It’s been over a month since my last trip blog post. I am very sorry I haven’t posted anything; I’ve been busy with work & personal stuff. I had several birthday celebrations; I’ve also been just back from a week in Bali & a weekend in my hometown in Albay. I hope everyone is doing well. I promise to keep up with all the content planned for the past weeks.
Anyway, back to business. It’s Thursday, so it’s time for another Throwback Thursday Treat! It’s been a year since my high school friends & I spent a long weekend in El Nido, Palawan (my 3rd time). I think it’s a good time to relive the good times we had in that short weekend trip.
View from El Nido town 😍
Philippine Airlines had their annual Christmas sale last December 2015. I was able to book a round-trip ticket to Puerto Princesa City for only ₱1,636. The fare included a 10 kg check-in baggage allowance per way & in-flight snack. Not bad, right?
Screenshot of my ticket to & from Puerto Princesa, Palawan
All the while, the plan was to go to El Nido / Port Barton alone for a weekend, but my high school friends decided to join me on that same weekend. We had plans of going to El Nido but I never thought it will be during this trip that we’ll go there. At least, I didn’t have to enjoy paradise by myself.
Trip to El Nido
2 friends flew to Puerto Princesa days earlier & went around the city for a day & a half. Junelle & I flew on the same afternoon, but with via different airlines. Upon arrival in Puerto Princesa, we immediately went to our friend’s hotel located a few meters from the airport.
Upon arrival at Puerto Princesa International Airport
We had dinner at Kinabuch’s Grill & Bar in Puerto Princesa before heading to the bus terminal to catch the last night bus to El Nido. The air conditioned bus left at 9:00 pm & arrived in El Nido at around 2:30 in the morning. We headed to our respective accommodations & slept for the rest of the morning.
I already booked my accommodation right before my friends booked their flights. I got a dormitory bed in El Nido’s newest (that time) hip hostel – Spin Designer Hostel. I booked via Booking.com; the nightly rate includes a bed in a 4-bed dormitory room with toiletries & breakfast. I paid ₱2,750 for 4 nights.
Each guest is provided a room key card, a spacious bed & locker. Guests have access to common shower & toilet facilities. Wi-Fi is only available in common areas (not sure if they have given access up to the rooms). The hostel also organizes day trips & night activities like acoustic nights, sports nights, barbecue nights, etc. The common areas were well-designed & spacious. The hostel is very social; it’s very easy to meet & connect with new people.
The staff were one of the nicest & the most helpful I’ve met. The hostel is also secured with guards on duty 24/7 on both gates. If you are alone & keen on meeting new people, Spin Designer Hostel is the hostel for you. Make sure to book your stay early as they are usually fully-booked.
Note: My friends stayed in a different accommodation because there were no other beds available in Spin Hostel.
Nacpan Beach Day 1
We hired 2 tricycles for ₱1,200 each for a day trip to Nacpan Beach. We left around 10:00 in the morning & decided to stay there up until 4:00 in the afternoon. It was supposed to be a day of relaxation, but the weather didn’t cooperate. It was raining most of the afternoon. We still had fun in the beach despite the heavy rainfall.
‘Habang umuulan’ photo with Junelle 😂
We headed to Las Cabanas Beach to watch the sunset, but it wasn’t at its best. The sky was cloudy; you could barely see the sunset. We went back to our respective accommodations to freshen up. We met up at 7:00 pm to have dinner at Trattoria Altrove, a known Italian restaurant in town.
Tour A Island Hopping Tour
Tour A is a must when in El Nido. It is my 3rd time to visit this place & I still go back for this tour. For the third time, I took Tour A – an island hopping day tour which goes to different lagoons & beaches in Bacuit Bay.
We booked the tour in the agency partner of our Nacpan tricycle driver. The tour is priced at ₱1,200 but we got ours for ₱1,100 each because we were a group of 4. Our driver picked us up at 8:00 am & we went straight to the beach. We left the town at 8:30 am & enjoyed the tour around the islands until 4:00 pm. Here are the places we visited:
Snorkelling somewhere near Miniloc Island
Shimizu Island (also the place where we had lunch)
Seven Commando Beach
Nacpan Beach Day 2
We had a little debate whether we’ll take Tour C or go to Nacpan Beach again for our 3rd day. We wanted to relax a bit so we went for the latter. The weather was perfect & the beach was at its best! I’ll let the photos show how relaxing the place was.
Nacpan & Calitang Twin Beach 😍
Right before eating lunch in Badjao Seafront Restaurant
We took the 8:00 am Camarih Transport shuttle back to Puerto Princesa; dropped by the pasalubong center to get some goodies for families & friends back in Manila; ate lunch at Badjao Seafront Restaurant (a must-eat restaurant in Puerto Princesa) & headed to the airport for our flights back to Manila.
It was short but fun weekend trip with my high school friends. We’ve been to different places & countries & I think this El Nido was one of the best trips we had. We don’t have anything planned for our next trip (ehem); I hope we get to decide where we’ll go next & when will that be. I could travel the whole world with these people.
El Nido ’16 crew group photo 😊
If you haven’t read it yet, I already blogged about my past 2 El Nido trips – March 2014 trip & 2014 Birthday Weekend. Have you been to El Nido recently? Any notable changes in infrastructure, island hopping tour costs, etc? Feel free to let me know by putting some comments below. You can also send me an email to email@example.com. Drop me a message on Facebook, drop a comment on Instagram or send me a tweet on Twitter.
The world-famous Big Lagoon during low tide
‘Til the next throwback Thursday post! 😉
PS. All photos above were shot using my HTC Re.