Exploring the Beauty of Oriental Mindoro: A Traveler’s Guide
Are you looking for a new adventure that’s off the beaten path? Look no further than Oriental Mindoro! This underrated province in the Philippines has so much to offer travelers looking to explore a different side of the country. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or a foodie, Oriental Mindoro has something for everyone. This province has everything from pristine beaches and stunning waterfalls to cultural landmarks and mouth-watering local delicacies.
In this blog post, I’ll be sharing some of the top things to do in Oriental Mindoro, along with tips on how to get there and the best time to visit. So get ready to discover the wonders of Oriental Mindoro!
Discovering Oriental Mindoro: Top Things to Do
Explore Infinity Farm, Baco
If you’re looking for a refreshing and relaxing experience, visit Infinity Farm in Baco, Oriental Mindoro. This fantastic tourist destination is just a short drive from Infinity Resort Puerto Galera, making it an ideal spot for a day trip.
Infinity Farm features a series of waterfalls and a peaceful atmosphere, perfect for enjoying a nice meal with friends and family while listening to the serene sounds of rushing water and surrounding nature. Take a leisurely walk along the river or find a cozy spot to relax and let the calming sound of cascading water refresh your mind and body.
Don’t forget to explore the area and discover some great spots for a mid-day snack or a meal with your group. As you travel upstream, you’ll notice the water rapids starting to pick up speed, creating an exciting adventure up the mountain. Visit Infinity Farm for a peaceful retreat and unforgettable outdoor experience.
Location: Mangangan 1, Baco, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines
Mobile: 0919 006 9960
Email: [email protected]
Merl’s Native Delicacies, Calapan
Merl’s Native Delicacies is a popular food establishment located in Calapan. They specialize in traditional local delicacies and snacks made from indigenous ingredients such as rice flour, coconut, and local fruits.
Some of their popular offerings include suman sa lihiya (a snack/dessert made from sticky rice, sugar, and coconut milk, wrapped in banana leaves) and kakanin (various types of glutinous rice cakes). Apart from local delicacies, they also sell souvenir items like bags and accessories made from locally sourced materials. They also have a coffee shop upstairs.
Merl’s Native Delicacies is a must-visit place for food enthusiasts who want to experience the taste of traditional Filipino delicacies with a unique local touch.
Oriental Mindoro Heritage Museum, Calapan
If you’re curious about the rich cultural heritage of Oriental Mindoro, head over to the Oriental Mindoro Heritage Museum in Calapan City. This museum showcases the history and traditions of the province through various exhibits and artifacts.
You can’t miss the museum’s highlights, which include a replica of a traditional Mangyan house, collections of ancient pottery and earthenware, traditional costumes, musical instruments, religious artifacts, and colonial-era objects.
The Oriental Mindoro Heritage Museum is open daily from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is free for Oriental Mindoro residents, but visitors from other places are welcome with a minimal entrance fee.
Travel to Sto. Niño Cathedral, Calapan
Sto. Niño Cathedral is located right next to Oriental Mindoro Heritage Museum. It holds great historical and cultural significance as the mother parish of the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan and the “Seat of Christianity” in the province. This vibrant and active parish consists of 15 Christian communities or Pamayanang Kristyano, with 3,466 Catholic families and various religious organizations that support and contribute to its programs.
The cathedral’s stunning architecture and religious significance make it an ideal place for tourists and locals to visit. It is a peaceful and serene space where visitors can reflect and pray.
Explore Silonay Mangrove Conservation Ecopark
The Silonay Mangrove Conservation and Ecopark in Barangay Silonay, Calapan City, is a sprawling 42-hectare area with a 350-meter boardwalk leading to a 6-meter high tower. It offers breathtaking views of the Silonay River and the nearby sea.
It is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including 15 species of mangroves, 29 species of birds (7 endemic to the Philippines), 2 species of bats, and 5 species of reptiles and amphibians.
Access the mangrove area via a concrete footbridge while appreciating the lush mangrove forest. The park is an excellent destination for nature lovers and provides an opportunity to connect with nature, learn about conservation efforts, and enjoy the stunning natural beauty of Oriental Mindoro.
Watch the Grand Parade of Kalap Festival, Calapan City
Join the locals of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, as they come together to celebrate their city’s culture and history every March 21 with the Kalap Festival. The festival highlights the city’s past, present, and future through various activities, performances, colorful floats, and a grand parade. According to historians, the name “Calapan” came from the word “kalap,” which means a type of tree or gathering firewood.
The festival is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the city’s history and values, which includes unity, discipline, and a God-loving citizenry. There are also events dedicated to women and employees and a search for the Mutya ng Lungsod ng Calapan (Miss Calapan). The festival ends with a dazzling fireworks display and a lively street dance. Join in the fun and be a part of Calapan’s rich culture and history!
Carabao Cart Ride to Tukuran Falls, San Teodoro
Tukuran Falls is a natural wonder that boasts of its clear and gentle waterfalls. The journey here is an adventure in itself, as you can walk or ride a carabao. Though the trek may be challenging, it is a refreshing experience with nice weather, scenic views, and delicious snacks that make the trip memorable.
To reach the falls, you will have to cross rivers about 5-6 times, but the views of tall coconut trees and lush greens along the way make the trek enchanting. Mandatory tour guides will also be with you, guiding you along with the carabao. Riding the carabao is a fun way to explore the trail and cross the rivers, as these water buffalos are experts at crossing streams! They even enjoy taking a dip in the river too. The roundtrip carabao ride costs P500 and can accommodate up to 5 people.
Stop over at Tamaraw Falls, Puerto Galera
If you’re looking for a majestic natural wonder to visit in Puerto Galera, Tamaraw Falls is a must-see. This popular attraction is named after the tamaraw, a rare and endangered animal found only in the Philippines. The falls stand at an impressive height of 423ft (128.3m) and boast a unique Y-shape formed by twin falls merging together.
As you explore Tamaraw Falls, you’ll be treated to the roaring sound of the waterfalls getting louder and louder as you get closer. The falls are a popular stop on countryside tours, and the large welcome greeting on a stone beside it is a testament to its popularity among tourists.
While visiting Tamaraw Falls, take the opportunity to spread awareness about the endangered tamaraw and promote their preservation. It’s a great way to learn about the natural beauty of the Philippines and its unique wildlife.
Sunset Viewing at White Beach, Puerto Galera
If you’re looking for the perfect place to watch the sunset in Puerto Galera, White Beach is the place to go. White Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Puerto Galera, known for its light gray sands and crystal-clear waters. It faces west, which makes it the ideal spot to view the stunning sunset.
To make the most of your sunset viewing experience, we recommend arriving at White Beach in the late afternoon. This will give you plenty of time to find a comfortable spot on the beach, set up a picnic, or grab a drink from one of the beachside bars or restaurants.
As the sun starts to set, you’ll be mesmerized by the beautiful display of colors in the sky. You’ll also see the beautiful shadow of the boats sailing by, adding to the picturesque scenery. To fully enjoy your sunset viewing experience, bring a camera or smartphone to capture the gorgeous sunset. And remember to stay until the sun has fully set to experience the full beauty of the sunset.
Visit Muelle Bay Cultural Heritage Park, Puerto Galera
Muelle Bay Cultural Heritage Park is a great place to visit if you’re interested in learning more about the history and culture of Puerto Galera and the surrounding area.
The park is located in front of Muelle Bay, offering spectacular views of the bay and the surrounding mountains. It is a peaceful and scenic place to spend an afternoon.
The park is home to several attractions, including the old Muelle Lighthouse, which was built in 1897 and is one of the oldest lighthouses in the country. Visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse for a panoramic view of the bay and the surrounding area.
Visit Iraya-Mangyan Cultural Village, Puerto Galera
The Iraya-Mangyan Cultural Village in Puerto Galera is a great place to learn about the traditions and way of life of the Mangyan people. This indigenous group has occupied the area for centuries.
Visitors to the village can take guided tours, watch demonstrations of traditional crafts and farming techniques, and listen to Mangyan music and stories.
The village is located in the foothills of Mount Malasimbo and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. It’s a glimpse into a way of life that is rapidly disappearing in many parts of the world and is well worth a visit for anyone interested in learning more about different cultures and ways of life.
Visit Underwater Cave, Puerto Galera
San Antonio Island in Puerto Galera is home to an exciting attraction called the Underwater Cave. It’s a natural indoor pool that provides an enchanting swimming experience away from the scorching heat of the afternoon sun. The cave’s narrow path and peculiar setup make it a unique adventure that visitors will surely enjoy.
To get to the Puerto Galera Underwater Cave, you’ll need to climb up some big rocks, which can be challenging and requires caution. However, the rocky shore and colorful boats parked in the background are already an attraction on their own. Inside the cave, you’ll find a shallow pool of water that gets deeper as you walk further. The cave is beautifully decorated by rock formations and abstract patterns, creating a mesmerizing glimmer when exposed to light.
While some parts of the cave may be dark, a small opening on the other end is well-lit. You’ll notice the wet ceiling, indicating how high the water goes during high tide and strong splashes. Unlike most caves, it’s not home to any bats due to its unique condition. The Underwater Cave is a must-visit destination in San Antonio Island, Puerto Galera.
Visit Coral Garden, Puerto Galera
If you’re looking for a private and personalized vacation in Puerto Galera, Coral Garden Beach Resort might be the perfect place for you. This VIP resort, located on the UNESCO-protected San Antonio Island, offers a tranquil and serene environment away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The resort is entirely powered by solar energy, making it eco-friendly and sustainable.
One of the resort’s main attractions is the Coral Garden, one of the best dive and snorkeling spots in Puerto Galera. You can take a short boat ride from the resort to the snorkeling area.
Visit Haligi Beach, Puerto Galera
Haligi Beach is a stunning destination in Puerto Galera that boasts a pristine stretch of sand where you can unwind, dip, and relish in the picturesque scenery. To get there, you can take a boat from Muelle Pier in Puerto Galera, which will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes. You can rent a boat from the pier or join a group tour that includes Haligi Beach in their itinerary.
Haligi Beach is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and kayaking. However, you need to bring your own gear since there are no rentals available on the beach. Haligi Beach is a must-visit destination for beach enthusiasts who are looking for a tranquil and serene getaway.
Relax at Long Beach, Puerto Galera
Long Beach, or “Lakatan Beach” as called by locals, is a must-visit destination in Puerto Galera. It is aptly named for its long stretch of white sand beach, offering a serene and tranquil experience for tourists who want to get away from the crowded Puerto Galera White Beach.
The best part about Long Beach is that it is far from the hustle and bustle of the Sabang area, and you can even have the entire beach to yourselves during the low season. You might be lucky to find vendors selling fresh sea urchins, which the locals call “uni.” These are a delicacy similar to fish eggs, consumed raw from the shell.
You can also rent aqua shoes and snorkeling gear to explore the area’s diverse marine life. Long Beach is perfect for swimming and snorkeling and offers a relaxing environment from morning until late afternoon. Unfortunately, visitors are not allowed to stay overnight as there are no resorts or hotels in the area.
How to get to Oriental Mindoro:
Oriental Mindoro is a province in the Philippines that boasts beautiful beaches, mountains, and other natural attractions. If you’re planning a trip to Oriental Mindoro, here’s how you can get there:
The nearest airport to Oriental Mindoro is the San Jose Airport, which is served by several airlines, including Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. From Manila, flights to San Jose Airport take around 50 minutes and cost around Php 2,500 to Php 4,000 one-way.
By Land and Sea:
Another way to get to Oriental Mindoro is by taking a bus from Manila to Batangas Port, and then taking a ferry to Calapan Port or Puerto Galera. From Calapan or Puerto Galera, you can take a jeepney or a van to your desired destination. The bus fare from Manila to Batangas Port costs around Php 175 to Php 250 per person, while the ferry fare to Calapan or Puerto Galera costs around Php 250 to Php 500 per person, depending on the type of ferry and the season.
By Private Vehicle:
If you have your own vehicle, you can drive from Manila to Batangas Port and take your car on the ferry to Oriental Mindoro. Ferry operators charge additional fees for vehicles, which vary depending on the size and type of vehicle.
Whatever your mode of transportation, the journey to Oriental Mindoro is sure to be an adventure in itself, with stunning views of the Philippine countryside and the sea.
Best Time to Visit Oriental Mindoro:
The best time to visit Oriental Mindoro is during the dry season, which falls between November and May. During this time, you can expect sunny days and less chance of rain, making it the perfect time to explore the beaches and other attractions of the province. However, remember that this is also the peak tourist season, so expect higher prices and more crowded places.
If you prefer a quieter and more budget-friendly trip, you can visit during the off-peak season, from June to October. Though there may be occasional rain showers during this time, the countryside and mountains become lush and green, making it a picturesque destination. This is also the best time to witness the Mango Festival in April, which celebrates the abundance of mangoes in the province.
No matter when you decide to visit, Oriental Mindoro will surely offer you a unique and unforgettable experience.
In conclusion, Oriental Mindoro is a gem of a destination that offers a wide range of activities and experiences for travelers of all kinds. Oriental Mindoro has something for everyone, from its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters to its lush jungles and diverse marine life. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, you’ll find it here. And with its proximity to Manila and easy accessibility, it’s no wonder why Oriental Mindoro has become one of the emerging travel destinations in the Philippines. So pack your bags and explore this fantastic destination that has it all.