Getting there & away
Unless you're chartering a plane or flying into San José, you will be coming to Mindoro by boat.
The usual route to Mindoro is from Batangas, in southern Luzon, to Puerto Galera.
A convenient way to get from Manila to Puerto Galera (via Batangas) is by the combined air-con bus and boat services offered by competitors Si-Kat (0916 576 0405, 02-521 3344 in Manila; Citystate Tower Hotel) and Island Cruiser(523 8841, 0917 339 3373, 02-522 1515 in Manila; Lotus Garden Hotel). Both have booking desks in Manila and at Muelle pier in the township of Puerto Galera.
Both services depart from A Mabini St in Ermita, Manila at 8am: the Si-Kat bus from the Citystate Tower Hotel and the Island Cruiser bus from the Lotus Garden Hotel. They connect with pumpboats at Batangas at around 10.45am and arrive at Muelle pier at noon. Return trips depart from Muelle pier at 8am and arrive in Manila around 1pm. Si-Kat costs P500/1000 one way/return, and Island Cruiser P500/975.
Pumpboats leave Batangas regularly during the day until around 4pm and you will find offices for all the main shipping lines at the pier. The lines are Super Diamond(0917 350 8121), with four to five daily services to Puerto Galera (P140, 1¼ hours); Datinguinoo(0917 361 0772), with six daily services to Sabang (P100, 1¼ hours); and Brian Shipping (0917 273 5070) and Golden Falcon (0918 518 2683), each with four to eight daily services to White Beach (P120, 1¼ hours).
There are also two car ferries, the Starlight Odyssey (043-723 9965) and the Montenegro Maria Kristina (043-723 8294), that sail from Batangas to Balatero pier (P130, two hours, three to four daily), about 3km west of Puerto Galera.
Be careful when you get off the bus at the Batangas pier, as some travellers have been scammed by touts who'll claim that the last boat to Mindoro has just left, hoping that you'll charter one of their small and rickety outriggers (for an outrageous P2500). Even if it's late in the day, check with the ticket offices in the terminal building before resorting to a special trip, as there are often late departures of passenger boats. Alternatively, you can take one of the frequent services to Calapan, which run later, and travel overland to Puerto Galera the next day.
There's a P10 terminal fee for all passengers leaving Batangas; pay at a booth in the terminal.
From Roxas there are regular, round-the-clock car ferries to Caticlan (P220, four hours), the entry point for Boracay.
A large pumpboat (P160, three hours) and a car ferry (P175, three hours) run one to two times daily from Roxas to Odiongan.
Mindoro's only commercial airport is near San José, in little-travelled Mindoro Occidental. Tourists who fly here are almost invariably bound for North Pandan Island. Asian Spirit (491 4151, 02-855 3333 in Manila) flies once daily to/from Manila (P1600, 45 minutes).