Things to Do in El Nido Resorts Palawan, Part I of II

Following the success of writing down an actual 3D2N suggested itinerary for El Nido, Palawan in this blog, I would like to add a supplement that will serve as a peek or peeks at how I was able to come up with the timeline of the activities based on my own El Nido Resorts experience. In this post, you will see the activities come to life and how each one was able to shape my if-I-were-you-I'd-do-these-for-3-days-in-El-Nido post. You can follow this itinerary too for a 4D3N Stay at El Nido Resorts although I think you can already do so much for 3 days then you can save up the remaining for next time. Here's what happened during that awesome trip...

Day 1
We left for the Small Lagoon, which is very near (kayak-able from the resort) Miniloc island, all the while tugging a row of bright yellow boats.

We were in the water when we started to race, like how the hot air balloons do it and just like following the leader. There's a small opening where only one kayak can pass at a time.

My arms were working for one hour and I was stationed at the back, the one who directs, and it was an incessant and fun shouting of "Left!" and "Right!" We finished first in our self-made game, only because our "opponents" weren't so keen. We had the most number of solid "wall-kissing" moments too and it was super fun.

It started to rain in this part so our guide took us to the Big Lagoon. I saw a rainbow from here though and two more, appearing simultaneously, on our way to the Small Lagoon. It's such a wonderful sight to see so many in one day with the islands and limestone formations in the background.

The Big Lagoon tour had me hanging my feet from the side of the boat. 

There's a theory that it was once a big cave due to the stalactite formations. Some parts were pretty shallow and the water was clear. They used to hold parties and small weddings here too in a wooden platform but it is due for repair now. As you go farther in, you'll also see the site of a Survivor Series tribunal (where they eliminate the participants). 

It is also home to baby sharks and it's a known nesting ground and nursery for fish (I think because the water is calm, we saw a squid too). The locals also gather bird's nest (El Nido) from the steep formations here. Occasionally, they said, the colonies monkeys and pigs/boars would be swimming in the water and you could hear Palawan squirrels squeaking and they would be eating coconuts. 

I was scared to snorkel and in my head on the way back to the hotel. The great Kuya changed my mind near the dock where we can absolutely do that before dark and he took me to the nemos, the giant clams, the parrot fish, the small blue fish, the corals and the anemone. I mostly observed them (I leave them undisturbed and have as little physical contact as possible) and I was with a lifesaver (Baywatch-style) and a vest. Then there was a deeper slant (where I can't see the bottom anymore) and a rope line. As we moved past that line, I suddenly got a glimpse of thousands of silver fish circling, with a family of giant silver jackfish just waiting to feed below them. It looked like traffic in Manila and I was so calm underwater. Click play below to have a 20-second look haha =) 

I made the most wonderful thing possible when I allowed myself to be in the water - to be in the hollow middle while the THOUSANDS of fish swam and closed the circle around me. I didn't scream nor cry nor panic for the first time. (FYI: I vowed to face my fear of fish in open water and transform the experience after my 2010 Iloilo trip (fear of fish in a tank conquered there). Woo-hoo!)

Some went night diving while I munched on that addicting focaccia bread and listened to songs at the dinner table. I was dead tired.

Day 2
Here's what you need to know about Giant Jackfish feeding at El Nido Resorts: It's at 8:45 a.m. every day. You can't go fishing but you can swim with them. You feed them squid. And they change color - blacks (hungry) are more aggressive than silvers (happy).

Two opposing currents make a sandbar. This is what we found in Snake Island. I, with my usual still-sleepy-in-the-morning state, jumped in the water and found a spot without direct sunlight just beside our boat. Others went for a short hike or swam from shallow point A to B from where I was at. There were no fish here to disturb my peace.

Cudugnon Cave was next. We did some cave crawling here just to get in. Just imagine a small mountain hollowed from the inside with holes of light and inhabited by insect bats. This was where early settlers of El Nido buried their dead (remains date to Pleistocene era according to our guide), where soldiers hid from the enemies and rumored to be a Yamashita treasure site because of the eagle head stone.

We arrived at Dibuluan Island (Bamboo Island). They welcomed us with the most refreshing Kalamansi Slush ever! 

It was super perfect like I never thought I was that thirsty after sitting on the water and spending most of the morning on a covered boat. We had lunch here (buffet again) and enjoyed the El Nido Resorts Island, where there were not as many boats and people, activities galore, ride-all-you-cans, bed&cabana-all-you-cans and a view like Teletubbies Land (with a rainbow from a distance again!). 

A guide accompanied (less dangerous if kayaked on a high tide) me (with 2 more people) to the sandbar. Others swam, did the hobie cat, kayaked, walked on the beach or explored the island (there are mangroves). The heat was pretty intense though. We were planning to circle the island via kayak (possible) but it was taking too long and the waves were a little crazier on the other side. 

The last activity for the day was a sunset cruise. We were lucky there was one visible at the farthest island near the South China Sea. We saw large fishing boats that barter their catch for the day.

Some sat on the table set up outside the room until dark while some just can't get enough of diving. I watched underwater video on the screen. I also thought about awesome Day 1 again and the silver fish experience, available only in the El Nido Resorts beachfront!

This post is getting too long. Here's Part II of II of Things to Do in El Nido Resorts Palawan. That's for Day 3 and Day 4 and it's gonna be a pretty long post too. I just want to say for now that who you're with also counts when you're in this kind of resort. I was happy with mine and the El Nido Resorts staff, service and activities (all buffet meals B, L and D at Miniloc restaurant unless otherwise stated). As if it wasn't obvious - Yes, I was happy - even with the El Nido Resorts fish =)

Click here to know how to get to El Nido from Manila.

My Posts on El Nido Resorts