Introducing Puerto Galera
The town of Puerto Galera (pwair-toe gal-air-ah) proper is centred on Muelle pier, a humble jetty flanked by a line of restobars and a couple of hotels. Business is not what it used to be since brash newcomers Sabang and White Beach got their own boat services, but even the most idle hotelier can take consolation from what remains one of the finest harbour views in the Philippines.
Puerto Galera is Spanish for 'Port of the Galleons'. Its deep natural harbour is sheltered on all sides, and was a favoured anchorage of ocean-going vessels centuries before the Spanish arrived in 1572. Yachties from all over the world are still drawn to Puerto, where, uncommonly for the Philippines, talk is more about what you can do above the water than beneath it.
Visitors be warned that Puerto is also a haven for foreign, alcoholic retirees, who are frequently indistinguishable from the yachties. With no nightlife on offer beyond sinking a few beers and watching a wall-mounted TV, this place is often fast asleep by 9pm.