If you’re looking for a secluded and nature-inspired spot for your next adventure in the capital of Palawan, Microtel by Wyndham Puerto Princesa would be your best best choice. Situated within the Emerald Playa Beach and Nature Park, Microtel Puerto Princesa is the only beachfront hotel in the city, giving guests picturesque views of white sand shores and mangrove forests.
Palawan is a province in the Philippines known for its beautiful beaches and islands. It’s the gateway to the Puerto Princesa Underground River, a World UNESCO Heritage Site and other tropical beach destinations including El Nido, which is becoming more popular with international tourists because of various media features citing it as among the best island in the world.
Palawan is often cited in news features and magazines as one of the best islands in the world. And if you’ve been there, you’ll probably agree. Limestone rock formations, turquoise sea, white-sand beaches, fresh seafood, friendly locals and peaceful vibe. This tropical paradise offers the best representation of the Philippines.
The more I travel, the more my bucket list grows. I tick off one place only to add two more. There’s just so much to see in the world, and so little time. But before I explore outside the country, I want to see as much of the Philippines as possible.
Spiky branches of vivid orange, yellow and teal swayed lazily in the water. What looked like purple clam lips on pink brain-like corals seemingly smiled as I snorkeled by. A school of rainbow colored fish swept past me, darting in and out of the corals.
Snorkeling in the Crowning Glory Reef, a marine protected area in Culion, has got to be one of the major highlights of my trip to the Calamian islands late last year. This site is the BEST place I’ve ever tried snorkeling and my standards are now very, very high after this. All other underwater destinations I’ve visited now seem to be muted seascapes that pale in comparison to the rich marine life I saw in the Crowning Glory Reef. Continue reading
A couple of weeks before super typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan hit the Philippines, we were on the lovely island paradise of Coron. Though it was one of the areas directly in the typhoon’s path, I’m glad to hear that tourism is back in business, with most of the popular destinations, hotels and restaurants, already cleared and opened to the public according to the latest travel advisory. The town relies primarily on tourism, so I’m encouraging people who are wary about traveling to the area to continue with their trips to help the community recover somehow. If you’re planning to spend the holidays in Coron, here’s a rough guide on the best places to eat around the Coron town proper. For things to do, see my previous posts on Coron. #BangonCoron!
Thank God I didn’t insist on driving my own motorbike. That was all I could think of on what seemed like never-ending stretches of dirt roads from Coron to Calauit. Our destination was Calauit Safari Park, a game preserve where animals roam freely, located on a small island at the tip of Busuanga, Palawan. A map showed that it was roughly 70 km away from the Coron Town proper and locals said it could be reached in about 2-3 hrs time by motorbike. But like a real life version of Excitebike, the terrain seemed to challenge us with increasing levels of difficulty the longer we drove. There are dirt roads, then there are demented dirt roads. This was the latter dialed up a notch.
It seems simple enough in concept – attach bait to a hook, throw the line in the water, wait for the fish to bite and then reel them in. How hard can it be, right?
Isla Culion is probably not your typical vacationer’s destination. Locals say that most people have either never heard of Culion, or know it only for once being the world’s largest leper colony. In fact, the island was isolated for over a century. The Culion leper colony was established in 1906, and patients from different parts of the Philippines and hospital staff were brought to Culion. But in 2006, the island was declared leprosy-free by the World Health Organization.
Thanks to Kawil Tours, I was able to see firsthand how the island’s isolation has resulted in unspoiled attractions. Culion now offers a combination of otherworldly underwater seascapes, historic allure, and a genuine community spirit and hospitality that is increasingly becoming hard to find. The place offers a feeling of remoteness and isolation, where you can reflect and recharge from the urban grind, making it a popular venue for retreats. For those who hate beach party scenes and want a more meaningful destination, this may just be the best place to visit. Continue reading
Most people come to Malcapuya Island in Coron on day trips. This lovely island is about 1.5 hours away by boat from the Coron town proper. It’s close to some other small islands like Banana Island (which has a short strip of white sand beach) and Bulog Island (which has a short sandbar during low tide). Thanks to tour operator Kawil Tours, we had the chance to stay on Malcapuya Island overnight. Except for a few friendly beach dogs, our guides, and the island’s caretakers, we had the beach pretty much to ourselves.