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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Enthralled by El Nido

El Nido Tour C

We chose to do the most famous Tours A and C in El Nido. We only have two days for island hopping so we just picked the most recommended ones. On the second day of our tour, we just have one tour mate. A guy from Finland named Veko. It was almost like a private tour because there were only three of us. Great! :)

We had the same boat and crew, except for one guy. It was another fine day for island hopping and I was so thrilled once again. The islands included in this tour are farther away than those that we explored in Tour A.

that lonesome rock - i wanna give it a hug :)

Our first halt for that day was the Secret Beach. The name suits it well. You can never really tell where it is haha!

can you tell where the beach is?

Our guide saw a big sea turtle around the area. So the boys left me on the boat and they all dove in to the water for a glimpse of that elusive sea turtle. It was just me and the boat captain left. The waves were too strong and we may be swayed to the big limestone rocks, we decided not to wait for them and to just dock ahead.

Oh-my-gosh, another patch of paradise! It looks like Alex Garland's description of The Beach, only smaller.

smaller version of  The Beach :)

I immediately stripped off to my swimsuit, wore my aqua shoes and jumped from the boat to join the snorkelers already having a grand time.

perfect snorkeling site

Kids can also enjoy snorkeling here because there are parts which are just waist deep. It's so amazing how there are many sea creatures here when the water is too shallow.

finding Nemo :)

The water visibility was absurd! It was marvelously clear! I snorkeled for almost two hours there. I never noticed how much time had passed.

happy snorkeler

At last, I felt exhausted haha. My arms were sore already when I stopped. I can stay there all day.

see? everyone left and i was still there haha!

It was lunch time already when we left the Secret Beach and we don't have our lunch prepared yet. Our boatmen looked for the perfect spot for our lunch. Minutes after, we got off to Star Beach.

Star Beach from a far

We docked on this part of the island even if it's rockier. The other side was crowded and shadeless. While our food was being cooked, we went snorkeling. We were so right to bring our aqua shoes here. Lime stones and reefs in this area are very sharp but that also mean more marine life. :)

this kind of fish has bitten me!

I don't know what they are called but this fish is so fierce! I was bitten by it, three times. You will barely notice them because they we're similarly colored like the corals and they don't swim as much. They are usually staying in the rocks. When you get to their territory without you noticing it, that's when they attack. I told our guide about it and he said they are really territorial. They gave me three scars in my legs. One of them has a shape of their mouth. Hehe.

another reason to wear aqua shoes

There are many sea urchins too. If you're not careful, you may also get stung by this creature as well. I was so thankful I did not step on one.

that glistening beauty

That was our view while eating lunch. I can't remember how many times I've been astonished by El Nido's charm.

When we're done eating, I decided to trek to the other side of the island. Behind some limestone cliffs, you'll find this flourishing greenery.

lush paradise

Walking further towards the beach, you'll see this stunning wonderland! And I was alone there. It was all mine!

am I in Paradise?

I was so amazed! My heart was literally jumping up and down for joy. No exaggeration. That was how I felt. The three hues of the water was bewildering. From aquamarine, to turquoise, to sapphire. Just wow... If only we can just build a house anywhere we want to. I'll build mine here. Just imagine waking up every single day seeing this.

i can stay here forever

If you want to snorkel, stay at the other side. If you just want to swim and sunbathe, stay at this side. This island have something for everyone. I ran to the water singing my heart out. But I was awaken from my dream so soon when our guide looked for me and called me. He said it was time for us to go to the next island.

Our next halt was the Hidden Beach. Geez, it was really hidden! You won't see the passage in the limestone barriers from afar. When you get closer, you'll see a hole submerged in water. The water level depends on the tide. When we got there, it was high tide. My problem was not just the tide. The part where the entrance is, is very deep. For a non-swimmer like me, it was so scary.

our guide checking out the sea bottom

Since the water was so clear, I can see how deep it was. It freaked me out even more. I was dragged inside by our guide. I was holding on to his hand and we swam together under the water. Wooooh!

yes, under this hole!

I was so relieved that there was a shallow part inside!

i found the Hidden Beach! :)

Yey, I can swim and snorkel hehe. There were fishes in this enclosed basin.

a-ok :)

Oh no, we have to go through this submerged tunnel again. I was so thankful to our guide who'd been with me and ensured my safety.

beyond this is magic :)

After that death-defying experience, were off to our next stop. Sailing in El Nido feels like you're in a dream. Everywhere you look is magical.

i want more of this :)

We got off Matinloc Island next. This one is different among those we first saw. It has unfinished structures that could've been promising if it pushed through. The architecture of the beach house looks great. We asked our guide what happened to this. According to them, the owner has been harassed by a powerful politician giving them no choice but to discontinue their planned resort. Such a sad story.

the awesome view at Matinloc's mini jetty

There is a viewing point at the top of a cliff at the right side of the island. Just be careful climbing up. The lime stones has rough and sharp edges.

overlooking ocean view

Nothing much we can do here and the Tao Expedition group has arrived. It was there turn to navigate the island.

We went to our last stop for the day which is the Helicopter Island. It looks like a helicopter from afar but when you get closer, it more looked like a whale.

helicopter beach

The beach is not as exquisite as the others. The sand was fine but not white. The waves were bigger too. We didn't swim here anymore. We just lazed around and laid down at the sand.

me having fun :)

Our second El Nido island hopping tour was a blast! If we only had more days to spend here, we'll probably do all the tours so we can see all the islands and get mesmerized by all of them. Well, the good thing about it is, we have a reason to be back here.

I know I've been complaining about the drudging trip from Puerto Princesa to El Nido, but every thing I've been through was so worth it! It is a tropical eden indeed. Off the quiet town of El Nido are paradise islands waiting to be explored. I guarantee, you'll be swooning over and over again.

Beach Rating:  ♥♥♥♥

This is Part 2 of my El Nido travel series.

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