I knew I was in for a unique experience when I boarded a Let-410 19 seater twin engine propeller plane for my second visit to El Nido Palawan about a week ago. I had a short visit in El Nido few years back when I attended an event in Port Barton but I never got the chance to explore its wonders.
A short one hour and change flight provided spectacular birds eyeview of the colorful corral down below, as well as the surrounding 45 islands of the area. In fact you could actually see some of the white sand beaches while on board or while approaching the airport.
Famous for its beaches and water activities, El Nido is also known for its marine biodiversity, beautiful flora and fauna, particularly the lowland evergreen rainforests found on the mainland as well as the neighboring islands of Miniloc, Lagen and Pangulasian.
These forests are also the source of a local “nipa” which they use for roofs of their houses as well as the roots of trees that are sometimes used as rudders for the outrigger boats.
I was there last week and I was truly amazed on what I saw and experienced. I was told that the best driest months there are April and May while the heaviest rainfall occurs during the late summer months into August but the weather was perfect during our stay which gave us more time to enjoy island hopping, hiking and of course snorkeling. There was a nice mild tradewind coming from the Northeast which is common for that time.
Upon arrival, Ferdz and I took a tricycle to reach Lally and Abet resort – our jump off point to our resort which is located in Ca’alan Beach – 30 minutes walk from the town proper. I really don’t mind walking that long coz I’ve been wanting to jog for quite sometime already but I just don’t have time. Walking is also the best way to burn the calories from food that we had not to mention the “Choco Mucho” snacks that we were munching in between meals.
Our first day was all about the town familiarization, we had the finest Monica dirty ice cream by the beach and we roamed around town to look for an island hopping tour package for our second day activity.
The tours are available in several travel agents located in the Poblacion and all the tours and tour guides we got did an incredible job of organizing our hike and island hopping to keep us busy for the entire 5 days that we were there. I will share to you in details our island hopping experience on our second and fourth day in a separate post:)
We agreed to take a rest on our third day but Ferdz and I decided to explore the Makinit hot spring and Nagkalit-kalit waterfalls both located in Pasadena several kilometers from El Nido Poblacion. The trail going to Makinit hot spring can be unforgiving due to muddy and slippery path but unlike the Maquinit hot springs in Coron – Makinit is totally untouched and currently not advisable for swimming.
After traversing the hot and muddy hot spring, we headed to Nagkalit-kalit falls. Located about 14km north of the Poblacion, the falls has a natural pool where everyone can swim after a long trek. The hike consists of easy walk, 7 river crossings and an uphill trek which can be very slippery.
Out trek to Nagkalit-kalit falls was a bit disappointing since the waterfalls was dry and all we saw was a stagnant water in the natural pool but overall, the trek was an awesome experience.
Highlights included island hopping and having a short stop beneath the towering limestone cliffs, snorkeling in pristine small, big and secret lagoons and devouring freshly grilled fish right beside the majestic limestone rock formations. Night times were spent strolling on the moonlit beaches and enjoying the local food which are surprisingly affordable.
I would like to thank Southeast Asian Airlines for providing us the fastest and safest flight to El Nido and to my fellow travel bloggers Nina, Ferds, Gail and Marc for the memorable experience.
If you are yearning a laid back vacation with soft white sand deserted beaches, gorgeous clear aqua colored lagoons and very accommodating locals to enhance your stay, I would recommend a visit to El Nido Palawan and discover why the Philippines is called the “Wealth of Wonders”
Starting April 14, 2010, flights to El Nido will be every Wednesday, Sunday and Monday and the additional Monday flight will be available until end of June 2010. If you want to book your tickets to El Nido, visit www.FlySeair.com or call (+632) 8490100.
Seair also offers Special Tour Packages for your Summer vacation requirements, call SEAIR Leisure Escape Packages at (+632) 8437308.