(SPOT.ph) When you think of a Puerto Galera getaway, two beach strips often come to mind—Sabang Beach, where most affordable resorts and night spots are and White Beach, where you have various water activities. This side of Mindoro can be crowded especially on weekends and holidays, but its proximity to Metro Manila still makes it a popular destination for city-dwellers. What if you can get to a less popular yet more beautiful part of Puerto Galera in less than 40 minutes? AirTrav Corporation, a Filipino company that has been operating private chopper services since 2013, lets you experience this and more.
The company launched a new seaplane that started transporting guests from Manila to Puerto Galera in June. The Cessna Grand Caravan Ex Amphibian can carry up to eight passengers and can easily land on water. It is operated by Flight Safety Australia-trained pilots who can fly the aircraft smoothly even in Manila's intermittent rainy weather (within reason, of course). Take off is right at Manila Bay, specifically the yacht yard of the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex in Pasay (Google Map: Realship Yachts). The seaplane flies between 7,000 and 10,000 feet above sea level, just enough to see the Metro's skyscrapers and the coastal area's luxurious hotels and casino resorts. After 30 to 40 minutes, prepare to be stunned by a beautiful view of the islands as you descend towards Muelle Bay. AirTrav lands at Fridays Puerto Galera, a new luxurious resort on Paniquian Island (a.k.a. Boquete Island). You can arrange for a boat to take you to Sabang or White Beach, or just indulge and stay at the island resort.
AirTrav is also looking into expanding its flights to the Visayas. For now, Manila-Puerto Galera flights are available for P6,000 per head from Wednesday to Monday, 8:40 a.m. to 1 p.m.; while Puerto Galera-Manila flights are every 9:40 a.m. and 2 p.m. Manila to Clark International Airport and vice versa are also available for P4,500.