El Nido is a province situated at the northernmost part of Palawan. Known for its white sand beaches and pristine coral reefs, it became a long-time dream to be able to set foot and see the beauty of this island. Big thanks to my mom for deciding to take a side trip to El Nido while having a seminar at Puerto Princesa. Thanks, Mommy!
We only had one whole day to explore, so we decided to avail of an island hopping tour. We chose the Tour A package, which includes lagoons and beaches that were centered around Miniloc Island. Here’s a summary of our tour:
1ST STOP: SECRET LAGOON
The boat ride going to Secret Lagoon was a spectacular sight. I couldn’t count how many times we were awed by the magnificent limestone cliffs that welcomed us as we approach a white beach.
It was unfortunate that we had our tour during low tide though. The boat had to park away from the shore due to huge rocks, hence the need to swim our way to the land.
At the left side of the beach hid a small opening that led to the Secret Lagoon. It was necessary to crawl in order for us to get to the other side.
How I wish all secrets are as beautiful as this one. Definitely worth keeping!
2ND STOP: LUNCH BUFFET IN A SMALL BEACH
Here we had a little more time to stroll, take pictures, and rest under the shades while our tour guides prepare our lunch buffet. The food was included in the tour.
Fascinating how they were able to prepare all these in the boat, not to mention their food carving skills. Haha!
3RD STOP: SMALL LAGOON
Our third destination was the Small Lagoon. This one’s my most favorite of all. The boat was parked away from the entrance of the lagoon, so we had to rent a kayak that could fit in the entrance. The kayak could only fit three people. My sister and I were accompanied by our tour guide.
Swimming was allowed in the lagoon, but we were unreasonably afraid to do so. Haha!
4TH STOP: BIG LAGOON
Fourth on our list was the Big Lagoon, which is probably the most popular among all. It was past two in the afternoon when we got there, and the beach was a already a bit crowded. Our boat wasn’t able to get inside the lagoon, again, because of low tide. What a total buzz kill! Nevertheless, Big Lagoon still blew us away with its white sand, clear turquoise water, and a fantastic view of limestone cliffs.
What a perfect spot to get our obligatory artsy Instagram post.
5TH AND LAST STOP: PAPAYA BEACH
Last on our itinerary (but definitely not the least) was Papaya Beach. Supposedly, the last on our tour was 7 Commandos Beach, but our tour guides advised us to switch. According to them, due to popularity, 7 Commandos Beach is often crowded with tourists.
We didn’t regret switching, not even a blink! We were in paradise. Fresh air, clear turquoise water, and oh, Papaya Beach has got to have the finest white sand in El Nido!
We spent an hour strolling on the beach, sipping coconut juice, and laying down on the sand before we went back to our boat that led us home to our resort.
WHERE TO STAY IN EL NIDO:
We stayed at Islandfront Cottages. The place has a rustic feel. The beachfront rooms have balconies that are perfect for late night hangouts with your travel buddies. The hotel is just a tricycle away from the main town.
- Wear water shoes to avoid slipping on rocks.
- Wear rash guards to avoid getting wounds and bruises.
We went back to Manila exactly the day after. How we all wish we could buy more time to do some more beach hopping, but we all had to go back to our own realities. So long, El Nido. I shall come back for more bruises, wounds, and memories of a beautiful island we can all call our own. ‘Till I see you again!