Sunday, November 11, 2012

Captivating El Nido


Travel Date: October 7, 2012

Front beach of Green Views Resort

     Palawan never ceases to amaze me of its many gorgeous beaches, lush green forest, and beautiful limestone formations.  I fell in love with it the first time I visited Puerto Princesa.  And finally, I’m back to this island to explore El Nido.

     El Nido is undeniably romantic with its sleepy small town, front beach resorts and restaurants, amazing landscapes, and beautiful sunset.

     We booked our accommodation in Green Views Resort.  Though located in Corong-Corong, the resort’s simple nipa hut cottages with a front beach overlooking the Bacuit Bay offer a feeling of tranquility.  It is away from the noisy bars of El Nido town.

     The nicest part is their beachfront restaurant.  While having a meal, you can enjoy the view of the beach.  Staffs are very accommodating too.

     El Nido has many beautiful white sand beaches.  One day island hopping is not enough to explore all the islands.  You can either choose Tour A, B, C or D for roughly Php 700-900 including lunch.  Since we only have few days in El Nido, we opted for Tour A & B combination for Php 800 only. 

     In the morning, we started the Tour B.  We visited the Pinagbuyutan Island, Cudognon Cave, and Snake Island. 

     As we hopped out of the boat, I was amazed with the beauty of Pinagbuyutan Island.  Coconut trees are abundant, sand is so fine and white, limestone formations are beautiful, and with lovely scenery of the islands from afar. 

Pinagbuyutan Island

Pinagbuyutan Island

     Next stop, we did the spelunking at Cudognon Cave.  Entering and going out the cave was a bit challenge because you have to bend and crawl to fit yourselves in a small opening.  Here in this cave where the bones and artifacts of the former Palawan settlers have been found.  But the bones have been removed already.

Cave Entrance (Photo by Wes Ratliff)

Inside Cudognon Cave

     After taking some photos at Cudognon Cave, we headed to Snake Island or Vigan Island which is only 15 minutes away by boat.  Its name arrived from its sand bar forming like a snake during low tide.  We went up the viewing deck to have an aerial view of the island.

Snake Island

     At noon, we proceeded to do the Tour A.  We stopped first at Entalula Island.  Half of the island is privately owned, so we just occupied only the other part of the island.  While our boat guides busy preparing our lunch, we snorkeled around the island.  I was so happy that I saw so many fishes here and had the fishes nibbled my hands.  I saw a number of big parrot, a few angel fish, some clown fish swimming around the soft corals, and different kinds of fishes I can’t name.

Entalula Island

     Finally, after a long wait, our sumptuous lunch was served.  We were so hungry that we ate it all right away after they placed the food on the table. 

Photos by Tere Oliveros

     While cruising the sea for the next island, suddenly it rained hard that our boat maneuvered the sea with some big waves.  It was really frightening thinking if our boat can make it to the other island.  After 15 minutes of riding the big waves and praying to make it safely, we reached our next destination, the Simizu Island.

     Our boat just anchored a few meters away from the beach.  It is still raining but the waves were finally not rough then.  So after we were told that the sea water was warm, we jumped out of the boat and began snorkeling again.  We fed the fishes with our food leftover and the school of fishes swam around us.  The water was deep and you can’t see what was under.

     Since, the Big Lagoon was packed with tourist during that day, we went to Small Lagoon instead.  Here we have to swim and walk the shallow sea water all the way to the entrance of the lagoon. Inside the lagoon, it was serene and enchanting, surrounded by big limestone rocks and trees.  Once again, we swam in the middle of lagoon and at the end there’s a small cave where you have to swim inside.

     Last but not the least is the 7 Commando Beach.  The view here is magnificent as you can see from afar the other islands.  The white sand beach is long and good for swimming and sand bathing.  There’s a small store here that sell snacks and drinks.  But all I did was enjoy the view, relax, hear the birds chirping in the jungle and watch the sun as it slowly sets down.

7 Commando Beach

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