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Five Reasons To Visit Mindoro If You Are In The Philippines

Aninuan beach, Mindoro
Aninuan beach, Mindoro

Have you heard of Mindoro?

Most travellers in the Philippines head straight from Manila to the pristine beaches of Boracay, Cebu or Palawan. Many overlook the lesser known isles in favour of the wild nightlife and dramatic scenery of islands firmly on the travel path. Here are five reasons you should consider Mindoro if you are short on time in the Philippines and want an authentic island experience.

Easy accessibility

Mindoro is one of the nearest islands to the mainland, and a bus/boat combo takes less than four hours from Manila. Admittedly you can fly to Boracay and Palawan in less time, but if you are on a budget, flights cost considerably more than the boat tickets.

We paid just 240 pesos for the bus from Manila to Batangas and the boat was 460 pesos. This converts into around £11 for two people with no worries about how heavy your bags are! The cheapest flight I spotted for Boracay was £24 plus bags.

Outrigger boat in the Philippines
Taking the Outrigger from Batangas to Mindoro

WARNING: there is only one airport on Mindoro. It takes around six to eight hours to get there from Puerto Galera so boats are your only really transfer option. Leave plenty of time to return to the mainland in case of stormy weather. If the coastguard announces a signal one, all boats are grounded and your only option then is the seaplane. This also gets cancelled if the weather reaches a signal three.

Spectacular views

Whilst everyone raves about the tropical beaches of Boracay, the jungle clad mountains which rise sharply from the emerald green coves of Puerto Galera are breath-taking. As your bangka slowly putters into Muelle, you could be forgiven for thinking you had arrived on the set of ‘Lost.’ Towering, mist-covered peaks, and endless deserted coves dwarf the smattering of shacks around the port.

views of the Philippines
Views of the bay from Utopia Resort, Mindoro

Deserted beaches

These may not be the long beaches for which Boracay is renowned but nor do they come packed to the rafters with bronzing holidaymakers. On the northern strip of Occidental Mindoro are several small, deserted beaches which would not look out of place in any tropical holiday brochure.

Aninuan is particularly remarkable, untouched by development it is backed by jungle and coral reefs. There’s no ladyboys or pumping bars with visiting Asians singing out of tune karaoke. Take your pick and watch some of the best sunsets I have ever seen from these shores.

beautiful beach in Mindoro
a deserted beach in Mindoro
sunset in Mindoro
sunset in Mindoro
sunsets in the Philippines
Another breathtaking sunset in Mindoro

Great diving

Perhaps not the quality of diving in Egypt or the Great Barrier Reef, but diving in the Philippines is some of the nicest diving we have experienced in recent times.

Numerous dive sites litter the bays around the Sabang peninsula. Just minutes from shore, there’s several wrecks and shallow dives with colourful corals. We were fortunate enough to see giant turtles, a free swimming sea snake, nudibranch and lionfish. Beware, the currents can be quite challenging but we dived with Badladz and were incredibly impressed by the divemaster to diver ratio and the professionalism of their staff.

They have great quality equipment and an especially nice touch is the hot towel you receive after every dive. No more rudely wiping snot off your face!

Beach nightlife

If you thought island life was going to be quiet, think again. The areas around Sabang and White Beach are crammed full of pumping discos and bars offering happy hour specials, entertainment and ladyboy watching opportunities.

Avoid staying in central Sabang unless you sleep like the dead. Most hotels offer free transport from accommodation into town giving you the best of both worlds.

White Beach nightlife
White Beach nightlife


There are many options for accommodation but don’t expect western five star standards unless you stay at the Infinity resort which has an incredible spa.

We stayed at some great boutique properties at reasonable prices where the service was fabulous and free transport included. I particularly loved the Tribal Hills resort for breath-taking mountain views, panoramic balconies and the pool built into the hillside. Another favourite was the Utopia Resort and Spa which has incredible views over two bays from its perch on top of a clifftop on the road to Sabang.

Tribal Hills resort, Mindoro
Tribal Hills resort, Mindoro
Sunset from Utoppia Resort
Sunset from Utopia Resort

Have your say

Perhaps you visited Mindoro or other lesser known islands in the Philippines and would like to share your thoughts. Which are your favourites and where would you recommend people visit?

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money-saving travel tips


  1. I’ve never heard of Mindoro but it looks awesome from the photos. I especially love the deserted beaches and the photo of the sunset. Good to know that there’s nightlife too. I guess the Philippines must have the best beaches in the world!

  2. Telling me about those deserted beaches you’ve just made me fall in love with Mindoro. I’ve been hiking the mountains for years, but lately I’ve switched to more comfortable and less dynamic activities, like sunbathing (maybe I’m getting old :). If a couple of years ago I didn’t enjoy these kind of posts, now I just love them.

  3. WOW! I wish I had taken time to stay in the Philippines a little more last summer. This would have been a perfect addition to our trip. I really like the sunset photo you put in. I am a sucker for nice sunrise and sunset shots.

  4. Have heard of Puerto Gallera. as being a terrorist zone but as per your post, we can go there. the place looks very beautiful and as tourists or explorers we should be ready to explore all.

  5. I live in Manila, planning to visit Puerto Gallera in April with “native Filipinos”. There are no terrorists in Puerto Gallera.
    While there are communist rebels/NPA in some parts of the Philippines and Muslim rebels in the South of Mindanao, I wouldn’t worry about either on the beaches of Puerto Gallera….

  6. Native Filipinos avoid that area because there are terrorists there.

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