With no less than 7,107 islands (at last count), there are just too many to choose from. Especially when you consider the Calamianes Group or “Calamian,” the northernmost islands of the province of Palawan. This group is home to some of the most gorgeous, pristine tropical islands in the world. Imagine cruising uninhabited islets with old-growth vegetation and white-sand beaches while surrounded by well-preserved coral reefs — truly the postcard-perfect picture.
Besides lovely beaches, many of the Calamianes feature imposing limestone cliffs that plunge 100 or more meters into the sea. Uninhabited coves and inlets are aplenty. The cream of the crop, Busuanga, is the largest island in the Calamian. The only airport serviced by regular commercial flights is found here. The capital of the Calamianes Group, Coron Town, is located on its southeast coast. In the mid-eighties Coron Town was small fishing village, but thanks to an increase in tourism, its population grew to that of around 50,000.
Coron Island is situated less than a nautical mile to the east of Coron Town. The island’s interior is home to saltwater lakes, some of which are accessible via a pleasant hike. Curious marine life has evolved within these lakes, so snorkeling gear is a must-bring. Also of note are inlets along the northwestern coast, which are like small fjords. When entering these fjords on board a 30-meter yacht (mind the thrusters), you’ll be surrounded by majestic cliffs and encapsulated by clear, turquoise waters, which combine to create a breathtaking backdrop for an incredible holiday.
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Photos courtesy of motor yacht ANTONIA II, Philippine Department of Tourism/Tourism Promotions Board Philippines and the Philippine Department of Tourism: Australia & New Zealand