Escape to Calamianes

Kayaking to Coron Island, surrounded by limestone cliffs and jade, still waters
Dusk on Dimakya Island, at Club Paradise Resort

We just spent an amazing week in the Calamianes Islands, a very special place in the Palawan region of the Philippines. Some say it’s even more beautiful and diverse than the Maldives. But since infrastructure is not yet in place here, the land remains unspoiled by tourism, and maybe it’s better that way?

Some of our week’s highlights:

  • Kayaking from one island to the other, a total of three hours
  • Diving around WW2 Shipwrecks
  • Snorkeling colorful reefs
  • Talking with amazing people with unbelievable yet true stories
  • Spending one night on a private yacht with dinner and wine with new friends
  • Staying in four different resorts, from budget ones to the most high-end
  • Having a private, moonlit beach for the night—doesn’t get any more romantic than that!
  • Crazy speedboat through the rain and choppy ocean
  • Visiting the community school for indigenous Tagbanua kids
  • Watching hundreds of thousands of bats take flight over our heads at night
  • Sleeping in a native-style beach house with the shower built into a cave
  • Eating good seafood
  • Beer nights

…and just enjoying the nature of this pristine place, being reminded once again what a wonderful planet we really have, and how good life can be in its raw beauty.

It was also time out for me to think in the silence, and appreciate the love that has been filled my life. I feel so blessed, and so at a loss for words to describe how grateful I truly am.

Snorkeling and Diving around Sangat Island, exploring the reef and sunken wrecks from WW2
Beach huts, native-style, at Sangat Dive Resort
Welcome to the Philippines!--Sangat beach

How to get to the Calamianes Islands:

From Manila, by plane: Fly into Busuanga, Coron in just under 45 minutes. From the Busuanga airport, take one of the waiting shuttles to Coron Town. Another 30 minutes or so. The town is the jump-off point, where you can find boats that will take you either on private island hopping, or join tours, go diving, etc.

There is no beach in Coron town. What they call “Coron Island” is, in fact, off the main island, but can be reached with a boat, or by kayaking, the way we chose. There are no resorts on Coron Island, so you’ll have to get back to the “town” before nightfall.

If you prefer, go straight to the other islands, and stay at any of the other resorts.  Check out Sangat Dive Resort on Sangat Island, or Club Paradise on Dimakya Island. Both places can arrange land and sea transfers from the airport.

(P.S. I am saving the details of my wedding anniversary story for an upcoming article in Mabuhay Inflight magazine, but just had to give you this sneak peek! )


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