Saturday, November 17, 2012

El Nido: The Adventure of a Lifetime!

The year was 2011. It was summer and I was going to Palawan. I had no itinerary for the trip and my tour was good for four days. I had no choice but to have a travel agency  in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. First in my choice then was to go to Tubbataha Reef. But it was so expensive. The agency told me that I had to pay around Php50,000 or more for the trip. I immediately changed my mind. The agency told me I can instead go to 
El Nido. And everything fell accordingly...

Tagged as the "Philippines' Last Frontier," Palawan offers the best tourist destinations in the Philippines such as El Nido, Coron, Honda Bay, Calauit Island, Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR), Aman Pulo and Tubbataha Reef.

Palawan has a total land area of 1,489,655 hectares.  The province of Palwan is composed of 1,768 islands and islets most of which have irregular coastlines that make excellent harbors.

Palawan is accessible by air and sea. There are a number of airlines offering daily flights to Puerto Princesa and the flight is good for an hour and five minutes. On the other hand, the sea trip is good for 20 hours from Manila.

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Among the numerous tourist spots in Palawan, El Nido stands as my personal favorite.

El Nido is one of the premiere tourist destinations in the country. Worldwide, El Nido is known for its white sand beaches, hidden lagoons, coral reefs, palm forests and limestone cliffs. 

The El Nido Marine Reserve in fact occupies 96,000 hectares which boasts of diverse ecosystems and is one of the protected areas in the Philippines.

This year (2012), El Nido was declared by CNN as the best beach in the Philipines. The other top beaches in the Philippines are the following:Boracay, Aklan; Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte; Panglao, Bohol; Camiguin; Dakak, Dapitan City, Zamboanga; Pearl Farm, Davao and Siargao, Surigao.

I wento to El Nido summer 2011 via Zest Air. Notwithstanding the delay of 5 hours in the Domestic Terminal of Manila, I eventually arrived in Puerto Princesa, Palawan (There is an existing direct flight to El Nido via Sea Air). 

From the Puerto Princesa Airport, I arrived past one pm and I took my lunch in the city.

Then, I took the van ride for almost six hours to reach El Nido

It was already dark when I reached El Nido town proper.

I took my dinner at Sealug's Bar & Resto where I met the parents of my former student in FEU.

I slept good that night at my accommodation.

Day 2

The following morning, I inquired on the island hopping tours available for the day.

Luckily, the lodge itself offers the tour.

There were several choices from the list ranging from Tours A-D.

The extreme is tour D. I cannot recall what tour was given to me since they altered the actual tour for the foreigners who would be joining our tour that day.

Ready to go, I proceeded to the jump-off point.

And so, the island hopping began.

First stop was snorkeling

Snorkeling is best enjoyed in El Nido!

Next stop was Snake Island!

This was the place where my camera also took the plunge into the water. And from then on, I had to use another camera.

We also took our lunch at Snake Island.

What followed was  a series of island hopping...

Then, we went to a cave.

WE alighted from the boat and walked towards the entrance of the caves.

The foreigners enjoyed this part of the tour.

We entered the small entrance and climbed the cave.

It was around four pm when we finished the island hoping experience.

I enjoyed my second day in El Nido. =)

Day 3 

The following day, another island hopping experience.

This time there were no foreigners. My companions were all Filipinos.

Off to another island hopping adventure!

The islands and islets of El Nido are breathtaking....

First in the itinerary that day was the small lagoon, you have to either swim or use a kayak just to reach the small opening.

Snorkeling was part of the experience anew.

This time, it was much better.

Then, the best part was entering the Big Lagoon!

No words can describe the view!

Afterwards, we docked at one of the islands.

The crew of the boat were the ones who prepared our lunch. The previous day, the same lunch preparation was made but today's serving was simply mouthwatering..

We stayed and played at the island.

We had the best time of our lives!

We quenched our thirst by drinking coconut juice!

We simply forgot time and let it passed.

We are having our adventure. The adventure of a lifetime!

On our way home, smiles were written all over our faces.

I want to go back to El Nido! =)

Total cost of the tour - more or less PhP27,000

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  1. do you travel alone sir?

  2. I also went to snake island sir :) but not in the Big Lagoon and even in the Cave. :'( but based in your photo's.. I should say "It's more fun in the Philippines" talaga! :D

    1. There are two Snake Islands. One is in Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa and the other one is in El Nido. Alin dun sa dalawa?

  3. sir we already bought our ticket going to puerto princesa. February is our trip. Where is the best place in palawan if we are group of teenager? :)

    1. Renz Chua, Sorry about this super late reply. I failed to notice your query. I was busy traveling last December. Anyways, I made a separate blog before for Puerto Prinsesa and this is the link -

      Hope you find it useful.

      There are three places you could go -
      1. PPUR
      2. Honda Bay
      3. Dos Palmas Resort

  4. Wow El Nido! This is really an adventure of a lifetime! Sana next time dito naman kami. Your blog is really quite helpful!

    1. El Nido is one my top ten tourist spots in the Philippines! I made a separate blog for my top ten favorite spots, this is the link -

      I love traveling in the Philippines. Hope you enjoy your travels as well. Ciao! =)

  5. Renz Chua: Sorry about this super late reply. I failed to notice your query. Anyways, I made a separate blog before for Puerto Prinsesa and this is the link -

    Hope you find it useful.

  6. Boracay or El Nido? Can't decide which one... Both are paradise..

  7. While it is true that both are paradise. The two are different in so many ways.

    Boracay is number one in terms of food, amenities and hotels. In terms of nightlife and party, Boracay stands over all other tourist spots in the Philippines. Powder white sand beach and a multitude of tourist from various parts of the world and walks of life, still Boracay.

    El Nido is number one in terms of adventure, island hopping, snorkeling, its lagoons, scuba diving and its serene environment. And El Nido is in Palawan, you can also go to Coron, Palawan by boat (3-4 hours) and World renowned Underground River.

    And it boils down to my favorite and personal choice - EL NIDO =)

    I simply love adventure! =)