Imagine white sands, turquoise waters, green palm trees and blue skies…a very inviting scenery you can find in Palawan, Philippines!
The Last Frontier also known as Palawan was declared by Travel and Leisure Magazine as the number 1 most beautiful island in the world last 2013 and this year. National Geographic and Conde Nast Traveler also granted Palawan with similar awards. There are 3 popular destinations in Palawan – Coron, El Nido and Puerto Princesa (where the Subterranean River is- one of the Wonders of Nature and UNESCO World Heritage Site). Little to everyone’s knowledge, Taytay is also an island full of wonderful surprises.
One of the resorts in Taytay, Palawan is Apulit Island, owned and managed by El Nido Resorts. The island resort was named as one of Asia’s Greatest Island Getaways last 2011 (even before Palawan was declared no. 1 most beautiful island!) by London’s The Sunday Times.
Apulit Island is an Eco-Adventure Resort nestled in Taytay Bay, North East of Palawan. This stunning island resort offers a mix of adventure and relaxation. The island provides various activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, spelunking, rock climbing, rappelling, hiking and many more. They also have splendid sunset and sunrise cruises too! Aside from these exciting activities, the resort also gives excellent service and privacy.
It’s fascinating that the resort is imbued with eco- awareness that is very visible throughout the resort. They have their own sewage treatment plant that recycles waste water. The resort also provides an eco-bag for non biodegradable materials to ensure proper waste management.
We flew to El Nido from Manila via Airswift. The sight from this 50-seater plane is spectacular, the islands are lovely to look at in a bird’s eye view and we cannot wait to see Palawan’s beauty up close.
After 1 hour plane ride, we were transferred via jeep to Sala de Apulit where we had some light snacks before we embarked in a 90 minute van ride going to Taytay bay. When we arrived at the bay, there’s another set of snacks offered to us before we rode a 50 minute boat ride that took us to the island.
A sense of exclusivity started the moment we saw our home from afar. Apulit Island is a peaceful sanctuary of excellence and gave us ultimate relaxation.
When we arrived at the island, we were welcomed by staff who sang Filipino songs and were given necklaces and refreshing drinks. A short talk was given about the island, facilities and the wildlife residents.
After some briefing about the paradise, we were escorted to this heavenly place where food is overflowing. There are lots of food choices and everything is just great! Kudos to the chefs who made our tummy very happy!
After a number of returns in the buffet table, we were escorted at our water cottage built on stilts; a peaceful sanctuary set in the main cove of the island. The room is tastefully decorated with Filipino touch and is in harmony with its surroundings- natural and stunningly beautiful. From our veranda, we saw a lot of baby blacktip reef sharks and lots of colorful fishes who gracefully swim around the clear shallow waters.
We started our wonderful adventure and kayaked in front of the resort to get a good panoramic view. The island is truly breathtaking! The white cottages complement the limestone cliffs with lush green trees that served as a beautiful backdrop of the resort and the clear waters is abundant of fishes and corals.
After seeing the magnificent scenery, we went on a sunset cruise that circled the island. It was a cloudy afternoon so we didn’t get to see the colorful sky. Thankfully, the sky cleared up at night so we were able to go stargazing at the beach under the palm trees.
The next day, we went to Isla Blanca and Nabat Reef to snorkel and see the diverse ecosystem underwater.
We went back to the resort and walked around with a mango and banana shake on hand, took off our slippers to feel the fine sand in our freshly tanned toes and admired the beauty of the sea.
We joined the sunset cruise again but it was still cloudy so our guide just took us to the other side of the island to take photos at the big I LOVE APULIT sign.
After a long day swimming with the fishes and admiring the corals, we treated ourselves some cocktails at the bar and had a sumptuous buffet dinner. I must say that the food selection is superb!
On our last day, we joined the sunrise cruise but the sun just peeked a little beneath the clouds so we didn’t really see its glory as it rose.
During the cruise, we passed by five caves – all in Apulit Island! We did some spelunking and explored 2 caves.
St. Joseph’s cave is the biggest and the most interesting one. It was named after a rock formation that resembled like a saint at the entrance of the cave. The stalactites and stalagmites formation are stunning.
North cave is fascinating, it has a small lagoon that reflects the sunlight. The resort can organize a very romantic dinner here; with all the candles and soothing music of the sea.
After caving, we went back to the resort and decided to take a dip in the pool. The infinity pool stretches to the natural beauty of the idyllic Taytay bay.
Our beautiful getaway ended with a rain shower. The staffs bid us goodbye while singing a Filipino song, which we truly appreciate.
On our flight back to Manila, the sky gave us a wonderful show by displaying myriad of colors.
Summing it up, our trip was relaxing and flawless. Everything is well arranged the moment we checked in at the airport until we arrived back to Manila. Truly, Apulit Island Resort is synonymous to high class service.
We were lucky that El Nido Resorts participated at TravelMart PH. For ₱48,900/$1041, we were able to taste a bit of heaven for 3 days and 2 nights. The fee covered roundtrip fare to El Nido via Airswift, water cottage accommodation, full board meals (buffet), use of water and land amenities (kayak, hobie cat, paddle board, billiards, etc.) and guides for thrilling activities (rock climbing, rappelling, snorkeling, etc.) for 2 persons.
There are two options to go to this stunning paradise. You can either take Manila to El Nido via Airswift and travel for about 3 hours+ or you can take the long route from Manila to Puerto Princesa via Cebu Pacific Air, Air Asia or Philippine Airlines then travel by land and sea for 6 hours+ to Taytay Town.
You can visit El Nido Resorts for more information.
Here’s a short video I made about our stay in Apulit Island 🙂