After settling into my heavenly water villa it was time to set out and see a little more of El Nido.
El Nido is a small municipality of the Philippines in the north of Palawan Island. It is home to approximately 700 islands and is famed for it’s stunning beaches, enormous abundance of limestone cliffs and amazing snorkelling and diving opportunities.
The wonderful team at El Nido Resorts run trips every day or so out to many different parts of this wonderful archipelago. After spending the early arvo kayaking around independently, I was keen to be whisked away to some beautiful places that would be a bit out of reach in just a kayak!
The first stop of the day was Snake Island.
The name ‘Snake Island’ might give the impression that the island is infested with snakes, but this is far from being true. Snake Island got it’s name from its incredible sandbar connecting it to mainland Palawan. This sandbar changes shape with the tides but often appears in an ‘S’ shape – hence appearing like a long snake!
This sandbar only appears during low tide so a visit at high tide will diminish some of the magic of the place. The tides in El Nido are predictable, so if unsure, ask a local about the best time to visit.
The water in this area is nothing short of spectacular. Crystal clear and stunningly turquoise – it’s pretty easy to see why this place is considered by many Filipinos to be paradise.
When I visited, the tide was not low enough that the sandbar rose above the water, but was low enough that I could walk along the sandbar without the water ever reaching above my hips.
I spent a while splashing around in the heavenly waters and then decided to leisurely make my way onto the actual island to do the extremely short hike to get better views of the sandbar. Make sure to take your shoes – or as all the local Filipino people say, your ‘slippers’ – as it’s a pretty uneven and rocky pathway.
I was told that it was about a 15 minute hike but in actual fact it is more like 5 minutes. One thing I noticed in El Nido, if you ask how far away something is, the answer you will get is almost always ’15 minutes’ regardless of the actual time it will take to get there. Gotta love island time!
I was thankful for the shade that the many trees provided me. My extremely pale skin was starting to show signs of pinkness!
Once at the top of the trail I was treated to some pretty phenomenal views of the sandbar! It was more straight than an ‘S’ shape on this particular day, but that in no way made it less beautiful.
After I had soaked up my fill of the amazing views, I headed back down the trail and across the sandbar to our little outrigger boat to head onto our next destination.
This destination was a small private island that I do not even know the name of. We were not permitted to explore the main beachfront of the island, but instead were there to visit the incredible limestone caves just a stones throw away.
Getting into the huge caves was actually pretty easy, just a smidge fiddly. Once through the narrow-ish entrance it opens up into a much, much larger cave.
After getting my fill of cave exploring, it was time to head back to Miniloc for dinner, a cocktail and a well-deserved nights sleep with nothing but the sound of the water lapping at the stilts of my water villa.
T H E L O W D O W N
Getting There: From Manila, book a direct flight with Air Swift
El Nido Resorts: I’d like to say an enormous thank you to the wonderful team at El Nido Resorts for not only making this stay possible, but also for making it so wonderful
Miniloc: To explore more of this gorgeous resort and to book, visit the El Nido Resorts website here
Caves and Islands Trip: These trips are run frequently by El Nido Resorts and are free for guests
Snake Island: If you are planning on visiting Snake Island independently from El Nido Proper, it is a 45 minute boat ride. Get a group together and hire a boat!
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with 12-40mm M.Zuiko Pro Lens
Threads: I am wearing a gorgeous bikini by Aussie label Tigerlily
Remember: Sunscreen, shoes and your camera!