Day 3: El Nido
My first night in El Nido was quite good, considering the circumstances. I had to wake up pretty early in order to get ready for the boat trip, that I have booked already the day before. That’s actually the main reason why people come to El Nido. There are a couple of different boat tours, which include different beaches, islands, lagoons or snorkelling spots, the most popular being Tour A and Tour C. I decided to go for Tour A, which was maybe not the smartest decision. I can already tell you, that if you visit El Nido, you should consider doing the less popular Tours. You will see why.
My tricycle driver came to pick me up at the hostel and drove me to the town centre, where our boat already waited for us. The beach directly in El Nido town is really nice, but loaded with boats that are waiting for all the tourists going on a Boat Tour. Therefore, El Nido is often totally empty during the day, but quite crowded in the morning and evening.
Our first stop was “7 Commando Beach”. Such a beautiful place! The white sand, the crystal clear blue water and palm trees. Everything you expect from a dream beach. However I wished there wouldn’t have been as many people around. But I guess that’s unrealistic, considering that Boat Tour A is the most popular one. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed just walking around, enjoying the sun and getting to know some new people from my boat. Obviously, I was the only one travelling solo. The majority on my boat were couples. Therefore, it was not that easy for me to really get to know them. Nevertheless, they were all very nice and kind of impressed that I was travelling on my own. Especially the Phillipino couple was so kind. I really got along with them well.
For the next two stops we headed to the “small” and “big” lagoon. To enter the lagoons, we had the possibility to rent a kayak. But in my opinion that wasn’t really a possibility, but more a necessity. Obviously, everyone wanted to see the lagoons. And that was the only possibility to get in. First, I wasn’t really secure about going on a kayak on my own. But it wasn’t as difficult or exhausting as I thought it might be. The water was so clear and blue, just beautiful! I really enjoyed spending my time there.
Afterwards it was finally time for lunch. I was really looking forward to the food, as I only read amazing things about it. And it definitely fulfilled and actually exceeded my expectations. We headed to another small beach, where other boat groups had their lunch as well. It was fascinating to see how the tour guides created an amazing lunch buffet in such a short amount of time on such a tiny boat. But it was just amazing. And the variety of dishes was insane. Just how I imagined a perfect island lunch to be. We had some grilled fish, seafood, rice, a meat dish, grilled eggplant salad, fried vegetables, fresh fruit and more. Sooo sooo good! I loved it. It couldn’t have been better. Just sitting on a beautiful beach on a small island in the middle of nowhere and eating delicious food! I wished I could go back immediately.
Then we went back on the boat. Obviously, we had some time to snorkel and swim. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my underwater camera for this trip. But it wasn’t that spectacular under water anyway.
Our last spot was called the “secret” lagoon. “Secret”? Not anymore. I was quite shocked when we arrived at the “entrance”. There were people lining up to actually enter the lagoon. It was ridiculous to be honest. There was only one little hole, functioning as entrance and exit. Crazy! I mean, I cannot say that it wasn’t beautiful. It was! But there were just too too many people, which kind of ruined the whole atmosphere, as well as the nature. The water wasn’t crystal blue as it supposed to be, but rather a sad grey. Therefore, my expectations were not met at all. Nevertheless, right nearby the lagoon, we found a much more beautiful bay with much less people.
Then we headed back to El Nido. It was definitely a very nice day. I enjoyed seeing amazing beaches, kayaking into lagoons, eating delicious food and being around with new people. The only negative aspect was definitely the number of tourists doing exactly the same tour. The increase in tourism is understandable but does definitely not contribute to the experience you have during your visit. I mean, when travelling to the Philippines, you think you are doing something very special. And it is! Not everyone has the possibility to do so. And I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to travel around the world. However, when you then see how many people are doing the same thing, it doesn’t feel as special anymore.
I was pretty tired after the entire day on the boat. Therefore, I headed straight back to my hostel, took a shower and watched the sunset. I can still remember how much I loved this view and this vibe. I didn’t have to worry about anything. It was like time was standing still.
For dinner, I headed outside and just randomly walked into a local restaurant. It was one of the weirdest experiences I have ever had. Honestly! I went into the restaurant, took a seat and looked into the menu. I didn’t really know what to order, because I have never heard about any of those dishes before. Therefore, I wanted to ask a waiter about his recommendations. When I ask, the waiter just tapped on his shoulder, where the word “DEATH” was written. I felt so bad! I tried to explain him that I don’t eat meat and that I would like to know what he likes the best. But it didn’t really work. I was so lost! But I really tried my best. Later, a colleague came to help, which made me feel kind of sorry. It didn’t take me long until I figured out that the majority of staff members were death and that everyone used sign language. A very unique atmosphere! I still don’t really know what I ate, but it was quite tasty.
And that’s how my day ended. I went back to the hotel, talked to some people I was living with in the hostel and went to bed. Such an eventful and exciting day!