Summer is just around the corner, and that means beach season is almost here! Philippines is truly blessed with natural wonders and that includes, breathtaking landscapes and seascapes. When we talk about natural wonders of the Philippines, Palawan is always on top the list. Palawan is known as the country’s “The Last Frontier”, and has been voted as one of the Best Islands of the World by Conde Nast Traveler and I could not agree more.
I’ve been to Palawan several times already, and I already toured around Puerto Princesa, El Nido and Coron. During my recent visit, me and my friends went back to El Nido. There’s just so many things to experience in El Nido that made us come back.
During this trip, we made sure that we have enough time to do more island hopping, and visit the famous Nacpan Beach. We spent 5 days in El Nido and an overnight stay in Puerto Princesa just to make sure that we won’t be missing our flight back to Cebu.
Upon arrival in Puerto Princesa, we traveled straight to El Nido because we don’t want to waste our second day in Palawan just traveling. We booked a van in advanced to make sure we can get to El Nido on the same day that we arrived. Travel time from Puerto Princesa to El Nido can take up to 5 hours, and the last trip is at 7PM for shuttle vans and 9pm for buses. I suggest taking the shuttle van because it’s more comfortable and it can get you to El Nido faster.
There was a typhoon during our visit in El Nido, and all island hopping tours were cancelled during our first day. Good thing, we were still able to do the inland tour which is also part of our itinerary.
Nacpan Beach is located north of El Nido town center. It can be accessed by renting a tricycle, a scooter or a van. Nacpan is famous for its long stretch of powdery sand which is caramel brown in color. Unfortunately, the hill that offers the famous view of the twin beach is no longer open to the public. The entrance fee to Nacpan Beach is Php50 per person. Travel time from El Nido town center to Nacpan Beach takes about an hour.
Maremegmeg Beach is closer to El Nido town and it only takes about 30 minutes to get there by tricycle. We went straight to Maremegmeg Beach from Nacpan Beach.The best time to visit Maremegmeg beach is during the afternoon to wait for the sunset, too bad it was gloomy when we went because of the typhoon. While at Maremegmeg Beach you can chill by the beach, eat at a restaurant or if you are the adventurous type, you can try the zip line. There is no entrance fee to access the beach.
You can also visit Nagkalit-Kalit Falls and Makinit Hotspring during the inland tour which we skipped.
On our second day in El Nido, only Tour A & B were only available for the island hopping tours because the ocean current and waves are still strong due to the typhoon. We decided to do Tour A which composed of 7 Commandos Beach, Small Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island and Big Lagoon. This is actually one of the most popular island hopping tour package in El Nido.
The fee for Tour A is Php1000 per person plus Php200 Eco-Tourism Development Fee which is valid for 10 days. Make sure that you ask for your ETDF receipt because you can use this on other tours. The fee is already inclusive of boat fee, guide fee, entrance fees, lunch and snorkeling gear (mask and snorkel).
Third day in El Nido and the sun is finally shining bright. We went for island hopping Tour C and visited Helicopter Island, Secret Beach, Matinloc Beach and Matinloc Shrine. Hidden Beach is also part of Tour C but it was closed during our visit due to the filming of Survivor Israel.
We only paid Php1200 per person for Tour C because we already paid our ETDF when we availed Tour A. The fee is already inclusive of boat fee, guide fee, entrance fees, lunch and snorkeling gear (mask and snorkel).
On our fourth day in El Nido, we traveled to Puerto Princesa and stayed there for the night. The next morning, we were supposed to do a half day city tour since our flight is still in the afternoon but I got sick and we just decided to rest while waiting for our flight.
We will definitely visit El Nido again and experience the other tours. I also want to try the overnight camping tour in one of the islands or ride a boat going to Coron.
When booking a tour, make sure that your operator offers free snorkeling gear. Some tour operators charge extra for this. We booked our tours at Servant Tours, their office is located near the beach in town center.