Puerto Galera, a small town on the northeast coast of Mindoro sits 130 km south of Manila. Directly translated, that means a 3-4 hour bus ride from Manila to the port of Batangas City, followed by a 1 hour boat trip to Sabang Beach. Once there, you can take your pick between Coco Beach, White Beach, Tamaraw Beach or the Big and Small Lalaguna.
This highly affordable slice of heaven is surrounded by shimmering seas and lush mountains and loved by tourists and locals alike. Known as a top diving destination in the Philippines, you’ll find 30+ diving sites less than a 5-10 minute banca ride from Sabang Beach. And though there are 115+ resorts to choose from, you can still find isolated coves, forests, waterfalls and remote crystal bays with beaches ranging from powder white sand to smooth stones and coral rubble. As one would expect, we decided to hang around for a while.
The quieter side of Sabang Beach was to become our temporary home away from home (no blaring dance music 24/7). Bellevue Cottages (one of Puerto Galera’s quiet achievers) is a tiny resort perched high on the hill above the beachfront and surrounded by lush tropical plants and trees with an unforgettable view (just walk to the end of the beach and follow the signs that lead to an uphill, winding garden path to the restaurant/reception area).
The handful of Filipino native-style cottages are a fair distance apart and contain basic bamboo furnishings and amenities, including a private veranda and hammock in which to while away the afternoons with a good book. Apparently, prices range from 1500-2000 pesos per night but depending on demand, everything’s negotiable – especially if you stay longer. We stayed for 2 weeks and paid 750 pesos ($17) per night for a slightly smaller cottage without a kitchen.
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