El Nido is known for its beautiful islands, turquoise waters, and diverse marine life. To explore the islands, Island hopping tour packages are offered by different travel agencies. There are 4 packages offered, namely Tour A, Tour B, Tour C and Tour D.
From the airport, we rode a van going to El Nido. We were planning to take the bus, but Cebu Pacific offered us a 600 peso van voucher, which picked us up once we got down at the airport.
Just on the 5th hour of our road trip. Our van hit a carabao in the middle of the road. The carabao got crippled and left the van in total wreck. Fortunately, no one got hurt in the accident, except the carabao and me. The bridge of my nose hit the metal part of my bag. It got scratched and bleed. What an experience for our first day! Despite that, we saw the night sky, full of stars. It relieved us despite the unexpected event. The driver told us to wait for the backup van. Luckily, the last trip of Cherry Bus was behind us. We rode the bus and paid 80 Pesos each.
We arrived in El Nido around 2:30 AM. We rode a tricycle going straight to our accommodation, D’ Strong Tower Inn. The staff asked us if we are going to take the tours this morning and we said, yes. She told us to register and a trike will pick us at around 8:30 AM. Payment for the tours plus the Eco-Tourism Development Fund Fee of 200 Pesos will be paid to them after each tour.
ISLAND HOPPING – TOUR A
We happened to have just a few hours of sleep. We woke up at 7:00 AM and ate our breakfast at a nearby carinderia called Sisig Republic. The trike arrived and brought us to the leftmost part of the beach, where our boat is waiting. We chose Tour A for our first day. This includes the Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island and 7 Commandos Beach.
Our first destination was the Small Lagoon in Miniloc Island. Snorkeling and kayaking are the activities here. We rented a kayak for 300 pesos. To reach the small lagoon, we entered a small hole where we and our kayak fitted. Inside, we were surrounded by beautiful rock formations and turquoise-green waters.
Our second destination was the Big Lagoon. We didn’t stay there but the boat toured us around it. Surrounded by rock formations and clear waters, it left us in awe. It is a breeding ground for different fishes and reptiles. According to our guide, they offer night tours, where they let tourist see the rich marine life at night.
The entrance to the Secret Lagoon is a small hole on a towering limestone. It was a cave before that collapsed. It is now an area that looks like a pool surrounded by this limestone wall.
The beach near the lagoon is a paradise. Coconut Trees, white sand, and clear waters. A place to relax and appreciate nature.
Our boat stopped at Shimizu Island where we will also have our lunch. Shimizu Island is named after a Japanese who died while leading an underwater exploration inside a cave.
While waiting for our lunch, we were given snorkeling gears for us to explore the rich waters surrounding the island. Different kinds of fish can be seen including Clownfish, Angelfish, and even Sea Urchins. Just beware of a fish that will bite your legs. It bit me 2 times but don’t worry, it was not painful. XD
After swimming with the fishies, our lunch was ready. It was a feast. From seafood, meats to fruits. It was relaxing, eating by the beach surrounded by beautiful islands.
7 COMMANDOS BEACH
7 Commandos Beach was our last destination for our Tour A. Named after the 7 Commandos who got stranded and lived here before.
The beach was very relaxing. A place that defines the word, paradise: coconut trees, palm trees, fine white sand beach, and clear waters. After a day of island hopping, we just wanted to stay here and rest. The best place to be stranded. XD
That concludes our Tour A. We were back in El Nido Town at 4:00 PM. We returned to our room and washed.
In addition to our Island Hopping Activity, we explored the town. We ate street foods and looked at the establishments.
We ate our dinner at Kaptain’s Diner just in front of St. Francis of Assisi Parish Church. Restaurants in El Nido are a bit pricey. We decided not to thrift ourselves to satisfy our cravings for some good food. After dinner, we returned to our lodging. Tired but excited for what we’re going to experience next. What wonders are we going to discover next?
That ends our first day in El Nido! Next post is about our 2nd Day and Tour C Activities. 😀
Check out our complete ITINERARY and TRAVEL GUIDE in Palawan. Cheers!
TRAVEL DATE: JULY 2016