Friday, May 04, 2012
I am not sure how far North of the Philippines I've ever traveled before, but I think this counts as the farthest. This weekend, I joined the boyfriend and his family for a fun summer trip to the Armada Beach Resort on Magalawa Island, a 10-minute boat ride away from Palauig, Zambales.
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, I would definitely recommend the place. BUT I recommend you go for the air-conditioned rooms even if they are priced higher. It was not very windy in the evening and it was a little bit uncomfortable. (Yeah, yeah, so I'm spoiled that way...)
Overall, though, it was a great experience. The water was very clear and the beach was relatively clean (meaning there were a few wrappers of candy - but much fewer than other beaches). Activities are basically swimming and snorkeling. There's also an option to camp on the grounds for the more adventurous folk.
I won't get into the details on the budget, but I think we spent around 3.5k per head. I guess it would also depend on how you plan it and how many of you there are (e.g., cram more people into the van - we had space for 2 more people).
What to Expect:
- Total travel time is about 4 hours for experienced drivers familiar with the area. Most of the sites we researched online said the travel takes about 5 hours. It is a good thing we decided to rent a van. I suggest you do the same if you decide to go. Oh, and there's a dirt road that takes about 20 to 30 minutes to get through if I remember correctly, so it would definitely NOT be a good idea to bring a car. Maybe a 4x4 if you plan to drive yourself.
- Food is mostly seafood. Decent enough. I'm a big fan of shrimp so I was relatively satisfied. Don't expect gourmet dishes, most of them are just steamed.
- No refrigerator. So you're really just going to have to survive on snacks and the food that they serve at the resort.
- Bring insect repellant. You're going to need this in the evening. I can't vouch for those in the air-conditioned rooms, but I think it helped me a whole lot.
Magalawa Island's Facebook Page
Van Rental (not sure about the company name):
Jen - +63 922 816 3621