If I’ll get to choose where I’d like to go before I die, I’d choose El Nido all over again. We are all aware that this lovely paradise of ours have amassed recognitions from various publishing sites and travel blogs. It is one of the must-visited tourist spots not only in the Philippines, but is also considered to be a top destination by foreign travelers as well.
El Nido is Palawan’s main attraction. It is beyond words on how you can definitely describe the beauty of its pristine beaches and stunning limestone cliffs. Traveling to El Nido might come pricey but the experience will be totally worth it. Let OutOfTown blog guide you on how you can totally enjoy the island hopping at El Nido.
How To Go There
Book a flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa. It is recommended you try some travel packages for easier transfers and convenient traveling. If you’re a solo traveler, when you alight from Puerto Princesa airport, most probably you’ll be approached by van drivers once you arrived at the airport, so no worries. Fee will cost you around Php 500 -Php 700. Travel time is 6 hours.
If you prefer less expense for transportation, you can also take the bus, but it will take you more time before you arrive in El Nido.
Where To Stay
We stayed in a transient house, which is just 5 minutes away from the beach front. There are plenty of cheap lodges, pension houses, luxury hotels in El Nido, but since we just went there for the island hopping the following day, we booked for a cheaper room. We didn’t mind the lack of facilities since we’re just staying for a night. But there are also recommended hotels around the area like the following:
- El Nido Beach Hotel
El Nido Beach Hotel is located at Calle Hama in Barangay Masagana, El Nido. If you’re going to stay longer in El Nido, then this is the perfect place for you. Each room and facilities are designed for their guests comfort and convenience. They also serve Japaneseand western cuisine.
Contact details: (048) 723 0887
- Amigo’s Inn
For only Php 600+, you’ll get to comfortably stay at Amigo’s Inn. Note that rates may change without prior notice. It is located at Serana Street, Barangay Buena Suerte in El Nido. Plus! It’s beach front.
Contact details: 639187119115
- Big Creek Mansion
Modern fixtures, check. Excellent water flow, check. Spacious room and comfortable beds, check and check. You’ll get to stay in this inn for only Php 1000 (prices may also change without prior notice)
Contact details: +639399179509
Wake up early and prepare yourself for a very long, tiring, yet fulfilling island hopping. I took the Tour C which includes a tour in Tapuitan Islands, a visit to the famous Secret Beach, the Matinloc Shrine, Hidden Beach and Helicopter Island.
Before you ride the boat, you’ll have to pay an environmental fee of Php 200. The boat for the island hopping can sit up to 10-15 people.
Our first stop was the Helicopter Island. It was mind blowing. I’ve never seen such island so untouched, dreamy – in short, a sight of paradise. It was called Helicopter Island because of its shape when viewed above. We got 15-30 minutes to roam around and sunbathe. Mind you, you’ll never get bored because tour guides in El Nido can speak fluent English, and they also have a sense of humor.
While traversing on our second island, we immediately noticed the other tour guides grilling our lunch on the back of the boat. It was quite scary because of the huge waves – but these guys are pro – all they cared about was to get our lunch cooked by the time we arrive in the second island. We had a 30-minute break as our tour guides prepare our lunch. I’ve noticed that 70% of people the island are mostly foreigners.
Going back, lunch was amazing. They prepared food good for 10 people. We had seafood, grilled meat, and different fruits. We rested for another 30 minutes then we ventured at the famous Secret Beach. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make a stop because of the unruly waves. The small entrance going to the beach was almost impossible to see. Legends say Alex Garland used to write his novel, “The Beach” at the Secret Beach.
We went snorkeling at a nearby island called Star Beach. I haven’t got a rented gear that time but our tour guide was kind enough to lend his. The water’s so clear that if you immerse yourself beneath, you’ll see a different world. It was one-of-a-kind.
Our last stop before heading back to the beach front, was Matinloc Shrine. It is an island with an abandoned building. We were welcomed by a concrete gazebo and religious sculpture in the entrance. We climb atop the limestone cliff and we had a panoramic view of the marvelous island and nearby beaches. It was breathtaking. No amount of man-made creation can ever top off that paradise. The abandoned might be creepy, but it adds mysteriousness to the island which makes it even more interesting.
So coming back to the beach front was also a bit scary because of the waves approaching sidewards on the direction of our boat. Which is why I’m recommending that you plan your El Nido travel on summer so you can expect a calmer waves.
So if you’re planning as of today, make sure to travel in groups for lesser expense and to share some huge chunks of memories with. Happy travelling, guys!