September 13th, 2018
Who wouldn’t fall in love with the majestic islands of the Philippines? Especially the long island of Palawan facing the West Philippine Sea. It has it’s different stunning beaches from low key to prominent ones. The luminous green water, amazing limestone cliffs and the wonderful lakes and lagoons are the things that comes to my mind when I think about that place. I learned that El Nido is the best choice if you’re looking for a crowded and more crazy experience in Palawan. If you’re an adventurous and out-of-the-box type of person then El Nido is the right place for you.
We flew from Manila early in the morning and the journey in the air only took 1 ½ hour. We landed in Puerto Prinsesa which is the capital city but there’s another route via Coron, you need to ride a boat afterwards so we had chosen to passed through Puerto Prinsesa instead. To my surprised, we ended up travelling from Puerto Prinsesa to El Nido the whole day. I guess the other way around is much better. Night travelling is better to not waste a day on the road.
We went first to one of the pensionne houses in the city center to check in but I didn’t find the place suitable so I called my friend who currently living in Nacpan, 45 minutes away from the city center. I was stunned by the beauty of that place. It was far different from the hostels in the town center. It’ll bring you to more of a farm feeling. My friend accompany us to her friend’s hostel which is called “Where 2 Next”. The rooms there are made with nipa hut and it has it’s own mini store where you can order food. It also has it’s very comfortable hammocks where you can hang out and feel the fresh cold air. We explored the area and there you can find the so-called Twin Beach which is one of the choices for island hopping. The place was so relaxing and there are few resto-bar around. One of the nearest bar is the Mad Monkey, it is a hostel with mini bar infront of the sea where you can spend the most out of your night sipping colada and socializing with the folks around.
Where 2 Next Hostel =D
The next morning, we travelled all the way back to the town center to do the exciting island hopping. We had chosen the combination of Tour A and C for P1,500 discounted for each since it was referred by my friend. I forgot the name of the tour company but it was just few meters away from El Nido Boutique and Art café which is one of the well-known souvenir shops there.
We headed first to Seven Commando Beach to explore for few minutes. According to myth, it was named after 7 soldiers who got stranded there during the World War II. Well, there are some stores there where you can buy snacks and beer and relax for awhile. We only got few minutes there coz we still have more islands to explore but I can say that Seven Commando Beach is indeed a good place to get stranded. And oh, I love the net swing there that’s tied on the tree. It was pretty cool though I haven’t tried.
Seven Commando Beach
Next stop was on Helicopter Island, it was called so because of it’s helicopter shape. That island is so peaceful and beautiful athough the water around the seashore is very deep and the waves are hitting so hard so I just wore my vest all the time. We had our delightful lunch in Matinloc Shrine, showering with all kinds of seafoods and fresh fruits inside the boat. One of the best part there is the vendor of fresh coconut who stroll and sells on the sea. My westernian boatmates enjoyed jumping off the tall limestone cliffs which I find very tough thing to do. I just preferred to swim around and captured their moments.
Enjoying our lunch.. arrgh I look soooo fat! =p
Next on the lists, is my favorite Hidden Beach. You have to pass by a slightly narrow way to be able to get there which is why it was called Hidden. But mind you, it was one of the dangerous area to hop on I guess because the water strike forcefully on the edge of the narrow way. The boats cannot enter the area so you need to overcome the strong waves and swim with all your might to get there. But as soon as you get there, it was paradise. Water there is a perfect turquoise that you wouldn’t want to leave that place.
Heaven Sea =)
Last two stops we’ve been are the famous Big and Small Lagoons. You don’t have any reason to miss the kayaking there for those are the best tourists attraction in El Nido. It is the perfect place for snorkeling, kayaking and exploring the beauty of the nature. Just beware of the sea urchins around. We were supposed to visit the Secret Lagoon but the boatmen advised us not to go for it was dangerous that time. Waves are big and there was a high tide that made us not suitable to proceed coz you need to pass through a very small hole to get there.
Big Lagoon.. Water here is pretty deep approx. 40-50 meters.
Captured these spanish lovebirds while relaxing on their kayak.
We had spent our last night in the town center to experience the nightlife. There are lots of different bars in the seashore and the one where we dropped by was the Pukka Bar. It is known for it’s reggae type of music that has been playing by the live bands the whole night. It was 2nd of November that time so we joined their Halloween Event with all the staff having their own terrifying costumes and make up which made our night more unforgettable. I feel like I’m spending my whole time in the beach of Europe for there are lots of western people walking on the streets and partying around as if it was really their hometown. I’d really love to go back to El Nido and also wish to explore the other parts of Palawan. It was a three day fantastic experience!
Halloween Party in Pukka Bar
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