Tao Expeditions has been described as ‘One of the most pioneering cultural eco tourism projects in the Philippines’, It is a journey to the most remote region in Palawan to discover a tropical archipelago of hundreds of paradise islands, inaccessible to independent travelers through its remoteness and lack of tourist infrastructure.
Tao takes a handful of travelers each year for an experience that most people describe as ‘the highlight of their travel in the Philippines’. Our expeditions are not for everyone, we emphasize that this is not a tour. We have no set route or itinerary. We leave port after breakfast on the first day, and arrive before nightfall in the destination port on the last day. What happens in between is up to you.
We visit a group of 200 islands on the 150km route between El Nido and Coron in Palawan. This area is the most remote region in the province with several isolated fishing communities but absolutely no tourism, but for how many more years? We don’t know! To visit this area independently would be difficult. There are no advertised boats leaving from the mainland, and the villages have no tourism infrastructure such as guesthouses, shops, or places to eat.
The Linapacan group of islands is an undiscovered paradise which hides hundreds of white sand beaches lapping with aqua marine water, a wild landscape of coconut forests and thick wild jungle, pristine coral reefs teeming with sea life.
“We were totally enclosed, hidden from the world; not a footprint marked the sand”…
Guardian Newspaper UK, June 2009
The idea of our expedition is to experience remoteness. We visit local villages and observe the daily living and livelihood of a simple fishing family. We introduce a new concept of tourism where there is no need for unnecessary development and no cultural adjustment to accommodate tourists. We do not intrude and we only utilize what is already available. We sleep in a family home; we buy or barter for local produce and promote local services such as accommodations, native massages, guides etc.
“There's so much uncharted territory that, despite the crew's local knowledge, each day is a new adventure”…
Sydney Morning Herald, November 2009
Our expeditions are well known in the area and we have a reputation where our guests are more of a visitor than tourist. The communities always welcome us and in return we pay gratitude not always with money but in small welfare projects.
In 2007 we set up the Tao Social Welfare Projects. In return for the hospitality that the islanders have shown us we run a series of projects for children providing day-care centers, teachers, school supplies and feeding programs. As a traveller on a Tao expedition you directly help us to fund these projects as a donation is included in the cost of all our trips.
“Tao moved away from the ‘eco’ stereotype, toward the ‘ethical’ side. The main priority is the relationship with the community and the environment.”
'10 Things must do' Philippines , January 2010
We balance the expeditions with pure adventure and rustic kind of luxury. Trekking and snorkeling, then chill on the beach with cold drinks and good food. Everyone helps out to collect firewood then sits around a bonfire at night. Shower by the well then have a local massage. Hours of journey by boat and then the chance to appreciate the serene atmosphere of a secluded island.
'A window to a new discovered paradise'
ARTE TV France/Germany 2010
Eddie Agamos Brock a native of the Mountain Province of northern Philippines founded Tao. Exploring most of the remote region of the country, settled in northern Palawan. Building a boat and living in the island villages where the Tao family grew. Tao started welcoming guests and the adventure flourished into a business venture.
Mr. Jack Foottit a British architect joined Tao and helped restructure the company into a high quality tourism venture but keeping the concept of 'the luxury of raw simplicity'.
Zaza, Oliver, Romeo and the rest of the family are the foundation of Tao, each contributed to the success and development of a business growing with the community.
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