Travel Diary: El Nido, Palawan Day 1

El Nido Palawan Day 1

Summer is closing now as the rainy days are starting. Before it officially ends, I’ll share with you our summer vacation from my travel diary. Our destination was El Nido, Palawan.

This is one of my dream vacation because it’s PALAWAN, the most famous and beautiful travel destination here in our country. Fortunately, my best friend and his girlfriend invited us to join them on this trip last year. We grabbed the opportunity to pay for a cheaper flight thru Air Asia’s seat sale. It’s way cheaper than the original airfare. The only disappointment was the almost 3 hours delayed flight. El Nido town proper is a 5 hour travel from Puerto Princesa airport, having our flight delayed was a horror. Good thing, the driver of the van we rented was so accommodating and considerate. One important advice that I can give you from our experience is don’t ever travel at night especially when you’re coming from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. The road is so foggy that you’re likely to have an accident any moment unless you have a very skillful driver just like ours. Or better, if you’re planning a trip to El Nido, get a direct flight from Manila to El Nido so you don’t have to worry commuting.

For our lodging, my best friend recommended Marina’s Beach Garden Inn, it’s a branch of Marina’s in Puerto Princesa they’ve stayed in last time. They have good services and a beach front rooms.

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We decided to choose Tour A for our day 1 as we have read reviews that it’s good. We rode a 10 to 15 seater boat and were assisted by a tour guide and his fellow bangkeros. Along with us are foreign and loyal tourists who also wanted to explore the beautiful islands of El Nido.

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Our itinerary in order are Seven Commandos Beach, Shimizu Island, Big Lagoon, and Secret Lagoon. Snorkeling is the most of what you can do in island hopping so I advise you to bring your snorkeling gears so you won’t need to rent because it’s very unhygienic. Too bad, we don’t have any of those because we’re so late in preparing for the trip.  But we make sure to buy one next time, it’s something you need when you’re into water activities.

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The tour is for the whole day so our guides prepared lunch for us. We ate at Shimizu Island, it’s a small island with rock formations and some snorkeling spots. It’s where every tourist who choose tour A are set to take their lunch. We had fresh sea foods like prawns and fish, and grilled chicken and pork. Fresh fruits for our dessert, and water and soda for our beverages. The great part of it is we are looking into a great island view while we were eating our sumptuous lunch.

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My favorite place in our itinerary is the Secret Lagoon. It was our last stop. It’s a very scenic lagoon with blue-green waters secretly located inside large rock formations. We rented a kayak and rowed our way inside. The place is very enchanting and peaceful. You can feel the calmness brought by the nature itself. I felt like Katniss in Mockingjay so I suddenly sang a bit of “The Hanging Trees” while I lay down on the kayak. 😀

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Before the sun sets in, we already returned to our rooms and freshened up. We dined at Altrove, the best pizza I’ve ever tasted.  It was recommended by my boyfriend’s office mate and it’s so so good. It’s a restaurant owned by an Italian national who resided in El Nido. They used a traditional “pugon” for baking the pizza so I guess that’s why it tastes better. They also have sea food, rice and pasta dishes. The pasta is great too. It’s actually a restobar where you and your friends can hangout and chat over some beers. I love the ambiance, it’s so chill and relaxing.

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It was a fine first day in the island, day 2 of our El Nido trip goes here.

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Credits to Licelle Angeles for some island photos and in Altrove.

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