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“Heaven on earth”
Review of El Nido

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sta rosa,
Level Contributor
2 reviews
3 helpful votes
“Heaven on earth”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2010

I just came from El Nido Palawan and it was an experience i will
cherish forever. Beautiful beaches, fine powdery white sands, a almost non extent crime rate, a majestic scenery and crystal clear blue waters. The sunset was breathtaking. Its a different and beautiful world.

Helpful?
2 Thank our_ohana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
4 reviews
15 helpful votes
“Our Grad Trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2010

My boyfriend and I went to El Nido for our graduation trip in April 2010 and we do not regret it one bit! People believe that the best part of travel lies in the anticipation of what's in store, that the best travel exists in one's mind.. but El Nido really exceeded my expectations.

To save on costs, we flew to Puerta Princessa and took the minivan to El Nido. There isn't much to do in Puerta and the real gem lies in El Nido. We stayed for 4 nights in El Nido Town itself, in Entalula Hotel. An excellent new beachfront accomodation that is pretty well designed and with great service.

During our stay in El Nido Town, we took up a fishing tour with the El Nido Art Boutique but we realized that there were much better bargains out there! Our most memorable day in El Nido was spent on a private tour- Tour C with our guide, a local fisherman by the name of Toto. Do contact me if you want to find out more. We highly recommend him and I believe that we are the first people he has brought on Tour C, although he has worked with the Art Boutique for several years prior. He was very hospitable and attentive to our needs. He would point out all the fishes to us while snorkelling and would blow gently on the corals so that we could see the fish better. He also loves the camera (probably coz digital cameras are a luxury there) and took many pictures for us. He showed us many vantage points that I believe people on normal tours don't see. In Secret Breach, he brought us through the rocks to a pool of bird's nest! At the end of it, he even offered to show us his house the next day before he set off to fish (with no charge!)

My boyfriend and I have been touched by the hospitality of the people of El Nido, especially Toto. It's heartwrenching to see that many people live below the poverty line and that the locals don't benefit as much from tourism as the big players in El Nido. We found out that Toto earned 17 PhP for every 1 kg of fish caught, but he earned 2000 PhP when he brought us on our individual tour, which we felt was worth every cent.

Foodwise, we frequented squidos, which had lovely food. I especially loved the fish, adobo and the pepper steak (which was too well done, but the sauce was unique and unforgettable). We also had a lovely breakfast at the Alternative, which was pricey but definitely worth it for the wonderful views and lovely ambience.

We also spent 2 nights at Miniloc resort before heading home :)

Helpful?
6 Thank etyx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ortigas, philippines
Level Contributor
12 reviews
14 helpful votes
“if only awesomeness can drown somebody, this will definitely be a tsunami!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2010

EL NIDO can never be defined,
one can only spell - but never define.

its where the uber-calm beach greets you good morning.
the majestic mountains in your backdraft while you swim
the place where clownfishes swim as shallow as your ankle.
the place where foreigners become locals as they blend due to the longevity of their stay.
the place where time feels like none existent
the place where one day seems a world without problems
if your a nature lover - the place where everything falls second.

Helpful?
1 Thank xxgrendel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester,UK
1 review
“El Nido - part of the Palawan final frontier”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2010

Quite hard work to get to the town as it is a long drive from Puerto Pricessa or Port Barton, but well worth the effort. The direct flight to the El Nido airstrip is expensive compared to flying in to the other destinations and payment by Paypal only, for this flight baggage allowance is 10kg only. The long distance ferry from Manila is comfortable but the locals say the food on board is very poor and small portions.

Island hopping,snorkelling diving, waterfalls and beautiful scenery. The seafront bars and restaurants are catering more for international rather than local tourists, but there is plenty of local life. The town probably has capacity for about 300 tourists total.

Helpful?
Thank Leaandperrins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manila
Level Contributor
7 reviews
16 helpful votes
“El Nido - dream no more!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2009

Day 1 - MLA - PP- El Nido (Saturday)

My boyfriend and I left Manila Via Pal at 8am bound to Puerto Princesa for our 7days tour. I was so excited that I felt butterflies in my stomach when we boarded the plane. It was 2 years ago when I visited PP, Sabang and Port Barton with my officemates. I had so much fun and so many unforgettable experiences. This trip was totally different as we head straight to El Nido, when we arrived at the airport we asked one of the tricycle to bring us to Fort Wally Terminal and paid 120. The van was still waiting for the other passengers who also booked in advance just like what I did (600/pax). We left at 10:30 and the first 2-3 hours were great until we passed the town of Roxas. That was when the ordeal started, the road was rough and mudy.

It was very exhausting but when we arrived El Nido, my bf and I were just stunned with how lovely the place is. From Fortwally terminal, we took a lift and asked the tricycle driver to bring us to Marina Garden where we planned to stay. The fan cottage with 2 single bed cost 840 (w/ 50 discount), but we decided to stay to a non-beachfront accommodation named "INGGO's INN." It was newly built, the room cost 800 (from 900), it has 1 double bed and 1 single bed with aircon. Their receptionist Mark was very accommodating, he also told us the rates for the island hopping tour. We have an option of joining a group tour which cost around 500-700/pax but we opted to have a private tour. Originally the rate that Mark quoted was around 6,5k but I was able to haggle and got the 3 tours for 5k.

After an hour of resting, we went out to check the town and look for a place to have our dinner. We dine in SQUIDOS and spent around 900. We went over our budget since I am celebrating my 27th birthday. We ordered mixed sea food, calamares, 2 curry rice, mineral water, 2 beers and chocolate creppe. The serving was generous and the calamares was so yummy. The ambiance in squidos was very relaxing. They also have a plasma tv where you can watch the football game while eating. After a bottle of beer we decided to go back to where we stayed and dozed off.

Day 2 - Tour A (Sunday)

Our tour was not set to start until 9am so we decided to eat our breakfast first in a small canteen near Rickson's resto & bar.

BaywalkWe ordered 2 cups of coffee and pancit bihon which tasted so good for only 150. We then headback to Inggo where the bangkero, the tour guide and one tour guide in OJT were waiting for us. We only brought water and sprite since our lunch was also included in the package. Tour A includes 5-6 islands depending on where you book. Us includes SHIMIZU - a great place for snorkeling, PAYUNG-PAYUNG where we ate our lunch (grilled fish and barbeque chicken with pipino on the side), 7 COMMANDOS and 2 more islands. Our tour guide Kuya Jun was very informative and helpful, the bangkero and Aljun were very funny and entertaining. They let us to do our stuff and decide on our own when to move on to the next island which is a disanvatage if you're in a group tour. Our first island tour ended at 4pm. We rested for awhile before we went to rickson's resto and bar where we ate our dinner. Dos PalmasWe ordered 2 rice, chopsuey, pork curry and 4 beers for only 450. The place was great as they have acoustic band who played at night. We decided to cut the night off after 4 bottles of beer as it made me too sleepy.

Day 3 - Tour B (Monday)

Again we had our breakfast in that small canteen - we ordered Cornsilog and Tapsilog for 120 (the food was not great, hehhehe). This time we started the island tour at 8am as we wanted to be back early so we can attend the 5pm mass. Our first stopped was in PANGULUSIAN Island which is a good spot for snorkeling, SNAKE ISLAND - where the sand bar was connected to another island, CUDUGAN CAVE - ISLAND - this was where we had our lunch, (we paid 100 for the entrance), Kuya Jun told us that Cudugnan Cave was one of the islands in El Nido where a pot of gold was found, we skipped the Cathedral Cave as Kuya Jun said that it was not that safe since the tides were a bit strong.

Island Hopping modeOur last stopped was in Entulala Island and we were back in El Nido town at 4pm.

Day 4 - Tour C (Tuesday)

This time we went somewhere to eat our breakfast since Morky was turned off with what we had the previous day. We ate our breakfast somewhere near the church. We had 2 cups of coffee, 1 Cheeseburger and 1 Egg w/ cheese for 110. We also bought 10 bottles of san miguel light since that was our last island hopping tour. I was hoping to buy a kilo of pork but they said that we have to go to corong-corong where the public market is located, but we didn't have enough time to go there as our tour started at 9am. Tour C was the most expensive in all the tours in El Nido as it was the farthest. The first island that we went to was TAPUITAN island where we traveled for less than an hour, we stayed here longer, we drunk our cold beer and ate our lunch, then we head to MINILOC SHRINE - the heart shape island, we also snorkeled in STAR island, then our last stopped was in Helicopter island where we consumed the beers with Kuya Jun and our bangkero.


After 3 days of island hopping, we said our goodbyes to Kuya Jun, Aljun and our bangkero. I can't praise them enough as they were so helpful and very kind to us. Kuya Jun told us that he has his own boat for island hopping and I bet his rate is a lot cheaper than what we got. I promised him that I will post his number and recommend him to my friends who are also planning to go to El Nido. (Here is his number (--) and just tell him that you were recommended by Mitch).

Our last night in El Nido was spent in PUKKA bar where we had 2 bottles of beer each and then we transferred in Seaslugs. We ate their Ham and Cheese pizza which was so yummy, Morky then had 1 more beer and I had infinite. Before we sleep Mark told us that he already booked us in fortwally for our trip to Puerto Princesa the next morning.


Day 5 - El Nido to Puerto Princesa (Wednesday)

At exactly 7am, the van was infront Inggo's Inn to picked us, and as we left El Nido, I felt really sad and I really wanted to cry. I became so attached with the place that I promised myself that I have to go back again.

We arrived in Puerto Princesa around 2pm, and then we decided to stay in Bakpackers for a night. The fan room w/ private CR cost 400 only. After we settled, we went to Jollibee to eat and bought some food in the Market. We bought half a kilo of shrimp for 140 and 1/4 talakitok for only 70.00 for our dinner. Kuya Danny our contact in PP also dropped by to confirm our Dos Palmas tour the following day. After fixing our next agenda, we went backed to Backpackers, cooked our food and slept.

(We were planning to go to Kinabuch to have a drink but we were just so tired).

Day 6 - Dos Palmas Tour (Thursday)

Kuya Danny fetch us at 6:20, drove us to NCCC Mall where the shuttle was parked. The shuttle traveled for 30 minutes to St. Lourdes port where the Dos Palmas Boat was waiting. It took us an hour by sea before we reached Dos Palmas. We were greeted by their staff and then they served our welcome drinks. We were also instructed to go to an area near their resto for the orientation. I find the orientation helpful but honestly the approached was somehow insulting. I don't know if It was just me who felt that but when I asked my boyfriend about it he also felt the same. I even told him that maybe it was just because of the staff's approached.

She was clear but her customer service skill sucks. Anyway, aside from that, our overall experienced was great. The place was beautiful and the buffet lunch was superb. I JUST HATE THEIR SHOWER AREA - there was no water.

We paid 1,800 for this tour. It includes transfer, lunch, free use of their kayaks, snorkeling gear and shower (w/ no water), free inet, and unlimited water/tea/coffee. They charge 50.00 for the towel.

AT 5:30 we were back in the city, we went back to backpackers, cooked the shrimp and packed our bags. Then we transferred to J-Lais pension. We got the ac room w/ a queensize bed, cable tv, airport transfer and breakfast for only 1k. We were supposed to go to Kinabuch and Baywalk but due to lack of sleep, I fell asleep right after eating dinner.


Day 7 - Bakers Hill, Mitra Ranch - flight back to Mla (Friday)

We were woke up by the receptionist at 7am to have our breakfast, then after eating we went to the market to buy seafoods as my brother reminded me to bring lobster, crabs and etc since the price is way cheaper than in Mla. We then bought 1 kilo of lobster for 450, 1 kilo of crabs for 200-300, 1 kilo of tuna for 200 and 1/2 kilo of danggit for 105 then everything was wrapped and placed in a box since we traveled via plane.

After buying our pasalubong, we went back to J-LAIS, took a shower then hired a tricycle for 3 hours for 250. We first went to BAKER'S HILL where we ate our lunch (the baby back ribs was delicious), then we went to MITRA RANCH, and lastly to Baywalk.

After several shots, we went back to J-LAIS pension. They took us to the airport at 4:00pm to check in for our 5:30 flight. While we were waiting, I contemplated about our experiences in one of the most unforgettable vacation I ever had in my life. How I wish life is that easy so anytime I can always go back. Palawan will always be my favorite destination in the Philippines.

Helpful?
1 Thank sweetinastygurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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