El Nido, Palawan: Day 1 & 2

Though I wasn't able to attend Coldplay's #AHFODTour last April 4 (sob), I still made sure to have experienced para-para-paradise in, none other than, Palawan. We booked this trip from one year ago, and now, the long wait is over!

Hey there, mister!

Day 1
En route to Palawan
March 31, 2017

My friends and I left for Palawan last March 31, which only covered our travel —boarding was delayed around 30 minutes and the plane took off 1 hour later than expected. Arrived at Puerto Princesa at 12:30 PM, headed to Robinsons Place Palawan to have lunch and some grocery shopping (nobody wanted to starve so). During the trip, we stopped over at this local open-air resto where we bought snacks to munch on.

Photo from polamarilara.com

Travel time from Puerto Princesa to El Nido was 5 hours. We arrived at Smile Lodge around 8 PM already and head right out for dinner at Squidos after an hour of looking for the "best place to eat at". Though the service is kind of meh. The food that was served after almost an hour, overall, was actually good and had a big amount of serving. (Most of us didn't even finish our orders even after sharing them). Their meat and seafood selections may not be too tender maybe because they rushed them, nonetheless, their sauces did a job well done.

Day 2
Island Tour
April 1, 2017

Woke up around 5:30 AM to prepare for our first tour. Breakfast was delivered at 7 AM and we had Longganisa + fried rice & egg with packs of 3-in-1 coffee. It wasn't so bad. We were fetched around 8 AM and headed to the beach that's 15-minute away from where we stayed.


First stop:
Cadlao Island

My swimming skills that don't even exist were tested when we swam all the way to this island. I think it all took us roughly an hour and 30 minutes to swim back and forth. Cadlao Island, however, is so much worth the effort trying to swim against the current while wearing a life vest. It. was. a. struggle.




Second stop:
Helicopter Island

Whenever we visit an island that has an intriguing name, we always dared to ask John, our tour guide. The island looks like a helicopter from afar, hence the name. Who would've thought?! The sand is so white and the water is greenish and clear. I was even about to take home three cute stones I found but decided not to, because yeah, I care.


After a hundred rounds of random photoshoots and boomerangs, we were finally having lunch. The boatmen prepared the lunch themselves, and damn, the food never looked that good! They have the presentation skills, I'm not kidding! They served us fruits —watermelon, ripe mangoes, orange slices & bananas, grilled fish, grilled pork chops, roast chicken, salad, mussels, and shrimps. What made it mooooore appetizing is that, it's unlimited! I've had lots of mussels, and their mangoes are really gooood~

Photo from Aiko Medina 

Photo from polamarilara.com

Trivia: They don't allow to bring in mangoes that aren't from Palawan because they believe it could have been infested or whatnot and theirs are naturally good and fresh (true though).

Third stop:
Hidden Beach

Hidden Beach is kind of a long swim, too. But halfway through the hidden gem, the water's already shallow and we just swalked (swim+walk, I just made it up, lol). Surrounding the beach are these beautiful tall rock formation. They're so beautiful to look at! The water is clean I could clearly see my feet. It was definitely one of the lovely islands.

Photo from polamarilara.com 



Fourth stop:
Matinloc Shrine

We didn't actually stop here, we just passed by since, as per John, there were a lot of tourists that day. It turned out there weren't that much. Meh.

Final destination:
Secret Beach

The difference between the Secret Beach and the Hidden Beach? None, because they're both to be found. Lol. Vincent, one of the boatmen, tied a steady rope (current was strong when we got there) so we could actually manage to get inside The Secret Beach. You have to be really careful since the rocks (we thought for a second they're corals) are mostly covered in moss you could slip. The water there is just waist-deep, if I remember. We had a very good group shot though. Thanks, John!




Travel back home (home = our lodge) took us an hour or so. We arrived past 6 PM already. We showered and head out for dinner afterwards.

Read: Day 3 & 4

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