El Nido, Palawan: Holy Week 2017


The first time I was in El Nido was in 2015. Thanks to a seat sale by Air Asia, I was able to booked a roundtrip flight to Puerto Princesa en route to El Nido during this year’s Holy Week holiday.

From the airport, I crossed the street and looked for a van going to El Nido. I went with KelvinJohn Van with a fare of P500. The van was new and spacious. After waiting for the van to get full of passengers, we left the airport at aound 9:30 in the morning. The trip would last up to 5 hours, more or less. The roads going to El Nido are almost 100% paved with only a few portions undergoing repair or being cemented.

At around around 2:00 in the afternoon, the van arrived at the Van Terminal in El Nido, and I rode a tricycle going to the town proper for P50.00. I again stayed at Our Melting Pot Hostel, which I earlier booked for P590.00 a night in a 12 pax dorm room. It came with free breakfast. Here are some photos of the hostel –

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I didn’t do much on the day that I arrived, since it was too late to join any island tour. So I just walked around town. The town proper already changed since the last time I was there. There were new hotels and hostels. The tricycle drivers were a bit aggressive in offering tourists a ride to different beaches and destination in and around EL Nido. There was a new resort outside of town called LIO Beach but I was not able to go there. There were also new bars along the beach of Bacuit Bay and the old ones were still there.

The next day, I went to Marimegmeg Beach and spent the whole day just basking under the sun and eating. I stayed on the beach front of a bar called the Beach Shack. I had breakfast, lunch and merienda there. Here are some photos –

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I went to bed early since I will be joining an island tour the next day.

Two years ago, I was already able to join all tours offered in El Nido. This time I decided to join a tour by a boat called the Kraken. Their tours combine the highlights of Tours A and B; and Tours C and D. The Kraken boat is very spacious. It includes a buffet lunch, snacks and the best of all … unlimited beer and cocktails! The boat leaves at around 10 in the morning which is later than all other boats. So we avoided the crowd and ended with a sunset watching session at one of the island stops. The tour costs P3000 per tour, but if you avail of the two tours, you will get a P500 discount. That’s what I did.

I was the only Asian during the tour. The rest were all Spanish. All of them were nice and all had fun while on board the Kraken. Here are some photos of  helicopter island, cadlao lagoon, , secret beach, 7 commandos, matinloc, small lagoon, big lagoon, secret beach, hidden beach, snake island, pinagbuyutan island that we went to and the people that I met –

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I was planning to go to Port Barton or San Vicente, Palawan but I got lazy and decided to just stay in El Nido. One of the perks of traveling solo.

So after two days of the Kraken tour,  I then went to Nacpan Beach via the tour offered at the hostel for P350 just for the round trip van. Nacpan Beach was voted as the 10th top beach destination by Conde Naste

But commercialism is slowly creeping in this once secluded beach destination. Two years ago, there was no entrance fee. Now, you have to pay P50.00. There were no accomodations back then, but you can pitch a tent at the beach. Now, there are several hostels. Only a handful of small eateries by the beach were present then. Now, there are a lot of choices and small stores abound. There is a small hill at the end of Nacpan that tourists can climb and see the awesome view of the twin beach of Nacpan and Calintang. Now, it is closed due to an on-going court case pertaining to its ownership. That’s human greed for you.  So if I were you, go now!

Here are photos of Nacpan Beach –

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There is a zipline in Las Cabanas beach which I was not able to ride in 2015, since it was under maintenance that time. But this time, I was able to experience it. For P700.00 I ziplined from one island to the next. Flying was fun. Here are some photos –

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Now, let’s go to the highlight of this trip. Climbing the top of Taraw Peak. I did not climb it two years ago due to lack of time and I heard so many horror stories on how hard it is to climb. And boy, they were right!

Since day 1, I was procrastinating on climbing it. I would look at it every time I was in the hostel and every time I would pass by it.

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It did not help that, a few months after I left El Nido in 2015, an accident happened there.  A tour guide and two of his guests fell from one of the ascent and the guide is now paralyzed from waist down. Read the story here

But I had to do it. I had to get it out of my system. So on my last day in El Nido, I found a reliable tour guide who would take me to the peak of Taraw Cliff. We started the ascent at 7:30 in the morning. After going around a series of paths in and around some houses, we reached the starting point. Just as I expected, this will not a an ordinary trek BUT it will be a rock climbing activity. I wore rubber shoes and jogging pants, since I already read online that the karst rocks are sharp and could easily bruise any unprotected part of your lower body. I brought a liter of water, which was not enough. I suggest 2 liters. Get enough sleep the night before and do not climb if you have a hangover.

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It took me four hours going up, staying at the peak and going down. I took my time. I rested when I was out of breath and I stopped whenever I was unsure where to place my footing. My guide was very helpful.

There were three inclines, two of them were almost 90 degrees. We had no safety gears, no helmets, and no ropes. One wrong move, and it can be a fatal drop.

But the view, was very rewarding.

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And going down, was even harder!

Here are the photos –

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So there, I lived to tell the story of how I survived Taraw Peak!

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Until the next adventure!

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One Comment Add yours

  1. vinneve says:

    Wow!! what an adventure indeed! Good on you not being afraid of heights and do what it takes to reach the peak. What a view.

    Liked by 1 person

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