Top 10 Occidental Mindoro Tourist Spots

Occidental Mindoro

Have you ever wondered where to travel after the pandemic?  

Just south of Luzon, naturally wondrous tourist spots are found in the province of Occidental Mindoro. As a local would say: “Proud to be a Mindoreño”. Indeed, the Occidental Mindoro province (Oksi) is home to many beaches, scenic landscapes, eco parks and friendly locals.

Oksi has also gained the title Marine Wonderland of the Philippines as it houses the second-largest contiguous coral reef system in the world, the Apo Reef. Other than marine biodiversity, there are lots to be discovered in this almost pristine sanctuary; you’ll surely love spending your vacation here.

You may like to read: 10 Best Restaurants In Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro

10 Best Occidental Mindoro Tourist Spot

#1 Apo Reef Natural Park

Apo Reef, located in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro is one of the best tourist spots not only in Occidental Mindoro but in the whole country. The reef is recognized as the second-largest contiguous reef system second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It is one of the most visited diving sites in the Philippines.

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This well-protected reef is highly maintained by the national and local governments. In fact, it was formerly called “Natural Park” in 1996 and later called a special “Tourism Zone and Marine Reserve” by the local government.

There are diving and non-diving activities that tourists can try with minimal disturbance to the natural ecosystem. A large variety of marine life forms can be seen when you visit this pristine place such as jellyfish, turtles, reef sharks, manta rays and a diverse of coral system and other marine lifeforms.

Apo Reef is located in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro. You may contact the Tourism Office of Sablayan to arrange a group visit.

  • Location/Jump-off: Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro
  • Entrance Fee: Php 225 per person
  • Diving Fee: Php 1,980 per person
  • Dive Master Fee: Php 500 per dive
  • Equipment Rental: Php 1,600 per person

#2 MT. Iglit-Baco National Park of Occidental Mindoro

Another one of the most frequented tourist spots in Occidental Mindoro is Mount Iglit-Baco National Park. This national heritage park is the natural habitat of the endemic Tamaraw, the only endemic Philippine bovine in the country. Other forms of wildlife can also be found in the Park like the Philippine deer, wild pig and a number of bird species, endemic only to the Philippines.

 
 
 
 
 
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If you are a mountain climber, this is definitely a hike-worthy trip for you. It has 8 major river systems, scenic landscapes, and steep ridges that would take two days and one night to hike.

Mount Iglit-Baco National Park covers large areas of the central part of the province of Mindoro. It is located in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro. You should contact first the Tourism Office of Sablayan to assign a tour guide for you and arrange your visit.

  • Location/Jump-off: Sablayan/Calintaan, Occidental Mindoro
  • Environmental Fee: Php 55 per person
  • Guide Fee: Php 1000 per day for every group
  • Ranger Guide: Php 500 per day for every group

#3 Grace Island Resort

The Grace Island Resort may be ranked the best island resort in the province. The beach has floating cottages overlooking the clear waters and sandy beach. The resort is a perfect getaway for couples, family and friends. It has a great sunrise and sunset view you would not want to miss from an island trip.

 
 
 
 
 
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Aside from swimming over its clear waters, you can also enjoy activities such as mini banana boat ride, zipline, and jetski. If you want to experience more of the island life, you can visit the bird and marine sanctuary located in the resort.

Grace Island resort is located in Ambulong Island, only a 30-minute boat ride from the town of San Jose. Ambulong island is itself a tourist destination. You can also explore this island before going to the resort.

  • Location/Jump-off: Ambulong, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro
  • Family/Couple Package (inclusive of other activities): Php 3,000-6,000

#4 White Island of Occidental Mindoro

Also known as  “Manadi Island” which translates to “Sudden Disappearance,” White Island is the best tourist spot for the mystery lovers. According to the rumors, the island suddenly disappeared a long time ago, and then it re-appeared again.

 
 
 
 
 
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White Island is a small beach island that has creamy-white sands. It is an ecological sanctuary teeming with rich marine resources like fish and turtles. It is a nice place to escape from the city and a place to cool and unwind.

The White Island is an ideal destination for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing. Some parts of the shore are breeding grounds for turtles. You can walk around the whole island in just a few minutes. There is no electricity nor stores in the island so you have to bring your own food and charge your devices before going to the island.

To visit the White Island, you can charter a boat from the Caminawit port in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. The island is only a 15-minute boat ride from the town.

  • Location/Jump-off: Caminawit, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro
  • Entrance Fee: Php 50 per person
  • Cottage Fee: Php 150-500 per day

#5 Ragara Beach Resort

Ragara beach resort is a gem to find in the small town of Calintaan, Occidental Mindoro. It is one of the most highly-ranked resorts in the province. One traveler reviewed it as “similar feels as Boracay, but less crowded”. It has a beautiful sunset view and a serene environment. If you want to escape the noise of the city, this is definitely the place for you to visit.

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If you are planning to hike the Mt. Iglit-Baco National Park where you can see the natural habitat of Tamaraw, you might want to try this resort which is also located near the Park.

  • Location/Jump-off: Concepcion, Calintaan, Occidental Mindoro
  • Entrance Fee: Php 50 per person
  • Cottage Fee: Php 150-500 per day

#6 Pandan Island Resort

Pandan island resort is a small private, eco-tourism resort accessible by a 15-minute boat ride from the town of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro. It is a protected marine park with 22 bungalows or rooms for tourists, a dive center, and the rest of the island is uninhabited. In fact, the island gets its electricity from solar panels. 

 
 
 
 
 
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There are a lot of activities that can be done while enjoying scenic views from this island. This island resort is frequented by diver as it is home to many marine animals and other marine life forms. There are other activities you can do as well like ocean kayaks, beach volleyball and other recreation activities. You can also walk around the island and experience the serenity of the surrounding. If you’re planning to go to Occidental Mindoro, you should check out and make reservations in this resort.

  • Location/Jump-off: Buenavista, Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro
  • Environmental Fee: Php 75-275 per person
  • Apo reef Marine Park fee(48hrs): Php 390(local)- Php 780(foreigner)

#7 Inasakan Beach of Occidental Mindoro

Formerly known as Mina de Oro Beach, Inasakan Beach is an uncrowded beach known for its fine white sands and crystal clear water. Mina de Oro is a Spanish phrase that also means goldmine or a source of wealth or profit. Truthfully, if you visit this beach, you will discover a goldmine.

 
 
 
 
 
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The beach is popular with the locals, just ask where Inasakan Beach is located, and they will lead the way to this paradise. It is home to a wide variety of underwater life forms. You’ll definitely spend your vacation here with family or loved ones worry-free and stress-free. This beach is also located in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, about a 1-hr boat ride from the Caminawit port.

  • Location/Jump-off: Inasakan, Ilin Island, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro
  • Entrance Fee: Php 30 per person

#8 Siburan Rain Forest

If you are an adventurer or a nature-tripper, Siburan Rain Forest is the most recommended place for you to visit. Siburan Forest, is the largest remaining lowland forest in Occidental Mindoro. It is also known for its biggest lake in Sablayan, the Libao Lake.

 
 
 
 
 
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It is located inside the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm. It is notably the best bird and wildlife-watching site in Occidental Mindoro. The forest is a primary birding destination for the rare endemic birds such as the Mindoro Bleeding-heart Pigeon, Mindoro hornbill and a lot more. The wonderful view of this place will hold a memorable experience for you and your family. Get in touch with the Eco-tourism office of Sablayan if you’re planning to visit the Siburan Forest.

  • Location/Jump-off: Sta. Lucia,Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro
  • Environmental Fee: Local Tourist Php55, Sablayeño- Php25

#9 Calawagan Mountain Resort

Another unique nature adventure to look out for when visiting Occidental Mindoro is the Calawagan Mountain Resort. This public resort features several waterfalls, pools, cottages and hiking trails. The Calawagan river that runs through the resort was awarded as the cleanest inland body of water in 1996-1998.

 
 
 
 
 
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If you want to hike a mountain, cross a river, swim under a waterfall, this is the best place for you to visit. It is also an ideal place to relax and commune with nature. The resort is an hour trip from Mamburao, the capital of Occidental Mindoro.

  • Location/Jump-off: Brgy Alipaoy, Paluan, Occidental Mindoro
  • Environmental Fee: Local Tourist Php. 40.00

#10 Parola Park

Parola Park is a Mountain Park that has a historic significance to the local people in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro. This used to be a watchtower in historic times. While the cannon was used to defend the town from Muslim pirates and intruders who used to raid the area.

 
 
 
 
 
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Today, a lighthouse and an old cannon could still be found there along with a picturesque view, overlooking the sea, some small islands, and the coastal areas of the town. The Park offers the best sunset view; maybe not only in town, but also in the whole province.

A lot of renovations were done to the place and a lot of townspeople visit the area to spend quality time with loved ones. There are also some activities you can try such as rock climbing, rappelling and the most exciting to try is the Sablayan Zipline Adventure. This zipline has been tagged as the longest island-to-island zipline in the world; an incredible experience you should not miss!

  • Location/Jump-off: Poblacion, Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro
  • Entrance Fee: Php. 10.00
  • Urban Guide (optional): Php 1,000

Occidental Mindoro Facts

Other than the beautiful tourist spots listed above, there are still hidden gems in the province that are waiting to be discovered. There are beaches, falls, and pristine islands that are not on the list above but would definitely be worth visiting, such as Ambulong beach/island, Tayamaan Beach, Agbala waterfalls, La playa wonder resort, and many more.

The culture in Occidental Mindoro is a mix of Visayan and Tagalog influences. Batangueños may also have influenced the culture of Mindoreños as proven by them sharing similar terms like ‘baga‘ and ‘garud‘.

Another wonder of this province is the indigenous group living in the mountains of Mindoro called Mangyan. They have been harmoniously co-existing with the locals in Mindoro for centuries now. If these aren’t enough for you to be persuaded, do not hesitate and explore this beautiful island of Occidental Mindoro.

Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm

One other reason for you to visit Occidental Mindoro is that the famed Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm is accepting tourists too. The farm showcases artificial landscapes built from stones and wires along the highway of the province.

 
 
 
 
 
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Established in 1952, the Prison and Penal Farm is a relatively new penal colony. The Bureau of Correction that supervises the Penal Farm offers a variety of inmate work programs such as livelihood, healthcare services, education, sports, moral and spiritual programs.

The purpose of the inmate work program is to keep the inmates busy and to provide the money for their personal and their family expenses. It is also the aim of the Bureau to help them acquire livelihood skills. This will help them become productive citizens once they are back in society.

Mangyan

The Indigenous People of Mindoro

During your stay in the province, you may see a group of indigents that are noticeable due to their unique clothing and difference in dialect, they belong to the Mangyan tribe. 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Mangyans live secludedly in remote or mountainous parts of Mindoro. They sustain themselves from their own crops, fruits, and hunting. But sometimes, they come down to the lowlands to trade their produce from the mountains.

They trade sacks of uling, bottles of pure wild honey and woven/pottery products with consumer goods. Some of the folks refer to them as “kaibigan” as they frequent the town and trade their goods.

How to Get to Occidental Mindoro

If you are coming from Luzon or Metro Manila, you can ride a bus going to Batangas pier via Alps or JAM liner in Cubao, Quezon City. At Batangas port, ride a ferry going to Abra (Occidental Mindoro). The fare would cost around Php 400.00 from Manila-Occidental Mindoro.

Upon arrival in the Abra port, there are a lot of transportation vehicles waiting going to Mamburao, Sablayan, Calintaan, San Jose with fares ranging from Php 100-250.00. (Note: Current fares may vary due to pandemic situation)

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