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I only stayed for 2 nights in Naval so that I could have a quick look around and organise a trip to Maripipi Island.
Naval was surprising pleasant but it is not a town where you want to stay for more than a day or two.
HOTEL TO FERRY TERMINAL:
My hotel was an easy 500m walk to the Ferry Terminal.
I knew that the trip from Naval to Maripipi would only take 2-3 hours, so I didn’t start too early. I was at the Ferry Terminal at 9:30am. You pay PHP10 Terminal Fee to enter the terminal and get to the Bangkas. You buy your ticket on the Bangka.
- MA Lourdes: 10:00am
- Brian Clear: 10:30am
- Viga Express: 11:00am
All 3 boats are usually docked at the terminal at 9:30am. The journey times are 2.5 hours.
These are the return journey times. From Maripipi these same Bangkas leave at:
- MA Lourdes: 4:00am
- Brian Clear: 4:00am
- Viga Express: 5:00am
Effectively, they are taking residents into Naval to shop – then home again. the trips back to Naval should only take 2 hours.
Make sure that you ask each Bangka for their departure time and choose the right one. I didn’t. I allowed myself to be ‘directed’ to a Bangka by the boat hands … they loaded my gear and I found a seat … only to discover that this was the 11:00am one and I had a 1.5 hour wait for departure.
BANGKA TO MARIPIPI ISLAND:
It was very stuffy and hot inside whilst we waited to depart; but, once we were underway, the sea breeze cooled everyone down.
Just before we left, the coast guard boarded the Bangka to check that everyone had (and was wearing) a life jacket.
The seating inside is basic and the boat is full of locals and their shopping.
The journey is scheduled to take 2.5 hours. The price is PHP60 each.
Ours took only 1 hour 45 minutes.
There isn’t much to Maripipi as you approach the island.
It looked promising …
TO MY HOTEL – THE NAPO BEACH RESORT:
I did my ‘usual thing’ and pre-booked my accommodation. I was only staying 3 nights … so I pre-booked all 3 nights.
The previous day I searched AGODA.COM. They had no properties on the island.
In The Philippines, I have learnt to double check AGODA against AsiaTravel.com. AsiaTravel had no accommodation either.
They were advertising an Aircon Double with Hot Water Shower and Breakfast for PHP1,500 / night discounted to PHP1,275 / night for 3 nights or more.
I emailed the Napo to book the PHP1,275 / night room for 3 nights. They emailed me back immediately and confirmed.
The owner called me on my mobile to organise a Moto to transfer me from the Ferry to his resort; he would send a trusted Moto driver. He said that the cost would be PHP75.
The Moto driver was waiting for me as I disembarked. We jumped on his Moto with my suitcase sitting between us. It took 20 minutes to drive around the coast road to the Napo.
When I got off the Moto, the driver asked for PHP150. I said that the Napo had told me PHP75. He pointed at my suitcase … I don’t like it when people do this … do they think that people travel without luggage? Anyway, I gave him PHP100 and he was ‘satisfied’.
The owner is from Switzerland and lived in Queenstown, New Zealand before setting up the Napo Beach Resort.
The ‘New Zealand connection’ came in handy … the owner had told reception to upgrade me from the PHP1,500 / night Double room to the PHP2,500 / night Family room.
They showed me the room that I should have had. It looked clean and comfortable but may be a bit small for a couple spending more than a few days.
The Family Room was a different story … 2 Double beds and spacious … but, again, no wardrobe!
The trip from Naval to Maripipi is an easy one. Door-to-door it took me under 4 hours. It should have been under 3 hours (if I had caught the right Bangka!).
My total cost was PHP170. 2 GRANDPAckers should budget PHP340.
An alternative route is:
- Get to Naval
- Catch a Jeepney up the coast to Kawayan
- Hire a private Bangka from there direct to Napo Beach Resort for PHP1,000
Robert (the Owner) will help you organise it.
The Napo is a lovely spot – but GRANDPAckers cannot afford the PHP2,500 Family Aircon room – even if discounted.
However, Robert is very accommodating and is happy to discuss a deal – especially if it means moving from an Aircon room to a Fan room (electricity is expensive in The Philippines – and can add PHP500-600 to the nightly cost of a room).
I’ll let you know how I get on in Maripipi in a later post.
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