El Nido, Palawan – A Quiet Paradise

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During my stay in El Nido, this hammock has been a friend, and the great view from there has become a family.

I have dreamed for many weeks to finally see this view. I’ve searched for months and read about this place. It did not disappoint me, not even a little bit, when we finally got to meet each other. ‘Til this day, I still can almost feel the same happiness I felt staring at the view just by closing my eyes and imagining.

The ride to El Nido was sweaty beyond imagination! The van that picked us up was too full with locals, fellow vacationists and some foreigners. It was 7 hours of sweat, smooth and rough and dark roads, because we met the night time on the road and there are still not too many lights. It was a little bit of a freak show. Haha! It was pitch dark everywhere and our van’s hazard lights were on while driving, I think for better recognition of someone behind that there’s a vehicle on the road?

Before it’s become dark, we stopped for an early dinner at a restaurant 3 hours from El Nido town proper. The restaurant is situated near the sea and it has a nice bridge attached to it. Mario and I had some refreshments and took a number of pictures.

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While waiting for our strawberry shake and blended coffee.

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The bridge I told you about in the beginning. See the scattered islands behind?

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Cutesy rattan chair in the al fresco area of the resto,

It’s almost 9pm when we reached the El NIdo town proper. Since we are leaving for Coron in 2 days, we hurried to the El Nido Art Cafe for to buy our tickets. We thought we could have dinner there too – no, because the food is too pricey. haha!

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The entrance to the El Nido Art Cafe. It’s a restaurant, a visitor information and tours center, an art gallery and store. 🙂

We dined at one of the restaurants in Bacuit Bay, and just like the restaurant on the way to El Nido, I forgot the name of this one, too. Haha! I was excited to rest and prepare for the adventure of the coming morning, so please forgive me. 🙂

We checked in at Hadefe Resort – a good 15 minute walk (for a well-rested person) from the town proper. I don’t recommend this for the people who aren’t fond of walking. But I do recommend this resort for people who like the quiet. This resort also offers a great view of the sunset. Hadefe now provides visitors with mountain bikes for use to and from the resort, since it’s quite far.

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The front of Hadefe during low tide. I almost cried in glee having taken this picture of a wonderful view.

Since outrigger boats do not leave for Coron from El NIdo on saturdays, we had to cut our tours in El Nido to just one day. Sad indeed, so we made sure to make the most of it. We got up early, had a nice breakfast and coffee courtesy of the resort, and left for the tours. We were joined by a young German couple and a number of fellow Pinoys.

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Lovey dovey too excited to see El Nido’s awesomeness!

Our first stop is the Secret Lagoon. Too bad, we were not able to take a decent picture of this one. It had an awesome view. You have to swim into a small hole to get to the lagoon. At a high tide, the water reaches the ceiling of this small hole, one has to swim to get to the lagoon.

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The hole to the Small Lagoon.

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The Small Lagoon. 🙂 It’s much more beautiful than in this picture. Thanks to our camera enclosed in a floating underwater case, some of the shots have white orbs in them. haha!

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The water, everywhere in Palawan, is very clear.

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After swimming around the Small Lagoon, we went to the Big Lagoon but didn’t get off the boat. They just took us sightseeing from our seats (for some unknown reasons).

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The entrance to the big lagoon. You’ll find yourself holding your breath for excitement while you approach it.

And you get closer to the Big Lagoon.

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It’s like entering the world of the Lord of the Rings. It’s truly a great thing to do, seeing this wonder!

Three words - OH MY GOD!

Three words – OH MY GOD!

I recommend that you see the Small and Big Lagoon for yourself as my shots clearly do not do justice to the great sights that these are.

Upon leaving the Small Lagoon, it started drizzling then rained. It wasn’t too bad a rain but it got us wet from the boat, extra fun 🙂

We were standing and our heads stuck out of the roofing of our boat while we make 2 rounds around the lagoon, we saw a turtle on the water! But we couldn’t get a picture of it.

Next stop, the infamous Entalula Island!

Approaching the postcard-famous island!

Approaching the postcard-famous island in El Nido!

Entalula Island appears on countless of pictures for El Nido. It is famous for its rock formation that divides its shore to two unequal sections. The rock formation looks like a half-open, no-fold umbrella (please imagine it with me!). It stands nicely on a stretch of fine, white sand. It has tiny “rooms” where one can sit or setup a grilling station at.

In between the famous rock and the island's karts.

In between the famous rock and the island’s karst.

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Please excuse my fat legs! lol

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This island looks like a little bit of the Survivor series with its super tall coconut trees and rich greens wrapping the boulder of an island for shed.

The sun shone so bright again by that time we hit this island. Yey!

The sun shone so bright again by that time we hit this island. Yey!

We had our lunch here! One of the things I really looked forward to was being served lunch on the beach and eating with other folks. 🙂

Bellies of the world. Haha! I had no clear shot of the food because all of us just dived in right away!

Bellies of the world. Haha! I had no clear shot of the food because all of us just fired  right away!

They served grilled tuna, grilled pork, squid, salad of eggplant, tomatoes and onions, fruits and rice. Too yummy! The German couple we shared the boat with were too butch about eating Filipino food, oh specially the girl! She poured the soy sauce (with chopped tomatoes, garlic, onion – classic Filipino dipping sauce) on her rice! Amazing!

After the feast, we carried on swimming and lurking around., enjoyed the lovely island and beach, then left for the Simizu Coral Garden. We didn’t get off the beach on Simizu Island since we just came from a beach, the boat just parked on the water and helped us off for playing with the fishes. There were too many very colorful fishes!

Whoever started snorkeling activity is a freakin' genius. It's one of the best things to do!

Whoever started snorkeling activity is a freakin’ genius. It’s one of the best things to do!

A dominance of striped fishes! Looked like they belonged to the family of carps!

A dominance of striped fishes! Looked like they belonged to the family of carps!

About an hour of goofing with the lovely fishes and we’re bound to a cap off at Seven Commando Beach.

Apparently, the Seven Commando Beach is a private island with a bar that serves pricey (but understandable) alcoholic drinks. It also has several chairs everywhere and a volleyball net for playing. It was a good time to chill! We ordered a couple of beers and some chips and were drinking at the shore, but rain fell. We had to take shelter so we don’t get to drink beer with rainwater. haha!

Mario and I did not bring any money. Our captain boatman whom we called “Tatay” lent us 200php so we can buy something! Haha kind! 🙂

The bar at the background.

The bar at the background.

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White and fine sand, great beach, beer. What a treat!

White and fine sand, great beach, beer. What a treat!

After an hour of lying on the sand and having fun in this cute island, we sailed back to El Nido town. The tide was very low then, we had to walk a long way to the resort from where the boat could only reach.

Magnificent.

Magnificent.

My first island hopping in Palawan was a blast! My body was beaten up and my skin was burnt already but my heart was easily filled with such pride and happiness. I felt like a foreign in this piece of my own land. It’s a beautiful place!

That evening, we went to bed early and got up early the next day – all prepped up for… CORON!

Please also read my entry/entries on our long stay in Coron. 🙂

On the outrigger boat buckled up for 8 hours of sail to Coron.

On the outrigger boat buckled up for 8 hours of sail to Coron.

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2 comments
  1. Glad I stumbled upon this article. Thank you for sharing your experience. Im looking forward to visiting Coron the sooonest! Cheers!

    • Thanks Jona Alday! I’m posting my Coron experience very soon, you can source out some tips from there 🙂 Enjoy the very beautiful Palawan! 🙂

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