I bid hello once again to one of my favorite island in the Philippines. El Nido, Palawan — the second time around. The beaches and lagoon is as beautiful as I first saw it, the pizza from Altrove is still one of the best, and staring at the sunset from the beach front of Puka Beach Hotel was definitely one for the books.
Not until I visited Siargao Island last February 2019, El Nido has been my favorite beach of all time. It was my favorite island and it also plays a significant place in my travel life – since it was where I had my first solo travel ever.
*I updated my travel guide based on my recent travel and included additional options to look out for your packages.
Nacpan Beach was one of my favorite amongst the beaches in the Philippines. It was a perfect way to beach bum and to enjoy the beach front while reading a book nor sipping for that coconut treat with you.
“Sir, can we have it for Php 300.00 only for 2 pax?” I remember Trina haggling for that 2 nice set of couch in Nacpan intead of Php 500 pesos, constantly saying
“we weren’t rich, we’re just POOR-reigners” and out of the blue, the supervisor then agreed into it! HAHAHAHAHA!!!
This is how my second El Nido escapade seems to revolve for the entire week.
I had the opportunity to visit El Nido once again but this time with my best friend (*all the way from Dubai) – Trina 🙂 *a backstory, Trina was my travel buddy during my first escapade at Iloilo-Bacolod-Guimaras I remember how unprepared we were with our travel circa 2016. We run out of money, literally no food for dinner, and we couldn’t pay for our hotel room anymore, we literally had no plans and all for the boat transfers, we splurge unconsciously and didn’t really know how to travel on our own!!!! Hahahaha!! But we certainly learned a lot from that experience.
Anyways, going back to El Nido.
What could have been the best memory that I had considering I am visiting this place the second time around?? — well, how can I forget how chill and relaxing our trip was. Eating the best-seller pizza from Altrove two nights in a row, splurging into our comfort food for pasta, overlooking a beach front with a good set of breakfast from Puka Beach Hotel, and swimming and floating into the beautiful beaches and islands around.
I have always been too independent when it comes to my travels, I research a lot, talk a lot, ask questions a lot, and save and book for everything in as much as I could. But having Trina the entire week gave me the chance to really relax and savor the moment while we are vacationing, I realized that it pays a lot when you have a travel partner who is a complete opposite of your strengths when it comes to travelling, we certainly move based on our expertise hahaha!! Share all those separate travels that we had, and exchange stories for new set of itineraries.
El Nido on the other hand still look as radiant as the first time I get to see it, it’s blue crystalline water at Small Lagoon would always be enchanting!!! Our kayak activity to get to explore in these gatorade blue water is pretty impressive.
Swimming and snorkeling the entire time until our skin turns 2-3 shades darker after the week. Thank goodness for the aloe vera gel! For all those sunburnt skin hahaha!!!
Relative to being one of the best island in the world, please do expect a lot of tourists wherever you go, manage your time and itinerary properly, book in advance if you could and search for the resto and food you might be craving for. So you get to set your expectations as well.
Meanwhile, if you are a sunset lover as much as I am, sunsets on one hand would always be special at Maremegmeg Beach where you can stay around and walk barefoot as the sand touches you. There were actually quite more activities to do, but I think I got that covered the first time around when I visited the place. While beach bumming is still perfect at Nacpan Beach. You can be at this both beaches via habal or motorbike or via tricycle (a three wheeled motorbike)
What is nice about El Nido, it can easily be reached via Puerto Princesa — though it takes around 5 – 6 hours travel time all the way to El Nido proper, booking via klook would do the trick. You get to decide and determine your van schedule based on your flight schedule.
Trina and I actually also explored Puerto Princesa after four days in El Nido, trying to navigate this part of Palawan. I’ll be posting soon that unforgettable Underground River experience of ours in Puerto Princesa as well. So stay tune for that!
Also read : *Underground River at Puerto Princesa blog post to follow
From El Nido, you can then catch a ferry for 3 – 4 hours going to Coron at the same time. So if you are really planning to start backpacking Palawan, you may really do so.
In terms of expenses, I feel that I have saved better during my solo travel the first time since I only stayed in hostel as well. If you wanted to check how beautiful and how cool a hostel can be check out Spin Designer Hostel.
Also read : Spin Designer Hostel – Where to stay in El Nido?
Our 4 days accommodation at Puka Beach Hotel was really one for the books. Imagine the beach view every morning looks fascinating and we get a perfect sunset view as well just across our hotel room.
AS a whole, you see visiting a place the second time around is like watching a film on repeat.
You get to notice and see the small details you missed out the first time, it’s like seeing everything in another perspective, travelling in a different time and a different phase —- oooohhhh El Nido, you are truly a gem to see ☀️
P.S from Trina Bulgar’s post ~~~ “It’s been 4 years since our last trip together.
It was also the very first leisure trip, neither school nor work related.
Young, idealistic, zest filled yuppies, we braved Visayas with our motto “bawal magpahinga” as long as we know the name of the province, we can reach it.
Little did anyone know, the best part of traveling with YOU is the planning.
We know how to sync our interests and transform it into a tailored fit itinerary.
From sharing notes way back in college to exchanging itineraries. My college best friend is now my best “travel mate”. (cause KIM is the best “travel buddy” hahaha!! )
Nonetheless, we wouldn’t choose to go to all the places together.
Instead, we will meet and travel to those places we choose to go together and trade our takeaways to those we didn’t.
I miss you Talia, I’m blessed that I found someone who’s so much like me in so many ways. S.M.I.L.E.
If you wanted to see the actual places I’ve been, check out my IG story highlight – under Palawan @nathaliecsalcedo
Hope this helps you too.
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*All photos were all original from the blogger