Puerto Galera - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera on the island of Mindoro consists of several towns and beach resorts, that have melded together on a protruding piece of land shaped like a whale's tale to form the Philippines' fifth-largest urban area. The Spanish traders used the natural harbour created from the land formation as a refuge in the 16th Century, hence the name, which means 'Port of Galleons'. Puerto Galera was declared a protected area by a UNESCO programme back in the 1970s. This put the area on the tourist map and helped with the resurgence of interest in its marine life and coral reefs, which had been suffering because of dynamite fishing. Puerto Galera is now one of the most sought-after scuba diving locations in the world, and the island of Mindoro also offers some richly rewarding hiking trails. There are more than 30 dive sites within 10 minutes of the three main beaches; deep trenches and vibrantly colourful reefs characterise the waters, along with numerous wrecks, a shark cave and a shelf with a 164ft (50m) drop-off.

Information & Facts

The official language of the Philippines is Filipino, but English is widely spoken. Tagalog is the most predominant of the many dialects or local languages spoken throughout the islands.

The currency of the Philippines is the Peso (PHP), which is divided into 100 centavos. Major credit cards are widely accepted in the cities and tourist destinations. Banks do not always accept travellers cheques, but a receipt of purchase is useful. ATMs are available in the major cities. US dollars are widely accepted in Manila and other tourist areas and are the easiest currency to exchange; otherwise Euros and Pounds Sterling can also be exchanged in banks and hotels. Banks open from 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday, but their ATMs are open 24 hours. It is best to carry pesos when travelling outside of major centres.

Local time is GMT +8.
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