The Philippines absolutely stole my heart when I visited it earlier this year. Even a 22 days vacation left me wanting more, and sobbing on my last night at Manila.
Sardine Run, Turtle Swimming, Snorkeling, Kawasan Waterfalls Canyoneering, Whalesharks, Zipline, Bohol Chocolate Hills, Tarsier Sanctuary, Loboc River Cruise and Shopping!
Rice Terraces, Waterfalls, Hot Springs, Kayangan Lake, Skeleton Wreck, Siete Picados, Barracude Lake, Reef and Wrecks Snorkeling, Coron Island Hopping and Shopping!
Underground River, Bioluminescent Plankton, Fireflies, Zipline, Las Cabanas, in-depth exploration of Lagoons and beaches in El Nido, Palawan and Manila Shopping!
With the “ridiculous” traffic situation in Manila, it is not surprising that drivers are stressed out most of the time. With this in mind, a team in Manila has come up with the fantabulous solution: AUTOCONSCIENCE. AutoConscience aims to encourage and facilitate better driving, thereby providing a solution to FIGHT TRAFFIC! I mean, how cool is that?
Our reasoning is simple – El Nido is a place of magical exploration and fun, it hardly makes sense for you to spend $$$ just to sit in an overwater bungalow and not partaking of any of the activities and attractions that El Nido has to offer. We would rather suggest that you spend your money on what counts (like El Nido Tour A for example).
Majority of the international travelers and tourists coming to the Philippines, will first land in Manila. Now Manila itself is simply a city, albeit a major and vast one, but if it is beaches and water sports and island adventures that you are after, your destination in the Philippines should be El Nido, located in Palawan. So, how do you get from Manila to El Nido?
If you haven’t heard about El Nido in Palawan, Philippines, then you truly have been living under a rock! This incredible destination has swept the travel world with constant waves and glimpses of Philippines hidden treasures. To break it down simply, ALL tour operators in El Nido offer 4 island hopping tours: Tour A, Tour B, Tour C and Tour D. This is a review of Tour A, which we did in El Nido on our very second day.
Just after our morning beach stop at Seven Commandos Beach and our fantabulous lunch at Shimizu Island, our guide greeted us with the words: “Are you ready for some adventure now?” As you probably already guessed, the answer was a unanimous “YES!” from everyone on the boat. We were then informed about our next itinerary stop – the infamous Small Lagoon!
Roughly 20 minutes later, our fantastic crew gave us another surprise – they were going to swim to the beach with our lunch! Trust me, I didn’t believe it either until I saw it myself! After the table was set up and plates were distributed, everyone dug in buffet style. Some of us opted to stand and eat, others found tree trunks to use as chairs; I preferred to sit on the sand close to the water.
As soon as I caught my first glimpse of this beautiful beach, I knew that my time in the Philippines was going to be magical. That first glimpse of cute beach resting huts and swaying coconut trees spoke volumes. I simply couldn’t wait to get to shore and explore.
We had encountered choppy waves at the Small Lagoon, but it started getting a little bad by the time we reached the entrance of the Big Lagoon. Once we got there, our guide once again gave us two options: kayak or swim. However, this time, even the confident swimmers looked wary. One tour-mate even decided to just photograph it using his drone and not even bother venturing into the water. A few of us decided to brave it – with kayaks, but even that proved to be a bit of a challenge.
A short boat ride later, our Bangka set anchor at what looked like a tiny secluded beach. We looked back at our guide with surprised looks. What were we supposed to do? Where was the Secret Lagoon? He pointed to a rock on the left side of the boat, roughly 20 metres away. “Go. Swim.” That was all he said.