Philippines
Philippines

Mindoro and Lake Taal Off-Road Tour

An off-road motorcycle experience like no other, surrounded by colourful jungle scenery and getting up close to the local hilltribes. The Mindoro and Lake Taal tour offers you the opportunity to circumnavigate this fascinating island while testing your off-road skills and the added benefit of being able to enjoy a dip in the warm sea to clean the dirt off.

Highlights

— View Lake Taal and its 35 volcanoes
— Visit the cascading Pagsanyan waterfall and gorge
— Enjoy an overnight stay on a desert island
— Meet the fascinating Mangyan hill tribes

  • Day 1

    Manila – Puerto Galera (by bus & ferry)

    Your guide Rick will meet you at the airport and take you by air-conditioned minibus to the port of Batangas, and your ‘ferry’ to the island of Mindoro, the focus of the tour. The ferry is in fact a large outrigger, which will take you directly onto the beach, only yards from your hotel. After time to freshen up and relax, enjoy a welcome dinner and get to know the rest of the group.

    Day 2

    Puerto Galera (50 km)

    Pick up your bike in the morning and spend the day discovering the many varied local trails and attractions. For example, waterfalls with rock pools, Indian (Mangyan) tribes people, and the amazing views from the only golf club on the island, carved into the side of a mountain 700m above sea. Today gives you a chance to familiarise yourself with the local terrain and Philippine riding conditions!

    Day 3

    Puerto Galera – Calapan (80 km)

    This is the start of the circumnavigation of the island. Check out some interesting trails with river crossings and encounter spectacular waterfalls en-route to Calapan. Finish today in the provincial capital of the region, Calapan, in a beachfront hotel.

    Day 4

    Calapan – Roxas (120 km)

    Head out of the region on reasonable roads, en-route check out an old coconut lumber logging trail along the rugged coast line. Pass the vast inland Naujang Lake and head into the mountains over a very long jungle bridge which spans the huge ‘Bongabong’ river delta. Modest but clean accommodation can be expected at Roxas, as we are now deep in the provinces where accommodation is getting scarce!

    Day 5

    Roxas – San Jose (130 km)

    Travel mostly on newly cemented mountain roads, traversing the mountains that divide the island into Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro. Stop at some great little beaches, giving you a chance to cool off in the South China Sea. If you are a little more experienced, there is a tough but rewarding trail that cuts deep into ‘Mangyan’ (native people’s) territory. Your evening ends in San Jose.

    Day 6

    San Jose – Sablayan (120 km)

    Divert from dirt roads after leaving San Jose, and head into the Mount Baco National Park, where you will encounter more native settlements. If permission is granted, visit and travel through a vast penal farm with a river crossing exit to the town of Sablayan. Leave the bikes and take a boat to an island where you will stay the night in native ‘Nipa’ huts. No mains electricity and you’ll have to share accommodation here!

    Day 7

    Sablayan – Mamburao (70 km)

    A short journey today as you travel through varied terrain to arrive in the small coastal town of Mamburao, your home for the next 2 nights. Relax on the beach and have a dip in the sea before, tomorrow we’ll explore the remote northern part of this island.

    Day 8

    Mamburao (90 km)

    Head to the most northerly town of Mindoro, Paluan, and up into the foothills of Mount Calavite, visiting one of the largest Mangyan settlements on the island. Enjoy lunch in the jungle beside natural pools amongst houses on stilts. There are some great trails here to suit all ability levels, plus the chance to discover some new trails as this area is criss-crossed with Mangyan trails.

    Day 9

    Mamburao – Tagaytay (120 km)

    Catch the ferry to the island of Luzon! Head via road and trail to the mountain town of Tagatay, and the spectacular Lake Taal with its caldera of over 35 volcanoes. Most of these are active, many are under the lake’s surface. Here ride down a zig-zag trail 700m down the side of the main cauldron. Visit the volcano monitoring station before an outrigger boat trip around the main volcano island, and its seven volcanoes.

    Day 10

    Tagaytay – Pagsanjan (130 km)

    Head first to the ‘Palace in the Sky’, on Mount Sungay, built in the late 70’s and now in ruins, but the views are amazing. After descending and riding through lowland towns, head up into the Mount Banahao range, passing through small colonial villages with some very twisty semi-tarmac sections, reminiscent of Swiss alpine roads! Then down into Pagsanjan, home of the famous gorge and falls.

    Day 11

    Pagsanjan (35 km)

    Take a canoe trip up the gorge to the falls, featured in ‘Apocolypse Now’. Paddle upstream through the eerie, deep gorge, before returning down at thrilling speed. Continue to neighbouring hot springs spa town, Los Banos. Choose to visit the relaxing baths for the afternoon, or the police shooting range, where instructors will show you how to shoot 9 mm, .45 calibre automatic pistols, and Uzi sub-machine guns!

    Day 12

    Pagsanjan – Puerto Galera (100 km)

    Make an early morning start back to Puerto Galeras via the port of Batangas and the ferry. Then there’s plenty of time to relax in this popular dive resort, visit local attractions by bike or foot, scuba dive, snorkel, or relax on the many beaches – it’s up to you!

    Day 13

    Puerto Galera (free day)

    Puerto Galera is world famous for its scuba diving, many consider it has some of the most beautiful reef slopes in the world. Dive with our “Discover Scuba” programme and see for yourself what has made these waters world famous. Alternatively, the day is yours to enjoy on dry land: another day’s riding, the beach and town bekon. This evening you can celebrate the end of your great adventure at a farewell dinner.

    Day 14

    Puerto Galera to Manila

    With the end in sight, return to Manila by air-conditioned coach for return flight home, where Rick and the crew will bid you a fond farewell!

    Total Distance c. 1300 km

    (depending on trails taken). Approx 70% dirt roads/roads and 30% off-road trails, although we can vary this depending on riders’ wishes.

  • Mindoro & Lake Taal offroad tour
    Tour Dates Rider Passenger Single room supplement
    20 Jan - 02 Feb 2019 £2,145.00 £1,125.00 £275.00
    03 Feb - 16 Feb 2019 £2,145.00 £1,125.00 £275.00
    03 Mar - 16 Mar 2019 £2,145.00 £1,125.00 £275.00
    17 Mar - 30 Mar 2019 £2,145.00 £1,125.00 £275.00
    Optional SCUBA Course £85.00 £85.00
  • What's Included & What's Not
    Price Includes Price Excludes
    13-nights standard or superior accommodation
    12 days’ Honda XLR200 trail bike or similar motorcycle hire
    Fuel & Oil
    Welcome & farewell meals
    Jungle BBQ
    Entrance fees
    Airport and local transfers
    4WD dupport vehicle
    English speaking tour guide and local support team
    £250 refundable security/damage deposit to pay locally in cash
    Bullets for shooting, allow c £10 depending on how many you use
    Personal items and expenses
    Additional activities
    Riding gear
    Insurance
    Flights, stopovers and additional accommodation which can be arranged through H-C Travel

  • Rick Abbey, born West Yorkshire, England, 1962. Rick was brought up in Hong Kong as his father was a teacher in the British army and his mother an army nurse. On returning to England he qualified as a mechanical engineer and now performs all of the maintenance on our fleet of bikes – if you want a job doing right … do it yourself! is his motto (and proof he’s a Yorkshireman!). Rick cut his teeth dirt riding in the Yorkshire dales and moors (at a time when it was allowed) on a range of bikes, from trail bikes.
    In 1993 Rick went to the Philippines for a holiday, and 6 months later went back to stay. He bought himself a 1987 Yamaha DT200R straight off the back of a ship from Japan and proceeded to discover the islands over a 4-month period. It was a real eye opener, and he fell in love with the culture, the people and the diverse geography. Rick was hooked. A few years later, in 2003 Rick approached us at H-C Travel and started ‘Philippine Jungle Riders’, the rest is history as they say. Rick has a Filipino wife and two boys, who are already showing an interest in bikes, which is great, and Rick is looking forward to the day they can ride on tour.

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