Oriental Mindoro is making big waves as one of the primary ecotourism destinations in the Philippines. Covering an area of 4,238.4 square kilometers, the province is surrounded by lush green forests and crystal clear waters harboring various animal and plant species. A study revealed that Oriental Mindoro, which is located in Southern Tagalog Region, is among the places blessed with a rich biodiversity across the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
Its unspoiled beaches make Oriental Mindoro a favorite among water sports enthusiasts. They said that the province, which is situated around 140 kilometers south of Manila, has some of the country's best diving spots. Easy access to public transport also allows Oriental Mindoro to become a magnet for local and foreign tourists seeking to have a break from the city life. Currently, there are a combined 35 daily trips from Batangas City International Port to Calapan.
Tourists will never run out of activities to do in the province. A wide selection of attractions from pristine beaches to colorful festivals awaits visitors in Oriental Mindoro. The following are some of the reasons why this island paradise is one of the leading travel destinations in the Philippines.
Aside from Boracay and Palawan, Puerto Galera is home to some of the country's finest beaches. This coastal town, which is only roughly three hours from Manila, boasts of some of the most diverse coral reef diving sites in Asia. Two of the top attractions in town are Sabang Beach and White Beach. There are dozens of resorts and accommodations that will fit your interest and budget in Puerto Galera.
Oriental Mindoro is also an ideal place for the adventurous. The municipality of Baco is home to Mt. Halcon, the third highest peak in the country. Towering over 8,000 feet above sea level, the mountain provides a sanctuary for a wide variety of flora and fauna. Despite its enticing beauty, Mt. Halcon is considered the most difficult to climb among Philippine mountains due to frequent rains and occasional floods.
Another popular attraction in Oriental Mindoro is Aras Cave. This natural wonder in the municipality of San Teodoro has unique stalactite formations. What keeps tourists from flocking to this cave is the presence of a falls inside. Aras Cave has placed San Teodoro on the local tourism map.
One of the highly anticipated events in the province is the Sanduguan Festival. This annual merrymaking marks the first barter trade between early tribesmen and Chinese traders in 900 AD. Sanduguan Festival, which is held in the provincial capital, Calapan, on the third week of April, features various activities such as street dancing, agriculture fairs, and dance competitions.
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Allan Leandro Merin has been writing for a living since 2008. After leaving a career at a daily electronic newspaper, he joined a web development outsourcing company and linked up with Local Philippines, the most comprehensive online directory of Philippine destinations, events, and attractions.