DESTINATION: El Nido, Palawan

During our trip to the Philippines last July, we had the opportunity to visit one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, El Nido, in the province of Palawan.  In 2017, El Nido was ranked #4 in Conde’ Nast Traveler’s list of the top 20 beaches of the world.  After visiting, I can certainly say that El Nido belongs in this list.  The island destination is a paradise of white sand beaches and beautiful clear water, surrounding spectacular limestone cliffs, that will leave you breathless.  The experience gave me a chance to unplug and reflect on my life as I decided to transition from a corporate job to starting our new business, Buri and Beach.

(Secret Lagoon)

We flew to Puerto Princesa, Palawan’s capital, and rented a van to drive to El Nido, which is 150 miles from the airport.  The drive itself was about five and half hours with one stop for lunch.  Although the drive was longer than I would like, I had the opportunity to see the natural beauty of the island and to catch up on some sleep.  I highly recommend renting a van as opposed to taking the bus, which is about a 7 hour journey.

Accommodations in El Nido range from inexpensive hostels to exclusive luxury resorts, which are scattered all over the island.  I really wanted to stay at The Birdhouse, which is a boutique glamping hotel that provides “nests” (tents) surrounded in nature with a view of the bay and the islands.  Unfortunately, some of my travel companions were not as thrilled about the idea.  If you have stayed at The Birdhouse, I would love to hear from you.

(Bangka, traditional boat. This was our tour boat.)

The highlight of the trip was the island hopping tour which is a 7 hour journey through different white sand beaches, preserved islands and clear water lagoons with options to snorkel and kayak (additional charges for kayaking).  There are 4 different tour packages; A, B, C and D and each tour includes a lunch buffet, drinking water and snorkeling equipment.  We did tour A, which took us to the Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island, and 7 Commando Beach.  The whole experience was beyond satisfying and the views were surreal.

(Shimizu Island)

With cell service being very spotty in El Nido, I was okay with it as I wanted to enjoy the breathtaking views of nature, the beautiful seascapes and the sunrise and sunset.  El Nido is an unspoiled paradise which I need to revisit again.



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