Travel

At This Resort in Palawan, You'll Have the Sea World at Your Feet

The glass floors of your villa will take your breath away.
IMAGE YVETTE FERNANDEZ
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Nestled on an idyllic island in the middle of clear, turquoise waters in Culion, Palawan is Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort (SETIR).

With much of the country’s tourism still at a standstill, a point-to-point travel bubble is in place from the Sunlight Air private hangar in Manila to the Busuanga airport in Palawan (an hour-long flight).

Photo by Yvette Fernandez.

From Busuanga, one takes a van (half hour) and a motorized boat (half hour) to the resort, which sits on an 18-hectare island, one of the largest privately owned islands in the province. You can also charter your own sea plane, if you wish.

Photo by Yvette Fernandez.
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The island’s rooms and villas are built on stilts off shore, each with huge windows, wide balconies and beautiful, unencumbered views of pristine waters and lush green mountains.

Photo by Yvette Fernandez.

At your Sirakan villa, you can happily pad about glass floors and gaze at the sea creatures below. One morning we spotted a school of black and yellow striped fish; another night, little octopi.

Photo by Yvette Fernandez.
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Photo by Yvette Fernandez.
Photo by Yvette Fernandez.

Or if you prefer gazing out into the horizon, you can do so from your balcony, on a lounge chair, or from the jacuzzi.

Photo by Yvette Fernandez.
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Photo by Yvette Fernandez.

We must say the views of the sunset are spectacular, especially when you take the resort’s yacht, the Sea Dragon, out for a cruise.

Photo by Yvette Fernandez.
Photo by Yvette Fernandez.
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At other times, you can travel about the smog-free island and check out its floral and fauna via an electric buggy, or on a bicycle, our preferred mode of transport.

Photo by Yvette Fernandez.
Photo by Yvette Fernandez.

For the more sedentary, there's always retail therapy.

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Enjoy local and international meals at different dining locations, many of them al fresco, and all of them with lovely views.

Photo by Yvette Fernandez.
Photo by Yvette Fernandez.

Seafood abounds, fresh from the ocean.

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Photo by Yvette Fernandez.
Photo by Yvette Fernandez.
Photo by Yvette Fernandez.
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The beach is uncharacteristically placid, with nary a wave breaking on the shore, due to the hills and mountains that encircle the island. The waters are crystal clear, and at times you will see little fish darting about the sandy bottom below.

Photo by Yvette Fernandez.
Photo by Yvette Fernandez.
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For those who prefer something more adventurous, take a short boat ride to the Lusong Shipwreck, the carcass of a Japanese gunboat sunk in World War II, one of a dozen Japanese ships sunk by enemies while anchored in Coron Bay. A nearby coral garden is another visitor favorite.

One of the big pluses of SETIR is the graciousness of its hosts and their team. Owner Ryna Brito and general manager Mia Martinez lead a team we appreciated for their smiling eyes and sunny dispositions everywhere we went on the property.

Sunlight, everywhere.

This story originally appeared on Realliving.com.ph. Minor edits have been made by Esquiremag.ph editors.

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