TOURISM

Dubbed as "Marine Wonderland," the fantastic land that is Occidental Mindoro is endowed with marine beauty from its virgin forests, beautiful white sand beaches, islands and islets rich in marine life, coral gardens, mysterious caves, and cascading waterfalls.

How to get here?

From Manila, take a bus ride from Pasay or Cubao terminal going to Batangas City Pier, around 2.5 hours ride.

From Batangas City Pier, take a boat ride going to Abra de Ilog. The fare is approximately P208 plus terminal fee upon checking-in at the terminal, it takes about 2.5 hours.

There are also airport at San Jose. Cebu Pacific and PAL both have flight from Manila to San Jose.

Natural Attractions

Mt. Iglit National Park in Calintaan is a sanctuary for the tamaraw, a wild animal found nowhere else in the world. The tamaraw resembles the carabao or water buffalo to wildlife enthusiasts.

Apo Reef in Sablayan is one of the country's wondrous secret hideaways, which is regarded as the second largest in the world. This 34-kilometer reef in Sablayan, which is located in Apo Island, is acclaimed as the best in Asia and as the diving mecca of the Philippines.

The Apo Reef Marine Park in Sablayan includes the fascinating bird-populated islands of Binangaan and Cajos del Bajo, which are surrounded by waters with over 500 species of marine life and luxuriant coral growth represented by approximately 400 to 500 kaleidoscopic coral species.

Presing Park located in Lumang Bayan, Sablayan is a five hectare park overlooking the sea. Here stands the historic watchtower (Parola) that was used by the early natives to prey on Muslim Vintas. In the middle of the park near the Parola is a 15th century cannon belived to have been used against Moro pirates in the early day.

Pandan Grande Island of Sablayan, a 30-hectare coral islet that is surrounded by white sand beach. It is also the nearest jump-off point to Apo Reef.

Ambulong Island,one of the three major attractions of the industrial town of San Jose. This 3000 hectare island has underwater caves, fine white beaches, cliffs and abundant coral formations.

Ilin Island of San Jose, has a village of shell divers, being abundant in shells and coral reefs.

White Island in San Jose, an almost mile-long beach with smooth and powdery white sand. A ideal place for swimming, scuba diving and fishing. Turtle eggs are occasionally found buried in the sand.

Lubang Island in the northern part of the province and offers stunning beaches and fabulous coves. This was where Hiroo Onoda, the last Japanese straggler of World War II, hid himself for 30 years before he finally surrendered in 1974.

Tagbac located on the western portion of Lubang Island, which more than five kilometer of gradually sloping golden-hued sandy beach lined with coconut trees.

Hulagaan Falls in the southeast of Lubang is a series of falls leading to a stony shore.

Mabil Island of the northeastern coast of Lubang is a favorite fishing ground for sportsmen who cross the narrow channel from Nasugbu, Batangas.

Cabra Island, northwest of Lubang, is another favorite fishing ground of laocal and foreign anglers; it used to be a popular pilgrimage site because of reported apparitions of the Blessed Virgin.

Purnaga Cave in Magsaysay, inside the cave are several compartments with the size of small cargo containers. Found to contain guano deposits and water pools, the cave is believed to extend to the adjacent province of Oriental Mindoro.

Besay Falls in Lubang is composed of a series of cascades that flow into a basin of crystal clear water about 5 meters in diameter. The scenic road to the waterfalls passes though a rice plantation and a carabao pasture.

Tamaraw Gene Pool in Kanturoy, Rizal. It is a protected area with seven captive Tamaraws. The Tamaraw (Bubalus Mindorensis) is one of the world's rarest animal species and endemic to Occidental Mindoro.

Festivals

SAKNUNGAN celebrated by the residents of San Jose every 25th to 27th of April. It was a 3-day thanksgiving festival highlighted by streetdances and parades. Saknungan is a Mangyan term which means ""bayanihan"" or the spirit of cooperation, brotherhood, and unity at work - the spirit portrayed by the Mindoreņos day-to-day, especially during the planting and the harvesting seasons.

Hotels & Resorts

Apo Reef Club - Calintaan, Occidental Mindoro.

Mindoro Plaza Hotel & Restaurant - San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.

Sea Coast Hotel - San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.

White House Safari Lodge - San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.

Sikatuna Beach Resort - San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.

Pandan Island Resort - Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.

Calawagan Mountain Resort - Paluan, Occidental Mindoro.

Mamburao Beach Resort - Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro.

Tayamaan Beach - Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro.