Travel Diary: Ariara Island

Ariara Island in Linapacan, Palawan has got to be one of the best vacation spots in the world (British Vogue recently named it #1 on their list of 100 Best Holidays Destinations in the World). Yes, it is right up there with all the famous world-renowned beaches from the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and even the famous Maldives. Of course, all I can say is, finally, the Philippines is getting recognised for its magnificent beaches! This has been something we Filipinos have known for a long time, and frankly, we’re a little spoiled when it comes to the beauty of our beaches that we forget how good we have it.

Well, Ariara is no exception. It is the type of place you wont soon forget, and you’re likely to get withdrawals when you get back from your trip. Its beaches alone are enough to make you miss the island. It is just so breathtaking, I swear the sunset there beats all other sunsets I’ve seen everywhere in the world. It is nothing short of amazing; no exaggeration here. The island is just magical. With its clear blue skies and majestic waters, bountiful marine life and super fine white sand, it is paradise! But that’s not the only thing that’s special about Ariara. The cottages, grand dining hall, living area and infinity pool all make the island feel like home, or at least a super luxurious and ultra comfortable version of home (unless you own your own luxe island). And the service surpassed all my expectations–seriously, I have never been so pampered in my life. We had a personal chef who accommodated our every culinary request, we had butlers and servers, and staff who waited on us every day. We could eat what we want, and do what we want, whether its to swim, lounge, explore, dive, snorkel, sail, hike, eat (did I say eat?), watch TV, read, play video games, tan, get a massage, mani-pedi, sleep–you can do it all at Ariara and there wont be anyone else (other than your chosen family and/or friends) to bother you. This is because you rent out the entire island when you book your stay here, all 125 acres of private paradise is yours for a given time.

It is the ultimate get-away for you and your group. In my case, it was my husband Carlos and the entire crew of Trending Now, since we were there to feature the island. It hardly felt like work though. I was relaxed and pampered for four blissful days. As soon as I stepped foot on its powder white sand I forgot my worries and turned into mush… happy mush, of course.

IMG_0981Touchdown: Busuanga! This is the nearest airport to Ariara. It takes around 30-40 minutes by van to get to where Karen-Joy (a 100-foot yacht) is docked. Staff met us at the airport so it was super easy. All transfers are arranged by Ariara.

IMG_0995Our comfortable ride.

IMG_0987Nearby islands. En route to Ariara.

IMG_1040With Trending Now’s Director of Photography, Jallawee Beritan.

IMG_1067Our flight was super early and I needed more sleep. Luckily, the yacht came with two bedrooms with toilet and bath.

IMG_1008Refreshed from my nap, I took over the wheel for a bit.

IMG_1005I spy with my little eye.

IMG_1071There it is! We were welcomed by the staff with fresh buko juice and biscuits.

IMG_1396The view from the pool. I am in love with this infinity pool, btw. The water is always warm. Even at night!

IMG_1387Carlos immediately went for a dip.

IMG_1392Working his Go Pro cam. He provided the show with amazing underwater shots, btw. We discovered a new talent!

IMG_1377This beach.

IMG_1375This was our luxe cottage.

IMG_1533The room was basically all glass windows. If you’re not shy you can leave them all open. The view is just exquisite.

IMG_1532Our bed! Ahhhh… I miss it.

IMG_1541This bathroom is my favorite. It is so huge and I really enjoyed the outdoor shower!

IMG_1539His and hers sinks.

IMG_1455And… a seafood feast!!!

IMG_1420Prawns and squid fresh off the grill.

IMG_1478I requested for this via email before we flew out there. I ordered for crab and shrimp and lobster!

IMG_1751This sunset.

IMG_1789From a golden yellow, it turns to orange.

IMG_1806And then red. Amazing sunset!

IMG_1507So I had to work a little haha. Here I am doing my spiels.

IMG_1757Afterward, I was all about the beach! Big thanks to THE PAPEETE for this swimsuit (check them out at–they ship worldwide).

IMG_1752The day went by quickly.

IMG_1704I love this pier. I could just look down and see the beautiful marine life. Colorful fish, squid, corals, manta ray and baby sharks!

IMG_1754Another gorgeous sunset.

IMG_1784I could stay here for a month!

IMG_1790Majestic sky.


IMG_1356Night swimming, check.

IMG_1830Another memorable feast: yummy lechon!!!

IMG_1847So lucky to have been able to visit with Carlos!


  1. Bella Reply

    Hello Ms. Kelly!

    I hope this message finds you well.

    My name is Bella and I’m from looloo, a food and travel app and website. Our website’s goal is to help readers discover places in the Philippines by featuring restaurants, historical places, and tourist spots all over the country!

    I came across this blog post and I was wondering if it would be okay to use your photo ( for an article on Islands That You Can Rent in the Philippines that will be featured on our website,

    We guarantee that you’ll be given full credit and we’ll provide a link to your photo and this post 🙂

    Let me know if this is okay. You can contact me through the e-mail address I provided. Hope to hear from you soon!

    Many thanks and the warmest regards,

    1. kellymisa Reply

      Hello Bella! Sure thing, you may use the photo as long as you credit me and link to my blog. Thanks for visiting!

      1. Bella Reply

        Hello, Ms. Kelly!

        I’ll leave the link to the actual post here once it’s up. Thank you!

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