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Things to do in Pandan Island, Sablayan, Mindoro, Philippines

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor April 23rd, 2021 Posted in DIY Travel, Guide for Filipinos, Travel Blog, Travel Guides No comments

If you want a quiet retreat away from the party crowd in Puerto Galera, go to the gorgeous Pandan Island. On this tropical island with a resort in Occidental Mindoro, you’ll surely be in for a treat! It’s a gateway to a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the best diving destinations in the world, the Apo Reef. Here’s our list of things to do in Pandan Island!

Travel Guide to Pandan Island, Sablayan, Mindoro with a DIY Itinerary
Photo from Wiki.mjmasangkay CC BY-SA 4.0

Sablayan is the largest municipality in Occidental Mindoro and the Philippines. It is also known to be where the largest penal facility in the country is. In this place, they have a quiet retreat without television and pollution, just Mother Nature and its creatures. Spend a holiday in this gorgeous paradise!

Things to do in Pandan Island

Travel Guide to Pandan Island, Sablayan, Mindoro with a DIY Itinerary
Photo by Kris-Mikael Krister CC BY 2.0

1. Dive

One of the best things to do in Pandan Island is to dive! There are various dive sites all over the island, from the house reef dive for beginners to the Barracuda Deep dive for the experts. If you don’t know how to dive, there’s a dive shop where you can learn a simple course. It’s going to be a memorable experience you should try!

2. Relax

Take a break from the world and unwind on this tranquil island. With no TVs and slow internet, you’ll inevitably reconnect yourself with nature. Swim in the clear blue waters and watch the stars at night. It will be a surreal experience!

3. Search some birds

Because Pandan Island doesn’t have many tourists and is well maintained, there are abundant birds in the forest nearby. Check out some Emerald doves, scrubfowls, sunbirds, parrots, and many more. You can even hear them chirping in the morning to wake you up!


Here are the costs you might incur during your trip to Pandan Island:

Boat Fee

  • There is a Bangka named Baby shark that gets you to Pandan Island
  • The price is PHP 200 per person plus PHP 50 per person during day time
  • During night time, you may add another PHP 50 for your boat fee
  • Regular operation is from 6 AM to 9 PM
  • Boat capacity is from 10 – 15 persons


  • Picnic – PHP 250 (If you are staying, you won’t need to pay this)
  • Environmental Fee

Travel Guide to Pandan Island, Sablayan, Mindoro with a DIY Itinerary 04


  • Since there is only one resort in Pandan Island, here are the costs you may incur:
  • Additional Person – PHP 850 for adults and PHP 500 for children aged 4- 12

Travel Guide to Pandan Island, Sablayan, Mindoro with a DIY Itinerary


  • For Full board Meals (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) – PHP 750 / 500 for children aged 4 – 12
  • Buffet Meal (Lunch or Dinner) – PHP 470 / 300 for children aged 4 – 12
  • Picnic Lunch – PHP 260


  • Snorkeling Gear – PHP 200 per day
  • Fun Dive – Starting PHP 1,300
  • Intro Drive – Starting PHP 2,500
  • Apo Reef Trip – Starts at PHP 3,600 for non-divers and PHP 9,400 for divers
Travel Guide to Pandan Island, Sablayan, Mindoro with a DIY Itinerary
Photo by Dr. Dwayne Meadows, NOAA/NMFS/OPR CC BY 2.0

How to get to Pandan Island

By Plane from NAIA

  • In Mindoro Occidental, there is one airport
  • Book a flight from NAIA to San Jose Airport

From the San Jose Airport to Sablayan

  • Go to the bus station in San Jose (PHP 20 for the tricycle)
  • Ride a public bus or jeep to Sablayan (PHP 180 – 200)
  • Ride a tricycle that brings you to “Punta” which is in front of Ludi’s Place

By Bus from Manila (Direct)

  • Ride a Ceres or Partas Bus from Cubao or Pasay to Sablayan (or San Jose)
  • The fare is from PHP 900 – 1,000
  • You will be riding a ferry from Batangas to Mindoro
  • Travel Time is from 8 – 10 hours

Via Batangas

  • If you are near Batangas, you may not need to travel to Manila
  • Go to Port of Batangas in Sta. Clara and ride a ferry to Abra De Ilog, Occidental Mindoro
  • Trips are every 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM
  • Regular fare is PHP 260; they also provide discounts to students or children
  • Travel time is about 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • From the port, you can get on a bus to Sablayan which will take about 2.5 – 3 hours

Travel Guide Tips to Pandan Island

  • You can enjoy a picnic or a day tour on the island from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • There is no generator on Pandan Island; it’s powered mostly by solar electricity, you might want to charge beforehand
  • There can be a Wi-Fi connection on the island
  • The Restaurant serves Filipino and European cuisine
  • A Bar is located in the heart of the island where you could meet some company and new friends

Sample Itinerary in Pandan Island

Day 1 in Pandan Island

8:00 AM – Arrive in Pandan Island
9:00 AM – Dive / Snorkel  / Relax
12:00 PM – Lunch / Nap
3:00 PM – Tour the Island / Bird Watching
6:00 PM – Dinner / Night Swimming / Stargazing / Sleep

Day 2 in Pandan Island

6:00 AM- Breakfast / Early Swim / Dive
10:00 AM –Wash Up / Prepare to Go home
11:00 AM – Check-Out / Trip to Mainland
12:00 PM – Go back to Manila

Travel Guide to Pandan Island, Sablayan, Mindoro with a DIY Itinerary
Photo by Travelmag CC BY 2.0

Pandan Island will genuinely mesmerize you by its untouched beauty and bountiful marine life. I hope this travel guide to Pandan Island will let you know what to do and how to go there. It’s a great place to learn a new skill, like diving. Good luck with your future adventure. Happy Travels!

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About the Writer

Lyza Paloma

Hey, I’m Lyza! I once was a person who just imagined going to places “one day” but decided to pursue my dreams. My first travel abroad was in Japan, solo, last 2018, and fell in love with the journey since. I aim to visit 10 countries before turning 30 and 2 new places in the Philippines every year. Besides traveling, I love organizing trips, taking pictures, reading, and making new friends. Follow my adventures through my Instagram.

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