The island nation of Indonesia straddles the equator between the Indian and Pacific Oceans and lies at the heart of the ‘Coral Triangle’ - the epicentre of the world’s marine biodiversity. Nowhere on ...
Located in the remote Calamian Islands, Sangat is one of the Philippine’s best kept secrets, perfect for eco-conscious divers and those searching for a remote tropical paradise. Surrounded by towering limestone cliffs, dense jungle and the amazing reefs and wrecks of Coron Bay, guests can create their own adventure holiday, or simply relax on the beach and enjoy the stunning surroundings.
Sangat Island lies at the northern boundary of Coron Bay, just one of over 90 islands and islets which make up the Calamian Island Group in northern Palawan. This group of islands, renowned for their pristine natural beauty, incredible marine life and unique history, includes the three major islands of Busuanga, Culion, and Coron. Sangat is one of the few limestone islands in the Calamian Group and has three white sand beaches edged by sheer limestone cliffs, dense jungles, and a 455m mountain peak which is the second highest in the entire Calamian Islands.
Sangat Island Resort opened in 1994 and quickly established itself as a premier location for responsible scuba diving in Coron. Set within a sanctuary that encompasses part of the island and nearby reefs, the resort has protected and nurtured the surrounding marine and island landscapes to provide a thriving haven for countless varieties of plant and animal. The ecological protection work done in the sanctuary has ensured that the area is home to two of the most popular reef dives within Coron Bay - the Sangat House Reef and the Sangat Coral Gardens.
Built using traditional methods and locally available materials – including bamboo wall panels, split-bamboo flooring, and cogon grass or nipa palm roofing – the 10 chalets have a large living/bedroom area with two double-beds, spacious Western-styled bathroom facilities and a bay-view terrace with sun beds and a shaded hammock. A stone’s throw from the beachfront with views of Coron Bay, each well-ventilated chalet has mosquito-netted windows, overhead ceiling fans, ample electrical lighting fixtures and 220-volt electrical outlets.
The 10 hillside chalets offer a large living/bedroom area with two double-beds, spacious Western-styled bathroom facilities and a bay-view terrace with sun bed and hammock. Nestled at the base of a wall of towering, semi-timbered limestone cliffs, they afford a lushly forested and peaceful environment often frequented by the gentle music of tropical birdsong and just a 30-second amble to the beach. Constructed by traditional techniques with local materials, each chalet is well ventilated by mosquito-netted windows and has overhead ceiling fans, ample electrical lighting fixtures and 220-volt electrical outlets.
Crafted into a limestone cove in complete seclusion is this traditionally built villa with its own private beach, accessible only by kayak or a hanging foot bridge. There’s a beach-level entry foyer, an open-air lounge area, a Balinese ‘rock shower’, an elevated second-floor sleeping chamber with two queen-size beds and a massive third-floor master bedroom with king size bed, and incredible views of Coron Bay and an ancient limestone forest. There’s full Western bathroom facilities, a fully stocked mini-bar, mosquito-netted windows, ceiling fans above each bed, ample electrical lighting fixtures and 220-volt electrical outlets.
The open-air, beachside restaurant and two full-service bars offer a wide selection of regional and international drinks and dishes throughout the day and into the evening. The focus is on healthy and delicious global fusion cuisine, and the resort can accommodate vegetarians or those with special dietary needs. As you are on a private island, their dining plan is essential, and this covers three buffet meals a day plus water, coffee, tea and snacks. For a sociable venue to make friends and share the day’s adventures, enjoy a drink at the Sangat Island Bar or the Rock Bar.
The 300-metre white sand beach is perfect for relaxing, or you can organise all kinds of aquatic adventures including diving, snorkelling, kayaking, jet skiing, or land-based adventures such as trekking, rock climbing, island hopping, birdwatching, from the resort. Plus there’s a fitness studio and massage salon.
Experienced scuba divers will recognise Sangat as a premier resort destination for eco-conscious diving. Sangat Island offers some exciting reef diving, but the real highlight is the 11 World War II wrecks you can explore, eight of them just a 10-minute boat ride away from the resort. The dive centre is superbly equipped with top-quality equipment as well as the best PADI instructors and staff, and runs courses for anyone from the youngest beginner to professional level training and certification including up to IDC. All equipment is available for hire, plus there’s an air and nitrox filling station, a camera room for photographers and support for technical divers.
The resort runs a fleet of ten purpose-built speedboats with all the necessary safety equipment, plus a twin outrigger and a yacht for larger groups.
Sustainability and respect for the environment are at the heart of Sangat Island Resort’s business, and the surrounding sanctuary is both protected and lovingly nurtured by the management. The resort is the only one in the area that is completely independent of the mains supply of electricity and water - it uses solar power and desalination plants - and the accommodation is built in the traditional style to minimise any environmental impacts.
As the official conservators of the local sanctuary, Sangat Island Dive Resort hosts marine research volunteers to assist in the monitoring and care of protected habitats through reef health studies, coral planting projects, removal of natural reef predators - most notably the Crown-Of-Thorns sea star - and more. To date, 75% of the reefs surrounding Sangat Island are intact and healthy; through the resort’s assistance and protection, the remaining 25% continue to recover from typhoon damage, previous illegal fishing practices and Crown-Of-Thorns infestation. The resort’s ongoing – and ecologically essential – efforts are a testament to the fact that two of the most popular reef dives within Coron Bay remain the Sangat House Reef and the Sangat Coral Gardens.