El Nido: Little Paradise on Earth

El Nido, Palawan is truly a paradise. A magical place that you ought to wonder how could possibly be made through natural evolution and time. Since I was in highschool, I wonder how it would feel witnessing before your very eyes the beautiful places you only see at school textbooks and featured on televisions and/or movies. I was born a traveler but I am poor that’s why I promised to myself, when I can already afford from what I’ll be earning from working, I will not really miss the opportunity of seeing the world.

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

I have been to Hongkong and Macau, Bohol, Baguio City and other places when I’m still studying but I decided that my first travel post would be Palawan since it’s the first place I’ve visited where I spent money from that of what I worked hard for.


Day 1: Arrival at Puerto Prinsesa 

Our flight back then was a direct flight DVO-PPS and vice versa. However, upon checking Cebu Pacific’s website today, one traveling from Davao will be flying first to Manila as its stopover before reaching Puerto Prinsesa. Of course, this route will cost higher than the direct flight I had then.

Since this travel was in group and we have a friend from Puerto Prinsesa, we’re confident that we’ll not get lost as we wander around the city. That Palaweño’s name is Ate Neth. She showed us places nearby where we can buy pasalubongs before our scheduled departure for El Nido at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. We had our lunch at a carenderia and bought chichirias to munch over during the van-travel to El Nido for approx. 4-5 hours. Travel time too long, huh? But I tell you, it’s worth it!


Arrival at El Nido

We arrived at El Nido around 7 o’clock in the evening since we got some minor delays departing from PPS. We had our dinner at Ate Kat’s (ate Neth’s barkada and became our dear friend too) resto. The food were really mouth-watering, featuring the rich seafood Palawan expected to be producing from its unspoiled seas.

We stayed in an inn which has rooms that can accommodate 2 to 6 persons. Ours can accommodate 5 and still spacious since there were only 4 of us in the room. The other half of the group stayed in the other room. This inn however was still far from El Nido’s shore and we have to take a tric for P50, pakyaw fare. Quite inconvenient compared to those inns located in beach fronts but still, we paid lower than we should when we stayed at the latter. Still at win-win. ^__^

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My friend, Venus, took souvenir of where we’d stayed.

Day 2: El Nido Island Hopping

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Tour packages were grouped and offered based on a tour map below:

El Nido Island Hopping Tour Map
El Nido Island Hopping Tour Map

You cannot visit and enjoy all 4 different tours in just one day. Maybe two out of four is possible but if you really want to go after all the tour packages, you must stay in El Nido for another night to continue the island hopping the next day. Ours was covered by Tour A and  Tour C, the two most preferred tours.

Tour A

  • Small Lagoon. You can see the tranquil turquoise green water upon entering a small hole of stones thru swimming or boarding a kayak. Your tour boat cannot enter such hole that’s why it requires getting wet just to get through.
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The narrow hole as entrance/exit of the lagoon.

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  • Big Lagoon. You can enjoy the view of this lagoon while being just on the boat. Take as many pictures as you want near the front edge part of the boat upon approaching the lagoon’s entrance. Just be careful though for what you’re stepping at may get too slippery. My knees were trembling while trying to put my balance in place to have the perfect view taken. But oh, you’ll be in awe! It’s instagram worthy, though I know every island really is one.

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BATMAN limestone formation
  • Shimizu Island. The island where stunning limestone formations can be found. The best part of being in this island was the preparation of our tour crews for the sumptuous lunch to be feasted over after snorkeling around this wonderful island.
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Just a part of our festive lunch. Unlimited SEAFOOD!!! 😀
  • Seven Commandos Beach. It was said that this was named after the 7 remaining japanese commandos who lived in the island after World War II.

 

Tour C

  • Hidden Beach. Not having so much to note about this island. I’ve noticed sea urchins around and the only thing that stunned me was “Nemo”. Yes, a clown fish! The tour guide showed us the location of its abode and told us that we should try touching it. I was kinda anxious to try since the first ones who did had some unfavorable reactions. Haha! But yeah, I still did try. It was sticky and it tried to pull my hand inside it which was a bit scary. Nemo was really cute though! 🙂
  • Matinloc Shrine. This offers spectacular view of the nearby islands as you climb up the viewing spot. Just be careful because the way up there was not that safe when not taken with enough cautions. Matinloc Shrine was also known as Shrine of Our Lady of Matinloc and Shrine of the Blessed Virgin, a sacred monument built in 1982 to honor the blessed virgin mary. Matinloc is a local term for beautiful. (Matinloc ka ba? Haha)

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  • Secret Beach. This is inaccessible by boat and surrounded by steep rock walls. To reach it, divers or those who want to take the risk must swim underwater through a narrow crevice in a rock wall. It was June when we visited and waves were not that friendly enough to allow us even we have the guts. We might end up banging our heads on the rock walls as the waves may betray us. So we just satisfied ourselves with the additional knowledge that this beach inspired Alex Garland’s novel The Beach, which was written while the author was in El Nido.
  • Helicopter Island. It’s called such because limestone cliffs resemble that of a helicopter when it is viewed from a considerable distance. This was our last stopover of the tour  so we took most of our snorkeling , or just me perhaps. Haha! The corals were not so friendly to me since  I got my sweetest remembrance of this trip by being cut and scarred on my left foot from losing my balance.

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We got back into the town’s shore around 5 o’clock in the afternoon since we started and departed late because of malfunctioning boat engine in the morning. Every tour was supposed to be back around 4 PM but ours was just intervened by unexpected situation that was still handled well. Kudos to the tour guide team (which I really forgot the name due to short term memory I have, oh well)!

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We had our dinner along the shore and it was exciting.Candle lighted tables, good music, relaxing ambiance went a long way, even helped me satisfy my stomach more. We slept early not just because we’re that super tired but because we have to get up early for our travel back to Puerto Prinsesa.

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I am not really a beach bum but I’m a certified nature lover. I appreciate those little things only nature can offer. That’s why El Nido, Palawan was really on my list.


 

Enjoy and have fun!

Other related posts:

Palawan: The Most Beautiful Island 

Puerto Prinsesa: City in a Forest

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