Island-Hopping and Adventure:
This journey was all about immersing ourselves in the beauty of nature. We snorkelled in pristine reefs, sunbathed on white powdery beaches, and trekked through friendly jungle trails. We watched the sun dip below the horizon from our base camp, dined alfresco on the day's fresh catch, and fell asleep under the stars in traditional beachfront kubos for a back-to-basics, no-frills island experience.
Disconnect to Reconnect:
Leaving our devices behind (except for our trusty camera), we fully embraced the simplicity of island life. It was a refreshing change of pace as we reconnected with ourselves, appreciating the luxury of living in the moment. Our voyage of discovery began aboard a spacious traditional pumpboat, and the best part was sharing this experience with five other like-minded travellers.
One of the most unexpected and beautiful aspects of our journey was the friendships we forged with our fellow travellers. Hailing from different corners of the world, our ages ranged from 24 to 62 years. Despite our diverse backgrounds, we all wholeheartedly embraced the activities and adventures that came our way. In fact, it was astonishing how quickly we bonded over those three days. We became such a tight-knit group that we even came up with a group name (Team Lekker). And once we returned to solid ground, we couldn't resist the urge to meet up for dinner, where we fondly reminisced about our shared island adventure, creating memories that would forever bind us together.
Explore Off the Beaten Path:
Our dedicated crew not only guided us but also became an indispensable part of our island-hopping adventure. They led us to remote and off-the-beaten-track islands that make up the magical region of Linapacan and Culion. These islands were pristine, untouched paradises, and it was our crew's expertise that allowed us to explore these hidden gems.
The experience on the boat was nothing short of incredible. Our crew was hands-on, always available, and immensely friendly. We were always made to feel safe, whether it was while snorkeling, moving between boats, or transitioning from the boat to the land. At least two crew members were in the water with us at all times while snorkeling, ensuring that we had the best guidance and support as we marveled at the underwater wonders of Palawan.
What truly stood out was the exceptional service provided by our chefs on board. They prepared mouthwatering fresh food meals with a selection of at least six dishes to choose from. The flavors were a delightful reflection of the local cuisine, and each meal was a culinary treat.
Every member of the crew was friendly, involved, and always available. What set them apart was their genuine enthusiasm for the adventure. They not only guided us but also actively participated in the activities alongside us. This created an incredible camaraderie, leading to exciting beach volleyball games and unforgettable shared moments.
Their extensive knowledge of the region's wildlife was a valuable asset. They introduced us to some of the most fascinating creatures that call the waters of Palawan, Philippines, home. We had the privilege of encountering turtles, starfish, sea snakes, and an astonishing array of stunning fish, including parrotfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, and clownfish. With the crew's guidance, we gained a deeper appreciation of the vibrant marine life in these waters, making each snorkeling excursion an educational and enchanting experience.
Sleep under the Stars:
At the end of each adventurous day, we cruised to different base camps, where we spent the night in open-air traditional kubos. We enjoyed a cold beer as we watched the sun set, then gathered with fellow adventurers for an authentic Filipino meal surrounded by the soothing sounds of nature.
What to Expect:
We expected nothing, and we enjoyed everything! A Keelooma Voyage was a back-to-basics adventure that explored the archipelago around Linapacan. Our itinerary wasn't fixed, as we adapted to sea and weather conditions to show us the best island and snorkeling spots.
We visited uninhabited islands and communities, and we were lucky to work and live amongst the locals. The Filipino culture was welcoming, and we respected their right to privacy.
What Was Included:
- Boat excursions to 3 remote islands per day
- 2 nights accommodation in one of our kubos (mattress, bedding, pillow, and a mosquito net)
- Buffet meals, snacks, and drinks (water/squash/tea/coffee)
- Snorkel and Mask (fins not included)
- Linapacan Eco-Tourism Development Fee
What Wasn't Included:
- Can/Bottle Drinks (Coke/Sprite/Beers)
- Flights to/from El Nido/Coron
- Accommodation in El Nido/Coron before/after the island stay
- Travel insurance
We made sure to bring a dry bag, beach and swimming attire, sunglasses, sunscreen, a beach hat, towels, a light scarf/sarong, a flashlight, flip flops, reef shoes, something to cover up with at night (long pants/long-sleeve top), mosquito spray/patches, something to sleep in, and a good book.
Our voyage with Keelooma Island Hopping Tours was an unforgettable adventure where simplicity and nature took center stage. We disconnected from the world and reconnected with the beauty of the Philippines, creating memories that will last a lifetime.