A – B – C – D. Been there? Done that? Got the T-shirt AND the fridge magnet?
There are 4 island hopping tours to try – and for the usual crowd, they don’t even get to try all of them on one trip to El Nido. But still, if you have more than 4 full days to explore the area or just want something a little different than what everybody is getting a bite off of, then read on to find what else is there to do in El Nido.
HELICOPTER ISLAND FULL MOON PARTY
By the grace and power of all gods and deities on this planet we call earth, the next time I head onto El Nido, I will take part in this. The thing about these parties, however, is that they do nothing to destroy the environment. The beach remains the same with the agency leaving NO TRACE of their parties. It’s not a sad desperate attempt to turn El Nido in the next Koh Phangan but just a way to indulge in the lavish beauty of an El Nido full moon. We were close, we were a day or two away from a full moon party so, as always, moments like this warrants the mandatory utterance of, “next time.”
Oh, and all the cheap rum you can drink – to the tune of P700. With all the booze, the parties are, so I’m told, chill and relaxed – meant to be a social event and not a get-wasted-until-you-make-yourself-worthy-of-a-THE-HANGOVER-sequel.
With this being a new addition to the island’s list of activities, like 2nd quarter of the year new, I would like to be part of it before it gets out of hand, or something.
NACPAN OR TWIN BEACHES LAND TRIP
Take the P1,000 tricycle ride or take the P2,000 private van ride and hang out at the beach for a couple of hours or so. It takes 45 minutes to get there by van and add another 10-15 minutes if you’re trudging via tricycle. We chose the latter. But Mr. Walker seemed to have preferred a comfortably sized van instead. Our preferences in travel showed its true colors on that trip.
Once there, swim in and take in a beautiful spanning view of the beach and the water. Take the 5 minutes to walk to the edge of the beach, walk up the small rock formation to be able to see the view of the two actual beaches laying side by side (which is essentially a very wide sandbar to those needing a a visual on that). For some reason, I have no photos of the actual twin beaches. I blame Mr. Walker for that, and he knows why. *Knowingly Stares into Brit Boy’s Eyes* I’m watching you, boy!
Personally, I think you should make the effort to get a sunset trip out here. Head out at 4pm or even just after coming in from an early-ending island hopping tour and head straight for this place with dinner in hand. The spot sits a bit north of town and will make you go through a bit of rough road before reaching it.
The beach is clean, smooth and purely made up of sand – no pebbles, no rocks, no corals. It’s the perfect beach for kids as there are no rocks on the sand and the water gets deep gradually – well, relative to the other islands I have been to on my Tour C and Tour B trips.
There are no restaurants around except for one small, tiny, little eatery just around the corner from the nice looking house right on the beach. Just in case you were wondering about toilets. *Looks at Brit Boy’s Eyes Again*
Our guide for the Tour C trip, June, actually got to sharing some other things he does for income. One of his stints is a professional rock climbing guide. You know that huge ass limestone cliff that separates town from Corong-corong? Well, they go up there and charge tourists for the experience.
If you were into that thing, it’ll cost 1 single person P500 and 2 people P300 each to go up the climb with the use of ropes and pulleys and other blah terms to me. They also do rock climbing boat trips if the huge vertical face in town don’t satisfy you enough. He’s the tour guide for the boat “Guardian” – Just go to the beach, ask for the boat and you’ll find him there.
OVERNIGHT (OR MULTIPLE NIGHT) ISLAND HOPPING AND CAMPING
Speaking of other rakets, June and Miguel, the official boatman of the Guardian- also told me about their camping trips. They have had the cheapest rates that I found by asking around. They charge P6,500 per person, minimum of two people (or just P13,000 to start with) for a 3 Day and 2 Night island hopping tour that ends up with a camping trip on one of the islands. Camping gear and food already provided. I think that’s a pretty good deal since the next best deal I could find was for the same price but with a minimum of 4 people.
The guardians of the Guardian (the boat) actually told me the story of a European who hired their services – they spent 5 nights out at sea with this one guy. He hardly talked and hardly did much, they said – but at the end of it, they say, he was happy to have had the experience to literally get away from it all.
We would’ve gone for something like this if we weren’t already booked at the resort for the remainder of the trip.
You could go for the more known and expensive trips from the one big company that result in one major party – but the option of having a small group of people together and just doing as you please appeals to me more. The boatman actually used to work for 3 years for the said big company so be sure that he would know how to go about the whole camping expedition thing.
I don’t have their contact number but head for the boats and look for Miguel and June of THE GUARDIAN – a spanking new blue and white boat.
SUNSET VIEWING AT CORONG CORONG
If you didn’t read my post about Coral Bay Resort or our explanation why we always had dinner on our balcony, then you wouldn’t know why this is hands-down my favorite. Ideally, you could just buy yourself a nice bottle of red and proceed to the beach and watch the sun go down. It takes all but 2 hours of your life to see the sky turn from clear to orange to yellow, to red to darkness. We have this every single day during our stay in El Nido and when the last sunset baked us in that last warm glow, we didn’t have enough. We wished for more, nay, we longed for more.
If you head on down to Corong-Corong, you can park your butt on the Greenviews beachside bar or a little further down to Stunning Vistas – I believe they have the BEST view of all.
SPEND A DAY DOING NOTHING
For most people, they would be staying at the chaotic and busy El Nido Town. People coming in go through the same motions of the tourists and travelers that come before them – they book the island tours for the day and hit the bars at night.
For us, it wasn’t really hard to decide on what to do for the day. We would both be happily content to just take a chair, indulge in the quietness of the beach and read all day. One time, I took a pillow out on the outdoor “couch” and lay there for most of the morning. It was therapy. And it worked.
I could see myself easily being happy stuck in a balcony or on the beach with a baguette, cheese and a bottle of chilled white. I also see myself, parking my butt on the bow of any tour boat and baking before heading face down for some snorkeling. No matter what you feel like doing, there will be something (or nothing) for you in El Nido Palawan.
What other activities have you done in El Nido?