so called tacos, why would I trust island tacos then? But my husband insisted we give it a try. Owned by another south Californian expat, I’m pretty sure Puerto Taco had me when he busted out six different types of hot sauce. And I’m not talking about no local Jufran hot sauce either. He didn’t have Tapatio, but it was good enough to impress me. Their meals are pretty legit, their drinks are good, and the staff is very friendly and takes on the hint when I ask for a strong drink.
Bonus: If you’re like me who’s already seen Tamaraw and Tukuran Falls, there’s another hidden falls in Aninuan called—duh, Aninuan Falls. I didn’t get to check it out because there was a typhoon the last time I was there, but if you’re also like me who takes chasing waterfalls seriously, then it’s worth checking out, I’m sure!
So there you go. Not five, but SIX Puerto Galera secrets that’s guaranteed to make your experience different than the last time. I vowed never go back to the island a couple of years back, but can you really blame a beach bum for taking back her words.
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