For island beach vacations, you can’t beat Coco Loco Island Resort in Roxas, Philippines. John and I traveled to the Philippines over Chinese New Year and ended up spending Valentine’s Day on this beautiful tropical island in Palawan.
Our island experience came complete with a silky-white fine sandy beach, clear turquoise water, gently swaying palm trees, and picturesque beach bungalows each with its own hammock. We could see schools of colorful fish and coral right over the side of the boat. We couldn’t wait to grab a snorkel, mask, and fins and slip into the water.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the entire staff and within minutes we were seated in front of the water with two fresh coconuts to sip on and a delicious meal of fresh shrimp sautéed in butter and garlic.
After our meal, we were shown to our beachfront bungalow. The bungalows are spartan, but clean. Our sun deck was shaded and we were pleased to that there was enough space for both of us to read in the shade. Neither of us like to lay out in the sun and we knew we’d be gracing our front deck for most of the next day.
That evening we dined on another meal of fresh seafood. Each morning we rose with the sun and had breakfast on the beach. At night, we dined under the stars in the cool ocean breeze. We really enjoyed the food over the course of our stay. They even put on a special Valentine’s Day buffet dinner with a roasted pig. It was good, but the sticky-sweet caramelized banana sticks were my favorite. Did I mention the price per night also includes three meals per day?
Coco Island Resort is also a popular dive site. I’m not able to dive because of my ears, but I wasn’t too disappointed this time around. The snorkeling at Coco Loco is some of the best I’ve had in Asia. We spent hours in the water swimming with the fish and searching for conch shells. There are a number of activities on offer. Boat tours, sea kayaking, wind surfing, and snorkeling are just a few. Email Jpr@palawantourist.com for more information.
John and I spent most of our time reading in the shade, snorkeling, or playing chess. At sunset, we’d go for a walk around the island. It should take about 20 minutes to circumnavigate, but we got distracted by the tide pools containing starfish, crabs, shells, and sand as far as the eye can see. When the tide moves out, it’s a grand thing. It’s like a whole new island to explore.
I was sad to learn that Coco Loco Island Resort only has a year left on its lease and then it will be closing for good. We were told the owner is rebuilding on another nearby island and we are certainly interested in coming back to check out the new Coco Loco.
How to get there:
- Take a trishaw from Puerto Princesa airport to the Puerto Princesa bus station.
- From here, you’ll have two options of travel. You can take a mini-van to Roxas for 500 pesos per person. The journey takes about an hour and a half or you can also take the local bus. Prices per person tend to fluctuate depending on the bus driver. Don’t pay more than 150 pesos.
- Arrival time depends on how many people the driver drops off and picks up along the way. We made it to Roxas in just under three hours.
- From the Roxas bus station, hire a trishaw driver to take you the Coco Loco main office at the pier.
- At the pier, you’ll be able to catch the island’s private boat. The journey to Coco Loco takes about 45 minutes.