An overview of how to get to Puerto Galera and some of the things to plan for when traveling to the Philippines.
The trip to Scandinavian Divers is made in two parts: First you go to Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Then you continue – usually by minivan and boat – on to Big La Laguna Beach on Mindoro island. Click here for maps. Therefore, you should take care of the following in preparation of your trip:
- Obtain plane-tickets to the Philippines (Manila).
- Decide how you want to get from Manila to our location on the island of Mindoro.
- Decide what kind of hotel room (and perhaps which hotel) you want to live in on Mindoro.
- Put together a dive package and contact us (via this website).
The following sections go through each step…
Air Tickets to The Philippines
You probably need to go to Manila first if you want to know how to get to Puerto Galera. From most countries there are many airline connections to choose from to go to Manila. Your local travel bureau or airline can help you, or you can get the information on the Internet. A few of these may be able to handle the transport on to Puerto Galera..
From Manila to Puerto Galera
It’s up to you to decide if you want to stay overnight in Manila or continue to Mindoro immediately. If you want to make the most of your time, we recommend that you immediately continue on to the beautiful surroundings on Mindoro instead of spending your valuable time in the polluted atmosphere of a very big city (population estimated at 15 million). From Manila, how to get to Puerto Galera continues on to our location: Big La Laguna Beach on Mindoro. This can be done in one of two ways: The first one we call “The easy way”, and the other one is called, you guessed it, “The not-so-easy-but-cheaper way”. We go through each below:
Manila to Big La laguna Beach: The easy way – VIP Express Transport Service
“The easy way” is our VIP Express Transport Service: We will pick you up at the airport (or elsewhere in Manila) in an air-conditioned minivan, drive you to Batangas Harbor, and sail you directly to Big La laguna in a boat specifically for you – not one of the public ferries. The price is 153 US dollars for up to six people (not each, but split among you), each way. If boat travel at night time, add an additional 25 US dollars. Please note that the VIP Express Transport Service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. NOTE! If, due to bad weather or other unforeseeable circumstances, it is necessary to stay in Batangas (a pretty rare occurrence), then that hotel stay is on you. However, you do not pay for our rooms during the same period. from Manila airport Terminal 1: If you request that we pick you up at the airport, this is how you will find our van: When you come out of the arrival terminal, you cross the pavement, and on the other side there are tunnels going off to the left and right that go down to the level below. Both the tunnel on the left and on the right go down to that same level, but you should take the one on the right. When you get down you will arrive at a platform from which you will be picked up. Above, there are signs like ABCD, EFGH, IJKL and so on. Plant yourself under the one that includes an “S” (for “Scandinavian Divers”, of course), and keep an eye out for a chauffeur with a Scandinavian Divers sign and/or your name on it. Pickup from Terminal 2 (Philippine Airlines): Go outside and look for your name for pickup by our van or take taxi to your hotel. Pickup from Terminal 3 (Cebu Pacific): Go outside and look for your name for pickup by our van or take taxi to your hotel. The length of the trip down to us with VIP Express Transport Service varies due to the traffic, but in general it takes about two hours to get to Batangas and one hour to take the boat over. These pictures show a typical pickup at Manila International Airport:
Manila to Big La laguna Beach: The not-so-easy way
Having arrived in Manila there are several ways to continue on to Big Lalaguna. How to get to Puerto Galera consists of a drive down to the harbor in the city of Batangas, and then a boat trip over to Mindoro. Click here for maps. There are daily bus routes between Manila and Batangas Harbor. The most convenient, and safe, of these is the SiKat combined bus and ferry service. The bus leaves daily at 8:00 AM (but you need to check in at 7:30) from the City State Tower on Mabini Street in Ermita (not far from Manila airport). This bus will take you directly to Batangas Harbor, and from there, further on down to Puerto Galera Harbor (only 10 minutes from Big Lalaguna by boat). If you should find yourself in Batangas (having arrived there by some other means) there are several ferry routes that can take you either to Sabang Beach (10 minutes walk from Big Lalaguna) or to Puerto Galera (10 minutes from Big Lalaguna by boat). Guarded parking is available at the Batangas Pier. After you have arrived in Puerto Galera or Sabang, take a smaller boat (banka) on to Big Lalaguna. Several of these boats are lined up in the small harbor in Puerto Galera, or along the beach in Sabang. You merely have to tell them where you want to go – just like a taxi. The trip takes about 10 minutes… … or, you can also take a kind of open minivan (a “jeepney”) to Sabang Beach. That is, if you don’t mind waiting until the jeepney is full of passengers. This costs about 20 Philippine Pesos. Big Lalaguna is 10 minutes walk from Sabang Beach. This is how to get to Puerto Galera.