I attended the PICPA Annual National Convention in Puerto Princesa Palawan. After the convention, we decided to go on a tour in El Nido. It has always been my dream to set foot in this well known place (at least to me and couple of wanderlust friends).
I managed to convince my friends to join me in the tour. So let me tell you what the Tour A of El Nido Package as standardized by their Tourism Authority.
The Tour A package is priced at P1,200 per person, and this package includes visiting the following:
1. Small lagoon - what's in small lagoon? It's also a good destination, where you can see great rock formations and of course, the view inside the small lagoon is just breathtaking. But, I should warn you, that you either spend or swim your way to get there.
As we reached the Small Lagoon, we were informed that we needed to swim. It means we need to have our own dry bag and/or underwater camera. We had nothing. Our camera are not waterproof, we only had our cellphones as cameras. Plus, we don't have dry bag. Thank God, one of the boat crew, lent his dry bag to us, with a strong caveat that he is not responsible should the sea water manage to get inside the dry bag.
Then we were given the chance to witness the majestic view of the lagoon. I feel like words are not enough to describe its beauty.
2. Shimizu Island - what's in here? Another group of rock formations, white sand beach where you can relax and explore the place. This is where we had our lunch. And we did enjoy this one. Thanks to the boat crew who prepared our sumptuous lunch. I should note, and highlight that their culinary abilities are commendable (or was it just because we were hungry? LOL) yet, I need to tell you, they do have made us full.
The plating was also impressive, see photos below. If this isn't a tour, then it's fiesta!
3. Secret Lagoon - well, this is something (sorry to say this) a little bit not-so-astonishing, it's a good place perhaps, but I did feel, it wasn't worth it. We needed to swim again going to the shore, and from the shore, you have to walk towards the entrance where you also have to stand and fall in line, while you be on queue to get yourself inside the "Secret Lagoon" as we entered, it's as normal as the other shores, only that you have to go through a small cave-like passage to get there. Apart from that passage, this is going to be just any other beach in El Nido. We did go there because I am a curious man, and so are my friends. But seriously, if you are not as curious as I am. Then it may not be worth the swimming and the struggles to get to the shore and be on queue for a couple of minutes.
4. Big Lagoon - this was another amazing lagoon. The view makes me wanna stay and take a lot of selfies as we can. Although, you would be warn as you disembark (is that the correct term?) from the boat, that the sea urchins are just around, so be careful and watch your steps. Thankfully, none of us had an encounter with the urchins, just saw an electric eel (?).
5. 7th Commando Beach - this is heaven! A good finale of the Tour A package I should say. The sunset just blew your mind and you would feel like relaxing for the rest of the hours and just stay there for the night.
The first day Tour A is worth the 6-7 hour ride from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. It was all worth it when we set foot in each of the white sand beach islands of El Nido.
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1. If you are not a nature lover El Nido is not for you.
Being in El Nido makes you re-connect with the universe, makes you think of earth, nature, humanity and life. It makes you re-think your plans and ideas. It could give you more clarity. It could give you calmness that you have been unknowingly craving for.
2. If you don't want to get wet, won't jump, don't want to get soaked or won't swim, El Nido is not for you.
To be able to explore its beauty and grandeur, you have to get wet. For some islands (islet) you would have to get off the boat, swim (with life vest or not), and get to the shore. You can't expect the boat to have its space and dock in the shore. No, you have to swim. And yes, that's most of the time.
3. If you don't like sea, sun and sand, El Nido is not for you.
What were you thinking? Of course, it's gonna be sea, sun and sand. It's island hopping! If you care too much about your skin than enjoying the beach, the sand, the sea and the sun, then El Nido is definitely not for you. Because the Island hopping tour, is going to be a sunny, beachy day! 🙂
4. If you are not a risk taker, then you're not fit for El Nido.
Nobody promised a smooth sailing boat ride. Because it's not possible! The trip to every island is different, there are times it's gonna be more bumpy than a bus ride in a rough road. Yes, there will be waves, but not gigantic enough to destroy your boat, just enough to rock your trip and make it more of an adventure. The bumpy ride is worth it, and it can be hidden in your smiles.
5. If you can't eat without the "fine-dining" utensils, then El Nido is not for you.
Nobody can prepare the fine-dining meal. Nobody will care that much about food. Although, the food prepared by the boat crew were amazing, but still, there's not gonna be a long-table to serve the food. And yeah, you might have to eat with your bare hands. No spoon and fork, if you get lucky, you'd have to eat not in a plate. But who cares, when you get to witness Mother Nature's Majesty! 🙂 Forget about steak, and all other fine-dining meals, just get your tummies filled. They're all yummy anyway. 🙂
6. If you can't stand a cave, and go inside 'em, El Nido may not be for you.
There are rock formations and cave-like "structures" that wooed me. I know I am a caveman, and not everyone loves caves, rock formations, and all other like structures.
7. If you're afraid of heights, El Nido may not be for you.
There are structures, and pics that needs to be taken from atop of a rock formations. So either you muster all the courage, gather all your nerves, get up there and take a selfie shot, or exchange photo-taking with friend (stranger-turned-friend) or stay on the ground and just stare at the formations.
8. If you don't have crazy friends, El Nido may not be as enjoyable for you! 🙂
The view, the nature's bliss, the amazing experience are way better experienced when friends are crazy enough to pose with you, laugh, make fun and have fun with you.
So, there you go, the top 8 reasons why El Nido is not for you. Why do you think you should or El Nido is for you? Please feel free to share below. 🙂
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