Welcome to El Nido, in northern Palawan Island, Philippines. We spent a week exploring mesmerizing limestone islands, resting in crystal-clear waters. Click the link for photos.
This is the view of Bacuit Bay from one of the beachside restaurants in El Nido town.
This is the view from the balcony of our hotel room. Our two rooms shared a large balcony, where we spent many mornings reading. playing cards, talking, or simply enjoying the view. The electricity in the region only operates from 2 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily, so in the mornings, we were "liberated" from the internet, hot water, air-conditioning and lights.
El Nido town itself is a hodge-podge of ramshackle shops, guesthouses, and motorized "tricycles." But the ordinariness of the town only served to heighten the contrast between the mundane of the town and the sublime of the incredible islands of Bacuit Bay.
For two full days, we hired a boat to take us around the the scores of hidden lagoons, deserted white-sand beaches, and peaceful coves in Bacuit Bay.
We stopped for lunches of fresh fish, grilled on the beach.
After lunch, we lounged on the beach.
When we left for the trip, Shane and I made fun of Nick for packing a portable hammock. But after El Nido, no one made fun of his wise decision to pack a hammock!
One day after lunch, our guide threw our scrap fish bones into the water while we snorkeled alongside the boat, admiring the throngs of fish who picked the bones clean.
Beth and I spent another full day kayaking to our very own deserted island.
After all our effort, Beth enjoyed a coconut or two.
And on most days, we returned to a beachside restaurant to enjoy the sunset.
Some days, we stayed near the town, swimming and spending time with new friends.
Although we were sad to leave El Nido, it will live on in our memory a little piece of paradise.