Travel 2014: El Nido and its secrets

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Third day in Palawan and, now, we are bound for El Nido!




01.25.2014 - Welcome to Paradise!

We woke up and checked out from Casa Linda early on our third day since we knew that Puerto Princesa to El Nido will be a very long ride. We hailed a tricycle going to the bus terminal since bus rates are cheaper than the vans. Based on the blog posts we've read, it is around PHP300-400 per person. But then, when our tricycle driver heard that we were rooting for El Nido, he told us that he knew a van service that could give us a discounted rate. Taking into consideration the long travel and our own convenience as well, we decided to take Kuya's offer. He took us to SD Transport where a van is already waiting but with no passengers yet. For only PHP600 (it is around 700-750 if not discounted), we got the chance to choose our comfy seats. Good deal! 

At around 9:30AM, the van hit the road. It was a traffic free ride. We conquered zig zags and some rocky roads. We also had two stops -- one for lunch and one for rest room break.

After six hours of some chit chats, small naps and sight seeing, we reached the van terminal at El Nido. Like in Puerto Princesa, the main transportation in El Nido are the tricycles. We rented a tryke to Tay Miloy's Inn which is around 10-15 minutes away from the terminal. 

Tay Miloy's Inn, owned by Kuya Rodrigo, is a budget lodge for backpackers. We got two rooms with a shared rest room for only PHP1200 per night.

Sample bed at Tay Miloy's Inn.
*Photo not mine*
After organizing our things in the room, our group decided to have a short stroll around the town. We wanted to check the place called The Alternative since we've been planning to stay there for the next two days. Luckily, there is still a vacant room left for our desired days. Kuya Edward, the receptionist, also gave us an amazing discount for the room. Yay!

Having no plans, we looked for activities we can do for the rest of the day. We found tricycles offering to take us at the sunset view deck. We thought that this is a nice idea so we did not hesitate to go. The tryke driver dropped us off the parking lot of the Las Cabanas Beach. From there, we went for an easy 5-minute trek going to the entrance.

When we finally reached the beach front, all of us exclaimed a big "Wow!!". The view was really stunning!

Beautiful palm trees in the beach entrance.

A glimpse of the sunset

Seeing the sun set behind an island and listening to the waves rushing to the shore while sitting on a fine and powdery white sand made me feel very thankful of the moment. I can't help but be amazed of the beauty of nature all around me.

That's me enjoying the shore.
Aaahh. Welcome to the beach life!

We waited for the sun to say goodbye for the day. We trekked back to the parking lot where Kuya driver is already waiting for us. It was an awesome experience for only PHP150!! (Thanks Kuya for the discount! Haha!)

During the night, we took another stroll at the town and ended up having dinner at The Alternative. It is a very cozy place to dine in since it is a sea side resto with wooden interiors. The restaurant is a bit pricey but I think the service, food and place made my every peso worth it.

I ordered their specialty Seafood Paella for PHP280.00.
*Photo from my friend Jen*

01.26.2014 - El Nido's Tour A

There are 4 major tours being offered by the travel agencies in Palawan. Since we only have two days alloted for the tours we decided to avail Tour A and C from Tay Miloy's.

Tour A package is PHP1200 per person including lunch, snorkels, tour guide and life vest. The itinerary includes:
  • Small Lagoon
  • Big Lagoon
  • Secret Lagoon
  • Shimizu Island
  • Papaya Beach

I do not want to bore you with words so I will just share some pictures for this tour.

First Stop: Small Lagoon. The boat parked a bit away from the entrance of the lagoon, so we had to swim all the way. It is advisable to wear slippers because there are shallow parts with sharp-edged rocks. Be careful on your swimming!
Say hello to the Small Lagoon! It is nice to swim around the lagoon because the water is not too salty and not too cold. Some tourists also enjoyed kayaking around it. 
Jen and Erky posing for the camera while resting on the side of the lagoon. Behind Erky is our very kind tour guide, Kuya Raffy, and behind him is a small cave.
Next Stop: Big Lagoon. The way onto the big lagoon is shallow so Kuya bangkero needed to push the whole boat. Go Kuya!
A snapshot of the big lagoon. Since it is pretty big, tourists are not allowed to swim around. It was the boat who took us around the lagoon. The water here is very clear and the limestones and rock formation are really stunning. Definitely breathtaking!
Erky, Jen and Mars on the shallow entrance of the lagoon. We are not wearing any slippers because the sand here is very fine. Can you see the clear water? 
Third and Lunch Stop: Secret Lagoon. This is the docking area going to the lagoon.
Mars at the Secret Lagoon's secret passage. Who would have thought this small hole could lead you to an amazing place?
That's me enjoying the lagoon.
Our lunch prepared by Kuya Raffy. Looks yummy, taste super yummy! My favorite is the eggplant with tuna! Burp!
Fourth Stop: Snorkeling at Shimizu Island. Here is a school of fish we've captured. Just wow! 
Last Stop: Papaya Island. Here is our jumpshot! Yay!
We enjoyed beach bumming in this island while drinking fresh Buko juice. 
My bending stunt at the beach. Wiii! This place is my favorite for the date because I am a beach person. I enjoy just chilling in the beach while being mesmerized by everything around me.
After the tour, we transferred to the room we booked at The Alternative. The room is called "Healing". It is a standard fan room with a queen size bed and a private rest room. We requested an additional foam since we are 4 persons in that room. Kuya Edward gave it to us for only PHP1800 per night. It is already affordable considering that he gave us a room in the sea side and The Alternative is one of the best place to stay in El Nido.

The photo of The Alternative from the shore. Our room was the leftmost room.
*Photo not mine*
For dinner, we went to one of Kuya Rodrigo's suggested restaurants in the sea side, Sea Slugs. The food was amazing and there was a live band singing which made our dining experience more awesome. I even ordered a Margarita to cap off the night.

01.27.2013 - El Nido's Tour C

We started the day with a breakfast by the beach in The Alternative.

My "just-woke-up" look. Haha.
Mars, Jen and Erky enjoying the view at the tab.
Then, we went back at Tatay Miloy's for our tour package of the day. Tour C is PHP1400 per person with the same inclusions as that of Tour A. It includes the following itinerary:
  • Hidden Beach
  • Matinloc Shrine
  • Secret Beach
  • Star Beach
  • Helicopter Island

Here are some of our pictures during the tour.

First Stop. The Hidden Beach. I think it is called as such because if you are just passing by the island you wouldn't notice that there is a beach inside.This is the small hole as entrance to the beach.
The shore of the Hidden Beach.
Our group shot at the beach. Did you notice that the water is super clear? 
Lunch stop at Matinloc Shrine. There is a Mama Mary figure in the center of the shrine.
Kuya Raffy said that during the past years mass are being held at this place.
There is a view deck at the top of the island but we had to pass through these jagged rocks first.
Be careful and mind your steps! 
The amazing view on top of the island! Lovely!
Standing at the edge of the cliff!
Yet again, another sumptuous lunch prepared by Kuya Raffy.
Next Stop: The Secret Beach. Going inside this beach is the most challenging part of this day. We had to fight the strong current of the waves just to pass through that small hole in this picture.
Me, Jen and Erky enjoying the secrets of this beach.
Quick Stop: Star Beach. We were supposed to watch the fishes and corals at this area but when we plunged into the water our guide noticed that there are a lot of jellyfish in the sea.  So, we hurriedly got back to the boat and continued on our next destination.
Last Stop: The Helicopter Island. It was another beach bumming area. The island is very serene and relaxing. Sorry I was not able to take a picture of the whole shore. My phone got empty bat.


We also went snorkeling at Helicopter Island.

The coral and colorful fishes under the sea.
Since we got hungry after the tour, we tried one of the famous crepe house in the town. I loved my Nutella Crepe!
Nutella Crepe is PHP150.00
For dinner, we went back to Sea Slugs since we want to try their other dishes. Like the day before, I ordered another glass of Margarita for a good night sleep! Haha.

01.28.2013 - Goodbye, Palawan

We took the same van service on our way back to Puerto Princesa. It was another six-hour ride but this time I spent most of the time asleep. I think it was because the past days were tiring so I took the ride as an opportunity to gain energy.

The van dropped us off the "Paseo" in Palawan where we bought some souvenirs and pasalubongs. After that, the tryke driver we met from day 3 fetched us. He took us to a store selling hopias from Baker's Seal. We bought boxes of Hopiang Ube as pasalubong to our families and officemates.

While waiting for the boarding time, we stayed at Itoy's Cofee Haus. I am not a coffee drinker so I could not rate their coffee products but I could say that their mango shake was good. :)

We said goodbye to the beautiful city of Palawan at around 8PM.

Thank you Palawan for the wonderful experience. I will be back!! :))

*For the first part of this trip, click here.
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Tay Miloy's Inn
Lisang Street, 5313 El Nido Bacuit, Palawan, Philippines
0929 795 5756

The Alternative
Serena St., Brgy Buena Suerte, El Nido, Palawan
0917 895 5951



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1 comment:

  1. Wow. Fashion blogger na travel blogger pa! Galing!

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