The Philippines is arguably one of the best travel destinations in all of SE Asia, home to 36,289 km of beautiful coastline which includes some of the worlds most renowned reefs, beaches, and biodiversity. In fact, just this year, Siargao, Boracay, and Palawan islands have been ranked 1st, 2nd, and 3rd (respectfully), as the “Top 5 Islands” in all of Aisa. It’s not surprising then, that these prime locations are alluring to travelers from around the globe, people who want to sample the natural beauty of the Philippines.
2018 has been a great year for tourism in the Philippines and 2019 is projected to do even better. So if you are planning a trip to the Philippines for 2019 here are our picks for the best Hotel Resorts to visit in the new year.
With pictures like these, you can easily see why Palawan’s a destination on everyone’s bucket list, that’s home to clear aquamarine water, breathtaking limestone cliffs, secret lagoons, unspoilt coral reefs and the world’s longest underground river.
Team OAP has come up with exciting activities and staycation experiences you might want to try on your next trip to Palawan. Find yourself Stand Up Paddling (SUP) with Coron’s famed limestones as your backdrop, play in Puerto Princesa’s inflatable water park, go camping at Tao Expedition, or even enjoy your own private island in Taytay?
Checkout what’s new on our 2018 guide as we hit all major islands of Palawan from Coron, El Nido. Taytay down to Puerto Princesa…
Are you an adventurous spirit searching for the warm breeze of the sea?
Go completely off-the-grid at this secluded beach hideaway! If you’ve heard of Tao Expedition, Camp Ngey Ngey offers the same Tao experience but set on the remote island of Manguengey in Busuanga, Northern Palawan.
This three-day and two-night Neverland island escape is not for everyone. Tao is a sustainable travel gem where you can go back to nature by enjoying the simple things in life. Here you sleep in Tao’s signature open-air bamboo hut, enjoy healthy meals cooked using the local vegetation and the fresh catch of the day, discover the magical snorkeling and shipwreck diving sites of Coron, and even find wildlife within the island’s shores, from turtles and dugongs, to glowing plankton and even baby sharks! When the sun sets, the camp guides make sure to entertain and keep the party going for everyone. The best part? You get to experience all of this with new friends from all over the world!
Tao Philippines Expedition is a social enterprise founded by Eddie Agamos Brock and Jack Foottit that immerses participants in the authentic Filipino island life while, at the same time, helping the remote island communities of Northern Palawan.
Here’s what I think about the tours, the accommodations, the activities, and the food in the camp…
TAO PHILIPPINES Tao Expeditions has been described as ‘One of the most pioneering cultural eco-tourism projects in the Philippines’. It is a journey to the most remote region in Palawan to discover a tropical archipelago of hundreds of paradise islands, inaccessible to independent travelers through its remoteness and lack of tourist infrastructure.
Coron, Palawan is no stranger to every Filipino’s bucket list. Many Pinoys have never even been to Palawan, but they’ll definitely agree that Coron is one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines.
Having been blessed with precious beaches, limestone cliffs, freshwater lakes, and spectacular diving spots filled with WWII sunken warships, Coron offers unparalleled experiences and picturesque scenery! It’s no wonder Travel+Leisure declared Coron part of the world’s best islands.
(Click the play icon ▶️ and watch The Funny Lion experience video ⬆️)
There are only a few luxury resorts in Coron. One I highly recommend is The Funny Lion, a safari-themed eco-boutique resort, conveniently located in the heart of Coron Town, 30 minutes away from Busuanga Airport.
Here’s a complete guide to our roaring adventure in Coron, Palawan…
Have you ever been to Palawan? If you have, you might want to return to try this!
Stand Up Paddling a.k.a SUP is one of Coron’s newest eco-tour attractions. If you want to literally get soaked in nature, enjoy Instagram-ready view s , and even get a total body workout in the process, then this is just the ex perience for you!
SUP Central Tours is a full service, duly accredited tour operating service offering world class paddle boarding and island hopping tours in Coron! It is a heady combination of turquoise waters, spectacular snorkeling sites brimming with exotic fish, and of course the incredible majestic limestone formation overhead that seem to devour you with it’s unbelievable patterns. It just never gets old!
The flourishing city of Puerto Princesa is the beloved capital city of Palawan and is said to be the gateway to the last frontier and best island in the world.
Famous for its beautiful Honda Bay and the world-renowned Underground river, Puerto Princesa is one of the best go-to summer destinations in the Philippines.
Equipped with a new airport and a fast-growing city, there is something for everyone in Puerto Princesa City. And if you’re looking for the perfect staycation resort, then Princesa Garden Island Resort & Spa has you covered.
We love Music Festivals in the Philippines and we have this fear of missing out on the historic first event. How I wish that we were able to go to the first Malasimbo event which people keep talking about until now.
Here’s a chance to be part of the first ever Lio Beach Festival in El Nido, Palawan this coming June 9-11, 2017.
Check out Everything You Need to Know About the Inaugural Lio Music, Art & Beach Fest at El Nido, Palawan:
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.
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.
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
1. An inviting Infinity Pool which is the centerpiece of the entire resort.
2. Elegant Cedar Wood Log Cabins with Hot and Cold Fresh Water Showers 🙂 Better rooms and 30% cheaper than Club Paradise!
3. AwEsome Sunset where the lagoon acts as a mirror reflecting the stunning colors of the sunset.
4. Super Friendly People who pamper you with all the comforts and luxury by day…
…. and making your stay truly enjoyable, and memorable even at night.
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!
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.
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 TourandCaluit 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.