PHILTOA Northern Palawan Eco Adventure Discovery Tour Days 1 and 2

Mother and Baby Giraffe
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Northern Palawan Eco Adventure Discovery Tour Days 1 and 2

The largest association of registered tour operators, the Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA), made another step to promote domestic eco adventure destinations in the country yet again this year. I, along with other writers and member of the media, were invited to explore the beauty of Northern Palawan.

Skyjet flights to Coron Palawan - Northern Palawan Eco Adventure
Skyjet flights to Coron Palawan – Northern Palawan Eco Adventure

The PHILOTA Northern Palawan Eco Adventure Discovery Tour began with our 10:30 AM flight to Busuanga via SkyJet Airlines. We arrived in Busuange Airport at 1:00 in the afternoon.
Our first destination on the itinerary for the day was at El Rio y Mar Resort in Coron. We headed there via a motorized boat.

Arrival at El Rio y Mar Resort
Arrival at El Rio y Mar Resort
Our Beach Cottage at El Rio y Mar Resort
Our Beach Cottage at El Rio y Mar Resort

We were welcomed warmly when we arrived at El Rio y Mar Resort (check rates). We were also given a brief orientation before heading to the in house restaurant for a late, but nevertheless satisfying, lunch.

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Lunch at El Rio y Mar Resort
Lunch at El Rio y Mar Resort

We each headed to our respective rooms afterwards, to leave our baggage and freshen up. We were told that we were free for the afternoon to choose where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do, so, while laying out my things in my room, I also laid out my plans. I have visited Palawan very recently, but I was eager to see Northern Palawan in a different perspective, with the PHILTOA tour.

Sunset at El Rio y Mar Resort
Sunset at El Rio y Mar Resort

That afternoon, one group of writers went to the nature trail to get a bird’s eye view of the nearby islands. I, on the other hand, decided to stay in the beach and swim until sundown while planning for the next tour day.

Day 2

We started the PHILTOA Northern Palawan Eco Adventure Discovery Tour day 2 early. What I liked about starting the day early is that more things get done. With that said, I eagerly woke up early that day and went to the restaurant for coffee. Before finally leaving the resort for the first destination for that day, I double checked my things and gadgets to make sure I get the most of the tour.

Club Paradise Palawan
Club Paradise Palawan

Our first destination was Discovery Club Paradise Resort in Dimakya Island. It was incidentally my second time to visit the said place, and I could still remember the first time. They greeted me very warmly as a guest, and their friendliness sure hasn’t faded. We took group pictures with the staff and the participants of the tour.

Breakfast at Club Paradise Palawan
Breakfast at Club Paradise Palawan

After that, we proceeded to the restaurant for breakfast. What I particularly liked about the restaurant was that they offered a Japanese set, alongside a wide selection of fruits to choose from, pastries, breads, cheeses, and noodles. For breakfast, I particularly enjoyed their fresh and grilled pink salmon.

Club Paradise Palawan Poolside
Club Paradise Palawan Poolside

After our lively early morning breakfast, the Discovery Club Paradise marketing team gave us a short tour around the resort and showed us their perks and facilities. After that, we bid our goodbyes, got on a boat, and traversed the seas for our next stop — Calauit Island.

Exploring Calauit Island
Exploring Calauit Island

It was an hour long boat ride with lots of fresh ocean air and sunlight. And when we got to the island, I felt as if I have stepped into another world. Calauit Island was abundant with vegetation and seemed to stand as a world on its own. We headed to Calauit Safari Park, which, I think, should be Safari world. Creating such a wonderful sanctuary on an island in the middle of the sea was simply breathtaking.

After registering in an area, we all headed to a gazebo where there were a lot of trees, shrubs, plants, and most of all—giraffes!

Feeding the gentle giants
Feeding the gentle giants
Mother and Baby Giraffe
Mother and Baby Giraffe

I have only seen giraffes behind cages in zoos before, so seeing the giraffes up close while freely roaming around the area was a whole new experience for me. Inside the feeding area, we got to feed the gentle giants with leaves of trees. It was very fun interacting with our tall herbivore friends. Most of them were even more photogenic than me in my numerous selfies!

Calamian deer in Calauit Island
Calamian deer in Calauit Island
Zebra at Calauit Island Coron
Zebra at Calauit Island Coron

But we eventually needed to leave our tall friends behind for our next destination. We left the safari park and boarded a motorized boat for Salvacion Palawan, where we had our sumptuous seafood lunch.

Busuanga River Cruise
Busuanga River Cruise

Our lunch was followed by a trip to Old Busuanga. We toured Busuanga River, where we witnessed firsthand the locals harvesting oyster and crabs, which were one of the delicacies we just ate for lunch! I captured the hard work the locals gave with my smartphone camera.

Our humble river tour was followed by a luxurious and fancy one at Busuanga Bay Lodge (check rates), a four-star resort with a beautiful view of the sea and the nearby islets. We were immediately given our respective keys, and then briefed for our remaining activities for the day.

Arrival at Busuanga Bay Lodge
Arrival at Busuanga Bay Lodge

My room was airy and had dark wood furnishings. I had my own cable TV, safe, desk, and iPod dock. There’s also complementary Wi-Fi. I didn’t linger in my room to examine it because I needed a quick hot bath. That day, I got to interact with nature, with giraffes, and with the local oyster and crab farmers. Each experience was captured in the pictures I took with my smartphone, and I was looking forward to the more memories to follow the next tour days.

Our room at Busuanga Bay Lodge
Our room at Busuanga Bay Lodge

After taking a hot shower and arranging my laid out things in my room, I met up with the others for dinner in the in house restaurant. We talked about the day over dinner. A lot had interesting stories to share. While listening to the other tour participants, I realized that I saw another side of Palawan with this tour.

Aside from getting familiar with the tourist spots in Northern Palawan, the tour also gave me a chance to appreciate the nature, environment, and local delicacies of Palawan. It simply amazes me how different tours and different perspectives showed me how beautiful one place is.

After dinner, we did an informal ocular tour of some of the room categories the resort had to offer. Finally, we headed to the bar to cap the night. That sums up our second eco adventurous day in Busuanga Palawan.

Northern Palawan Eco Adventure Discovery Tour is one of the series of tours being offered by selected PHILTOA members. For inquiries, contact PHILTOA secretariat at Tel. Nos.: (02) 812 4513; (02) 822 6964 | Fax No.: (02) 817 4608 | Email: info@philtoa.com

Up Next: Calauit and Coron
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