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“Island hopping in Paradise”
Review of Palawan Island

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Sylva, NC
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
287 helpful votes
“Island hopping in Paradise”
Reviewed 4 May 2005

Are you looking for true paradise? If so, you may want to consider heading to Palawan, an isolated island in the Philippines. Far from the crowded beaches off Thailand’s coast, the Bacuit Archipelago is very near to the definition of tropical paradise and can be found on the island of Palawan. With new transportation options opening every day, Palawan is quickly finding its way onto the tourist map. Daily flights from Manila allow visitors to land in the island’s capital of Puerto Princesa, the northern city of El Nido, or in the small town of Taytay. All airports are within a bus ride of the Bacuit Archipelago and offer their own sightseeing options. To access the archipelago once on Palawan, board a bus headed for the beachside town of El Nido, a small fishing village magically situated on a delicately curved white beach set in the shadows of towering limestone formations. Located in the far northwestern reaches of Palawan, the setting is amazing, but nothing compared to the islands just offshore. Bring your camera and plenty of film because you’ll barely be able to keep your finger off the shutter button. El Nido is the perfect base to arrange island-hopping tours of the archipelago or a boat to one of the luxury resorts hidden just offshore. The El Nido Boutique and Art Café is a great establishment that offers tours of the nearby islands. Don’t worry if you’re alone or in a small group, you can sign up on the store’s bulletin board and join other solo travelers and small groups and share the cost of boat rental. A large tour boat can be hired for less than twenty dollars a day, and the price includes barbeque lunch and a tour guide. At this price you have the freedom to relax on your own boat without anyone else onboard. Pick up a snorkel and mask at one of the beach stores and board the boat headed for paradise at around 9AM. Spend the day snorkeling in pristine coral reefs teeming with fish and full of astonishingly colored coral that will leave you amazed and looking for more. For a truly great spot, ask the captain to head to Papaya beach, a great patch of coral that’s off the normal boat route. If snorkeling isn’t your thing, head to a deserted island and spend your time basking in the sun, building sand castles, climbing rocks, or hiking. The natural beauty is in such abundance that spending a couple of weeks here wouldn’t seem absurd. There’s beautiful weather, friendly people, accommodation to fit every budget, perfect coral reefs, flourishing marine life, and much more! Bring your spouse, the kids, or the whole family. Paradise is waiting, so get there fast.

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