Apulit Island: A Place Where Tourists Can Commune with Nature
Apulit Island is where the once well-known tourist destination Club Noah Isabelle Resort operated. The island is just one of the many islands dotting Taytay Bay in the northern portion of the island of Palawan in the Philippines. Apulit Island is an ideal place for tourists who want to commune with nature because of its relative isolation from the hustle and bustle of city life. Puerto Princesa, the capital city of Palawan, is 215 kilometers away from Taytay, the municipality where Apulit Island can be found.
Apulit Island boasts of scenic landscapes and seascapes. Upon approaching the island, a protected cove greets tourists, flanked on both sides by beautiful rows of small huts with thatched roof or the so-called cabanas. A big pumpboat that ferries tourists from Taytay Port to Apulit Island stops midway the cove to prevent anchor damage to the marvelous coral reefs in the shallow waters. A shallow draft boat brings tourists directly to the cabanas or to the small port in the middle of the cove.
The protected cove of Apulit Island (©Palawaniana.net).
The coral reefs are one of the major tourist attractions in the island. The coral reefs can be enjoyed by tourists residing in the cabanas because a variety of reef fishes, corals and colorful clams can be seen in the crystal clear waters underneath. Tourists can also snorkel just next to the cabanas in the calm, protected cove and explore the coral reef in the shallow regions. They just have to dodge the numerous spiny sea urchins. Adventurous tourists can go deeper by SCUBA diving the deeper portions in front of the small port south of Apulit Island.
After swimming through some colonies of branching corals from the small port, divers will get to see Goliath groupers (Epinephelus quinquefasciatus) that will approach them along the way. These fishes which could grow up to six feet long like to swim with divers together with some other coral reef fishes that tag behind. The video below shows two of these large groupers that accompanied this author and his buddy while exploring the depths of Apulit Island.
Video footage of the Goliath groupers (©Patrick Regoniel)
About midway to the deeper recesses of the sea, an angel statue grown with sponges can be seen. Tourists will experience an eerie feeling while approaching the concrete statue. It's as if the statue is alive!
A concrete angel looms underwater amongst the corals and fishes (©Palawaniana.net).
Once, the corals in front of Apulit Island were frequented by dynamite fishers because many fishes thrived in the area. Evidence of coral reef destruction were still visible among recovering growths of massive and branching corals as well as the occasional clams and sponges during this author's visit.
The beach of white sand at the western side of Apulit Island is unlike other beaches this author has seen. The beach area is serene and calming to the nerves. It is bounded landward by large stones and steep cliffs of limestone with cavernous openings due to weathering that gives the beach an enchanted, mysterious look.
The white sand beach west of Apulit Island (©Palawaniana.net).
Current Management of Apulit Island
El Nido Resorts took over the operation of defunct Club Noah Isabelle to establish a new resort: the Apulit Island Resort. Ten Knots Development Corporation is the owner and developer of El Nido Resorts. Apulit Island Resort now offers 50 air-conditioned cabanas and provides eco-services to tourists including diving, snorkelling, island hopping, mangrove and kayak tours, and trekking.
©Patrick Regoniel 7 August 2010