Mindoro , one of the Philippines’ larger islands, is divided from Luzon- location of capital Manila- by the Verde Island Passage. Some say this narrow body of water is the most biodiverse on the planet. You could be forgiven for blindly agreeing as you cross it accompanied by a pod of pilot whales and frolicking dolphins. First colonised by Spanish explorers who realized that the deep natural harbour gave easy passage through the extensive coral reefs, northern Mindoro is now one of the most lively dive-tourism areas in the country. These waters were first declared a marine reserve way back in the mid-1930s; in 1973, they became a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve.
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Mindoro is famous for its excellent beaches, coral reefs, and exquisite dive sites. The novice and even the veteran scuba diver will surely have extraordinary discoveries and adventures at every turn! Easy beginner dives amongst pristine corals and advanced high intensity drift dives through deep canyons await scuba diving enthusiasts in Puerto Galera.
The opportunities for underwater photography are second to none. The area is well-known for having a high concentration of marine biodiversity -- one of the richest in the world! The variety of species found in Puerto Galera even outnumber that of Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
In Mindoro, the temperatures reach an average of 23-32°C for the air and 25-30°C for the water. From June to October the weather is rainy, from November to February it is cool and dry and there is a risk of typhoon in May.
Most hotels, resorts and other forms of accommodations are situated in Puerto Galera, with only a handful in other municipalities. There is a wide spectrum to choose from, beginning with economy to first-class. A number of resorts in Puerto Galera, particularly in Sabang Beach offer tour and watersports packages to guests that includes island hopping around Puerto Galera, snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking. The main Hotel is the first- class hotel Heritage Hotel Manila, it is only 8 mins from the airport, very comfortable, perfect for quick stopovers. There is also Atlantis Dive Resorts, a resort that truly focuses on its diver guests or you can also go to Buri Resort and Spa, Marco Vincent and Oceana.
Puerto Galera town, Problacion was once a fishing village. It has banks, restaurants, shops ans a public market were you can go. Beside the Catholic Church is the Excavation Museum which has ancient Chinese artefacts and pottery found in the area. There are waterfalls at Tamaraw, a natural swimming pool at the base of Villaflor. If you are interested into tribes, you will enjoy visiting Mangyan Village, the home to Mondoro’s once coastal nomads. These tribes have tried to avoid any outside influences in order to protect their own culture. Nearby, on Small Tabinay River are gold-digging sites.
The best place to go is Sabang Beach were you will find several discos open from around 8 PM till past midnight, some 24/7 places to hang out all night and some nice music places or Videoke.
Typical for the Philippines are the many festivals and processions. The explanation for the most of all these fiestas has to be found in the domination of one specific religion in the Philippines. The majority of the cultural celebrations is closely related to the Catholic religion. Nearly 90% of the Filipinos are Roman Catholic. If you like fiestas, it is really worth to visit the Philippines, especially in January, April, May and June. The most known and biggest fiestas take place in these months. For the Filipinos themselves, every year the festivals and processions are days of great joy and happiness. Fiestas or any community celebration usually feature music, dancing, and food feasts. The most known are the procession of the Black Nazarene, the Ati-Atihan, the Sinulog, the Flores de Mayo and the Santa Cruzan. The colourful dress is most of the time not traditional. To see really traditional clothes, you have to visit the remote areas on Luzon and Mindanao for example.