If you’re looking for relaxing vacation, check out Talipanan Beach in Puerto Galera. This small stretch of paradise is at the far end of the island and is less known to tourists. Most of the people we saw in the resorts in this area where foreigners who had nothing but sunbathing in mind.
How to get there
You can reach Talipanan Beach by land or sea. If you’re going there directly from Batangas Pier, take one of the Puerto Gallerian ferries. Make sure that it’s Gallerian because it’s the only ferry service that goes to Talipanan according to its crew. However, we saw another ferry service carrying off passengers when we were there so just make sure that the one you take goes as far as this Talipanan. Boat fare is P250 as of February 2012 and travel time by boat is 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending on sea conditions.
From Muelle or White Beach, you can ride one of the tricycles to Talipanan Beach. Standard fare is P40 from White Beach and P60 from Muelle. It’ll take you 30 minutes to get to White Beach and 45 minutes to Muelle.
Since we stayed in El Canonero and Beach Resort, we arranged for one of the tricycle drivers to bring us to Muelle and then White Beach. He offered to pick us up whenever we want to, even if it’s past midnight. We paid him P120 each for this.
Warning: Tricycle drivers don’t exactly take you to the entrance of Talipanan Beach. They’ll drop you off at the terminal where you’ll have to walk your way to the entrance of the beach. Before 6PM, you can pass by an alley that cuts through the houses of local residents. After that, you’d have to “climb” your way to a paved road that feels like a small hill. It’s a spooky when its dark.
Where to stay
There are three resorts in Talipanan Beach. The one we stayed at is El Canonero Diving and Beach Resort. It’s run by an Italian father-and-son tandem. You’ll see them about the resort but they don’t interact with the guests. It’s Sharon, the cook, who oversees things most of the time. Room rates may range from P2,500 to 3,000 per night. Check out my review of this charming resort: El Canonero Diving and Beach Resort Review
Luca’s Lodge is another Italian-run resort frequented by foreigners. It’s restaurant, Luca Cucina Italiana, is popular among Italians in Puerto Galera because of it’s authenticity. I must admit that I didn’t find it’s lodge as attractive as El Canonero but its restaurant is definitely superior of the two. Here is a link to their web site: Luca’s Lodge & Restaurant.
Bamboo House Beach Lodge and Resort offers Filipino-theme accommodations as its name suggests. Most of its guests are Pinoys. The beach in front this resort is where the ferries dock to load and unload passengers. Check out the resort’s web site here: Bamboo House Talipanan Beach.
Where to dine
All the resorts in Talipanan Beach have dining services. Bamboo HouSE offers filipino cuisine while El Canonero gives guests an international menu. Luca’s Restaurant serves freshly baked pizza, pasta and other Italian dishes. Prepare to shell out at least P150 a meal.
If you’re in a budget, you can make your way to the tricycle terminal and eat at the sari-sari store.
What to do
Once you’re in Talipanan, it’s so easy to just let go of your worries and relax under the shade of the trees. You can take a dip in clear blue waters early in the morning and in the late afternoon when the sun isn’t so hot. From late morning to early afternoon, you can trek to Talipanan falls and have your lunch there. You’ll find one of the locals willing to take you to the falls for a fee. Our guide cost us P200 per person.
On your way down from the falls, after a refreshing swim, you can do some shopping at the Mangyan Village. We also stopped by one of the sari-sari stores in this little village to have our fill of fish balls.
If you want more adventure, you can go diving, snorkeling and beach hopping. There are locals who can take you for as low as P1500 in their wooden boats. If you want a more sophisticated and safe experience, you can try out the diving services offered at El Canonero Resort. They’ve got modern equipment and gear and a motorboat.
What not to do
Bring work with you. I brought my laptop with me to do some blogging but found it impossible to write. The atmosphere is so lazy and laid back that all I wanted to do was eat, swim, sleep. El Canonero has WiFi but there is no signal inside the rooms; the WiFi is only available at the bar. I did bring my Sun Broadband plug-it it with me but the signal was also weak that I could’t even connect to Gmail or the cpa network.
Our 3D/2N vacation at Talipanan Beach was the best and most relaxing vacation I’ve ever had. My only regret was that we didn’t get to try the food at Bamboo House and we didn’t go snorkeling. Perhaps we can try that next time; we intend to go back there when El Canonero runs another promo at Metrodeal.