The tour was fantastic, everything was perfectly planned and very enjoyable. The scenery, people, bikes and activities planned made it much more than a biking holiday. Rick has done an excellent job of preparing each day so that all thinks that we did, saw and experienced meant that it felt that we were away for a month, not just two weeks! He’s really taken time to plan the tours to make sure that we got the best of everything, and saw as much as possible to get a flavour of the Philippines. I’ll certainly recommend this tour to our pals.
John Baxendale and Vicki Hirst, UK, 2005
The bikes supplied were also in good condition which was a nice surprise as having been on a few of these tours before some of the machines we end up with have been pretty poor.
Neil Avery, UK, 2013
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 being able to enjoy a dip in the ocean to clean the dirt off.
View Lake Taal and its 35 volcanoes • Visit Pagsanyan waterfall and gorge by banquero • Enjoy an overnight stay on a desert island • Meet the fascinating Mangyan hill tribes
Day 1 Manila – Puerto Galera
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. Before ending your evening in San Jose.
Day 6 San Jose – Sablayan (120 km)
Divert from dirt roads early after leaving San Jose, and head into the Mount Baco National Park, where you will encounter more native settlements. Later – if permission is granted – visit and travel through a vast penal farm with a river crossing exit to the town of Sablayan. Here leave the bikes behind and take a boat to a desert island where you will stay the night in native ‘Nipa’ huts. No mains electricity, but solar energy powers the batteries for the only bar on the island! You have to share accommodation here, but the food more than makes up for that, as the island is owned by a French chef!
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)
An early start, as you have to catch the ferry to the island of Luzon! Head via road and trail to the pretty 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. After a visit to the volcano monitoring station take an outrigger boat trip around the main volcano island, with its seven volcanoes – offering some superb photo opportunities.
Day 10 Tagaytay – Pagsanjan (130 km)
Head first to the ‘Palace in the Sky’, on Mount Sungay, built by former President Marcos for the state visit of President Reagan some 30 years ago – the palace is now in ruins, but the views from here are amazing. After descending and riding through lowland towns, head up into the Mount Banahao range, passing through small Spanish colonial mountain villages with some very twisty semi-tarmac sections, reminiscent of Swiss alpine roads! Then down into Pagsanjan, home of the famous gorge and falls.