Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

24 Sep 2013

We decided to go on boat tour, although I wanted to take Tour C (900 pesos per head), no boats are operating for that particular tour because of the weather, so we took Tour B (800 pesos).  Before heading to the wharf where our boat is anchored, we took some breakfast in a local eatery, and then alas, the rain started to pour – heavy! 

We called the tour operator where we booked and he informed us that the tour isn’t cancelled and when we told him that we want to cancel our booking, he told us about the 50% cancellation policy, so we decided to go to the wharf and find out if the coastguards will cancel all boats, that way, we don’t need to pay for any cancellation fee if the coastguards will restrict all boats from operating, but they never did, so we were sulking under a wooden house infront of the beach avoiding the heavy rain while we’re waiting for our boat companions.  We went onboard the boat after some minutes, 10 of us in total, 2 couples, us 2, and a happy family of 6. I brought my big camera with me and I’m sure it’s going to get wet so I bought an waterproof Aquamundo bag (1,200 pesos) at the shop beside the Art CafĂ© which is actually a very sound decision otherwise it could have been goodbye to my new bridge digicam.

We got wet all the way to our first island stop, both from the heavy rain and the salty ocean splashing  (not just sprinkles ok) onto our faces, big waves all the time.  We reached our first stop – the Pangalusian Island - after less than half an hour, it’s a small secluded beach, no other boats than us, to the left of the small island is the Miniloc beach resort, owned by the Ayala Corp. as I’ve heard from our guide, so off-limits on that side of the small strip of sands.

The small inlet of about 20 meters in length and 15 meters width from the shoreline has coconut trees and on a side of a limestone mountain and a small mushroom-shaped black limestone, small cave carved on the rocks provided shades for our stuff and to take some photos without having my camera getting wet from the drips.

A short swim of about 15 minutes and off we go to the next island, most island stops by the way are on the sides of a huge rock mountain or a cove, fine sands, some shells here and there but mostly fine sands and clear turquoise water.  Our guide keeps us informed of the names and some brief info of the islands we’re passing and stopping by.

The second stop was really promising, there’s a viewdeck on top of the mountain and a long shallow strip of sand submerged in water leg-deep, it’s high tide.  The rain stopped and the sun start flickering.  There are 3 dogs on the island called Snake Island, not that they have snakes there, just got its name on the long strip of sands in between two rock mountains, mangroves on the sides of the water.

We went up the mountain for the view deck, it’s easy going up as there are some sort of a stairs, not very well concrete but provide an easy hike up.  The view on top is breath-taking.  A pity though, as we did not have some minutes to swim on the clear waters.

We sailed onto our third stop – Cudognon Cave - a bigger cove with few nice accommodation huts and tables, coconut trees, some hammocks and a fish vendor, the family in our boat bought the whole fish lot and we feasted on it.  We had our sumptuous meal of rice, huge fish, grilled pork, shrimps, squid salad and fresh fruits.

After our meal, we swam a little, then we headed onto the cave just on the side of the cliff.  We walked on the knee-deep water to the cave where we climbed a small opening to get into a huge cave.  Inside the cave is another entrance to another huge cave with a cracked opening on the tall ceiling, some trees started to grow and water are dripping, from the rain.

Next stop after the cave is another cave - the Cathedral Cave.  This one is in the water on the side of the black cliff.  We can’t get in the cave, or the boat can’t, so our boat sailed near it, took some photos and headed to our last stop – the Pinagbuyutan Island.

 Upon mooring at the island, the rain poured really hard that the passengers of the two boats moored on the island have to seek refuge on the small thatched hut.  It got cold in the island, so we decided to jump into the boat and left without taking a swim, and headed back to the town.

- Bring sunblock, swimwear, hat, snacks and lots of drinking water. 
- Rent a snorkeling gear if you don’t have one, but don’t lose it, otherwise, you’ll be paying PHP 1,500 which is the cost of a new one.

To sum it up, here's the itinerary of Tour B :

1.       Pangulasian Island
2.       Snake Island
3.       Cudognon Cave
4.       Cathedral Cave
5.       Pinagbuyutan Island

Group Tour – El Nido Island Hopping Tour B
Snorkeling gadget rental

*Update : As of October 2013, the rate of Island Hopping Tour B has changed from P800/head to P1,300/head.  You can still ask for a discount at your accommodation or any tour operators in El Nido town.

How to get there:
Book your Island Hopping Boat Tour (B) at any tour operators in El Nido town, I recommend Islanen Tour or at your accommodation, they offer standard rates.
Address: Barangay Buena Suerte, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Google Map Location: El Nido, Palawan


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