While traveling, I try to be very picky about what guided activities I give my time and money to. The Tao expedition was such an amazing investment that I’ve felt compelled to share my experience. I was fortunate enough to have friends who had already completed the trip and encouraged me to go by myself. The Philippines islands are exciting to explore and Tao is the perfect way to get an authentic cultural tour.
Tao was created as a social enterprise, with all the island communities working together as business partners. The company is all about giving back to the locals and Tao literally translates to “human.” With a decline in traditional fishing and farming, they were searching for other ways to make a living. The community now trains in hospitality and even turned their wooden boats into island hoping vessels.
There are a few different options as you choose your Tao adventure. I decided to do the 5 day/4 night boat tour, starting in El Nido and ending in Coron. As a group of 22 tourists from all over the world, we traveled by fishing boat through the beautiful Palawan Islands. This area is famous for its aqua blue water and crystal white beaches. The boat crew was made up of an awesome group of Filipino fisherman turned excursion experts.
During the day, we would swim, snorkel, and explore the hidden beaches, caves, and turquoise waters. Every night we would stop at a different camping spot, where the crew would set up our sleeping cots with an included bug net. They would then prepare for us the most mouth-watering meals, using their fresh catch of the day and produce from Tao farms. Don’t worry, there is always plenty of beer and rum to go around!
Be warned… this trip is not a luxury vacation! There will be plenty of bugs, hot days, rough seas, no running water, and no wifi or electricity. Going off the grid can really help you embrace the journey and all aspects of the island adventure. Be sure to pack a good book and be ready for an amazing time with new friends. Filipinos know how to entertain and the Tao Lost Boys are sure to show you a fantastic time!