travel journalphilippinespangalusian-island Explore eco-luxury in the rainforest or by the sea on Pangulasian Island in Philippines The award-winning island combines luxury aesthetics with environmental concern for a five-star sustainable stay.
by Sophie Smith

Pangulasian Island is one of the Philippines best kept secrets. Surrounded by nothing but the azure-tones of the Barcuit Bay, the island has been carefully preserved to offer guests an exclusive palm-studded retreat with hidden coves, private pools and acres of tropical rainforest aplenty.

Leave no stone unturned on this eco-escape: with only 42 villas available to guests, the resort resembles the epitome of a privacy, allowing guests to lounge on the white sands and watch the diverse array of marine life play in its natural habitat without any unwanted company.

Explore eco-luxury in the rainforest or by the sea on Pangulasian Island in Philippines
Courtesy of El Nido Resorts

The award-winning status of the island comes as a result of meticulous attention to conserving to the Island’s serene backdrop. Locally known as the ‘Island of the Sun’, Pangulasian is fronted by white sands, stretching for 750 metres along the perimeter of the resort’s facilities.

“Palawan is an archipelago of 1,780 islands on the western part of the Philippines. Because of its scenic landscapes and high bio-diversity, Palawan is known as “The Last Ecological Frontier of the Philippines”.

360 degrees of idyllic views are an essential part of the Pangulasian package: with the beach stretching along the front and jungle greenery behind. The diverse array of flora and fauna hidden inside the tropical rainforest remains a beautiful backdrop for guests to admire, with the tones of emerald leaves sparkling in the ocean’s reflection below.

Explore eco-luxury in the rainforest or by the sea on Pangulasian Island in Philippines
Courtesy of El Nido Resorts

The resort hosts the choice of 42 deluxe accommodations, contemporary Filipino design flows through each villa, accompanied by breath-taking views of the Bacuit Bay or exclusive access to the beach, coves or rainforest.

The ‘Canopy’ Villa is a particular treat, built 15-18 metres above the ground, the treetop retreats are hidden halfway between the grassy grounds and the clear blue skies. These villas are only accessible from a windy woodland trail, either on foot or by buggy but with a king-sized bedroom and full-length bathtub amongst the amenities available, the Canopy Villa is worth the climb.

Explore eco-luxury in the rainforest or by the sea on Pangulasian Island in Philippines
Explore eco-luxury in the rainforest or by the sea on Pangulasian Island in Philippines
Courtesy of El Nido Resorts

For those preferring to keep their feet firmly planted on the sandy path: the ‘Beach’, ‘Pool’ or ‘Kalaw’ complexes are available, each with a unique view and pool access. Large groups may find the Kalaw Villas particuarly convenient, with just 4 complexes exclusively available for groups of families and friends to embrace shared living and entertaining facilities. The 85 square metre pool and accompanying Sala join the cluster of villas together, situated in a secluded location, hidden on the Western Bay of Pangulasian Island.

Explore eco-luxury in the rainforest or by the sea on Pangulasian Island in Philippines
Courtesy of El Nido Resorts

Perfectly described by guests and staff as a ‘marine sanctuary’, visitors at the El Nido Resort are encouraged to bask in the sun and sea alike. The vivid corals and exotic sealife can be explored just a short swim from the shorefront, where turtles and other small sea creatures have been known to join visitors on their snorkelling journeys.

El Nido Resorts also offer island-hopping packages, kayaking trips and a vast array of diving courses for all abilities. Dependent on availability, visitors have the choice of: Deep Sea Diving, Fun Dive, Night Dive, Check-out Dive, Scuba Diving, Open Water Course (Beginner and Advanced), in addition to Bubble Maker lessons for children.

Explore eco-luxury in the rainforest or by the sea on Pangulasian Island in Philippines
Courtesy of El Nido Resorts

To unwind from any water-related activities, a spa treatment is a must. Try a variation of traditional Asian, European and tropical face and body spa treatments before filling up at one of the three exclusive bar and restaurants available on Pangulasian.

With a drink in one hand and the red-purple sunset tones in the distance, unwind with the peace of mind that El Nido take the upmost care in preserving that coastal view and nurture all possibilities to provide local and organic produce with minimal environmental impact.

60% of all kitchen purchases and 90% of livestock is reared and prepared in nearby barangays (villages), and native women are offered training in weaving and bag-making so that visitors can eat sustainably and take cultural memorabilia home that financially benefits the local people.

Explore eco-luxury in the rainforest or by the sea on Pangulasian Island in Philippines
Courtesy of El Nido Resorts

Visiting this private island simply requires a connecting flight from an International Filipino airport: AirSwift offer daily flights from both Manila and Cebu to El Nido, Palawan. Expect the journey to take between one and two hours on a 48-seater ATR aircraft. Upon arrival in Palawan, Pangulasian Island is just a 25-minute private boat journey away, which can be easily organised upon booking.

Visit Pangulasian Island — www.elnidoresorts.com

Sophie Smith
Sophie is a freelance travel writer, living by the sea. After travelling to 17 countries in 20 months, she has finally settled in the UK to study Journalism and use her experiences overseas to inspire others to travel to hidden destinations off the beaten track.
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