Solo Travel Destination: Puerto Galera, Philippines

We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Deborah, a member of the Solo Travel Society. Deborah is from the United States and submitted the following report about Sabang Beach in Puerto Galera, Philippines. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!

Solo travel rating1.5 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult. Please see chart below)

Languages spoken: Tagalog, English

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A view of Sabang Beach from a hill top.

Reasons to Visit Puerto Galera

I’m a solo female traveler. Rather than hang out with out tourists, I met some friendly guides on the beach. They took notice of me because I was a female traveling solo, which apparently is uncommon. I saw relatively few female tourists during the 3 weeks I was there. They would recognize me and say hello every time I passed them on the beach.

One of the guides invited me to join her friends at Miles Videoke. I was warned in advance of my arrival that the locals would expect the Westerner to pay, and that was true in this case. At 600 pesos for a group of 7 – which included food, drinks and videoke – I didn’t grumble. I met some wonderful friends that night. We did various things together around the greater Puerto Galera area. They negotiated fares for tricycle taxis so I got a cheaper rate. One of them invited me to a home-grilled fish dinner at her (very humble) home on the hill. Afterwards, we did videoke across the dirt road and I spent the night in the house of her landlords. They offered their home to me should I ever visit again. I had a wonderful time and we still keep in touch.

Another local, a man who worked at my hotel, introduced me to snorkeling. I was able to go by myself after that with no problem. You can also hire a bunca to drag you around in the water at Coral Gardens and feed the fish with bread in your hands. The floating bar (when in season) also offers great snorkeling.

For around 3000 pesos, you can take a one-day diving course, which includes an actual dive. The price includes all the equipment as well.

I stayed at Down Under, and Gemma, the owner, is very friendly. While difficult to find (I was shown by one of my local friends), the room was clean and had a beautiful view of the water for only 500-600 pesos a night.

If you travel here, you will not be getting around in a car. There are Jeepneys which take you into town and other places. Or, you can take a motorcycle taxi or tricycle. They are readily available and if you look like you are going somewhere, the touts will approach you.

Sabang Beach is a very small area, with only a few busy streets. The streets look more like walkways, but are actually roads open to delivery vans and motorcycles, as well as Jeepneys. You can take a Jeepney into Puerto Galera city from there. Be sure to speak to the tour guides on the beach about taking the Puerto Galera tour. On the tour you will walk across 6 rivers to a swimming spot where you’ll be served the most delicious barbecue you’ve ever had. Then, you’ll ride a caribao cart back to the van before visiting a village of aboriginal filipinos.

If you are looking for Western men to hang out with, this is not the place to go. Along with the diving and snorkeling, the men also come to enjoy the local dancers. There are 5 such clubs on the beach. I enjoyed watching the dancers at Broadway, which is upstairs from a dance club called the Venue.

I spent my last night celebrating my new friends at Miles Videoke, then on to the Venue disco. In the morning, my two closest friends met me on the beach and saw me off as I got onto the ferry. Beautiful experience. Beautiful people.

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One of two or three streets which wind through the tiny village.

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The Floating Bar which offers excellent snorkeling.

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An abnormally quiet day at White Beach.

Solo Travel Destination Rating System

Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)

Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)

Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)

Culture – 2 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)

Average Rating – 1.5 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult)

  • Swetha Reddy

    Bargain Online for the best hotels at
    For more please watch the video..

  • Deborah

    The address on the business card reads:
    DOWNUNDER Lodging
    Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro 5203 Phils.

    I’m not sure if it’s appropriate to give the personal contact info. If it’s possible to do so here, send me a private message, and I will give you her full name and mobile as well.

    I’d suggest also that you request a room upstairs with a view of the beach. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Dila Lala

    Hello, can I know where can I find information about down under? I will visit there in Jan as solo traveler and I was thinking to stay there also,

  • Dee | Tropical Vacation Spots

    Puerta Galera is a great destination if you have to stay absolutely close to Manila. If you don’t, there are a hundred nicer tourist destinations in the Philippines. One that I’d recommend is Carabao Island, which is quite near Boracay. It’s a hidden paradise, looks like Boracay minus the crowd and the expensive establishments.

    You can find more information about Carabao Island here:

  • Janice Waugh

    Sounds like you’re having a fabulous time. I’m so glad.

  • Solo sedric

    Sabang is a great place for solo travel. In fact I’m writing this from my ocean front room at Seashore Beach Resort. The culture here is very warm and friendly. Filipino’s are so very happy to engage you in conversation. I don’t know that there is more exotic yet easy to communicate in english country in Asia. The offical language is Tagalog, which is a funky mix of Spanish, English and some Cebuano.
    This is my first truly solo trip as I too recently became a widower and empty nested. I don’t consider my previous business travels as solo adventure. Three weeks is not nearly enough time to see all that this country has to offer. Over 7000 islands and so little time.
    Tagayan tayo!

  • perrinjw

    Nice article! Looks like a unique place to visit.

  • Gp2538

    Hi, it was a plasure to read your artcile :)

  • Islandsofthephilippines

    This is such a great discovery for me…Hope I can visit this summer…Thanks for this!

  • Deborah

    Thank you, Pedro. You are right. I think I was at Venus and Venue Disco. Thanks for reading. :)

  • Gp2538

    hi Deborah, have been many times in sabang and have friends there.. have been in down under too and i know gemma… just a small corretion to what u said about disco.. think you have been in hammerhead which is upstairs to broadway… while venue disco is upstairs Venus.. :))