Sunburns and Big Smiles at El Nido

June is the rainy season in the Philippines and is probably not the best time to take trips to the beach. However, a long weekend in June triggered a sudden conversation with my BFF Anna about trying a place we had not seen before – El Nido in Palawan!
Palawan is often referred to as the last ecological frontier of the Philippines. Bacuit Bay in Palawan, more famously known as El Nido, is called the “Nest of Palawan” (Elnido in Spanish means ‘nest’).

So off we went for some sun (and a little rain) in the famous bay. We chose the trip with a stopover in Puerto Princesa over a direct flight since it was cheaper. From Puerto Princesa it was a 4-5 hour van ride to El Nido. A long trip, I know, but it wasn’t a big inconvenience when having fun with friends. Of course, If willing to pay a little more it would be better to just get a direct flight.

For our first (overnight) stop we stayed at the Subli Guest Cabins in Puerto Princesa which was an interesting discovery.


At El Nido we stayed in Aqua Lodge hotel which was at a happening street that housed a number of interesting bars and restuarants.



El Nido is a haven for people who love the sea. We spent our first tour day at El Nido on Tour A, which goes to the  Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, 7 Commando Beach, Secret Lagoon and Shimizu Island.

The view from Aqua Lodge.


The Big Lagoon


Our tour group.


7 Commando Beach


The Small Lagoon


For day 2, we took Tour C, which goes to Helicopter Island, Secret Beach, Matinloc Shrine, and the Hidden Beach.


The Hidden Beach



The angle of this panoramic shot is a bit off but still shows a majestic view of the sea.


It’s always great to meet new friends on trips like this, especially when there are awesome sunsets and drinks to enjoy together!


Drinks at the Maremegmeg Bar on Corong Corong Beach
Swings at the Maremegmeg Bar on Corong Corong Beach


Sunset at Corong Corong beach.
Drinks during sunset.


Corong Corong Beach at night

Naturally the biggest thing we took home from all this fun in the sun was intense sunburns! Still recovering from the burns but totally worth the trouble!

El Nido
Tattooed sisters with sunburns!



Day 1: Flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa
Day 2: Van pick up at hotel and travel to El Nido, beach and bar exploration
Day 3: Tour A
Day 4: Tour C
Day 5: Travel from El Nido to Puerto Princesa, return flight to Manila

Airfare: P4289.50 per peron
Hotel (Subli): P1037 1 room for 1 night
Hotel (Aqua Travel Lodge): P6600 1 room for 3 nights
Van (Puerto Princesa to El Nido and back): P1000 per person
Renting of swim shoes for 2 days: P200
Tour A: 1200 per head
Tour C: 1400 per head
Tricycle to Corong Corong: around P300
Food and drinks: around P3000 for 4 days


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