El Nido, Palawan – One of the World’s Best Beaches
Pack your bags for the Worlds’ Best Beaches. Leave your worries behind and take that well deserved holiday. You are invited to a Palawan hotel. Awaiting are powdery white sands, swaying palms along a turquoise colored sea that turns sapphire and finally ultramarine.
From there is where it meets sheer cliffs, swathed in green, dark distant mountains and galleon clouds sailing by in the azure firmament.
The siren call entices legions to Bacuit Bay on Palawans’ west coast where one can stay in a town hotel. Or in a beach resort with amazing views. The rest of the time is best spent on package island tours on a boat ( Bangka ).
For an exciting day island hopping is where you get to marvel at nature’s beauty. While lazing on a perfect beach. You can try some snorkeling or dive with fish and corals, mountain climb, spelunking, bird watching or idle the day away in a hammock.
Accommodations range from a downtown ritz that’s mura at di Kailangan no credit cards accepted, cash only for around Php990 with electric fan, breakfast.
Or choose to stay in a villa with pool on Pangulasian island at prices only the brave dare ask. Of course, you get what you pay for.
So you upscale an Ayala run resorts on three islands offering superb rooms, food, attractions, and info filled tour guides. Island tours normally include Miniloc and its three spectacular lagoons.
Your boat ( Banka ) takes you to the big lagoons’ entrance where you transfer to a two-passenger, self-oared kayak. You can then paddle into the small lagoon single file through a small opening in the rock, duck your head or get a scalp shave.
It’s so amazingly petite that only a dozen or so boats can be inside at any one time. Visiting the Secret Lagoon, you need to wade through rough water, hoist your butt up a rock, slide in and swing over to the other side.
A little challenge, but easier then you think. Greeting you on your arrival is bird choruses welcoming you on emerging into glorious chapels or cathedral. In this big lagoon be amazed at the sheer limestone walls, crystal water pavement, with a blue sky vault.
Millennia’s ago, a giant cavern collapsed into three sections, that are today the lagoons. Indeed, there are traces of stalactites beneath the foliage.
Perfect for snorkelers is Pinagbuyutan, Ellis Island. Just offshore, you can flipper slowly and four feet below are thickets, bushes, shelves, and tables of hard coral. With carpets of waving soft coral in greens, reds, blue, yellow all joyfully alive with fish of all colors, shapes, and sizes.
At Cudugnon cave, you belly yourself in a tight twisty tunnel to a cavern where ancient Filipinos once rested in peace. It’s not for those with a high BMI.
Vigan and Snake island are connected to the mainland by an s-shaped sandbar, hence snake. You wade ashore and an easy to medium 15-minute climb will confront you.
The climb is well worth the view. With a couple of senior challenging spots, gets you to the peak of the island for a 360-degree view of paradise.
Along the way, when he feels sociable is an Alpha male monkey, our excellent guide lover. No kidding, that’s his name Alpha. The rascal is so cranky that a female was brought over to keep him company.
After an amazing climb and incredible views we waded back to civilisation during low tide.
Notes, in October 2017, readers of condé Nast magazine ranked El Nido among the world’s list of 20 best island beaches.
Regretfully, Boracay didn’t make it, and Ayala lands Pangalusian as ninth among Asia’s top resorts.
El Nido is a town on Bacuit Bay located in northwest Palawan, five hours by land transportation from Puerto Princesa
Air swift flies direct from Manila to El Nido. In addition to island tours, there are package tours to beaches on the Palawan mainland, waterfalls and other natural attractions.
- Various text Courtesy of Manila Bulletin