Thursday, 23 February 2017

Malcapuya & Banana Islands:

Drops of Beauty in the Philippine Archipelago

If you have a collection of world-class cars, it's difficult to decide the most beautiful one. Well, the same goes for the 7,000 islands in the Manila outskirts. But the world claims to have seen heaven on earth in the Malcapuya Island, located on the northern part of the Palawan in the Philippines.

Malcapuya Island: A Drop in the Ocean

Malcapuya Island is a major part of the Palawan Island located towards Western Philippines. From the Coron City, it takes one hour to get there on a boat. It was claimed that Palawan is the best island in the entire world. Hence, it is safe to state that Malcapuya is THE BEST of the BEST.

Believe it or not, the entire Malcapuya Island is less than a mile wide. It's home to just 20 locals. Kindly be noted that travellers will not find any washrooms, restaurants or any exciting activity happening there. Right from your toes, till your eyes can see down the horizon, it's pure white sand, crystal clear water, swaying palms, beach chairs and spectacular views. In a few words, it's pure blue and white.

How To Get There

Tourists craving to visit Malcapuya Island from Manila can board a flight going to Busuanga in Palawan. Upon reaching Busuanga, tourists should take a 40-minute road trip towards Coron town. There are also several passenger ships that ply on the Manila-Coron route. Once in Coron, one can rent a boat to Malcapuya Island.

The Hut of Malcapuya

I rented a tiny beach hut and slept there overnight. The experience was just breathtaking! If not for its diving reputation Malcapuya & Banana Islands have a few idyllic outlying islands that are worth exploring. With Manila flights while you are enjoying an excursion in and around the Coron Islands, you can also spend an entire day at Malcapuya and Banana Islands, terrific beach paradise.

I first went to Malcapuya. This is a small island where boats were docked at one side of the island. The entrance fee is Php200, which is relatively a tiny amount compared to the priceless vista out there.
The shallow waters were in pure baby blue colour and the colour changed as the depth increased. The dark patches were due to seaweeds and moss growing underwater. It was purely an artist's canvas.

The best part of Malcapuya are the restful huts that can give you the best stay. Though the island is not fully developed, the water and the nature is sure to give you goosebumps. There is an air-conditioned bungalow that gets its electricity from a generator. It is open for booking, but one needs to book much in advance.

By the time I arrived in Malcapuya, the heat was unbearable, but the clear water provided an antidote to the brilliant sun. The swimming took me to another world that was irresistible. It was beyond perfect!

The Banana Island

After having our fill of Malcapuya, I continued my island hopping and enjoyed a 30-minute boat ride to Banana Island. No idea how it got its name. Maybe the shape gave that name. Again, there was an entrance fee of Php 200, exactly as Malcapuya.

In comparison, Banana island was much smaller and the waters were deep. Marine life, obviously, was much better in these parts and the infrastructure was a bit more developed. A resort was on the verge of construction. You can also stop by Bulog Island and enjoy swimming again. I had my fill of swimming, hence, I just let the boatman pass the Bulog Island. Overall, island hopping was thrilling and I'm surely going back for more. What about you, when are going to make that first visit to these islands with flights from London to Manila?

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