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Travel: The charm of a lesser-known Maldives inspired Island Resort in Occidental Mindoro

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It’s been more than a year since our trip to Grace Island Resort but the unexpected little-paradise discovery occupied a prominent place in my memory. Typing those memories made me realize how grateful I am to have set foot in these incredibly picturesque islands. Mindoro is the seventh largest Island in the Philippine archipelago and the province is known for its pocket beaches in Puerto Galera. But there are more equally stunning islands in Mindoro than just Puerto Galera. The unexplored islands in San Jose in the southwestern tip of Occidental Mindoro offers unspoiled beaches and verdant coastal that will feed your adventurous soul.

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The trip started when my wife who hails from one of the nearby towns of San Jose made a last-minute getaway plan to a place she long to visit. We tried to book for a room a night before, however, we can’t find any contact number. So we decided to proceed with the unplanned day trip early morning on the following day. Embarking for a trip without prior planning seems too scary but it does not stop us.

 

Our first stop was the resort booking wharf, we reached there at around 8:00 am, unfortunately the in-house boat going to the island has just left. A friendly receptionist told us that we can still catch a boat in the nearby docking station, we only need to negotiate for the cost. There were plenty of boats available and after our negotiation the captain started the trip. We passed through a couple of smaller islands with white sand beaches and azure water, however, the seawater is rough and the clouds is darker and dense. It was a bit of a let down. After a little while, a unique and majestic rock with a lone tree on top of it caught our eyes from afar. This marvelous creation of nature is captivating.

Grace Island Resort, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro

Shortly after, our boat anchored inside the large cove of Grace Island Resort. We proceed to a reception area to pay our entrance fee then headed to our assigned cottage. This Maldives-like resort is having an array of overwater cottages inspired by a bahay kubo and interconnected by bamboo bridges with a view of a lush green mountain. We spent a couple of hours exploring this unusual holiday destination where there are no crowds in sight. We laboriously climbed to the top of the hill and our efforts rewarded with a breathtaking view at every turn .

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After taking our lunch, the sky cleared up and the clouds tend to be wispy, perfect for our next destination. We headed up to a tiny isolated powdery white sand beach underneath a towering cliffs and remarkably clean water, excellent opportunity for swimming and snorkeling. We are excited to deboard on this private and secluded island even for just a couple of hours. This corner offer a different level of serenity, you will feel like you are cast away from civilization.

 

Our spontaneous day trip in Grace Island ends up absolutely wonderful and probably one of the best day trips I had for a long time. This is a great off-the-beaten-path hideaway. I’m glad that we didn’t spend the night at the island, now I still have a good reason to come back.

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