Showing posts with label El Nido. Show all posts
Showing posts with label El Nido. Show all posts

Nacpan and Calitang Twin Beaches: El Nido's Secret Paradise

Unknown to many tourists, found in the northern part of El Nido in Palawan is one of the best beaches in the country I've seen, the Nacpan and Calitang twin beach in Barangay Bucana. It's one of the many off-the-beaten-path destinations you will find in El Nido that's worth a visit. It's isolated, scenic and breathtaking that it truly defines paradise.

Scenic view from the top of a grassy hill in Calitang, El Nido, Palawan

How to Travel Cheap in El Nido, Palawan

Have you ever dreamed of traveling to El Nido, Palawan? I know you do, and I certainly know the feeling. El Nido easily became one of my dream destinations the first time I heard about it from my college professor way back then, but the impression as an expensive destination had always scared me off. Anyway, I still placed it on top of my bucket list while wishing and hoping that I could set foot in this place someday.

Falling in Love with the Islands of El Nido (Part 2)

What an exciting second day we had! If you read my previous post, I described how the beauty of El Nido captivated me so much. We felt blessed because God has literally placed us in the middle of paradise to experience its magnificence and appreciate His amazing works.

The first time I watched the film "The Beach" starred by Leonardo DiCaprio, it became an instant favorite. I just couldn't help myself wishing I could see the place at least once in my life! This made our decision to choose Tour C over B for our second island hopping day tour. The tour includes the visit to a secret beach which is said to be one of Alex Garland's inspirations for his novel "The Beach". It may not be the "beach" featured in the movie but the idea excited us!

Day 3 - Island Hopping Tour C

Just like on second day, the third day started with heavy rain. Our excitement meter was absolutely pretty high so the weather failed to dampen our desire to see the islands waiting for us. The family of 19 members who was with us the previous day was scheduled for tour B. We were supposed to go with them but since we chose tour C, our guide from Hadefe had to look for another boat operator where we could join.

Kuya Loloy, our tour guide since day one, actually tried to convince us the day before to go with them on tour B. The reason was that he can personally watch us over. He had to be with the family because the children needed more attention in terms of safety. We appreciate their concern for us but we insisted on going on with tour C. We thought we're fine without him. So he booked us to another boat scheduled for tour C the next day, and even made assurance that we're gonna be safe with our new guide. The boat that picked us up that morning was a small one and aboard it was a couple who eventually became our friends.

1. Hidden Beach

Amazing crystal clear water of Hidden Beach

El Nido: Fish Feeding at Simizu Island

Simizu Island was the third destination on our first island hopping day tour. The massive limestone mountain range spreading over the island makes it one of the picturesque islands we've seen that day. The island plays host to a number of activities like kayaking, snorkeling, swimming or simply strolling down the beach. My most favorite among them was fish feeding.

After a delicious lunch and siesta, the boat left the island and took us to a spot a few hundred meters from the beach. Just off the shore of Simizu Island live a great number of vibrant corals and literally hundreds (or thousands?) of tropical fishes. As soon as we threw small pieces of bread into the water, shoals of diverse and colorful fishes surfaced and swarmed the bread like it was their last meal for the day. It was an absolutely incredible day of snorkeling, probably one of the best I've ever had.

Also, I wish I had a waterproof camera to capture the fascinating underwater scenery. Next time, I'll make sure to use a travelocity coupon and use the money I save to buy a good underwater camera. The teeming marine life in this part of El Nido overwhelmed me.

Falling in Love with the Islands of El Nido (Part 1)

The real beauty of El Nido rests in its pristine and unspoiled islands scattered all over the Bacuit Bay. With two full days to spend in this tropical paradise, we had the opportunity to visit ten of them. It's the ultimate reason why I'd want to stay in El Nido forever. :-)

El Nido is composed of 45 islands and islets making island hopping an essential activity. The island hopping is grouped as tour A, B, C and D (ranging from P700 to P900 per person). For each island hopping tour, you'll get to visit at least five islands (see map here). Tours A and B are the most common ones and recommended for first-time visitors. On the other hand, tour C covers the farthest islands among the group. Tours A and C got our interest.

Day 2 - Island Hopping Tour A

We woke up to a heavy rain on our second day in El Nido. For a while, bad weather threatened to spoil our island hopping activity. We know July is a rainy season in the Philippines but there was no news of incoming bad weather days before our trip. Sometimes, Mother Nature likes to play a little game with the weatherman.

At 9 AM, a big boat picked us up from Hadefe Cottages. The sun hiding behind the dark clouds began to show up. The weather had cooperated this time. Our boat headed to El Nido town beach where a family of 19 members (from infant and kids to adults) were waiting to be picked up and join us. My friend and I suddenly felt out of place. What the heck, we were there to enjoy ourselves. :-P

1. Big Lagoon

Entrance to the Big Lagoon

Palawan: A Gateway to Paradise

This is the first part of our Palawan getaway last July. Aside from being a favorite holiday destination, I've always wanted to go to Palawan to discover its captivating natural wonders and experience its unspoiled beauty. The perfect opportunity was this year while the travel bug is too strong to resist. :-)

Last March, Cebu Pacific Air made a seat sale announcement and right on the spot, my friend and I decided to book for flights to Puerto Princesa for July. We got a good deal on round trip tickets for P1,900++ per person. As early as April, I started planning for our Palawan getaway right after our Boracay trip.

The original plan was to explore only the popular tourist attractions in Puerto Princesa but, surprisingly, it turned into an ultimate Palawan escapade after we stumbled upon an irresistible deal from Hadefe Cottages. Like most budget travelers, we don't like tour packages too. What sealed the deal for me was the inclusion of the tour package Underground River cruise, Puerto Princesa city tour and a two-night stay in El Nido with island hopping for P7K per person. That's 5 days and 4 nights of amazing Palawan exploration! Finally, I can set foot in Palawan and visit one of my top dream destinations, El Nido, just right on a budget.

This was our first time to go to Palawan and what can be more exciting than to include the chance to visit the Philippines' last frontier? I was very ecstatic!

The beauty of Calaan Beach in El Nido is revealed during low tide.
The sunlight would turn the sea floor into gold. What a sight to behold!

Where Have I Been this 2011?

I'm so freaking blessed to have traveled to many major destinations in the Philippines this year. One of my new year's resolutions which was to travel only every other month has become an almost monthly routine. I kicked off 2011 with a Puerto Galera getaway and soon found myself crazy booking for domestic flights in every seat sale opportunity I can get. I thought the travel bug was beginning to bite me hard.

Just to summarize, below are the places where I've been in the past year. I will be writing about my adventure in each of these destinations in the next couple of days weeks. Looks like a lot of backlog to catch up on. :-)

Puerto Galera, January 2011