Yay! I can’t believe I haven’t finished this post. It’s been months since our El Nido trip and I am still struggling to finish the last part. So before I visit another place again, let me finish this first. 🙂
For our second tour in El Nido, we chose Tour A which consists of the Big and Small Lagoons, Shimizu Island, Secret Lagoon and 7 Commados Beach. If you want more activities like snorkeling and kayaking, this is the tour for you. I think I spent most of my time during our tour just snorkeling and swimming my way to the different lagoons.
The weather was gloomy outside but we were determined to continue the tour. We were picked up again by a trike driver from Nothern Hope Tours. He dropped us at the booth near the pier where we waited for our bangkeros. They were the same guys who toured us the other day. Also, since the activities will be mostly underwater, we rented a gopro. We really wanted to capture the beauty of El Nido’s marine life so we decided to rent an underwater camera. After receiving the gopro and the instructions on how to use it, we sailed to the Big Lagoon.
After almost half an hour of boat ride, we reached the Big Lagoon. It is, like the name says, a big lagoon covered with rock formations. The water was dark green during our visit. It is a nice place to take pictures and most groups would stop at the middle for some photo op.
After taking dozens of photos, we went to the nearby Small Lagoon. It is one of the best places I’ve seen so far when it comes to marine diversity. Our bangkeros just dropped us in the middle and then off we went snorkeling. I was hesitant at first since I was really afraid of deep and open waters but I mustered my courage and went in. I even used the gopro in taking underwater photos. The corals and fishes were colorful and I was in awe that I did not even notice that our boat was already far from us. It was all worth it.
After tiring ourselves with snorkeling and swimming, we went to Shimizu Island where we will have our lunch. While our bangkeros were preparing our food, we swam some more and chilled under the trees.
Our bangkeros did not fail us again when they prepared a feast for our lunch. Nothing beats inihaw na liempo, seafood, fresh fruits and vegetable after a good swim. We even thought that it was a requirement for these bangkeros to know how to cook and garnish food before they can do El Nido tours. Kudos mga kuya!
Our next stop was the Secret Lagoon. Honestly, it was the most tiring stop of the tour. I couldn’t remember how long we swam before we reached the middle area and another lap before we got to the cave. Halfway through, I already called our bangkero and asked him to just carry me using the life buoy. Aside from being big, the lagoon was also very deep. It was dark green and I couldn’t see anything underwater. Aside from the lagoon itself, the cave at the end was also one of the things to see there. It has an opening on top which was the source of light. It was cold but it was relaxing to stay inside the cave.
Our final stop for our tour was the 7 Commandos Beach. It has a long shoreline where visitors can relax, sunbathe and take photos. It also has a volleyball area and some stores selling refreshments. Since the waves were strong that afternoon, all we did were eat, take photos and lie on the sand. It was a relaxing ending to a very tiring but adventurous day.
We ended our second tour in El Nido late in the afternoon. We went back to the main island very tired but so happy. The beauty of El Nido took our breaths away and it made a mark in our hearts. Right now, El Nido tops my list of must-visit beaches in the Philippines.
On our second to the last day, we head back to Puerto Princesa. The weather was a bit bad and it was raining outside. After eating our breakfast in our veranda, we fixed our things and rode our van. It was a long ride going back with the rain and the road rehabilitation that we passed by. Before checking in to our guesthouse, we passed by the Balinsasayaw Market to buy pasalubong. We purchased the usual pearl earrings, magnets, keychains, tarts, nuts and shirts. After buying our pasalubong we checked in at Purple Fountain Courtyard and had dinner at its restaurant which is the White Fence Country cafe.
Purple Fountain Courtyard is a very modest and colorful guesthouse 5 minutes away from the airport. If you are looking for a convenient place to stay near the airport and with a very nice dining place, stay at Purple Fountain. The staff are very accommodating, the food are very delicious and the place is really colorful and well maintained. I would really love to stay here again.
After a long day of travelling, we called it a day. We went back in to our room and slept. The next morning, we were greeted by a fine weather and a really delicious breakfast courtesy of White Fence. We all finished our meal, went back to our room to fix our things and then left for the airport. It was very nice of the guesthouse to offer free airport pick up and transfer to its guests.
September 2014 went by so fast for me. I had so many projects in the office, I applied for a Korean visa, I was planning on another trip that this El Nido getaway was almost out of my mind. Good thing I have friends who helped in arranging our tour. El Nido really captured my heart with its pure beauty and rich marine life. I would love to visit this place again even if the travel time was a bit long. It was all worth the long hours of land travel and bumpy roads. I fell in love with El Nido. 🙂