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4 posts categorized "[Travel] PALAWAN: Coron, Busuanga"

Friday, April 25, 2008

El Rio Y Mar - 10 Reasons Why I Prefer El Rio over Club Paradise

Having Fun at El Rio Y Mar-9

If El Nido has a Miniloc and Lagen Resort, Busuanga has the sister resorts of Club Paradise and El Rio Y Mar. El Rio is 30% cheaper than its sister company Club Paradise. In the same way that I like Miniloc Island in El Nido, I love El Rio Y Mar for its laid back friendly ambiance, safe beach, and near kayak-friendly lagoon area.

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El Rio Resort is located in an island where the Busuanga river meets the South China Sea -- hence its name in Spanish, El Rio Y Mar.

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The sister resorts are very complementary. Club Paradise's weaknesses are El Rio Y Mar's Strengths.

10 Reasons Why I Prefer El Rio over Club Paradise

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1. An inviting Infinity Pool which is the centerpiece of the entire resort.

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2. Elegant Cedar Wood Log Cabins with Hot and Cold Fresh Water Showers :) Better rooms and 30% cheaper than Club Paradise!

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3. AwEsome Sunset where the lagoon acts as a mirror reflecting the stunning colors of the sunset.

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4. Super Friendly People who pamper you with all the comforts and luxury by day...


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.... and making your stay truly enjoyable, and memorable even at night.

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Club Paradise, Coron, Palawan

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Have you heard of the term “Boracay of the North”? It is almost a cliché because a lot of resorts or beaches claim that they are the Boracay in the Northern part of the Philippines. So when I heard that Club Paradise is claiming that they have Boracay sand beaches in the island, I disregarded it as another marketing gimmick.

I was wrong!

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Club Paradise is a high-end resort on Dimakya Island, Municipality of Coron. The island is part of the Calamian Group of Islands situated at the Northern tip of Palawan. Its biggest asset is its 700m Boracay-like sand beaches and the trapped-in-an-island kind of ambiance. In 2 hours you can already be in Club Paradise --- only 60 minutes via Sea Air / Asian Spirit and another 60 minutes land drive plus a boat ride to the island.

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It is centrally located near the dive spot areas which includes:
1. the housereef (reef surrounding the island) with its abundant fish life
2. the nearby feeding ground for green turtles and dugong (sea cow) -- (yes not only in Donsol and it is more of a cute sea pig for me)
3. the Japanese freighter Kyokuzan Maru, (30 minutes away)
4. and, Apo Reef Natural Park, a world-class diving destination in the western side of Busuanga (about 3 hours)

Also, you can go on a 1 day
Coron Tour and Caluit Safari tour. Both would be 2 hours away from Club Paradise. I would also recommend the island hopping tour of:
-- Isla Walang Lang-Aw (Island without Trees) -- a small sand bar with rocky cliffs on its left side;
-- Isla Walang Tao (Island without People) -- boasts of many tall, splendid corals; and,
-- Diatoy Island -- with its bountiful trees and wild flowers.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Caluit, Palawan - My Childish Dream Come True

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Ever since I heard of the Caluit Game Preserve Sanctuary in Palawan, I always dream of visiting this Philippines' version of a Safari. I would like to believe that the Caluit Game Preserve was created as a zoo playground for Bong Bong Marcos. But nobody really knows the story behind the creation of this sanctuary in Palawan (Would you know?). I actually admire Marcos for such an ambitious vision of creating our own safari in the 70's.

With childlike excitement, I patiently endured the 2-hour boat trip from El Rio Y Mar resort in Busuanga, Palawan to Caluit Island. I can't believe that my dream of seeing the Giraffes and Zebras with my own eyes is about to come true.
The problem with Caluit is you have to go with a group so that you can enjoy the safari-like trip with other people and to make the trip cost effective.

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The beauty of Caluit Island is that all the animals are free to roam around in their natural habitat. So, they need to ensure that there are no predators like lions and tigers in the island. It was super hot and dry in Caluit when we got to the island. The first moment we saw the animals, all of us started taking pictures. I forgot for a moment the teachings of Master George that the enemy of the photographer is the excitement of pressing the shutter button too soon.
This trip was a dream come true.

My only disappointment was the entire island was not developed ever since the first couple of animals were transported in 1975 from Naomi, Kenya. The zebras and giraffes were already from the third generation. Most of them are "filipino" animals already because they were born here.

The best time to go to Caluit is early in the morning before 9am where most of the animals come out.


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Coron, Palawan - 8 Awesome Experiences in Coron, Palawan

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1. Kayangan Lake - one of the top 100 awesome places to go to in the Philippines!
The photo above is the most photographed scene that represents Coron in the travel magazines. This scene is halfway up the mountain trail leading to the cleanest lake in the Philippines. Swimming in the cleanest fresh water lake (with a bit of salt water) in the Philippines is an experience that every Filipino should have. The entire area is perfect for taking portrait shots with limestone cliffs in the background and clean lake in the middleground.

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2. Twin Lagoons - A dare awaits the brave tourist
These twin lagoons are separated by limestone cliffs with a small underwater tunnel where a brave tourist could swim underneath. It is dangerous which adds to the appeal and challenge to tourist who dare to go to both lagoons. You need to take a deep breath and do a deep swim to avoid the jagged edges of the limestone cliffs. I tried to swim underneath but I came out with a deep wound on my left big toe. Lesson learned the *ouch* way.

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3. Siete Picados - 7 Islands Snorkeling area.
Most of the corals around Coron are dead except for the Siete Picados area. This spot is perfect for Snorkeling without being disappointed with the scene the underwater scene that you will see.

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4. Maquinit Hot Springs and its therapeutic properties.
Don't miss on the therapeutic properties of this natural hot spring in Coron. Don 't be discouraged with its super hot temperature. You will be rewarded after with a revitalizing feeling after dipping in this hot springs for a few minutes.

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