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Celebrating our first year anniversary on a private island

“Honey, how about a private island?” I said to Chris before our anniversary.

“Of course, sweetheart!” he answered right away without second thoughts.

 

Right after breakfast, we asked the receptionist at El Mahogany Beach Resort if they were offering something extra special on our day.

“Of course,” he eagerly replied.

That was when he introduced Duzband to us. Duszband is a French guy who has been living in El Nido for a long time now. He’s into water activities. He also knew some islands with very few visitors.

(Duzband was also the one who introduced sailing to us the next day.)

 

He took us to Pinagbuntayan Island for only around 15-20 minutes via speedboat and he let us experience steering it, which was super cool!

As soon as we got off the boat, we laid our stuff on the lush green grass, tuned it to some island music and engaged in a long conversation.

We spent half a day taking photos, listening to music, snorkeling and just lying on the sand and grass surrounding us. And we indulged in the beauty of the beautiful island. We saw small groups on a tour, stopping by the island to snorkel off its waters, but they didn’t take long. When they all left, we had the island to ourselves.

Pinagbuntayan Island exudes tropical vibes in El Nido. The island has numerous palm trees that added texture to our Instagram photos. Of course, we didn’t go there just to take snappy and gram shots, but to celebrate our first year anniversary together as a couple. We just couldn’t get enough of the island’s serenity and tranquility.

 

We walked further to check what was on the other side. We were surprised to see a small house built on huge rocks. What a perfect lifestyle!

 

Was it worth it?

Absolutely! Like I’ve said, even though very few tourists came to the island. They didn’t bother us at all. After they left, we were alone on the island.

 

See the photos? Need I say more?

Before darkness blanketed the sky, Duzband picked us up. He was right on time.

It was indeed a great experience to live the island life. The best part was, we made new memories as we celebrated our anniversary!

 

We paid PHP1,500 for a roundtrip speedboat ride.

 

When we came back to the hotel, the staff sent beautiful flowers to our room. It was such a sweet gesture! Then before retiring for the night, we had a sumptuous dinner at the beach front seafood restaurant in El Nido.

 

 

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  Celebrating our anniversary on a private islandCelebrating our anniversary on a private island

 

 

 

 

 

Need travel tips in El Nido? Ask me!

Born, raised, and forever loyal to the Philippines. Catherine is a teacher who writes and a writer who teaches. She writes every day. She's in love with Africa, beaches, and books. Her favorite books are " There Is No Me Without you, One woman's Odyssey to Rescue African's children, and "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace. One School at a Time". And her ultimate dream destinations are Madagascar and Hawaii. Check out more of her stories on her blog.

28 Comments

  • Lisa

    I so want to visit here! What a lovely place to celebrate your anniversary, I’m sure you’ll remember it for a long time. The price for the speedboat sounds reasonable (converted to Euros!) and I’ve only read great things about El Nido. Wishing you many more anniversaries ahead!

  • Sarah Wilson

    Wow, that looks really beautiful and very romantic!!! It’s my five year anniversary coming up, this would be perfect for us 🙂

  • Yukti

    First of all Congrats on your first Anniversary. You celebrated it perfectly by going to a private island with full privacy and beautiful surroundings. I loved the coconut trees everywhere and it is so much photogenic. I am adding this private island in El Nido in my bucket list.

  • Valentina

    What a fantastic way to celebrate your first anniversary, a whole island all to yourself sounds amazing!
    The landscape looks beautiful and the special touches of the hotel staff are great. Definitely a place to add to my list for a special occasion 🙂

  • Soraya

    Duzband sounds like a totally cool dude. He’d be so great to meet and seek advise on things to do and see. Pinagbuntayan Island looks and sounds totally amazing, and I love that you get the complete tropical vibes of El Nido here. What a beautiful way to spend your anniversary!

  • Sapna

    This is such a beautiful place with no crowd what so ever and that is I guess is the beauty of visiting a private island. It looks like a fantastic experience.
    And a belated happy first anniversary.

  • Medha Verma

    Aww what a lovely way to spend your first anniversary. A private island, far away from crowds, is so romantic and The Philippines have so many of such islands, I am sure! El Nido is gorgeous and Pinagbuntayan Island with its white sands, palm trees and blue waters looks perfect!

  • Aareeba

    Wow , I would love to visit an island like this. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun. Happy 1st Anniversary to both

  • Danik

    Fantastic idea for an anniversary. I did do an unhabitied island in the Maldives about seven years ago and was left there for 12 hours. No one on the island. Had a book and a few snacks/water and that was it. Best time of my life. Wishing all the best for your future travels. 🙂 Start thinking about that 2nd anniversary now 😀

  • Linda

    I have always loved the idea of a private island. It was nice that you had the day to enjoy the island and snorkeling. With a private ride there and back. What a great way to celebrate your anniversary.

  • Ann

    Paradise found! What a lovely island. I HATE crowded beaches, and for you Pinagbuntayan Island sounds like such a perfect spot for your anniversary. The palm trees and water did make a great backdrop for your photos.

  • Sherianne Higgins (SherianneKa

    Happy anniversary! I can not think of a better way to celebrate than on a private island. The lone house is a bit curious, I think I would have struggle to not go knock on the door

  • Carol Perehudoff

    Well Happy Anniversary. What a way to spend the day. It looks like a beautiful getaway. It’s my and my husband’s five year wedding anniversary this year and I hope we get something as romantic as your tropical getaway.

  • Kirstie Marie Saldo

    This is very sweet and I am so glad that you were able to have such quality time together. Happy anniversary!

  • Valentina

    What a fantastic way to celebrate your first anniversary, a whole island all to yourself sounds amazing!
    The landscape looks beautiful and the special touches of the hotel staff are great. Definitely a place to add to my list for a special occasion 🙂

  • Medha Verma

    Aww what a lovely way to spend your first anniversary. A private island, far away from crowds, is so romantic and The Philippines have so many of such islands, I am sure! El Nido is gorgeous and Pinagbuntayan Island with its white sands, palm trees and blue waters looks perfect!

  • Danik

    Fantastic idea for an anniversary. I did do an unhabitied island in the Maldives about seven years ago and was left there for 12 hours. No one on the island. Had a book and a few snacks/water and that was it. Best time of my life. Wishing all the best for your future travels. 🙂 Start thinking about that 2nd anniversary now 😀

  • Ann

    Paradise found! What a lovely island. I HATE crowded beaches, and for you Pinagbuntayan Island sounds like such a perfect spot for your anniversary. The palm trees and water did make a great backdrop for your photos.

  • Yukti

    First of all Congrats on your first Anniversary. You celebrated it perfectly by going to a private island with full privacy and beautiful surroundings. I loved the coconut trees everywhere and it is so much photogenic. I am adding this private island in El Nido in my bucket list.

  • Aareeba

    Wow , I would love to visit an island like this. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun. Happy 1st Anniversary to both

  • Lisa

    I so want to visit here! What a lovely place to celebrate your anniversary, I’m sure you’ll remember it for a long time. The price for the speedboat sounds reasonable (converted to Euros!) and I’ve only read great things about El Nido. Wishing you many more anniversaries ahead!

  • Sarah Wilson

    Wow, that looks really beautiful and very romantic!!! It’s my five year anniversary coming up, this would be perfect for us 🙂

  • Sapna

    This is such a beautiful place with no crowd what so ever and that is I guess is the beauty of visiting a private island. It looks like a fantastic experience.
    And a belated happy first anniversary.

  • Soraya

    Duzband sounds like a totally cool dude. He’d be so great to meet and seek advise on things to do and see. Pinagbuntayan Island looks and sounds totally amazing, and I love that you get the complete tropical vibes of El Nido here. What a beautiful way to spend your anniversary!

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