Kitesurfing in Mindoro, Philipines

Kitesurfing in Mindoro, Philipines

Laura Vrabie
696
Overview
  • Peak season: november - april
  • Wind: 15-25 knots
  • Level: beginner, intermediate, advanced
  • Style: freestyle, freeride, wakestyle, waveriding
  • Air temp: ± 30°C
  • Water temp: ± 26°C
  • Suitable for: Group, Couple
  • Ambiance: Relaxed
Landscape in Mindoro Island, showing the sea and the land
Pros and Cons
+ Amazing flat water and wave spots
+ Great for beginners and advanced riders
+ Strong wind
+ Unlimited downwind trips possibilities to explore new islands
- Remote, the spot is located in the jungle, not many things to do outside of the spot (which is not a problem as long there is wind)
- Windy season happenes to be quite the same with typhoons season
- Wifi and phone signal is not reliable
- Sea urchins, you need special water shoes
What makes this place special?
People on a boat in Mindoro Island
Kitesurfing in Mindoro island is a special experience because you have the chance to live in the jungle, among palm trees, without giving up comfort, and having exactly 10 steps from your bungalow to the water. The scenery is spectacular, wild, untouched by civilization.
Because there are so many deserted islands you can explore by kite, it is impossible to get bored, since you can change the spot and kite conditions every day.
As a trivia info, the promo videos for the new North kite - Reach are shot in Mindoro island. (the deserted island videos) I don’t think this is by chance, since the area is super diverse, both for kite conditions and exotic landscapes.
How to get there?
  • Intl Flight to Manila
  • Local flight : Manila - San Jose (Mindoro island)
  • Bus Transfer San Jose airport - Bulalacao (3h)
Summary
Kitesurf Mindoro is a remote spot, in the south of Mindoro island (Philippines). It is right in the heart of the jungle, situated 55 km away from the San Jose airport. (which is 1 h flight away from Manila).
The spot, owned by a german kite addict lady, Katherine, settled in Philippines for more than 10 years, is organised to offer the whole package for a kite trip: accomodation, food, beach bar, kite gear rental, small kite accessories shop, launching/landing assistance, kite courses, downwind trips among the small, close by islands (the boat takes you from the spot), no wind days activities and excursions, massage, yoga. Once you get there, after quite a long trip, indeed, all you have to worry is about what kite to use for your next riding session.
The resort can accommodate maximum 25 guests (it is designed to remain this way) and the access to the kite spot is available exclusively for resort’s guests. Also, Kitesurf Mindoro is built with utmost respect for the environment, for the local culture and community.
Because of these reasons, the vibes are relaxed, cosy and friendly. The resort team offers also assistance for renting motorbikes, tricycles or vans if you’re interested to explore the main island or for whatever activities your group is interested to do.
Wind, Weather and Water
We have been there at the end of november - beginning of december, so at the start of the wind season. We got good days of wind, in which I used mostly a 9m kite (my weight is 50 kg), but there were few days when I got to use my 6m kite. Out of 3 weeks we got only 8-9 kite days, because a typhoon happened during our stay (stage 3 of 5 on a risk scale), which meant 2-3 no wind days before and 2-3 days of no wind after; the typhoon lasted 2 days in which we got stuck at the spot, because the flights and ferries were cancelled.
We were safe, the spot is in a protected area, not in the typhoon direction. There were only minor damages, but it was not the same for the nearby village (were there were electricity poles knocked down and many bamboo houses of the locals). Till the typhoon came, the weather was sunny, around 28-30 C and the water very warm, I used only a 2mm shorty, but it could be use only a swim suit or boardshorts; so, summer conditions.
The Spot
The spot is in fact the beach in front of the bungalows we stayed at; it’s quite a narrow beach (we needed to be extra careful at the palm trees while launching and landing) , but since it is available to maximum 25 people, the space was enough, on the water and off the water. The kite conditions in the small bay are good for beginners (flat), the wind is side on shore. The intermediate and advanced riders can ride away from the shore, but still remaining inside the bay, which is surrounded by a coral reef.
We had to wear special water shoes, is full of sea urchins. Also, we had to take into consideration the low/high tide intervals - during our stay in the mornings (til 9-10) the tide was low, so we had to wait, we couldn’t ride, even if there was wind.
Anyways, Kitesurf Mindoro team organises the activities schedule according to the tide, so each day they suggest downind trips in nearby islands and spots.
The boat took us right from the spot, which is very convenient. Our group had been in 3 downwind trips, and some of them were epic.
Kitesurf Mindoro offers also kite gear rental (F-one), small kite acccesories shop, launching/landing assistance, kite courses. You won’t need gear storage, you can “park” it in front of your bungalow.
Accommodation
We stayed in the bungalows (it’s cool to get out of the room and to already be at the kite spot). The accommodation is really nice - simple, minimalistic, comfy and clean. Bungalows have private bathroom - and this is where it starts to get interesting: the bathroom is outdoors, jungle style, which means you can take a shower under the palms, and in the evening to brush your teeth under the moonlight and the stars.
Even though you are outdoor, the privacy is ensured by a tall bamboo fence. It’s a cool experience!
Kitesurf Mindoro also offers accommodation in glamping tents (with electricity, power outlet, beds) and normal tents (installed in a bamboo gazebo, with inflatable mattress) - for this options there is acces to the public toilet and showers, clean and modern, (but not outdoor).
The resort can accomodate maximum 25 people.
Food & Drinks
Kitesurf Mindoro package includes all 3 meals/day (in the area there are no other alternatives, anyway - the spot is remote, at some distance from the fishermen village or the small town of Bulalacao, and because is not a touristic area, there are no restaurants, dinners or places to serve food) The breakfast and lunch are served as a buffet, and the dinner is served with everyone sitting at the big table in the main gazebo, family style. It’s a la carte menu, 3 courses meal (also vegetarian option) The food is cooked from local, fresh products, according to what’s in season in the village market: fruits, vegetables, fish. The rice is to be found on every meal.
At breakfast I was happy to find oatmeal, baby bananas and other fruits (unfortunatelly it was not the mango season, it was only….watermelon season) But philippinese cooking is not especially to my taste: they often use a sugar cane syrup which makes most of the food to be too sweet. Still, I can recommend few delicious tuna steaks and grilled tuna. If you are coffee lovers, you should know that in Philippines you’ll be able to find only instant coffee, so you would better bring your own roasted coffee from home. It would appreciate to know this info before soending 3 weeks in Philippines, where I find real coffee only in Manila airport, on my way back home) Kitesurf Mindoro offers espresso, but it’s not the espresso taste we are used to in Europe.
The Kitesurf Mindoro beach bar serves alcoholic drinks, so you’re all set about that.
Nightlife
There is no nightlife. It’s not a touristic area, so there are no bars, pubs, clubs or party places around. We used to stay in the evening at the beach, relax, telling stories over few drinks.
The beach bar at the spot closes at 11 pm, but we could stay on the beach as long as we wanted. Anyway, after few windy days, our batteries were empty around 10 - 11 pm
No wind activities
People in nature, near a waterfall in Mindoro Island
Because we got few no wind days, we had the chance to try most of the extra activities suggested by Kitesurf Mindoro team:
  • Waterfall trip - the waterfall is spectacular, we could swim there, it’s worth it; even the road to the waterfall was fun, we went by motorbikes, tricyles, the walked through rice fields and jungle
  • Sunset trip - boat or kite trip to a bay where we got a specacular sunset view
  • 1 day trip to Pandan island (a dive resort) we snorkel in a turtles spot (but just few lucky ones got to see the turtles), it was a nice experience, anyway; close by there is the world’s longest zipline (1.7km above the water between 2 islands), unfortunately, we could not ride it, was close because of the strong wind
  • Hiking
  • Snorkel gear - available to rent at the spot
  • SUP - available to rent at the spot
  • Beach volley field - available la spot
Good to know
Girl walking on the beach in Mindoro Island
  • Philippines islands are exposed to typhoons; although the typhoon season is between june to november, it can happen outside of this months, so it’s something quite unpredictable. Kitesurf Mindoro was hit by another typhoon after we left, on Christmas and the damages this time were higher. The spot could not function for few weeks. Also, because of the safety reasons the flights and ferry rides were canceled during typhoon.
  • The smoking is not allowed outside, on the city streets and also outdoor terraces, restaurants in Philippines - there are huge fines (up to 200USD) for breaking this "No smoking rule"
  • Pack your own roasted coffee if you don’t like instant coffee
Useful contacts