After a few days off in genuine, quite and non-touristic Port Barton we went to North of Palawan – to El Nido. The day before we left there was a huge tropical storm in Port Barton, there were abnormal amounts of water pour of the sky, so we doubted whether we could drive on the macadam road back. But obviously local drivers are used to even something worse, nevertheless the drive wasn´t comfortable. There is a good side of tropical storms – they come fast and they don´t last long.
What can I say about El Nido? Regardless there were many tourists (most of them are backpackers which isn´t that bad) this is certainly one of must see destinations on Philippines. Archipelago of islands that surrounds El Nido is fantastic and if you are there you should take a tour with the boat – island hoping. There are four classical tours. Because we already went island hoping around coral reefs and white beaches in Port Barton we chose tour A – hidden lagoons. It was the most beautiful. We did some bargain – you can always do that – and for a good price we got “private boat” – a boat that was just for us.
Among archipelago of islands El Nido has a lot of more or less hidden, easy or not so easy accessible beaches. Easy accessible but less beautiful are Corong Corong beach and nearby Las Cabanas. The one that charmed us the most was remote and less touristic Nacpan beach on north of Palawan. It is worth to hire a motor bike (but be careful driving it – we saw some injuries) or tuk-tuk (we hired one) and drive with it to adventure.
Main street in El Nido is loud, noisy and full of happening. If you want to sleep calm you should hire (in advance) a room by the beach, where the noise dissipate and the nights are calm – checked. But you can get a room near less touristic Las Cabanas or Corng Corong beach and enjoy wonderful sunsets. We chose Entalula on beach near center of El Nido and we were very satisfied, because we were enough away from noise and close enough to everything. If you choose cheaper accommodation in center of El Nido, don´t forget to take ear plugs with you – in Asia you can use them a lot.
Our youngest celebrated her ninth birthday in El Nido. First thing in the morning she got mango pie in shape of a cake (we asked in bakery to be whole round cake but then it was just half circle cake 🙂 – that´s how it goes on Philippines). In the evening we enjoyed really good pizza, easy comparable to the best Italian gourmet masterpieces. In El Nido there is pizzeria called Tratoria Altrove and its owners are Slovene man married to Philippine woman. The prices in this restaurant are expensive for Philippines (they can be compared to ours), but it was nice to eat something else instead of rice, one way or another. Even more if that was a wish of birthday girl.
If I would go back to Philippines once again I would carry on traveling to Coron, remote paradise islands and lagoons north from Palawan. Palawan was the most beautiful part of seaside Philippines for us and certainly worth visiting.