Home to pristine islands, incredible beaches and untouched nature.

Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro

The name Puerto Galera is Spanish for “Port of the Galleons.” For centuries, trading vessels would drop anchor of the shores of this place on the northeastern coast of Mindoro Island.

Today it’s one of the top places for a quick weekend trip for the people of Metro Manila. Puerto Galera is just a few hours away. The party’s always on at White Beach. Its restaurants and bars do a good trade. But if you’re looking for something more laid-back, head to a private resort in Sabang or Muelle (the main port) beach.

The “center of the center” of marine biodiversity in the world is Verde Passage – the waters between Batangas and Mindoro. Its coral reefs house about 60 percent of the world’s shore fish. Sabang is your jump-off point.

Apo Reef, Sablayan, Mindoro Occidental

This is the country’s top dive site. Barracudas, giant schools of jacks, eagle rays and hawksbill sea turtles all share a home on the reef. Also be on the lookout for white-and black-tip sharks and Napoleon wrasses.

The World Wildlife Fund – Philippines has been very active in the conservation of this 27,469-hectare offshore atoll formation, including educating people about its abundant sea life.

The Task Force MARLEN (Marine and Apo Reef Law Enforcement for Nature) also coordinates efforts with the local park rangers of Bantay Dagat (Ocean Patrol) to ward off and penalize poachers and waste-dumpers in the protected area.

The marine park is open to visitors who want to see its beautiful sights without disturbing its marine life.

The best time to visit the world’s second largest contiguous coral reef is from late March to May.