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Paradise Regained With Palawan Property
January 8, 2009Article by Ray Withers
Strung out like a string of pearls in the warm, blue tropical ocean near the Philippines is one of the world’s best-kept tourist secrets – the islands of Palawan. Superlatives are not enough to describe the beauty of the islands – famous underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau named the islands as the most beautiful place he ever explored. More than 2,000 kilometres of beaches, coves and rocky cliffs are shared among more than 1,700 islands making up Palawan. The population is sparse and some of the islands have never been explored. Thermals from undersea volcanic activity heat the waters.
The sea floor is littered with wrecks of ships sunk in the Second World War and you can island hop or sail for miles without seeing another soul. Palawan is a Mecca for divers exploring the wrecks in crystal clear waters thronged with colourful tropical fish swimming in and out of coral reefs. The islands were also the setting for jet-setting James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies. Last year, 211,049 tourists visited Palawan – most went to the capital Puerto Princesa with more than 176,000 visitors. Palawan is also the only place in the Philippines with two World Heritage Sites – Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, known as “Underground River” and the Tubbataha Reefs National Marine Park. National Geographic magazine has named Palawan the best island destination in South East Asia and the 13th best in the world.
Tourist potential is to be exploited as companies move in to put the secluded islands firmly on the map. Banyan Tree Holdings is pumping $70 million in to developing two hotels. Infrastructure will upgrade alongside the development as money is spent on enlarging airports and improving roads. Few opportunities are available to buy Palawan property – unlike mainland Philippines property. A limited chance to buy property in the Philippines most beautiful islands is offered by Property Frontiers, who have an exclusive, luxury development on Cacao Pearl Island, just a short trip by road and boat away from the main airport at Basuanga.
Cacao Pearl Island is being sustainably developed and run as a completely carbon-neutral resort, protecting the natural environment and using solely replaceable and recyclable materials. All the resort’s net operating profits will be distributed through a foundation to help local community programmes. Net yields to owners in excess of 12% should easily be achievable at the resort, making Cacao Pearl Island a socially responsible opportunity for the astute investor. Each villa will be set in a secluded plot ensuring guests the upmost privacy on the beachfront or in the rainforest gardens. There are two villa designs to choose from – Vega Residences and Sinan Residences – both of which are available with one or two bedrooms, all of which are delivered with the latest technology. Prices range from £118,000 to £230,000. Only 100 residences will be available on Cacao Pearl Island