From Coron, my friends and I headed to El Nido via a fast craft with Montenegro Lines. It took us 7 hours to get to El Nido as we encountered some technical issues but was resolved immediately. We left Coron at 12pm and got to El Nido by 7pm. El Nido is a very accommodating and tourist-friendly town.
On our technically second day, we had the El Nido Tour A which visited five islands/lagoons. First on our list was the Seven Commandos Beach. It has a very powdery and white sand where people enjoyed taking pictures to. Aside from the white sand and long-stretch beach, it is also famous for its coconut trees.
Our second destination was the Shimizu Island. This is definitely my most favorite island among the islands I’ve visited. It is quite small but it has the most beautiful rock formations I’ve ever seen and the water is so nice and clean that small fishes come to swim with us.
This is one of the famous spots for lunch during the Tour A activity in El Nido. This was where we had our lunch. While waiting for our boatmen to serve the food, we got a chance to swim and take some good pictures around. We also did some snorkeling activities and saw a few fishes other creatures swimming with us.
The Small Lagoon was the fourth destination in our Tour A island hopping. To basically enjoy the place, it is advised to rent a kayak for 200php each person. There are kayaks good for two people and good for three people. Since we were five in our group, we rented two kayaks. Some people swim but our tour guide said it is not advisable to do so as there are big jelly fishes around and we might get stung.
Before getting to the lagoon, there is a small hole between two limestone rocks that people need to get into. And then that’s where the magic begins.
Once inside, we saw lots of caves, corners and cliffs to explore. We stayed there for an hour and just go around the lagoon.
Nacpan Beach is one of the beaches of the so-called Twin Beaches in El Nido. Between the two, Nacpan Beach is the most visited as the other one is just now a parking area of boats. No one really swims or goes in that area anymore.
We rented a van for the amount of 1500php which took us to three beaches. Nacpan Beach was our first stop. It took us almost an hour to get there from the El Nido town proper but the long drive was all worth it. This has a very long stretch of powdery sand and the waves were just hitting us good. The weather that time was not really sunny but we still managed to end the beach.
We stayed there for half of the day and took our lunch at Ranchos.
Our last stop was at Las Cabañas Beach. We arrived there at almost 4pm so we just relaxed there and did not swim anymore. This beach is very calming and from there we could see one of the famous islands in El Nido which is called the Helicopter Island.
This beach is surrounded by different accommodations with resto bars. What we did was to stay in one of the bars there so we could relax and chill while waiting for the sunset.
According to our hostel personnel, Las Cabañas Beach is where the mesmerizing sunset could be seen. We did not get to see the sunset because of the cloudy appearance of the sky but we had a great time relaxing.
If you are an adventure-seeker, you can try the zipline activity where you could have a better view of the beach. We did not get to try it because we were really tired and just wanted to rest.
It was our last day to stay in El Nido and on our way to Puerto Princesa. We booked a van to take us to Puerto Princesa. Normally, if you go to the van terminal in the town proper, there are a lot of vans and buses to take you to Puerto Princesa.
I would suggest to take a van if you have a lot of things with you because the driver will drop you off exactly to where you are going eg. airport, hotels. The buses only drop-off people to the bus terminal in Puerto Princesa and will still need to rent a taxi/tricycle to bring you where you are staying at.
It was a very long drive from El Nido to Puerto Princesa. And along the way, the data connection was on and off. It took us 7 hours max from El Nido to Puerto Princesa.
When we arrived at Puerto Princesa, we only got a chance to do a half-day city tour where we went to some of the famous tourist spots here. Our first stop was the Palawan Butterfly Ecological Garden and Tribal Village. Our tour was in the afternoon so it was a bit crowded. We had to follow a certain line from the entrance so we won’t get lost.
The garden doesn’t only show butterflies but also shows other animals that are famous here in Palawan like Crocodile and Bearcat.
When we got inside, we first watched a small show featuring the tribal group of Palawan. They showed us some of the things they created and how they were living their lives in the mountains. According to the headspeaker, each month, there is a family that comes down from the mountain that lives in the Tribal Village made in the garden so they get to show other people, especially the tourist, of how they live their lives and also to sell some of their hand-made products like keychains, decors, etc.
MCA Market is the most famous shopping center in Puerto Princesa for souvenirs. They have the most complete items from shirts down to the key chains and ref magnets. This was our last stop during our City Tour and we managed to spend the last money we got to buy some goods to bring home.
I would suggest that you go here not on peak hours as the number of people tend to increase crazily during these times. The lines could take forever so bring a lot of patiences with you.