A rugged island cut in two by an almost impassable mountain range, Mindoro is part tropical paradise, part provincial backwater. The physical barrier of the High Rolling Mountains has led to the formation of two provinces on the island: Mindoro Oriental (east), and Mindoro Occidental (west).
Most of Mindoro's tourist industry is found on the north coast of Mindoro Oriental, in the resort towns around Puerto Galera. Here you'll find white-sand beaches, secluded coves and tropical hideaways in a stunning harbour. There is accommodation to suit everyone, from beach shacks to world-class resorts, and some of the Philippines' best diving around Sabang.
If you should tire of resort living, you only have to venture southeast of Puerto, or virtually anywhere in Mindoro Occidental, where it's possible to go for days - weeks - without seeing another foreigner. It's hard going, but if you can deal with the bad roads, the indifferent food, the dust and the grime, you will be rewarded with some unforgettable island hopping, hiking and mountain climbing - not to mention diving in pristine Apo Reef.
Despite its proximity to the main island of Luzon, Mindoro is one of the least developed places in the Philippines, which is evident from the state of its roads. Apart from the Calapan-Roxas highway, all roads are dirt and many are impassable in the wet season.