Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Wonders of El Nido

I found myself in one of the most enchanting spots in the Philippines, El Nido. This is the 4th of 6 parts.

El Nido is located in the northwestern tip of Palawan and is considered to be the showcase of Palawan's diverse marine and wildlife.

But more than the chirping birds, schools of fish, and exotic animals, I was captivated most by the magnificent limestone cliffs, clear blue waters, and lush greenery that surround El Nido.

It's such a picturesque region that there's no bad view to be had here. I'm just afraid that my pictures and words are not enough to give this place justice.

We had a whole day to explore the islands and went to the top attractions.

Pinasil Island has a cathedral like cavern which is unsurprisingly called Cathedral Cave. With little imagination, the formation does look like a cathedral.

The local government has banned the use of motorized boats to access the cave as it disturbs the birds who build their nests inside. Unfortunately, we didn't have kayaks with us so we were only able to appreciate the beauty of this island from the outside.

Cathedral Cave

Bring Kayaks to Enter the Cave

We had to crawl inside a small hole to enter Cadugnon Cave. Once inside, an unpleasant smell is noticeable but it was not that bad. Cadugnon Cave was the burial site of early natives making the experience inside the cave more exciting. It's a small cave though and one can finish the exploration in less than 10 minutes.

Where to Enter

Small but Manageable

Natural Light

The Dibuluan Island Beach Club is exclusive to visitors staying at either Lagen or Miniloc Island Resort. Water sports activities are usually conducted here. Unfortunately, there are a lot of jellyfish in Dibuluan making the island not ideal for swimming. Those who aren't sporty can skip this area. 

Getting Off Dibuluan


Uh Oh: Giant Jellyfish and Lots of It!

Another exclusive property of the El Nido resorts, Entalula Island Beach Club is known for its pristine beach with bent coconut trees. It's also one of the most romantic spots in El Nido making it a popular spot for couples. Unfortunately, it was already dark when we stepped foot on Entalula so I wasn't able to fully embrace its beauty.

Beautiful from Afar


The main selling point of Vigan Island is its unique S-shaped sand bar. Because of this natural phenomenon, Vigan Island is popularly known as Snake Island. Admittedly, I've seen better sand bars but this place is still worth visiting as it also offers good views after a short hike. 

Sandbar from Afar

Off to Hike!

Clear Water

Hi Ho Hi Ho

After 5 minutes...

Why It's Called Snake Island

Finally, a trip to El Nido is not complete without visiting the famous lagoons...

The fact that only a small crack between rocks enables visitors to access the Small Lagoon certainly adds to the legend and charm of this attraction.

Kayaks are used to enter the Small Lagoon and all the paddling is worth it once you see for yourself how enchanting the place is. Time stood still for me and I was so lost in appreciating the exquisiteness of this hidden spot. 

The Small Lagoon is enclosed by towering marble walls with still waters making it the perfect place to spend a few hours relaxing and having fun under the sun. The aquamarine shade of the water was also so inviting that I wanted to jump in. The only thing that stopped me was my not so waterproof camera. 

Too Big to Enter

 Kayaking is the Way to Go

The Crack

100% Beautiful

Still Waters Perfect for Relaxing

High Marble Walls


The Big Lagoon is a different experience all together with its larger than life rock formations. I was perfectly content to just sit back and admire the beautiful landscape and tranquil emerald waters of the Big Lagoon as it was so calming. 

The Big Lagoon is a popular snorkeling spot because sea turtles frequent the area. My tour guide also shared that they just recently arranged an intimate wedding ceremony at the Big Lagoon. Hmm... this gives me an idea... lol

Entering the Big Lagoon

Deep Emerald Waters

No Bad Angle Here

Deeper Part of the Lagoon

Lost in Paradise

With El Nido's countless wonders, it's impossible to not get overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of this nature paradise. It's a feast on the eyes and I am recommending everyone to take a trip to this magical island at least once in this lifetime.

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