Crystal Clear El Nido

Having been inspired to visit the Philippines by a friend’s photos of El Nido, the little town on the north of Palawan was our next stop. El Nido is a good base to visit the Bacuit Archipelago, a collection of mostly uninhabited islands surrounded by beautifully clear blue water.

Having taken two (very bumpy) buses to get there, we arrived amid the doom and gloom of a thunderstorm.

Standard South-East Asian bus ride; tumultuous.

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Treating ourselves to Western food (we were tired and hungry – not good for either of our moods), we checked in and went to explore. Walking through our hostel directly on to the beach was mind-blowing – the Island out to sea surrounded by clouds looked straight out of Jurassic Park.

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We did all we could; got cocktails and prayed for the rain to stop.

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Over the next few days it rained and rained and rained some more. That is the downfall of visiting the Philippines during the rainy season but if you want to see barely any tourists then I’d recommend visiting at that time.

Once the rain subsided we booked a boat tour. Rather than going with a tour operator in town, we walked to the right of the beach, followed the cliffs round to the next bay and found cheaper rates for tours. I should mention El Nido has no cash points so it really is worth getting more money out than you expect to spend in advance. We just about had enough considering we also had to pay for the ferry to Coron (coming in my next post) but we could have done more in El Nido if we had just a few more dollars. You can however get a cash advance on your card at the pawn brokers if you’re really stuck.

We certainly picked the right day for our tour. The archipelago was stunning in the sun!

Crystal clear water and emerald green karsts.

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Martin and I hired a kayak to take with us and explored a lagoon in it, watching massive jellyfish float by whilst the rest of our group swam. I was so glad of it after the jellyfish incident in Port Barton.

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We stopped for lunch on a deserted island and whilst our guides cooked fresh fish, vegetables and rice over an open fire, we swam, kayaked, climbed and snorkeled. I’ve never seen so many colourful fish in such pristine water.

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Those islands were a tropical paradise.

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One response to “Crystal Clear El Nido”

  1. Peter Haughton says :

    Looks wonderful. New Zealand report coming soon?!

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