Beyond Banwa Private Island, a world of adventure, marine marvels, and cultural immersion awaits. Venture beyond with a Barbacan River cruise, a serene voyage through lush landscapes, or embark on line fishing at Constance Shoal, where you can try your hand at this traditional Filipino practice. For those seeking cultural enrichment, a visit to Tumarbong Organic Farm offers an authentic insight into the Philippines’ rich traditions and agrarian heritage.
The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, unfolds as a pristine marine paradise where exploration and diving take on new dimensions. As you dive into the crystal-clear waters, a vibrant undersea realm reveals itself, with a kaleidoscope of marine species and pristine coral gardens.
Journey further to the UNESCO-listed Subterranean River, a subterranean wonder guiding you through awe-inspiring limestone formations and ethereal chambers. This unique natural spectacle offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience that connects you with the Earth’s ancient past.
Banwa Private Island is not just a luxurious escape; it’s a portal to these extraordinary moments, making your journey to Palawan, Philippines profoundly enriching and memorable.
EXPLORATION AND ADVENTURE
BARBACAN RIVER CRUISE
The Barbacan River is an oasis of tranquility, exuding serenity from the moment you arrive. A 30-minute boat ride to the river’s mouth offers a glimpse of the pristine beauty that lies ahead.
As you glide along the gentle current, a captivating 20-30-minute river cruise unfolds, showcasing a lush primary mangrove forest spanning 25 kilometers. The rich biodiversity features mangrove plants, Hoyas, vines, puzzle nut trees, bamboo species, palm trees, and the nipa plant, a local livelihood source. Observing local fishermen in paddle boats, bamboo poles used for fishing nets, bamboo crab traps, and riverside huts adds to the charm.
For the adventurous, the Barbacan River Cruise provides opportunities for kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, offering closer connections to the lush surroundings and hidden secrets.
Whether you choose to relax on the boat or embark on an exploratory journey, this experience promises moments of awe and wonder, inviting you to immerse yourself in the enduring beauty of the natural world.
JOHNSON ISLAND SEABIRDS WATCHING
Nature’s enchantment comes to life on this serene island as exposed sandbanks beckon a multitude of seabirds, turning it into a vibrant avian sanctuary. Johnson Island’s allure is intricately tied to the ebb and flow of the tides. During high tide, countless seabirds seek refuge on these sandbanks, creating a picturesque tableau of feathered beauty.
Prepare to be captivated by the incredible variety of seabirds. Gaze to the skies, and you may spot the elegant curlews with their graceful bills, while whimbrels join the avian symphony with their distinctive calls echoing across the tidal flats. Egrets, terns, plovers, and an array of other seabird species add their unique colors and voices to this vibrant chorus of life.
As you watch seabirds go about their daily routines and witness their intricate dance with the tides, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the delicate balance of our coastal ecosystem. Johnson Island serves as a sanctuary, where the beauty of seabirds in their natural habitat reminds us of the exquisite diversity and resilience of life on our fragile planet.
SUNSET CRUISE TO PAGBU ISLAND
Pagbu Island, a sanctuary for flying foxes, offers a captivating encounter with these remarkable creatures. As the sun slowly descends, casting a warm golden glow across the landscape, you’ll find a comfortable vantage point on the boat to witness one of nature’s most breathtaking phenomena.
After sunset, the real spectacle begins. Your arrival on Pagbu Island is timed with the mesmerizing flyout of tens of thousands of flying foxes to mainland Palawan, precisely five minutes after sunset. Their graceful flight creates a surreal and remarkable visual against the setting sun’s vibrant hues.
As the flying foxes soar overhead, the sun dips below the horizon, painting the sky in shades of orange, pink, and purple. This exquisite sunset perfectly complements the elegance of the flying foxes’ flight, making it a photographer’s dream and a nature lover’s paradise.
SUNSET CRUISE AROUND BANWA PRIVATE ISLAND
Step aboard for a captivating one-hour sunset cruise around Banwa Private Island, promising a sensory feast. As the boat sets sail, you’ll be enveloped in the enchanting golden hour, just before sunset.
The sky undergoes an astonishing transformation, evolving from a calm blue canvas into a vivid tapestry of colors – fiery reds, soft pinks, warm oranges, and soothing purples – merging and dancing together in an infinite symphony of beauty.
During this one-hour cruise, you’ll have the luxury of time to relax and savor a Sundowner of Regional Tapas and a glass of wine.
SANDBANK SUNDOWNER OR DAY TRIP
Escape to our pristine sanctuary on the Iguana Commuter Yacht for a day of relaxation or a captivating Sundowner experience. The sandbank, a tranquil oasis, invites you to bask in the sun, swim in the clear waters, or witness the sunset with a cocktail in hand.
The crystal-clear waters surrounding the sandbank entice to dive in. Swim, snorkel, or simply float and let the gentle waves cradle you. For sunseekers, the white sands is your sunbathing haven. Close your eyes, and let the sun’s warmth envelop you in pure calm.
As day turns into evening, savor the magic of a Sundowner with Regional Tapas and a glass of wine on the sandbank. Witness the sky ablaze with orange and pink hues as the sun gracefully dips below the horizon.
ILIAN RIVER CRUISE AND BAGONG BAYAN FALLS
Your excursion commences with a 45-minute boat ride along the coastal areas, immersing you in the stunning coastal scenery. This sets the stage for the journey that lies ahead. A 15-minute river cruise at the mouth of the Ilian River takes you deep into a biodiverse mangrove forest.
Upon reaching Bagong Bayan Village, you’ll be warmly welcomed by the locals, who live a simple life closely connected to the land and the river. They rely on mud crab hunting, nipa weaving, and farming for their livelihoods. Their hospitality and warm smiles will make you feel right at home.
Your journey continues with a 30-minute trek to a hidden waterfall. Along the way, you’ll pass through the heart of the village, offering a chance to connect with the locals and immerse yourself in their daily lives.
Finally, after the trek, you’ll arrive at a breathtaking waterfall. Here, you can take a refreshing dip in the pristine pool beneath the waterfall or simply relax and soak in the natural beauty that surrounds you.
This experience is not just an adventure; it’s a deep dive into a rural community’s heart, offering a glimpse into a simpler way of life along the river and a chance to connect with nature and its people. The warm hospitality of Bagong Bayan will leave a lasting impression long after your departure.
Banwa Private Island features a 5-star PADI Dive Center, with our dedicated Resident Dive Instructor ready to guide both beginners and seasoned divers on an exciting underwater journey.
Explore the crystal-clear waters surrounding the island, where you’ll encounter dramatic walls, gentle slopes, and even a submerged shipwreck. These underwater realms promise thrilling encounters and breathtaking moments.
Dive into the depths and discover vibrant coral walls teeming with marine life, showcasing a kaleidoscope of colors, including soft and hard corals that shelter diverse creatures. Keep an eye out for the rare Napoleon Wrasse with its distinctive hump head.
Glide along tranquil underwater slopes suitable for divers of all levels, with the chance to spot the elusive Coral Catshark known for its captivating patterns.
The island is also a habitat for Blacktip Reef Sharks, offering a unique opportunity to observe these sleek creatures in their natural environment. If you’re lucky, you might witness the graceful manta rays and the elusive Dugong, making your diving experiences both thrilling and educational, leaving you with lasting memories of the sea’s treasures.
LINE FISHING AT CONSTANCIA SHOAL
Your day begins with a 45-minute boat ride to Constancia Shoal, where the excitement of the day’s fishing exploits unfolds. The prime time to enjoy line fishing at the shoal is at dawn, around 5 AM. The early hours maximize your chances of success, with active fish and a captivating sunrise casting a golden glow on the water.
At Constancia Shoal, you’ll have access to five Jigging fishing gears, a modern method of luring fish. You can also embrace the traditional line and hook fishing, honing your skills whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice.
As you cast your lines into the pristine waters, the thrill of the catch is palpable. Grouper, ruby snappers, mackerels, and jackfish add excitement and variety to your day. This experience isn’t just an adventure; it’s a connection to nature and sea traditions. Whether you seek the thrill of the catch, the serenity of open water, or the camaraderie of fellow anglers, this expedition promises timeless memories.
TUMARBONG ORGANIC FARM AND PALENGKE SA BUKID
Your adventure begins with a 15-minute boat ride aboard the Iguana Commuter, an amphibian yacht, taking you to Tumarbong Organic Farm, a sanctuary of natural abundance.
Tumarbong Organic Farm is dedicated to sustainability, using eco-friendly practices to cultivate organic vegetables and oyster mushrooms. You’ll also explore vermiculture with African nightcrawlers, essential for nutrient-rich compost. Traditional copra making adds a touch of local culture to your experience, showcasing time-honored craftsmanship. Before leaving, refresh yourself with a taste of freshly picked buko (coconut) juice.
Following your visit to Tumarbong Organic Farm, you have the option to embark on a 40-minute walk to Palengke ng Bukid. As you journey by foot, you’ll traverse the charming Tumarbong Village, enjoying breathtaking coastal views. This scenic route leads you to Palengke ng Bukid, an Organic Farming Learning Facility founded by Mr. Cezar Caabay, a local farmer with a mission to empower farmers in Tumarbong and neighboring Barangays. Here, you’ll discover a wealth of information on sustainable practices and the transformative power of organic agriculture, offering a rare glimpse into sustainable farming and traditional craftsmanship.
CABUGAN AND GUBAT ISLANDS
Cabugan Island, a fishing community of just 75 households, thrives on the timeless rhythm of the sea, with fishing and dried fish production as its economic mainstays. Visiting Cabugan Island immerses you in the authentic life of a traditional fishing village. As you approach by boat, the aroma of drying fish in the breeze welcomes you, symbolizing the enduring bond between islanders and the sea, a reminder that true wealth lies in harmony with the environment.
The next stop on this journey is Gubat Island, a delightful contrast to Cabugan. Here, the focus shifts from community and tradition to the sheer natural splendor. Explore this island paradise, enjoying its fine sand beaches and clear waters.
The transition from Cabugan to Gubat Island showcases the diverse experiences the Philippines offers, from the warmth of community to tranquil shores of white sand beaches. While basking in Gubat Island’s beauty, remember that Palawan is a land of boundless wonders waiting to be discovered.
MT. CALVARY HIKE
The Iguana Commuter Yacht’s departure signals the start of the journey to Tumarbong, where both land and water define the adventure. Cruising along the bay, anticipation mounts for the exploration ahead.
Arriving in Tumarbong, locals extend warm welcomes, exemplifying Palawan’s renowned hospitality, setting the stage for an authentic cultural experience. A walk through Tumarbong village offers a window into timeless rural traditions. Strolling beside lush rice fields, you’ll admire the vibrant greenery and the locals’ meticulous crop care, providing a serene backdrop to your journey.
Approaching the base of Mt. Calvary, the atmosphere changes, marking the start of a spiritual ascent. The hike to the summit of this sacred mountain is a challenging 40-minute journey, testing physical endurance. Passing the 14 Stations of the Cross during your ascent, you’ll feel the solemnity and enduring faith of those who visit. The panoramic view at the summit offers both a reward for your efforts and a moment for reflection.
The hike up Mt. Calvary transcends physical exertion; it’s a holistic exploration engaging body and soul, suitable for the physically fit.
The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a protected area of the Philippines located in the Sulu Sea. The marine and bird sanctuary consists of two huge atolls and a smaller reef covering a total area of 375 square miles. It is located 93 miles southeast of Puerto Princesa City, the capital of Palawan province.
In December 1993, the UNESCO declared the Tubbataha Reefs National Park as a World Heritage Site as a unique example of an atoll reef with a very high density of marine species; the North Islet serving as a nesting site for birds and marine turtles. The site is an excellent example of a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100 metre perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands.
Tubbataha forms part of the Coral Triangle, recognised as a center of marine biodiversity containing 75% of the described coral species and 40% of the world’s reef fish. Scientific research has revealed that the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park contains no less than 600 fish species, 360 coral species, 11 shark species, 13 dolphin and whale species, and 100 bird species. The reefs also serve as a nesting ground for Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtles.
Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is accessible from Puerto Princesa by private yacht or when booking a liveaboard dive boat. Due to its remote location, a minimum of three nights and four days is needed for an authentic Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park dive experience.
Banwa Private Island is a great stop-over after a dive excursion for a perfect private island R&R reward.
The Subterranean River National Park is a protected area of the Philippines located about 50 miles north of the city of Puerto Princesa.
It’s located in the Saint Paul mountain range on the western coast of the island. It is bordered by St. Paul Bay to the north and the Babuyan River to the east.
In 2010, a group of environmentalists and geologists discovered a cave dome measuring 980 feet above the underground river, along with never-before seen rock formations, large bats and undiscovered marine creatures. The deeper recesses of the underground river are almost impossible to explore and it’s thought they could hold even more secrets of nature.
In 2012, the Subterranean River was chosen as one of UNESCO’s New 7 Wonders of Nature.