El Nido, Palawan: 5 Things That Will Make It Next On Your Travel List
El Nido, Palawan is a picture of tropical paradise in more ways than one. Perhaps it is the remoteness of the place that makes it more appealing, especially for those who have had enough of over-hyped and commercialized destinations swamped with tourists trying to have a slice of what the majority of the populace claims to be paradise, take for instance, the case of Boracay. El Nido is no Boracay in the same way that Boracay is no El Nido. It is being a bit touristy, but far from losing its charm. It has a unique character, which I assume is close to being fictional because it is just too good be true.
While El Nido, Palawan is having its fair share of buzz recently, it remains mysterious for many people, which is perhaps because of ranking low in terms of accessibility. If I were you, I’d suggest that you endure the long bus ride (if you cannot afford the steep airfare direct to El Nido) and simply think that to travel is to revel in the beauty of both the journey and the destination. Appreciate what the roadside has to offer and in the end, you will be rewarded with an astounding bliss that is El Nido, Palawan.
5. Island Tours
Island hopping – you will not get enough of it when in El Nido. They have 4 basic tour packages that will offer unique experiences in every destination. It is a crime not to try island hopping in El Nido, punishable by a lifetime of regret. One of the gazillion of things I like about El Nido is how you do not need to haggle for a tour. You will not be bombarded by annoying touts trying desperately to offer their tours. Their 4 tours, regardless of where they are availed, are made available at the same pricel but it can get lower depending on how you bargain. This will be the most touristy thing you can do during your vacation, but it is popular for a reason: it makes you realize that heaven is indeed a place on Earth.
Best to hire a kayak for the tours, especially for Tour A
We availed of 2 island-hopping tours. The first one is Tour A with a standard price of 1,200 pesos, but we were able to book it for 1,000 pesos and the second one is Tour C, which we booked for 1,200 pesos instead of 1,400 pesos. All of our tours were from Discover El Nido and we were able to get discounts because I had booked with them the last time I was in El Nido, which was about a year and a half before this trip. Check out their website or visit their Facebook page and look for Donde, who will surely help you have a good time in all of the tours you will plan.
The Big Lagoon. Our first stop for Tour A
Secret Lagoon. To get in and out, you need to pass through this small hole.
Beach beside the Secret Lagoon
Shimizu Island. Lunch area for Tour A.
Going inside the Small Lagoon
Renting a kayak for Tour A is a must.
7 Commando. Last stop for Tour A. They have a bar here. Perfect for a cold bottle of beer after a tiring day.
Sunset at 7 Commando Beach
View from Matinloc Shrine. First stop for Tour C.
Star Beach, Lunch area for Tour C.
From the back, there are two small holes for entry and exit. The Secret Beach is inaccessible during high tide.
Helicopter Island. last stop for Tour C. Good area for snorkelling.
Both of the tours will last an entire day and come with a sumptuous lunch prepared by the ever reliable boatmen and tour guides, who also happen to take plating way too seriously. The lunch is one of those instances where the eye gets full before the stomach gets filled. It is #foodporn at its best, made more orgasmic by the fact that you are eating it on one of the best beaches in the world.
Lunch is served!