Asia,  Philippins,  TDM,  Tips

How to get from Coron to Puerto Galera by boat and bus

Most travel guides advise you to go back to Manila and return home after a stay in Palawan, but we advise you to do as we do: go to Mindoro Island first (and more precisely Puerto Galera), before coming back to Manila


The route Coron -> Puerto Galera will take 15 hours in total, spread over 2 days (with a night in Calapan). Unless you agree to pay a little more, it is possible to stall everything in one day

Here is the route : Coron -> San Jose (Western Mindoro) by boat. Tricycle to the bus terminal (10 minutes), from there you take a bus -> Roxas -> Calapan -> Puerto Galera

It looks difficult like that but it isn’t, just tell everyone that you are going to Puerto Galera and at each step, someone will take you where you need to go

What to bring?

  • Sun cream
  • Water and snacks (this isn’t a tourist route, but local, buses don’t usually stop for “pee break” or “snack break”)
  • A small jacket when the bus gets too cold

Boat : Coron -> San Jose (Western Mindoro)

Locate agencies with “Boat to Mindoro” signs in Coron, there is a bunch of them. If you buy the ticket in one of these agencies, the ticket is a little cheaper (1000 pesos/person) than if you buy it directly at the port (1200 pesos/person). The boat leaves at 8 am, 5 times a week, except Thursday and Sunday. The trip lasts between 5 and 6 hours. Lunch (rice based) is served on the boat, but water must be bought before boarding

When you take a tricycle to go to the port, specify that it is to take the boat to Mindoro, because there are two ports: the first is for excursions, the second is for boats connecting Coron to Mindoro or El Nido

It’s a boat mainly taken by the locals so it will be a little tighter

Tips :

  • Be at the port at 7:30 am, a “terminal fee” is to be paid on the spot, if I remember correctly 20 pesos/person
  • People will put their things on the seat to occupy the seat and have room later to sleep half-length. So don’t show them their luggage and tell them to take it off as it will be a bit frowned upon (unless you really have no choice).
  • Take the plastic seats at the front of the boat instead, to avoid the unbearable noise of the engine at the back of the boat.
  • Buy water before you go on board

Bus : San Jose -> Puerto Galera


When you arrive at the port San Jose (around 13h-14h), tell the tricycle that you want to go to Puerto Galera, it will take you to the bus terminal for 25 pesos/person

If there is no direct bus to Puerto Galera at that time (apparently there is only one per day, early in the morning), it will drop you off in front of a bus/mini-van company that will help you get to Cataplan (1H from Puerto Galera)

We paid 430 pesos/person to go to Cataplan. The driver dropped us off at Roxas and paid our tickets to another driver to take us to Cataplan. Arrived in Cataplan, it was much too late to take a van until Puerto Galera then we decided to sleep on the spot (at Riceland Inn, for 400 pesos the night, that goes)

However, if you absolutely want to go to Puerto Galera the same day, several options exist: In front of the Filipiniana hotel, there are always mini-vans and tricycles for short trips. But they all agreed to take us to Puerto Galera for 1500 pesos (this is huge because the normal price is 80 pesos/person). So we decided that it was cheaper to pay one night in Calapan and take the jeepney the next day rather than go on a “private trip” in the dark (we arrived in Calapan at 8pm, it was already dark)

The next day, we took a tricycle from our hotel (10 pesos/person) to the “Public Market” of Cataplan. You have the choice: between the mini-van (100 pesos/person) or the jeepney (80 pesos/person) to go to Puerto Galera. Personally, we preferred the jeepney for the local side

Duration of the trip: 6 hours at best

  • San Jose -> Roxas : 2h
  • Roxas -> Calapan : 3h
  • Calapan -> Puerto Galera : 1h

jeepney2 jeepney

Tips :

  • Whatever the company, drivers are used to hitchhiking people (and pocketing 20 to 50 pesos/person). You may sit at 4 or 5 on a seat provided for 3. So the best seats are the ones next to the driver because hitchhikers always sit in the back
  • Be relaxed, the trip will be long with lots of stops (because of hitchhikers) so plan lots of music, podcasts, drums… and water and cookies/chips/food
  • Every time you change drivers, make sure you make it clear to the drivers that you are going to Puerto Galera. Even if they “sell” you to other drivers, as is the case with us in Roxas, at least it is clear to everyone and they will do their best to get you to your destination

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *