El Nido Palawan

If there will be a place that I would like to go back to, it will be El Nido Palawan. I’ve shown you some of my travels and adventures for 2016, which includes Hongkong, Boracay, Zambales, Bicol, Coron, etc…but, I never posted the first adventure I’ve made in January of 2016 which triggered my wanderlust and passion for travel and photography.

It’s also the reason behind my solo travel in Coron, Palawan which is the other side of El Nido. It made me very curious how these two beautiful places in Palawan are different and unique from each other.

I’ve mentioned how beautiful Coron is, in my previous posts on My First Solo Travel Part II: CORON” and TOP 10: THINGS TO DO IN CORON PALAWAN.

Now, it’s about time to share how El Nido made me fall in love with it, and why I still want to return this year to this beautiful paradise?

https://happyrabbittravels.com/
Beautiful El Nido

On the 13th of January 2016, my friend and I arrived at Puerto Princesa International Airport early in the morning. It was suggested by our tour operator to book an earlier flight, as the travel time from Puerto Princesa to El Nido will take 5-6 hours. The van driver picked us at the airport and we proceed with the itinerary. Day 1 was actually spent for our flight and van transfer, and check in to the hotel. We had free time to relax, eat, and roam around the city proper at night.

Read More: TOP 10 REASONS WHY I LOVE SORSOGON

Spin Hostel.jpg
Spin Hostel: Credits to Benjo Beringuela and Spin Hostel.

We chose Spin Hostel because of the good ambiance, clean rooms and they have a cool hangout place for everyone. They have good reviews and they have friendly staffs. It’s a great hostel for everyone and I will definitely recommend it.

Day 2: After our breakfast at the hotel, we were picked up for the El Nido Island Hopping Tour A. We left at exactly 8:00 AM and went to the port of the town where the boats are located.

https://happyrabbittravels.com/
This is where the tour begins 🙂

We visited the Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, and Seven Commando.

Tour A is the tour everyone should get as it will show you the highlights and the most beautiful lagoons you’ve never seen before. It will let you swim from a small to large nature pools with blue-green, clear water, surrounded by dark and sharp limestones. My friend enjoyed cliff jumping as there are few spots to do that. You won’t see fishes and corals from the small and big lagoons, only giant sea urchins which you have to take extra careful. I was having so much fun and jump to the water while my friend is kayaking. I was on the edge of the kayak and didn’t notice that my foot hit a sea urchin. It was bleeding already and I got scared but thankful our guide assisted me. Just be careful when swimming in the big lagoon.

https://happyrabbittravels.com/
Big Lagoon
https://happyrabbittravels.com/
Small Lagoon

We enjoyed the island hopping as it showcased the beautiful and colorful sea creatures, fishes, and coral reefs. Swimming and snorkeling will be unforgettable and any person would want to come back and stay longer just to see these wonderful islands. These are the reasons why El Nido is included in “Most Beautiful Beaches in the World. Pictures are beautiful yet it won’t give justice to its beauty especially when you experience it up close.

We had our lunch at Simizu Island which is actually the lunch area for Tour A. Simizu is a small island surrounded by mountains, crystal clear water and rock formations. We had a great seafood, rice, fruits, vegetables and grilled meat prepared by our guides. They are very friendly, helpful and very accommodating.

Note: Boat Fee; Tour Guide; Picnic Lunch; Life Vests; Boat or Staff Assistance during Tour are all included from the package tour we get.

On our Day 3, we had our Island Hopping Tour C. We visited the Hidden Beach, Matinloc Shrine, Star Beach, Secret Beach, and Helicopter Island.

Matinloc Island has so much to offer, and it has The Secret Beach which is our favorite from this tour, and we enjoyed it so much. Matinloc has Kalmung Point and Kulasa Beach which are great snorkeling areas. We also visited the Matinloc Shrine known as Shrine of Our Lady of Matinloc and Shrine of the Blessed Virgin which is a sacred monument built in 1982 to honor the blessed virgin Mary.

Read More: The Greenery

We had our sumptuous lunch at the Star beach. This beach has beautiful coral reefs and colorful fishes which made this unforgettable for me. While our tour guides are busy preparing our food, we are having so much fun snorkeling and exploring this fantastic snorkeling area.

https://happyrabbittravels.com/
Star Beach 🙂

Read More: Subic Beach Matnog Sorsogon

Our Day 4 was actually a free time, but instead of spending it for town tour, we hired a tour guide who accompany us to some places not part of the tour packages. It will be good to talk and ask the locals for some off the beaten path spots, and we never regret our decisions. We wake up at 6 am and started climbing the Taraw Peak which is the highest point in El Nido. One should not try climbing alone as the limestones are sharp and steep and it’s a bit dangerous. There are things to consider before you climb, like proper clothes, water, shoes and local tour guides to guide you with the trail. I got so many bruises, but I enjoyed this climb. I’m so proud of myself to conquer my fear of heights by seeing the stunning summit of Taraw Peak.

https://happyrabbittravels.com/
Ms. Happy Rabbit enjoying the gorgeous view of El Nido at Taraw Peak 🙂 I never thought I could climb this high..haha. With this view, it’s worth all the sweat and bruises on my legs.
 After our climb, we went back to our hotel and prepare the things we needed for our next activity. We ride a tricycle going to our next destination, proceed with hiking that last for less than an hour. It’s tiring but it’s also a good way to explore the hidden spots of el Nido. We chase a waterfall, stayed a bit longer and swim the cold water coming from the mountain. Hot springs are also a must visit and you can ask for guides and tips from the locals.

Read More: Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Our guide took us to another spot which is Nacpan Beach. I can’t remember how long it took us to get there. We only paid the entrance when we arrived. There are cottages and restaurants that are available in this area. We treated our tour guide and our driver for lunch and some beers. We enjoyed the fruit shakes and of course the vegetables and seafood for lunch.

https://happyrabbittravels.com/
Nacpan Beach: Credits to my friend Aron M. 🙂

Nacpan beach is famous for its white powdery sands, clean and pure water, friendly and hospitable people. It has great waves that are excellent for surfing and volleyball courts. It has long shorelines and probably one of the best beaches I’ve seen in El Nido. We stayed until 3 o’clock in Nacpan, then we headed to our next destination which is Las Cabanas Beach.

https://happyrabbittravels.com/
Las Cabanas: Credits to my friend Aron M. 🙂

If you want to relax on the beach, looking for bars and restaurants, and planning to ride a zip line to enjoy the view of El Nido, then, you must visit Las Cabanas Beach. It’s accessible via tricycle and drivers can take you there, and I also saw some tourists who are actually patient to walk from the town to this area.What I love on this beach is the good vibe for relaxation, you can just lay on the sand, do sunbathing, drink and party with your friends, cuddle with your hubby and enjoy watching the stunning sunset.

After we’re done with our activities, we rest a bit, freshen up and headed to the town to eat and dine at seafood restaurants. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from and you can pick the seafood and the kind of dish you’d like for them to prepare for you. Dinner at the beach with candlelight, great food, and good music are perfect. Also, we enjoyed the night by visiting the famous reggae bar with drinks, dance floor, and perfect reggae bands. The bands are all great and they even sounded like Bob Marley. It’s a must visit place for people who loves fun, music, and party.

Read More: Travel Guide – First Time in Hong Kong

For our Day 5, we had our breakfast to El Nido Boutique & Art Cafe. We actually ate there for a couple of times as they have great food, cocktail drinks, comfortable and relaxing ambiance. You can sign up for island hopping tours and van transfer there. After breakfast, we checked our emails only to find out that our flight was rescheduled the next morning. Our trip was supposed to be 5 days and 4 nights, however, due to some changes, we have to change our plans. We talked to our tour agency and thank God that they still accommodate our van transfer the next day, and we find another affordable hotel just to stay for one night.

What we did for that day is town tour, food tripping and we got massage for our tired and exhausted bodies. We rest in the afternoon, and we went to Las Cabanas Beach just to chill and unwind. My friend went for a night dive while I had my cocktail drinks at El Nido Boutique & Art Cafe while waiting for him.

https://happyrabbittravels.com/
Day 5 at Las Cabanas
https://happyrabbittravels.com/
I’m so in love with this sunset 🙂
https://happyrabbittravels.com/
This is worth waiting at Las Cabanas 🙂

We had a fabulous and amazing time in El Nido and spending 6 days and 5 nights seems short as we no longer want to go back to Manila after witnessing the paradise in Palawan.

I will be sharing our itinerary, guides, travel agency, hotel accommodation and more of El Nido in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

If you have questions, tips, or want to share your experience in El Nido, please let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from you.

Connect and follow Happy Rabbit Travels thru my Facebook Page and Instagram. Thank you!

Top 10 – Things to do in Coron Palawan

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” –Lin Yutang

Lin Yutang has been true to his words. Have you ever felt that way after your travel and getaway?

Writing this article made me think of the things that I did that made my whole trip in Coron enjoyable. These are things that I wish to do over and over again. These are the things that I prefer doing. These are the things that I would like to share to anyone who would like to visit Coron for the first time.

Coron is a top tourist destination not only in the Philippines but all over the world. It’s well-known for its gorgeous lagoons, stunning beaches and islands, striking coral reefs, and generous and friendly people.

happy rabbit travels

I’m sharing these 10 things not only to give a guide but also to let everyone know that these are the things that captured my heart and made my first-time solo travel unquestionably wonderful.

1 KAYANGAN LAKE
IMG_20160902_062137[1]

Kayangan Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes that I’ve seen in the Philippines. This is the one that distinguished Coron from El Nido and it’s definitely my favorite spot in Coron. It is less than 20 minutes climb and it will surprise you once you reach the wooden stairs going to the blue-green crystal clear water.

2 MALCAPUYA ISLAND
happy rabbit travels

It has a nice white powdery sand, great snorkeling site, nice view deck, and tranquil and quiet impression. It made me speechless, calm and at peace. I just sat quietly in the sand while drinking fresh coconut juice and enjoying the beauty of the place. Entrance fee ranges from P150.00-200.00 and is included in tour packages. (Island Escapade Tour)

3 MAQUINIT HOT SPRING
happy rabbit travels

Maquinit Hot spring is the last place I visited and stayed there till 8:15 in the evening. The hot spring is a great relief for your worn out body after island hopping and town tour. Its water is warm, fresh and salty.

4 CORTO DEL MAR HOTEL
happy rabbit travels

Corto Del Mar Hotel is an elegant hotel located in the heart of Coron town. It’s actually 10 minutes walk from my hotel. It has 32 bedrooms and suites and wonderful Mediterranean and Filipino ambiance. One will be simply amazed by its architectural designs and decorations. I visited this place because of the famous pasta and pizza that the hotel staff where I stay suggested to me to visit. I will definitely recommend this place because their food and service is exceptional. Corto Del Mar Hotel is a nice and unique jump-of-point for romantic getaways, family vacation, and solo travelers.

5 BULOGDOS ISLAND

happy rabbit travels

Bulogdos Island is the last stop in our island escapade tour. It is privately owned by the Two Seasons group and with very limited access to the guests. What I love about this island is the sandbar which is visible during low tide, and the view deck that lets you enjoy the view of the whole island.

6 TWIN LAGOONS

happy rabbit travels

Twin Lagoons is part of the Tour A or the Coron Island Tour consisting of the 7 destinations which are the highlights of Coron. Twin Lagoons will be memorable to every visitors because entering to the hidden lagoon which is the second lagoon is not that easy. You will enter a small crevice underneath the rock, during low tide and a ladder over the rock during high tide.

The water is blurry because of the salt and fresh water inside the lagoon. The temperature also changes as the cold freshwater meets the hot salt water. I love this site because I can simply float with my life jacket in the water and enjoy the stillness of the place.

7 MT. TAPYAS

IMG_20160729_125200[2]

I climbed 700+ step stairs just to reach the summit of Mt Tapyas. It is tiring but it has the best view deck to see the panoramic view of Coron and the sunset. At the back of the cross, you can continue with the trekking to see the lush greenery and breathtaking mountains. It’s a great spot for photo-shoot with friends and family.

8 BANANA ISLAND

happyrabbittravels.jpeg

Banana Island is the 2nd stop of the Island Escapade Tour. This site has a lot of Pacific Giant Clams and beautiful white powdery sand. This is where we had our lunch. Visitors can do a lot of activities on this site which includes volleyball, snorkeling, swimming, photo-shoot and resting in the hammock under the tree.

9 SIETE PECADOS
happy rabbit travels

Siete Pecados known as “Seven Sins, is one of the unforgettable snorkeling sites in Coron. Our tour guide mentioned about the legend where seven sisters went swimming against their mothers will, then, all of them get drowned. Their mother wasn’t able to find them, then, afterward, the seven islands appeared. This snorkeling site is surrounded by a countless variety of fishes, corals and marine life which are beautiful.

10 LOLO NONOY’S FOOD

happy rabbit travels

If you want to try the local’s food, you should try to visit this place. I was surprised that there’s a lot of tourist flocking to this place. It’s a typical carinderia with local meals at affordable prices. The only special about this restaurant are the fruits shakes that they served and their bestseller beef steak and seafood. It is located at Busuanga Road, Coron, Palawan and a five minutes walk from my hotel. (Micasa)

Apart from the 10 go-to places, Caluit Safari Tour,  World War II Sunken ship & Best Reefs souvenir shops, and cashews harvest are another go-to places to complete your Palawan experience. They are part of Tour E or the town tour. This is the last tour you can avail to roam around the town and the market where you can purchase “pasalubong” and fresh cashew nuts which are popular to this Town. You can buy ref magnets, tarts and other products made by the local community. By buying local products, you’re helping the people with their livelihood and tourism.

For travels tips and sample tour packages, check out the link below:
Tips and Tour Packages

I had a pleasant time in Coron. I met new friends and experienced a wonderful paradise for my first-time solo travel. I will never forget it! I hope I inspire you to pack up everything and see the beauty of the Philippines.

happy rabbit travels

If you have questions or want to share your travel stories, please let us know so we can feature your article in Happy Rabbit Travels site 🙂

10 INSPIRING Travel Quotes

I wanted to share inspiring wanderlust quotes that I’ve read from books, the internet, and other sources. These quotes inspired me to do more adventures and see the most beautiful places that I’ve only seen on postcards and Instagram. These quotes are the reasons why I fell deeply in love with photography, voyage, and mother earth, and I’m very grateful to share some of the pictures that made all my travels worthy, heart-stopping and heaven-sent.

Here are the 10 travel quotes that will spark your desire and longing for travels and adventures;

  1. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain
     happyrabbittravels 1
  2. For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move. – Robert Louis Stevenson

    happyrabbittravels 2
  3. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Lao Tzu

    happyrabbittravels 3
  4. The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust

    happyrabbittravels 4
  5. We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us. – Unknown

    happyrabbittravels 5
  6. Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    happyrabbittravels 6
  7. If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. – Lewis Carroll

    happyrabbittravels 7
  8. Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey. – Pat Conroy

    happyrabbittravels 8
  9. I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question. – Harun Yahya
    happyrabbittravels 9
  10. The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. – St. Augustine

    happyrabbittravels

If you want to share your favorite quotes and travel images, please let me know in the comments. I would love to feature your work here.

Connect and follow Happy Rabbit Travels thru my Facebook Page and Instagram. Thank you!