“You don’t have to be rich to travel well.”
“My best summer ever!”
After five months of waiting, I can finally see El Nido in flesh. Palawan is a top destination in the Philippines during summer because of its fine sand and beautiful beaches. Travelling to Palawan with my own expense was once a dream for me and now it became a reality. Palawan is the largest province in the Philippines and as what lonely planet says it’s “A WORLD OF WATER”. After I booked my ticket to Palawan five months ago, I kept reading blogs and articles about the things I can do in Palawan and I learned that Puerto Princesa, El Nido and Coron are the top tourist destinations when you are visiting Palawan. Since, I like to make the most out of my travel, my pals and I decided to go El Nido based on the reviews we’ve read on the internet. Palawan has always been one of my bucket list and I always thought going to El Nido would cost you arm and leg but it I was totally wrong.
A day before our flight, I start searching for cheap accommodations in El Nido since it’s a 5 hours drive from Puerto Princesa by van and 6 hours by bus so we need to have a place to stay when we arrived since our flight is at 11:30 in the afternoon. Initially, I booked at El Nido Bay Sands Inn for a fan room that cost me cheaper than I expected but as soon as we arrived there we changed it into air-conditioned room because it’s extremely hot. We haggle the price of the air-conditioned room based on our budget and we decided to booked the van with them as well since it’s cheaper than other transport owners. As soon as we arrived in Puerto Princesa, we were picked up and perfectly accommodated with our van reservation. The funny thing there was, we were the only local tourist inside the van and the rest of the passengers and European and Americans so every time they talk we kept quiet. We arrived in El Nido at 6:30 in the evening and we rode a tricycle going to our Inn, looked for dining restaurant, arranged for island hopping tour, rest and got ready for the next days adventure.
DAY 2: Island Hopping Combo A and C
The night we arrived in the Inn, we decided to asked help to the house owner to arranged a tour for us. She wanted us to join the rest of the her guest for the Island hopping so that we can save however, she suggested that a private Island hopping tour would be desirable because we can control our time without considering other groups. Tour A already cost 1200 and Tour C cost 1400 pesos however she offered a combo tour of A and C for 2000, private boat with free lunch. We started our Island hopping tour at 8 in the morning and finish it at 5 in the afternoon. We were able to visit the following islands:
- Helicopter Island
- Hidden Beach
- Secret Beach
- Secret Lagoon
- Big Lagoon
- Small Lagoon
- Seven Comando
We’re back in our Inn, had our dinner and call it a day.
DAY 3: Taraw Peak Canopy Walk, Nacpan Beach/Twin Beach,Viewing Deck, Las Cabanas Sunset and El Nido Zipline
We had a good rest last night even though the electricity is on and off. As soon as we got up we were getting ready for our adventure, we had our own american style breakfast in bed a slice of bread and coffee. We went first to Taraw Peak climbing but we took the easy one since we are not confident to climb the higher peak. We had to do the canopy walk before we can reach the top, our legs grow weak, sweat drops and puffing but when we reach the top we were in “AWE” and all we can say was it was worth it. We went to Nacpan and Twin Beach afterwards and we were devouring the beach with snorkeling gears. I particularly like Nacpan because it has a wide shoreline and it’s not very crowded, well maybe because we were early. Our next stop was at the viewing deck, we actually didn’t know about it at first but our tricycle driver recommended this place to have a perfect view of Helicopter island and other islands of El Nido. It was free of charge, we had rested there for half an hour before we went to Las Cabanas to have an exemplary view of El Nido Sunset. We arrived there at around 3PM and sunsets in 2 hours so to make the most of our time we walked going to El Nido Zipline. The zipline is also worth to try especially if you wanted to try everything while you are in El Nido. It will cost you 500 pesos for 1 way and I know it’s quite pricey for the distance but it’s El Nido after all. We decided to try 1 way and walked down so that we can reach Las Cabanas shorline again. One thing I can’t forget about this beach was aside from the sunset I actually saw foreigners sun bathing braless. Readers, I know it’s normal for them but “hello” I was shocked they free their nipples. After watching the picturesque sunset, we had our first most extravagant dinner since we arrived in El Nido because we made sure we don’t exceed in our travel budget. After dinner, we bought pasalubong in stalls because we will have early flight the next day.
Day 4: El Nido to PPS to Cebu
Since our flight going back to Cebu is at noon, we had to leave at dawn. While travelling back to PPS, I couldn’t take a nap because it’s so cold and the fog is very thick. We also had our stop over and ate our breakfast before reaching the airport. Four days and 3 nights is not enough to get enough of this paradise.