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El Nido – Island hopping with amazing views thrown in for free

After visiting the main city on the island of Palawan, Puerto Princessa, we booked a ticket on a bus heading up to the top of the island bound for the tourist town of El Nido.

El Nido is a tiny collection of buildings, almost exclusively aimed at servicing the needs of the tourists that visit.  You have the usual collection of guesthouses, restaurants and tour operators that you see in any place like this.

We had heard about El Nido from other backpackers and blogs and wanted to explore the islands that are around the El Nido bay.  We quickly booked an island hopping tour that involved some snorkelling.

Target - White Flag

But before we went island hopping I read about the local cliff, Taraw.  There was a hidden path that went up the cliff and held amazing views from the top.  I also read that it wasn’t for novice climbers, you needed good footwear and stamina.  We found a guide and headed up…  After finishing it I kept thinking maybe I should have headed those warnings because we ended totally exhausted and I was shaking from the exertion, but we did it.  Here are some pictures from the climb.

Dangerous Karst Formations

Dangerous Karst Formations

Climbing Mt. Taraw

Climbing Mt. Taraw

 

And here is the view from the top, totally worth it.

View from Taraw Hill

View from Taraw Hill

Once we’d recovered (the next day) we went hopping around some local islands.  There are a few tours to choose from (A, B, C, D) but we chose the one with a few lagoons, tour B.

We were picked up and sailed about 40 minutes to Small Lagoon where we drifted slowly through the shallow, crystal clear waters.

Small Lagoon

Small Lagoon

Next we went to secret lagoon, a small lagoon only accessible by a cave entrance during low tide.  Nothing spectacular but interesting.

Secret Lagoon

Secret Lagoon

Our last stop before heading back was big lagoon, a long and shallow lagoon with a surprisingly deep end.  You can choose to snorkel or kayak down.

Big Lagoon

Big Lagoon

The tour cost 1300 pesos each and included a very nice buffet lunch.

A good day out for not so much money!

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andrew

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