A True Adventure
A True Adventure
TASTE OF PARADISE
We'll all meet at the airport of El Nido and head through Palawan to our hotel for the first night! We'll ride a 'jeepney', enjoy a quick sweat session, dip into the ocean to wash off the long flight and of course get to know each other with our first family dinner and drinks together!
IT'S BOAT TIME
A good night sleep will lead to a strong morning workout followed by a fueled breakfast! After prepping for our 6 night island hopping journey (you'll have a chance to pick up last minute supplies) we board the traditional motorized boat that will be taking us from island to island. This is as close as it gets to that movie location with Leonardo DiCaprio, The Beach, which means you're about to set your eyes on true paradise.
Wake up with the sunrise, grab coffee (w/ coconut creamer) and crush a beach bootcamp to wake the body followed by a large egg breakfast from the chickens next door. Indulge in take time to do nothing, soak in where we are and place our mind and bodies in-sync with the environment. We eat lunch, pack up and head to some sexy beaches for fresh coconut pińa coladas, snorkeling and massages (these are included, you're welcome!).
Wanna learn how the locals live? We'll be taking a tour of a few fishing towns nearby, see they're way of life and maybe even play a barefoot pick-up basketball game! Expect the usual sunset yoga sessions, star gazing, epic dance parties and some life changing conversations.
We'll snorkel some of the most secluded islands, shipwrecks, and learn about the local waters of Palawan. Our home base will be a local self sustaining farm, where we'll take a tour of how they've built this incredible community. Later we'll have a 5-course meal with all the local vegetables from the garden, meat from the piggies (vegan options of course), and delicacies you've never even heard of (coconut water soup, coconut chocolate creme brulee)!
We'll be deciding this upon arrival as the weather has a lot to do with which will be the next few islands.
Again, the weather will determine more of this part of the itinerary. Don't worry there is a plethora of amazing secret spots we've got planned!!!
THE WAY BACK
We finish at Coron (a different location than where we started), together we'll head to the airport and hopefully you got your flight to El Nido, then from there a flight to Manila. Make sure your flight from Manila leaves later in the afternoon to have enough room for delays!
CHECK OUT WHAT'S INCLUDED
A Taste of the Philippines
Ain't no cows around these parts, buddy! We're eating what the island provides. Expect fresh fish, delicious coconuts and plenty of seasonal veggies. We fuel up with fresh fruit, eggs, yoghurts and pancakes for breakfast, of course there's coffee but if you want to fit in with the locals, try the ginger tea! No juice cleanses happening around here, you'll be well fed and ready to explore. Meet Ding Dong, our chef and bartender. Catch him scaling trees to bring you fresh coconuts
First night we'll be staying in a hotel in El Nido, then it's full island living with your very own beach hut. Wake up with the sounds and view of the ocean. Each hut has a mosquito net, mattress and bed linens provided.
The Philippines boasts of being one of the world’s ten most biologically diverse countries. Known for white-sand beaches, coral reefs and as the gateway to the Bacuit archipelago, a group of islands with steep karst cliffs.
Hang With the Locals
The best way to get to know a place is to get to know the people! Filipino's exude positivity, they'll welcome you with open arms!
Sail in the traditional and very distinctive Philippines boats, characterised by their canoe shape and outriggers.
“Somebody pinch me!”
“'First sunset in the Philippines'”
“'Island hopping to private Islands #samesamebutdifferent'”
“'Island hopping to private Islands #samesamebutdifferent'”
Can you handle it?
Registration + Payment
Malaria, Mosquitos and Sandflies
Safety and Security in the Region
Seasickness and Travel Times
Before applying to this adventure you must understand that this is not a yoga retreat, tour, hotel or luxury experience. This is a journey to the most remote islands in Palawan.
But believe us, if you can take these challenges with us, then welcome to one of the greatest experiences of your life!
Flights from NYC direct to Manila for our dates are only $799 as of October 2nd, 2019. You'll need to arrive the morning of February 16th to make the connecting flight, which are around $100 each. For example:
Departing NYC Sat 15 Feb JFK 01:45
Arriving Manila MNL 07:35 Sun 16 Feb
Philippine Airlines flight PR127
Departing Manila Sun 16 Feb MNL 14:00 (there are earlier flights)
Arriving El Nido ENI 15:20
AirSWIFT flight T6-142
Departing Busuanga Island Sun 23 Feb USU 09:35
Arriving El Nido ENI 10:15
AirSWIFT flight T6-539
Departing El Nido ENI 11:15
Arriving Manila MNL 13:15
AirSWIFT flight T6-127
Departing Manila MNL 20:30
Arriving NYC JFK 23:15
Philippine Airlines PR126
Now, typically we take care of you on our adventures but this trip is a little different as it requires you to be aware of your surroundings. We require everyone to take out their own travel insurance. It is ok if you are not a strong swimmer just let us know. Everyone will get a safety orientation on the trip.
A rash gaurd to help protect against small criters stinging you in these tropical waters will help. So will rash shoes for the reefs we'll be exploring.
Dehydration is a common cause of accidents and feeling unwell. You will be required to bring your own refillable water bottle and drink lots of water.
Avoid drinking too much alcohol. Of course you will want to enjoy a few beers and try some of the local rum around the first night, however don't make yourself a liability. Nobody wants to have to look after a drunk person. Tropical hangovers are a nightmare and you don't want to miss out on the day activities if you are trying to recover from the night before!
Your skin will burn easily in the tropics especially ya'll winter hybernating New Yorkers. Get the proper gear, and protection!
Yes, in fact that is recomended. We'd love you to be whoever you want on this adventure and bringing a friend could also bring old habits.
But we understand it is intimidating and hard because you feel like you don't know anyone... trust us, this is the way to go!
This is going to be a huge highlight for most of us. The menu will be based on traditional filipino cooking using fresh seafood, vegetables, fruit and rice. We be eating our fish direct from the fisherman as we travel through the islands. Don't expect too much red meat. You can also fish from the boat to catch your own supper! Don't worry vegetarians and vegans, there's plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Up to date and accurate information about all aspects of malaria, including risks and prevention, is readily available via the web. Because it is a complex and rapidly changing issue, we do not want to recommend whether or not to take malaria medication. There will be a lot of us taking it though and we'll share which medication once you book.
Northern Palawan is generally a low risk area. Occasionally it comes in small outbreaks and consequentially the local health office will have a warning, we will be advised and pass on the warning to our travelers. It is not that very common for an outbreak during our season November to end of May. Be more cautious on Dengue fever which is more common and can be contracted anywhere in southeast Asia, especially in town and cities. There are no medicine to prevent catching Dengue so be always cautious. Dengue and Malaria normally appears mid monsoon season which is July-September.
It is advised to minimize the risk of Malaria and Dengue through bit avoidance. Bring lots of mosquito repellent and long sleeve clothing, it also advisable that when with children. in town it is better to get Air-conditioned rooms because mosquitoes are most active early in the morning/ late afternoon. Town and larger population have more disease carrying mosquitoes than those of small islands and villages.
Our sleeping arrangement in the islands are set up near the beach where we get a breeze thus reduce mosquitoes, we'll have nets setup for sleeping. Sand-flies are very common on the beaches. Some people react badly on sand-fly bites, long sleeves during sunset is advised for those special folks who attract mosquitoes and sand-flies.
The best ointment or repellent for mosquitoes and sand-flies is Kwan Loong oil, a Singaporean mentholated oil. It is tried and tested by the locals there for years. You have to re-apply every 30min but it is effective and much safer than any DEET products. Try to get it before coming to Palawan from Asian pharmacies we'll also bring some just in case!
You might have researched this beforehand, yes some areas of the Philippines have a red mark for many Government Travel Foreign Offices advice because of the separatist problem of the extreme south. But Palawan and the rest of the northern islands are far away from the southern Mindanao region. Unfortunately the Philippines government, unlike other Asian tourist destinations, have no say or control over these red warnings. The story of the islands with 'pirates' is as old as the Ming dynasty merchant sailing this part of the world. Also the Coastguard or Navy are always present in the area (securing the Shell/Chevron gas/oil platform rigs). We may ask 'How safe is your hometown/city?' which often puts into perspective the perceived risks of exploring less familiar parts of the world.
Expect the boat journey to be 1-2 hour from stop to stop. We spend as much time exploring islands and the reef until we're ready to go. The only time we need to consider is the arrival at the base camp before dusk 5-6PM.
We'll be staying at an air conditioned hotel in El Nido our first night. Then camping in open native beach huts for our 4-night boat tour, and in a house on a private secluded island all to ourselves the last 2-nights. While camping we'll be showering with fresh water, grilling some fish for supper and enjoy a few rums around a fire.
Because we're spending the night in many different places we'll be sharing rooms with other SYB people and leaders some nights and other nights we'll have individual huts! Private rooms are available. Most of the time couples are separated in a room or in their own huts. Everyone gets a mattress, pillow, mosquito net and fresh bedding set. We recommend that you bring ear plugs if you are a light sleeper. If you have any special sleeping requirements or a tendency to snore, please tell us at the start of the trip and we will plan sleeping arrangements accordingly.
We will not be sleeping on the boat.
While on the boats there will be basic toilets, with a bucket to flush. The base camps will have toilets but no plumbing, it will also be bucket flush. It is always kept clean yes this is a third world country you put the paper in the trash not the toilet.
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