When you heard of El Nido, the first thing that will enter your mind would be: “El Nido, whuuuttt? That would be an expensive trip.” But hey no! Me and my friends were able to enjoy the beauty of El Nido in a budget trip. Yes, you read it right. Budget.
Tip #1: Book to a destination in advance.
Our El Nido trip was one-year in the making. We booked our flight via Air Asia last October 2014 for just Php 1,600.00 two-way.
Tip #2: Travel in groups.
Would you imagine our total headcount was 21? We payed Php 5,650 per head for 4 days & 3 nights inclusive of van transfer from Puerto Princesa Airport to the island of El Nido, lodge, island hopping tour & breakfast!
* 3 nights’ accommodation (4 Family Room with extra foam; Aircon) Group sharing
* With daily set breakfast
* Underground River tour with lunch
* 2 days El Nido Island Hopping tour A & C
Tour A: Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Simizu Beach, Entalula, and Seven Commando (+ side trip at Snake Island)
Tour C: Matinloc Shrine, Talisay Beach, Secret Beach, Hidden Beach and Helicopter Island
* PPUR Permit, Boat, Guide, Environmental fee
* Entrance fee
* ETDF (Eco-Tourism Development Fee)
* Air-Conditioned Van transfer (Roundtrip) drop and pick up @ the airport
Day 1 (Oct 14) : Eta 11:10AM – Underground River – El Nido
Day 2 (Oct 15) : Island Hopping Tour C
Day 3 (Oct 16) : Island Hopping Tour A (side trip @ snake island)
Day 4 (Oct 17) : Check out at 3am with flight back to Manila at 11 am
Tip #3: Pack light.
Guilty! Haha. I have issues with packing. I don’t want to re-wear clothes whenever I’m travelling. The reason why? Simple. Various places in different wardrobe = more photos. Haha! Arte much. I know right. Oh, don’t forget to bring water-proof items & gadgets, be ready to get wet!
Tip #4: Travel with your kalog friends & prepare to meet new people.
The pleasure in travelling is being able to experience the place with your friends & loved ones, while meeting new people. You’ll learn a lot from them and surely you’ll keep happy memories.
Tip #5: Leave your worries behind and be ready to face your fears!
I don’t know how to swim, I just know the basics but I love being at the beach. Weird, right? The trip was more of island hopping. I was so scared when kuya Loloy (our bangkero/tour guide) told us to jump off the boat and swim towards the shore. Good thing kuya Loloy was so patient and caring.
Tip #6: As you leave your worries behind, leave your work behind, too.
Guilty! When you’re on leave and on vacation, you gotta enjoy it! Okay, but since I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, I feel like I need to work though I was on leave. My bad. I can’t help but think of all the deliverables at work.
Tip #7: Prepare your mind and body when you travel.
The entire trip was more of travelling from one place to another, doing many physical activities. I suggest to drink more water, vitamins and iron to replenish lost electrolytes. Apply insect repellent lotion, it’s a must!
October 14-17, 2015 (MNL-Puerto Princesa-El Nido)
We had a 2-minute walk towards the river.
We divided our group into 3, which makes 7 pax per boat + the tour guide/bangkero (total of 8). All tourists were advised to wear their life jackets and helmets. Be careful not to hit your head with rock formations and shield yourselves from bat poops. Haha!
According to our tour guide, tourists can only sail up to 1.5 km.
We had a 5-hour land trip from Sabang to El Nido. If you have motion sickness, I suggest you take Bonamine. We passed through zig-zag roads, sharp curves, up hill, down hill… name it! We conquered it all. Haha.
Days 2 and 3 were dedicated for our island hopping tour. Wear aqua shoes. You will walk through waters with sharp-edged stones; you don’t want to have cuts on your feet, right? Better be ready than sorry.
Day 2 Itinerary (Tour C): Secret Beach, Hidden Beach, Talisay Beach, Matinloc Shrine, and Helicopter Island
We also had the same struggle when we swam towards Hidden Beach. We need to swim fast before high tide ‘coz we ain’t gonna see the very very small entrance towards the beach.
Then we had jump shots and played like kids!
We were sailing towards Matinloc Shrine when the rain poured again. Surely the best season to visit El Nido is summer.
Day 3 Itinerary (Tour A): Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Simizu Beach, Entalula, and Seven Commando (+ side trip at Snake Island)
The place is so magical and perfect. Can’t help but fall in love with.. . the place 😛
5-minute trek off the hill. From there you’ll see the perfect scenery of the island.
That concluded our El Nido tour.
Love, ingradible. ❤
When you’re too high with your emotions & can longer contain it, sing like Sam Smith:
“A chance encounter of circumstance. Baby he’s a mantra, keeps your mind entranced… Why are you looking down all the wrong roads?
When mine is the heart and the soul of the song…”
Sing your heart out in the ocean, screaming like crazy, wishing & praying that…. that.