Destination: Palawan, Philippines
It has been said that the island of Palawan is the most beautiful island in Philippines and no question, IT REALLY IS. There are 3 major tourist destinations in the island of Palawan: Puerto Princesa, El Nido and Coron. I am lucky to visit two of them, El Nido and Puerto Princesa. Different but both equally beautiful. As what i always said to other people, Palawan is a must see paradise. Posting this is quite late since i went to Palawan last May 2017 but hey i made my wordpress account on December of 2017. You can’t blame me right?. Well, Im getting defensive so back to the topic. Haha. also, I am really sorry if I can’t give the specifics on the expenses since I forgot to list down all of them. But I want you to have an idea regarding my travel.
Brief History of Palawan
Palawan is known as the Philippines last ecological frontier. They take pride in protecting the amazing wildlife and natural beauty of the island. Its capital city is Puerto Princesa. The early history of Palawan was traced back 50,000 years where anthropologist found remnant of the first man or first settlers at Palawan known as the Tabon Man.
We booked a flight to Palawan from my home island, Cebu via Cebu Pacific. We stayed in Palawan for 4 days and 3 nights. We also got a Tour Package before hand: a Puerto Princesa – El nido 4D3N tour package.
Day 1. FLIGHT AND ROADTRIP
We arrived at Puerto Princesa airport around 4pm. We then greeted by our Van driver and started our journey to El Nido. From Puerto Princesa it was a 6 hour roadtrip to Palawan. We had a stop over for our dinner and some quick stop over to comfort rooms. We arrived at El Nido at around 11 pm. We settled on our hotel and slept.
Day 2. EL NIDO, PALAWAN
I was the first one to woke up. I was excited to see the beauty of the place because we arrived really late. The place did exceed my expectations. It was beautiful and picturesque.
You can choose 4 island hopping tours – Tours A, B, C, or D. We chose island hopping A – Small lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu island and 7 commando island.
1. Small lagoon and Big lagoon
You can snorkel at the small lagoon or buy coco from the locals. We also did kayaking at the small lagoon and because it was high tide our boat can enter the big lagoon. So we just left our kayaks at the small lagoon. If it is low tide, you can do kayaking at the big lagoon. It’s your choice.
2. Secret Lagoon
You can easily enter the secret lagoon when it is low tide. During high tide, tourists need to swim just to reach the opening of the secret lagoon. Luckily, it was low tide when we arrived. The opening can cater one person to get in because of its size. We fall in line together with the rest. And voila, entered another realm. The amazing beauty of the place made us realized that truly Palawan is a paradise. The walls of beautiful limestones surrounding the place, exceed our expectations. We also had our lunch at the secret lagoon, ultimate island experience again!
3. Shimizu Island
Snorkeling at shimizu island. See how clean and clear the water. If only I had an underwater camera so that i can capture the rich marine life underneath :(. Sad life. Haahaa
4. 7 commando Beach Resort
The clear blue sea, limestones, lagoons and the rich marine life was surreal. You can see how clean, and how blue the water was. Someday, I’d go back to El Nido and try other tours. Each tour has different island destination ( you can search it online). Better ask about your tour package before going to El Nido if which tour they offer. If you’ll do a DIY el nido tour and not get a tour package, island hopping tours ranges from 1200php – 1500php (24-30 USD). Almost all tour packages have free lunch, we did have our free lunch at Secret lagoon.
We finished our island hopping tours at around 3pm. We then packed our bags and freshen up so we could go back to puerto princesa. We arrived at around 10pm.
Day 3. PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN
Call time was 8 am. We had our breakfast at around 7am and waited for our travel van. It’s a 2 hour drive to Sabang, Puerto Princesa underground river. Our van had a tour guide. I guess all the tours in Puerto Princesa is governed by the department of tourism in Palawan hence it is very well organized. Our tour guide said that he had to line up first for our ticket pass to the underground river. So during our free time we had the chance to visit the Mangroove Forest and the Sabang Zipline.
1. Mangroove Forest
We watched century old mangroove while on our paddle boat. Residents in Puerto Princesa are not allowed to cut or even remove those dead mangrooves or get “tamilok” in this area. Tamilok is an exotic delicacy here in Puerto Princesa. It is very known here in Palawan. It is eaten raw and alive. Nocturnal reptiles, snakes,birds and fishes can be found here. You can also do bird watching here but in a specific period of time.
2. Sabang Zipline
It was the best zipline experience ever. We climbed a mountain as our starting point and ended in a small rocky patch at the beach. It is an 800 metre zipline from our starting point traversing south china sea/west philippine sea.
Before going to the Underground river, we had our buffet lunch first. It is part of our package. This is where tamiloks are offered by the locals.
3. Underground River
We rode a boat in going to the underground river. We were told not to bring any bags or food because there are monkeys who might steal our belongings and also to maintain the cleanliness of the place. The underground river is a world reknown UNESCO heritage Site. It is one of the seven wonders of the world in 2012. It is also known as world’s longest subterranean river. Im very happy that i visited the place. Swimming and making loud noises inside the cave are strictly prohibited in order not to disturb the tranquility of the bats and other small animals resting inside. You are given a recorder and a headset for you to hear the recorded story about the place. Never thought that the place I’ve always been seeing in books and pictures since I was young was right in front of me. It’s like a dream come true. We finished our tour at around 3 pm.
Day 4. Free
Since it was our free day we visited crocodile farm in Palawan. We also visited Baker’s Hill where we bought our pasalubong. We then went to Farmer’s market to buy more pasalubong. We just rode a tricycle and paid 700 pesos since it is mandated and fixed price for tourist who wants to have a city tour. We paid the driver with contentment in our hearts because of the good service he gave to us during the tour.
At around 2 pm we were fetched by our tour van and went straight to the airport.