Entrance to the secluded Spa & Massage area
An island beach always comes to mind whenever I think of a perfect summer getaway. If I have to make a list of island beaches that fits my criteria on – budget, time, distance, communication, amenities, internet, popularity and transportation and safety, Dos Palmas in Puerto Princesa would be one of my best options.
Fortunately, a friend asked for my company in his Dos Palmas tour and he’s going to pay for it.
I woke up early in the morning and headed to nccc mall at 7am. It is where the Dos Palmas office is located and where the Dos Palmas bus that will take the guests to the wharf is waiting. The air conditioned tourist bus left at 7:15 and it took us 20 minutes to reach the wharf where a large boat that’ll take us to the Arrecefi island awaits.
The Beach Houses
The boat is supposed to leave at eight am but waited for 15 minutes in grace for other guests who apparently because of miscommunication were delayed. It didn’t bother us though and we still left early.
The boat was packed with other guests but obviously not overloaded. Good thing, the travel wasn’t tummy churning. We arrived at the Dos Palmas port at about 9am and we received a friendly welcome of a cold juice drink, Hawaiian costumed dancers in the bongo drum beats and lots of smiles and greetings.
The shore stretches circularly around with its sand that is almost white and beach waters that’s obviously clean and beaming with clear reflection of the blue sunny sky. The beach I guess has about more than half a kilometer shore that is allowed for guests to stroll around. The island by the way is located within the Honda Bay where other more islands are an attraction.
Upon registration at the entrance counter, we proceeded to the orientation area with the rest of the group where a staff informed us some facts about the island and some rules to observe. After the orientation, we immediately chose a cottage where to stay and drop our stuff. They also gave us a key for a secured storage if needed so I kept our valuable things in the cabinet. It was only a day tour (9am – 3pm) and everything was almost free except for the towels which we had to rent for 50 pesos each. It took us about thirty minutes to have everything settled and started to make a list of things we must do.
We chose to join the first group of guests who went to the fish feeding and snorkeling area. We weren’t aware what’s out there but we just did. A motorized speedboat took us about a mile away from the island. There is a floating cottage where we settled and put on our snorkeling gears. It was indeed an amazing snorkeling site. There was a giant clam and a wide habitat of live and colorful corals. There were lots of fish of different colors that swiftly rush towards us as we feed them with bread and a junk food (snacku) that we inadvertently brought. We stayed there for almost an hour and took pictures underwater towards the end of our time.
Buffet lunch under the umbrella tree by the shore
When we went back to the shore, we went kayaking in the midst of the super-hot sun. We were supposed to circle the island but were unfortunately not allowed. It was fun though to explore the wide waters and sweat ourselves paddling along the stretch of the shore. We got tired eventually.
We rested for a while. Went inside the hall and played billiards, dart and table tennis while waiting for our buffet lunch. There are other more indoor games at the hall that a single person or a group could play with.
Dos Palmas Shore
Finally, it was time for lunch and so we headed at the beach shore. The tables were set and lunch was served below the umbrella trees. We had grilled fish, fried chicken, pork liempo, some seafood and fruits. We enjoyed the food for more than an hour until we had more than enough.
The Spa Room
After lunch, we rested again for a while.
We played lawn tennis, wandered around the sports area and purposely exhaust ourselves. Along the way, we passed by the art shop, function hall, the secluded spa and massage area, nice pool (where a diving lesson is undertaking at that time), volleyball and basketball court, videoke room (located at the stilt cottages by the shore) and the light rust painted guest houses.
There are a lot of things you can do in the island and a lot of spots where you can go if you don’t want to do anything but rest, reflect and meditate. You can go biking or swimming as your instinct tells you how you want to enjoy this temporary paradise.
Dos Palmas pool