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Travel Time: El Nido Part 1

It's an 8Days8Nights trip to Palawan. El Nido is one of my dream destination.
I thought Calvin was just joking when he bought the promo ticket for the two of us six (6) months before the departure date.

Since it is a long trip ahead, I will cut it in 3 parts: Part 1, Part 2, Puerto.
So now, I'll start it off for the Part 1.

We arrived in Puerto Princesa Airport at 15:50 via CebuPacific. Our original schedule of ETA 14:50 was changed few days ahead of time.

 Lucky that we scheduled our van trip to El Nido at 16:30 so there was no need of re-scheduling our trip. We booked Lexxus because it was our cheapest option. The problem was that we were not sure whether they will pick us up at the airport or not. We did not find our name in the waiting area if ever they would pick us up. Instead, we took a tricycle and was headed to the van terminal but around 700 meters before reaching the terminal, they Lexxus staff called us and was looking for us. Good thing they found us in the side of the street. It was a bad idea for us since we spent Php 150.00 but we were able to buy liters of water in the store where we stopped.

In the van terminal, I wanted to do my business before a long trip but I suggest you better do it somewhere else. It was not pleasing or if you are prepared (masks, tissues, sanitizers, alcohols, etc.) then you can. An OCD would freak out when using the toilet.

Dinner stopover. I had instant noodles for me.
Then we were off to El Nido. Around 10pm, we arrived at Corong-corong terminal and the driver's assistant told us that the van cannot send us there as it is not allowed so he will just call a tricycle driver and pay the driver for that to send us to our hotel.

We wanted a cheaper place to stay but for the first night, the accommodation we wanted was booked. So, we decided to stay at Tarao Travelodge which is a partner hotel with Ipil suites. Looked for dinner but we mostly found bars, so we settled on buying a whole piece of chicken without rice.

After dinner, we slept and woke up in the morning around 8AM. We checked out from the lodge, and looked for the other place we had booked which was cheaper. We were quite astonished when we saw a huge wall like rock formation kind of mountain just close to us. We did not notice it at night as we were sleepy and it looked so dark and cloudy.

Day 1: Nacpan Beach Day

We checked in at Casa Yolanda where we stayed there until our El Nido trip is done.
We went to Odessa MAMA Ukranian Kitchen as it was open. We had kebabs for the morning and it was so good we wanted to have it again but we were already full.


Right after, we saw that the hotel has a number for renting a motorcycle or Scooter. So we called that number and in just 30 minutes our scooter has arrived with just one helmet. There were some problems with the scooter but it seemed fine, thus we went to the gasoline station and filled it up full tank to be sure. Our destination by then was Nacpan Beach.

In the middle of our journey to the beach, the back tire went flat. That was such bad news. Lucky that there was one house near the road to ask about a vulcanizing shop, only one house lives there. They informed us that we had to walk back a few meters before the curve and the shop is there. So Calvin dragged the motorcycle while I help him push it in the middle of the day. It was hot and finally we found it. But there was no one there. The person in charge apparently was in the center of El Nido.

We decided to call on the same number and informed them of our situation. They told us that he will be sending people to fix the tire. We waited for around 30 minutes for them to arrive. They gave us another scooter with full tank gas and off we went to Nacpan beach.

While on the road, we saw the sign of "To Nacpan Beach Resort". Thinking that it was only going to a resort, we drove further away from it. Checking after the GPS, it seemed that it was the right place, so we had to go back and decided to go there then.

It was not an easy road either. Crossing on a wooden bridge, flooding road, red road, rocky road, and such. But it was all worth it when we got there.

Entrance fee was Php 50.00 per person for Filipinos.

It was afternoon and we were thirsty from the heat. A lot of tourists were flooding the shoreline, so we decided to go southern part and we enjoyed the beach by ourselves until we stopped swimming and decided to eat late lunch. The waves were so strong then too so we got kind of tired after swimming for almost an hour.

We had fried chicken and shakes to pair for our food.

After eating, we rested for a bit and had a road trip further away from Nacpan beach and went to a mountain. Stopped and took some photos.

Calvin tried to do the Asian squat, but he couldn't.
We continued our road trip to Corong-Corong by going back and had our dinner at Boodle Fight.

For a clearer view of the menu, just open image in new tab.



 Went back to the hotel to shower, walked around the busy streets of El Nido and bought ice cream at L'assiete mine with Lime flavor which was very sour.

Then went back to the hotel to sleep for a busy second day.

Day 2: Tour C Day

On the second day, we had contacted the owner of the scooter to pick it up before 9AM as I and Calvin are scheduled for our Tour A. We woke up early and had our breakfast at Cafe Athena. We were both sitting in the balcony area and waited for someone to get our order, when the manager called our attention and asked us to transfer to another table because someone else wanted to sit on our table. I was surprised so I could not react by then and just transferred to another table thinking maybe they are old people who wanted to sit there. Apparently, they were young foreign customers. That action gave me a really bad impression of their customer service.


We then had our breakfast real quick as we did not want to stay there any longer. Went back to the hotel to prepare for our things to bring, waited for the owner of the scooter to arrive but he did not so we gave the helmets and the key to the caretaker of the hotel and we got picked up for our tour.


Instead of having Tour A, we did Tour C, signed for the passenger list and we waited for our boat to arrive. Most of the passengers were foreign and I think there are only two Filipinos, me and another female. I and Calvin sat in front which we later found it was a bad idea.

At that time, Survivor Israel show was filming in Hidden beach which was part of our tour, we had to skip that and just enjoyed snorkeling in one of the beaches at the end of the whole tour. Where we enjoyed swimming in a deeper sea and saw fishes eating the extra bones and meat from the fish the boatmen prepared for our lunch.

On our stopoever for lunch there were people kayaking with coconuts in their kayak selling it for 50 Php per piece to drink and to eat.


The secret beach was one of the hardest swimming part I have done. Honestly I am not a good swimmer and I am trying my best to learn as I could. I can at float and move around or keep my body floating in the sea while standing.
And it was the biggest challenge for me. The waves were strong, the boat was parked far away from the opening of the secret beach and we had to swim by ourselves to there. The sea was deep, maybe like a two or three story building. I did not have my vest on, which I recommend for those who are afraid of sinking and swimming. Luckily I did not hit my body in the sharp walls of the island like other people.

We arrived back to El Nido around 4PM and went back to the hotel to take a shower. When we were on our way back, the waves were really strong it splashed all over our body. We thought that we could at least dry up before arriving but we end up being wet for the whole ride back to El Nido.

For dinner, we went to a restaurant across art cafe because the ambiance was very tropical. We took our order and later realized it was actually part of artcafe.



Day 3: Relaxing Day

We hired the same scooter person and gave us the first scooter that broke down last time. On the other day, we paid Php 300.00 and another Php 150.00 for the repair of the scooter. So we took note that if the same thing will happen we will surely call it a scam. Apparently, our day was peaceful with the scooter.

We drove to the waterfalls, parked it in front of a local restaurant and asked them if they have a tour guide to the falls. We got a young guy to tour us, after passing one river, we went to a house where we list our names as visitors or guest list to the falls.
We walked for so many clear rivers, muddy tracks, and such. When we get to the waterfall, the water was cold, the wind was cold and we were hesitant to dip our bodies. We were the first guests to arrive there. We started dipping and then after a few more minutes more tourists came and started dipping as well. We did not stay long as it was almost full of tourists.

We drove back to Nacpan beach.

Had our lunch at the same restaurant and had our crabs and chicken! Yes, seafood. One person has two crabs at least for around 300 Php, that was cheap!

I wasn't able to take a photo of the crab, so just the fried chicken.
After lunch, we went northern part of the beach to the twin beach. Enjoyed the beach by ourselves again as the others where near the restaurant.

The Twin Beach
After playing around in the beach, we went up to witness the twin beach. It was an amazing sight. Especially when the sun was not that strong, it was around 3 to 4 pm and we want to watch the sunset from El Nido.


Calvin wanted to go to the zipline but it was already closed. He wanted to go to the restaurant where we could enjoy the sunset but I suggested to just sit somewhere to enjoy the sunset and eat at artcafe again for our dinner. Thus, we saw a beautiful sunset in a spot I found.

Went back to the hotel, parked the scooter and had our dinner at Art Cafe once again.


After dinner, had crepe for dessert which was all so good.


For the summary video of our trip:

This post first appeared on 7 TIPS EVERY BUDGET TRAVELER WOULD SURELY APPRECIATE, please read the originial post: here

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Travel Time: El Nido Part 1


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