The Bikini Diaries: El Nido Palawan, Heaven On Earth
I just came back from a beach trip in Boracay and Pico De Loro, but why do I still crave for more sea and sand? (Type in #beachgirlproblems) To satisfy my beach craving now, I'll just talk about my El Nido trip!
Photo Credits: thetravelingheels.tumblr.com
Traveling to the beach, #LikeADonya style
El Nido is one of the premium destinations in Palawan, which I believe is next to Coron and of course, Amanpulo, the luxurious Palawan destination. To get to El Nido, you have to take a chartered plane. Travel time is roughly around 45 minutes to an hour from Manila. It's a semi- private vacation spot so expect that the lodging and airfare rates are a lil' costly than the usual!
El Nido's famed limestone cliffs that are roughly over a million years old.
After the plane ride, we took a bus going to the El Nido port. If I remember it correctly, the bus ride took 30 minutes to an hour. When we got to the port, we were transported to the islands by boats and it took another 20-30 minutes. Multiple transfers are part and parcel of any beach trip in the Philippines, but with a view like this, you would never mind!
El Nido is comprised of small islands, just like Coron. Islands are as follows: Pangulasian, Lagen, Miniloc, and Apulit. Each island has its own charm: Pangulasian is known for its forest, Lagen for its breathtaking view of the sunset, (which I saw myself!) Miniloc for its abundant marine life, and Apulit for its 60-meter high limestone cliff where people can go rapelling. There's another island called Entalula, the island where we had all of our meals, but there's no resort in there. Entalula is known for its super fine sand and crystal clear waters though and the staff would recommend it if ever you just want to have a good swim!
We stayed in the Lagen Island Resort. It has contemporary bungalows sprawling all over the island.
All bridges lead to heaven if you are in El Nido! :) Here's the long bridge leading to the bungalows, poolside, and lobby area.
More about my El Nido escapade after the cut!
I was lucky enough to get a room right where the sun sets! There were also chunks of rocks on the shore near my bungalow where all sorts of birds would stop by to rest before flying off to the trees atop the towering limestone cliffs. Spent most of my time bird- watching when I'm in the room and it was relaxing and awe- inspiring at the same time-my El Nido stay made me appreciate more and more how beautiful and rich the Philippines is.
Lagen has its own crystal pool. This island, btw, doesn't really have a very nice beach front-it's very rocky and water is more brownish than clear or blue-that's why the staff recommended Entalula or Pangulasian if we wanted to go swimming. There's a boat that's available at your beg and call, ready to take you anywhere as long as it's within the 4 islands. There are other must- see spots in El Nido such as the Snake sand bar, caves, and lagoons, but you'd have to schedule a trip to those places as it may take hours.
Me and Ana Victorino chilling in front of our bungalow. The sun was just so inviting so despite the rocky shore, we laid down to get a tan!
El Nido is where animals thrive freely. Most of the areas are untouched so that animals such as the Monitor Lizard can live unthreatened. I spotted this gentle giant walking casually along the shore in Lagen Island, looking for food.
On our second day, we went island and cave hopping! We went to this cave first (ugh! forgive my memory. I forgot what it's called!) and according to the tour guides, this is one of the caves where the first inhabitants of Palawan had lived. We had to get through that tiny hole to get to the inside part.
It was quite a struggle to get inside the cave and to celebrate our success, Liz and I posed for a photo! :D
Ceiling of the cave.
With my fellow Beauty Bloggers and some Press people. Here's a better view of the inside of the cave! There are huge spiders inside, btw. Good thing they're shy and they quickly went into hiding upon sensing people! :p
Next stop was the Snake sand bar. It's a hump of sand in the middle of the sea. The water here is clear and despite the fact that it's in the middle of the sea, the water is mysteriously shallow!
Our final stop was the big lagoon and small lagoon, located somewhere near the sand bar. I wasn't able to take photos because we had to ride and maneuver a kayak (the boat is too big to enter the small lagoon's entrance) to get inside the small lagoon and the tour guides recommended to not bring any gadget with us-the waves were pretty strong and I didn't want to see my iPhone sinking beneath the sea! I rode a kayak with Say Artillero-it was my first time to ride and drive a kayak and even though it was pretty scary as the waves were literally pulling us to the middle of the sea, it was hell fun and my arms had a decent workout!
To enter the small lagoon, you have to get through a small opening. When we got inside, my jaw literally dropped because the lagoon was a sight to behold-it was so, so beautiful--couldn't think of any perfect word to describe it. It was like a location that's literally pulled out from a film, something like Lord of The Rings haha! The lagoon was so serene, so calm, so clean, and there were tons of birds residing in the tall, old trees. Too bad we only had 15 minutes to spare-I could spend an hour or two in there!
The big lagoon, btw, is where the last part of the most recent Bourne movie was shot. We weren't able to visit that spot though as the waves were too high and big for the boat. The water in that area is brimming with sea urchins so maybe you should reconsider jumping impulsively in there!
El Nido, in my opinion, is for the adventurous ones who love discovering new places as it's more of a island hopping kind of place. It's still worth going to though so you'll realize how blessed our country is in terms of nature and marine life! Amanpulo, you're next and so it is! :D
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