Aside from this legislation, the relative seclusion of Palaui in comparison to more popular tourist destinations in the country has, to some extent, contributed to the pristine conditions of its beach coves and seascapes. It is in fact quite far from the maddening crowd. Getting to the Santa Ana Fishport, the nearest jumpoff to Palaui, involves a 12 hour bus ride from Manila which would try you and your travel companions’ perseverance or whatever that is left of it.
And when you think that the travel adventure ended with that long trip, you would find out that it has actually just begun. You could then chose to weave through Palaui’s dense forests via two hiking trails (Siwangag and Eco-historical trails). This would also take you to the island’s varying landscapes – mangroves, lowlands and beach coves. These trails are straightforward but getting a guide is encouraged for a faster and safer journey.
But most would usually just take a boat ride directly to the Engaño Cove where the Cabo Engaño, an old Spanish lighthouse, stands to this day. But do bear in mind that Palaui is already at the northeastern extremity of Luzon where the waters of the Babuyan Channel, the South China Sea and the Pacific converge. So if the weather is cooperative, then the hour long boat ride to Engaño or Siwangag Cove would be relatively smooth sailing. Otherwise, expect another adventure as you negotiate the raging seas.
The spectacular views at the lighthouse is another reason why Palaui was shortlisted in that CNN article. At this point, you would be taken to a study of contrasts – the rugged yet beautiful seascapes at the eastern portion of the island and Engaño Cove’s blue waters and immaculate white beach on the west. The Dos Hermanos rocky islets at the north then completes this stunning ensemble.
Finally, when you are at least 642 kilometers away from the bustling metropolis, expect accommodations that are both basic and budget-friendly. There are no resorts or banana boat rides or fire dancers at Palaui. However, in the absence of man-made structures and artificial excitement, Palaui offers instead nature’s best thrills: bum around white beaches, snorkel over well-preserved coral reefs and trek up to a century-old lighthouse.