A Paradise Called El Nido

Nacpan & Calitang Beach, Palawan

I won’t admit that I’m lost, because I like getting lost.
It’s like owning an extraordinary adventure every time.

- Valerie, weekendhaven.com

Ever dreamed of breaking away against all the chaos and seek refuge in an island solitude?

Amazing how the thought of sun, sand and sea can lit up anyone’s gloomy mood. Our wandering soles were given the best of r&r beyond our usual weekend getaway in a paradise called El Nido. Indeed, It’s More Fun in the Philippines!

Finding solitude in our own beach

I was once again flying under the deluge of non-stop air and land travel. I feel the race brushing through my skin and my heart pounding in anticipation, yet I never get tired.

My itinerary is made up of a red-eye flight from Singapore – Manila. Given an hour to breath Manila air and reunite with the Mister at the airport then were off to board our plane to Puerto Princessa. I’ve summon all my luck and mother nature to deflect any circumstances of delays and cancellation from Cebu Pacific. Crossing fingers not to run into Raymart or Claudine or dash madly at the whole stretch of NAIA 3 to catch my connecting flight again.

Airport Shot with one of my fave budget airline

Bliss comes my way, as the odds are in my favour, no delayed flights, and I found the Mister waiting for me. Happiness.

Now, for a truly pinoy way of welcoming me for breakfast, we ordered some Jollibee Burgersteak meal at NAIA 3. Sweet! My happy tummy would be happier for bigger meals though. Is it just me, or the meal is getting smaller yet more expensive by time?

At half past 7, we were already waiting to board. Crossing fingers for a safe and smooth ride.

I scored the tickets at one of Cebu Pacific’s seat sale. Got it at Php 2900, ticket for two, for Mla-Puerto Princesa- Mla. Prior to our flights, we made arrangements with  FortWally Shuttle Company to pick us up at the airport. Their van service will also take us to El Nido on a 6 hours road trip.

The long and winding road to El Nido

We found our service waiting for us at the airport. Very reliable. We then dropped off at their office in Palawan to wait for other passengers.

At 11:00 AM we were off to a butt-numbing road trip, rolling to the northernmost tip of Palawan.

I hardly fell into a slumber with our jammed zone inside the  van and the lacked of fresh cold air. Even so, I find myself wonder at the breathtaking sceneries unfolded right  before my eyes.

The much anticipated leg rest happened half-way, when we settled at FortWally Restaurant for a late lunch. The food was  surprisingly good for a stopover diner, that or I’m really starving. Pinoy food all the way, how awesome and perfect for an excuse to gorge everything mouthwatering while on this short holiday.

Long road trip to feed our happy hungry soles

A little stretching and we hit the road again. This time, heavy downpour ensue as we near El Nido town. I didn’t made any hotel reservations prior to our trip, planning to walk-in and compare rates on the lined up resorts since we  have plenty of time when we arrive late afternoon. The heavy downpour is not part of the plan though. Darn.

We negotiated with a tricycle driver to take us to Marina Garden Beach Resort first. Good thing, I already have few resorts on my list to start with. On my research, it’s quite cheap. But, low and behold, my luck has drifted with the rain, all rooms were occupied.

 I was contemplating on getting hotel vouchers before leaving. There are plenty online nowadays, if you are on the hunt, Don’t forget to find coupons when you use hotwire .

El Nido in a  heavy rain glory. Amazing limestone cliffs view from our resort balcony.

We retraced our route back to this colorful facade we overlooked earlier. Rovic’s Pension house at P800 per night. This can do with a modest restaurant facing the beach. So we settled for two nights. I find the room dark, with no windows. Too late to realize there’s a stinking smell from the toilet. I’m not sure if it’s just the weather, but there’s a damp feel inside with all bamboo furniture and furnishings. The rooms are divided by thin walls, that even a whisper isn’t censored. Madness.

We spent the rest of the day exploring the town and in quest to find El Nido Boutique and Art Cafe. We organized our tour for the day after and plan to conquer the surrounding islands and virgin beaches.

On the way back, we sampled the dinner at Squidos, and had a very appetizing seafood fest. Heavenly. Happiness in my tummy. I guess my luck is back with a vengeance.

Up next, our Island hopping tour at Small & Big Lagoon, Miniloc Island, Simizu Island and Entalula Island. Best snorkelling experience ever. Indeed, El Nido is a paradise.

Blue Starfish!

Special thanks to Nina, for her list of cheap El Nido accommodations and to Flip, for sharing his discovery of Nacpan & Calitang Beach.

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6 Comments

  • Reply chyng May 20, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    no wonder, all foreign backpackers that ive met had included el nido in their itinerary. awesome. it’s really a must see! ♥

    • havenhunter
      Reply havenhunter May 27, 2012 at 10:31 pm

      True, I think El Nido has a lot of potential. Rock climbing was on our itinerary too, kaya lang hassle ang weather.

  • Reply Morti June 28, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Agree with chyng

  • Reply gelaikuting September 4, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    I can’t wait to visit El Nido :) gandaaaa…

  • Reply Gastronomic Adventures & Island Hopping Tour in El Nido | Weekend Haven September 22, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    […] On our first night in El Nido, we  wander around and search for ArtCafe, paying no attention to the constant drizzle. We booked our island hopping tour with ArtCafe’s Travel Center. Since the weather is unpredictable and we will be joining 4 more tourists, we only get to avail one option, Package Tour A at that. A visit to the 3 lagoons of Miniloc Island, Small lagoon, Big lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Snorkelling around Simizu Island, Buffet lunch at Entalula Island and 7 Commandos Beach. Not bad for the price of P700. By the time we left ArtCafe we were ecstatic with high hopes that the weather condition will improve. […]

  • Reply Trekker Trail February 13, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    El Nido is a real life paradise! Pristine and unspoiled!

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