Tuesday, March 23, 2010

El Nido Escape

After a few weeks of living in Puerto Princesa, we finally took a much needed vacation to one of my dream destinations---El Nido! I finally can check this out of my MUST-see places before I die. We thought to ourselves, "We're already in Palawan, let's EXPLORE this magical island!" So, with the spirit of adventure, we reserved 2 slots in one of the public shuttles at P600 per pax for a one way trip. (Sonny 0920-5025797) They surely try to squeeze as many people there, up to 12-14 in a van! The 6-hour uncomfortable, bumpy







and dusty ride...








...is certainly worth all the dust in your throat & lungs and all other body pains in the end!
Santi sets foot on El Nido beach








Because of the good reviews on Tripadvisor, we first stayed in Marina Garden Resort which is conveniently located nearby all the restaurants and stores in town.

They only had one deluxe room available at P2,250 per night with breakfast for 2. This was an aircon room but then we realized that electricity on El Nido shuts off daily from 6am to 2pm. So much for noontime mango shakes!

For the next days we stayed in Makulay Lodge which we discovered right at the next cove, maybe a 10-minute walk from the center. This place is far more peaceful & private, away from the noisy bars at night with less people on the beachfront. Another PLUS is that the few rooms they have are cheap. Non-aircon rooms starts at P800 but we got the 2nd level room at P1,200 per night. This had its own balcony with a nice view of Cadlao island. Their restaurant recently opened too, serving fresh seafood set meals for lunch & dinner. Makulay is owned and operated by Englishman Del and wife Rose with their son, Likha. They live 200 steps on top of the hill. You can tell this place built with pure love :)
We really liked the ambiance at this place and I'm sure to be back again soon, maybe rent their hillside villa next time (P3,000 per night good up to 5pax) with a more stunning view of Cadlao island and Bacuit Bay. Likha tells me that the full moon and sunsets are best seen during the months of April and May. Hmmm...how about another trip then?
Since we are El Nido newbies, we opted to chose the 'Tour A' with Sea Slugs, the famous tour operator found at Sea Slugs Bar & Restaurant by the main beach. Our tour itinerary was Big & Small Lagoons, 7 Commandos Beach & Entalula Island. It costs P600 per head which includes lunch on the beach cooked by the boatmen. Menu: Grilled Chicken, Pork & Fish with vegetables & fruit. I loved our grilled lunch at Entalula beach & the fresh buko (coconut) at 7 Commandos. Montri and I didn't get to appreciate the lagoons much because we couldn't leave Santi on the boat alone. We took him with us in the water with much difficulty swimming with a toddler grabbing you for fear of drowning, hence no pictures from those spots with us :(

Santi, however, enjoyed the boat ride and the engine lulled him to sleep.








Of course, beach-side yoga make my trip complete!




I'm all beached-out & burnt now. How was your weekend? ;)

4 comments:

Kat said...

Lovely photos :) I wanna visit El Nido also soon! Were you doing a standing tree pose in between the two huge rocks? Nice :)

Rhea said...

that's where we went for our honeymoon! love love el nido! wish to be back there with andie soon! :) nice pictures you have there! :)

Donna said...

beautiful pictures! love el nido too - we stayed at lagen resort. it's pricey but it's all-inclusive and truly beautiful and relaxing. definitely worth a visit at least once.

dharmadreams said...

Kat- Yup, quite difficult to do the tree pose because the rock was uneven :P

Rhea- I wish I had gone here too for our honeymoon! We never had one coz I already had Santi hahaha

Donna- Lagen is way out of my budget...but if I had the chance, I would definitely check that place out ;)

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