Tranquility at Turtle Bay

Published 02 March 2017   

Jo Frearson takes us to a secluded bay in the Philippine archipelago to discover an island paradise teaming with turtles, crystal clear waters and jaw-dropping sunsets.

Written by: JO FREARSON

Lazy days. Secret Paradise is the perfect place to unwind.

Often the most beautiful destinations are the remote ones, off the beaten path and away from the well-trodden tourist trail. Secret Paradise Resort and Turtle Sanctuary is one such place that more than rewards you for opting to take the road less travelled.

To get to Secret Paradise you will need to take a flight to Puerto Princesa City, the capital of Palawan, via Cebu or Manila, and then a three hour minivan ride to the sleepy town of Port Barton on the island’s west coast. Port Barton is a place you think you’ll stay a few days but end up staying a week. It’s a combination of its off-the-grid vibe, friendly locals, idyllic bay and chilled-out dogs.

However, just an hour boat ride away, lies somewhere even more magical. The current owner of Secret Paradise, Mark Worsdell, had no idea the post-card perfect bay existed himself until he happened to stumble across it on a fishing trip 13 years ago. When the local owners told the English carpenter the beach was for sale he wasn’t sure what to make of it. It was only when he returned two years later and the offer was still there he decided the opportunity was too good to refuse and snapped it up.

Originally destined to be his own private hideaway to escape the English weather things evolved over time and Secret Paradise Resort and Turtle Sanctuary was born. Featuring four private beaches, a government endorsed marine sanctuary, turtle nesting ground and indigenous inspired cottages, the resort is the ideal place for nature lovers and those looking for a unique experience away from the masses.

Indigenous design. Local inspired cottages come with all your modern comforts.

This is the place where you roll out of bed for an early morning snorkel while turtles feed on sea grass amongst the brilliant turquoise waters or are woken by a knock on your door in the middle of the night to alert you a female is about to lay her eggs or even better still, that a nest has just hatched. It really is a once in a life-time experience and evident why so many guests choose the resort to pop the big question, celebrate a special occasion or to bring the kids to marvel and appreciate the true beauty of Mother Nature.

Life begins. Baby turtles emerging from their nests.

Celebrate a special occasion as the sun goes down.

Mark and his team have done a wonderful job to restore a section of the reef which was once decimated due to dynamite fishing and is now home to myriad of fish and marine creatures and bright new corals. They’ve even created a turtle house located in the bay for the young hatchlings to gather strength before disappearing and beginning their solitary journey into the big blue yonder.

Even if you aren’t a turtle fanatic you will still be blown away by this picturesque location with hiking trails, a spa, island hopping tours, kayaking, fishing trips and such awe-inspiring views that you’ll be happy to sit in a hammock and stare out to sea for hours or as the sun goes down. And when it comes time to sleep, the upmarket cottages come complete with air-conditioning, hot water, TV and even Wi-Fi, let you rest easy.

Roll out of bed into pristine waters.

Take it from me that you will find it hard to leave, most guests extend. You’ll even think twice about sharing and revealing the location of this perfect and secret paradise.

1 Comment

  1. Am very grateful to Dave Dewbre for his post on your beautiful resort in Facebook. Hope to meet you when I return to Palawan, hopefully around Thanksgiving.

    Posted by Andrés Roiz-Maduro on 05 March 17 at 9:37am [Comment]

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