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One of the World’s Best Islands: El Nido, Palawan

One of the World’s Best Islands: El Nido, Palawan

THE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE TO EL NIDO:

How do you feel when you fly and the only thing separating you and an engine turning 10000mph is a window?

SECOND IMPRESSIONS:

It was my second time around on this trip to El Nido, but that feeling when we landed at the tiny remote airport and being serenaded as we walked off the plane was quite special.

On my first trip three years ago, I arrived in El Nido via a 6-hour transfer from Puerto Princessa. I think it was lack of research – but I wasn’t aware that El Nido itself had an airport. Instead, I flew to Puerto Princessa from Manila and immediately took a van with 7 or 8 other passengers who took us directly to El Nido (take a look at AirSwift with direct flights from Manila to El Nido).



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Upon reaching El Nido town center from the airport, what stood out immediately was the amount of tourists walking around compared to my first visit three years prior. The infrastructure of the town has developed considerably as well. There was a time when electricity only functioned between 4pm  until 8 am. Compared to today, electricity is now available 24/7!

It is evident that El Nido is doing some major improvements in order to catch up to the influx of tourists coming in. I suppose this is only inevitable as more tourists discover this island. Maybe being consistently ranked as one of the (if not the) best island in the world every year may have something to do with it!

THE FIRST PICTURE TAKEN:

The kick ass view from our balcony

Balcony view - hotel - accomodation - El Nido - Palawan - Philippines

View from our balcony!

FAVORITE FOOD:

Just like Boracay, I took advantage of the ridiculous cheap and fresh seafood on the island. I think I lived off grilled squid and fish for lunch and dinner (with coconut, of course) for the five days I stayed!

INTERESTING FACTS:

There are no banks in El Nido. To this date, there are only two functioning (even that is questionable) ATM’s on the island. Make sure you get enough cash to last you for the days you are staying in El Nido!

– It’s only been up until recently where the whole island has 24/7 electricity. On my last visit in 2013, electricity was only available between 4pm- 8am.

– Majority of business owners in El Nido are French. They are also the number 1 foreign resident on the tiny island.

– Named ‘Best Island’ by Conde Nast three years in a row.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE:

THAT ONE AND ONLY ATM ON THE ISLAND THAT RUNS OUT OF MONEY EVERY DAY FOR DAYSSSS

LAST PICTURE TAKEN:

On the death ferry heading to Coron. We were on that thing bouncing around from the strong waves for a solid 9 hours (when it should have taken 6 hours).

El Nido - ferry - Coron - Philippines

Our ride to Coron.

MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE:

Waking up every morning with our coffee waiting and table prepped for breakfast while enjoying this view from our balcony:

El Nido View- Balcony - Palawan - Philippines

View from our balcony!

You’ve all seen an ice cream truck, but have you ever seen an ice cream boat? We stopped in the middle of the sea for our lunch break during our island hopping tour when this guy with a boat full of ice cream (with his ice cream jingle on full blast) came out of nowhere. Just in time for dessert!

FAVORITE ACTIVITY:

Island hopping tours, of course. Tour A and Tour C are among the popular tours. Apart from the jaw dropping views, my favorite part has got to be when stop for our lunch breaks. The guides typically pick a secluded spot where they prepare our meals. It’s a buffet style that consists typically of fish, chicken, liempo (pork or beef belly), vegetables, rice, and fruit. It’s delicious and the presentation of it all is on point.

Island hopping - lunch - El Nido - Palawan - Philippines

Our guide preparing our lunch during our island hopping tour

BEST SIGHTS TO SEE:

My favorite view thus far:

INSIDER TIPS:

Bring plenty of cash – or otherwise that evil one ATM will run out of money and you will be left by your lonesome.

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