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Mindoro is a stunning rainforest island where hiking and scuba diving are some of the most rewarding activities.

Inserted/Added by: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel

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Mindoro separated in Occidental Mindoro (west) and Oriental Mindoro (east) is one of the least developed main islands in the Philippines. You can catch a glimpse of the indigenous people called Mangyans, who still inhabit most of the highlands and continue to live their solitude life. You can visit Mt Calavite Wildlife Sanctuary, Mount Iglit - Baco National Park and Parola Park with its watch towers, cannons and bells, unfortunately all in bad state. For those interesting in bushwalking and hiking through its dense rainforest, you can walk along several well established mountain trails such as the Tabinay-Talipanan Trail but also mountaineering and climbing to the summits of Mount Halcon, Mt. Banahaw, Mt. Mayon and Mt. Calavite is possible. You will come across many hilly plains, limestone caves, lakes, rivers, natural springs, excellent waterfalls (Tamaraw Falls) and more shoreward you will find many pristine white sanded beached and secluded islands such as Alibatan Island in Baco, Ambulong Island and Lubang Island. Its flora and fauna life is astonishing and consider yourself one of the lucky ones if you spot the endemic Tamaraw or Mindoro Dwarf Buffalo.

Some of the more popular destinations for scuba diving are Pandan Island and Puerto Galera. Pandan island is a quiet and small island in the west of Mindoro, easily reached from Sablayan, particularly interesting as it is one of the best points to book liveaboard trips to Apo Reef and Apo Island, one of the world's top dive destinations. Puerto Galera is becoming one of the fastest growing tourist destinations resembling backpacker paradises as they already exist in Thailand and Indonesia. Other regions nearby are Marinduque Island which is particularly known for its remoteness and steep walls dropping down in the Sibuyan Sea. Also Verde Island, which lies between Luzon and Mindoro's north borders, is known as one of the richest dive regions in the Philippines with an extremely wide bio-diversity. Wherever you are in Mindoro, there are some scuba locations nearby, some suiting novice divers and trainees while other areas should only be visited by professional divers with their own equipment.

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