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shipwreck

Our Story

Our Beginnings 

The Isla Experience was built out of a dream in 2014 when the founder(s) discovered the beauty of Darocotan Island by chance encounter when visiting El Nido. The crystal clear waters and white sand beaches were idyllic, but a dense, overgrown jungle meant the land was inhabitable.

 

With no place to stay, the local village invited us into their homes, cooked for us and provided shelter. During this meeting our friendship started and ever since then, we have worked very closely with our kind neighbours as we strive to bring sustainable tourism to the area for the benefit of all.

Our dream; simply to create a one of a kind, remote island experience for our guests, combining nature, marine life and cultural exchange. But... with a difference. We're not just a glamping site. We're a remote Island Experience with purpose; to help local communities, marine life and our natural environment, all while providing our guests with a unique, unforgettable experience. 

 

We believe escaping the hustle and bustle of the tourist trail and experiencing paradise in its purest most remote form, is what creates those special lifelong travel memories. 

 

We started to make our dream a reality in 2018 and our friends on the Island were keen to help us transform the landscape into a habitable haven. So, through the collaboration of local knowledge and our travel and hospitality expertise, we created a true castaway experience.

 

With only a deep water well for showering, basic toilet facilities, and a few tents, we started inviting just a few travellers. In these early days, we are eternally grateful for the first couple of tourists who took a chance on Isla. Facilities were basic; however we still received amazing feedback, commenting on the local staff's friendliness and ability to provide such a unique experience. Then the growing started...

From here we grew little by little and every guest that stayed helped us towards reaching our goals as we started to build our first bamboo huts. Our Isla family started to grow as we took on experience hosts, local cooks, housekeeping, construction, and general maintenance, encouraging current workers to invite their friends and family to join our project. All of our team came from the Island itself or the local town of Teneguiban. For many it was their first time working in tourism so we shared our knowledge and grew together. 

 

Unfortunately, in 2020, just as we were about to open fully with our new bamboo huts, the island was forced to shut for 2 years due to covid. Dedicated to our mission with our Isla family, we kept all of our team on and we kept busy, keeping the dream alive as we knew one day tourism would return. 

 

We reopened in May 2022 and now we are stronger than ever. Your support is helping us to improve every aspect of our project; visitor facilities, staff welfare, community development and environment preservation are all important pieces of our Isla Experience vision.

Our Future

Our future plans for Isla are vast, and we have a clear vision for this project which we would love for you to be a part of. Our upcoming projects include:

Learning Education Centre - We're working with our partners to fundraise and build a classroom, offering classes in English, marine sustainability and numerous other topics.

Student Internship Programme - We're launching the areas first Internship program for students at Teneguiban Elementary. We'll be providing training on hotel / tourism modules to help them gain skills they can use to secure future employment opportunities. 

 

Marine Conservation - We would also like to expand our marine conservation efforts to restore the reefs damaged by previous environmentally destructive behaviours such as dynamite fishing. This starts with education within local communities and to travellers. 

Tree House - We've always dreamed of making a tree house so this is something up and coming in the next year!

Eco Garden - We're currently planting our first vegetables and fruits and will soon be farming some of our own produce. 

100% Sustainable Energy - We're currently sourcing 80% of our power sustainably, with a duel solar / generator system. We've very close to being 100% solar which we're very excited for. 

Think you can help with any of the above? Get in touch!

 

We hope this gave you an insight into our beginnings, our purpose and our future.

 

For all those that have stayed with us, thank you! And for all those who we're yet to meet, we're excited to see you soon.

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