Hello! I’m about to share our 5 days 4 nights Pawalan Escape. It includes 2 nights in El Nido and 2 nights in Puerto Prinsesa. You might want to check it out.
What are you waiting for? Let’s go!
Since we are from Manila, we travelled by plane to Palawan. I bought our tickets in the “piso fare” promo of Cebu Pacific last year— luckily I was fast enough to book. Ticket price was only P 2,400 for the both of us back and forth Manila already. The original price of plane tickets from Manila is usually around P 4,000 – P 6,000 one way per pax. Like I’ve got our tickets for 600 one way per pax.
Our departure to Puerto Prinsesa was 11:30 AM and the time of our arrival was 12:50 PM. We were picked up at the airport by Miroju Transport via Van. We stopped at their office for like 10 minutes (8-10 minutes’ drive away from the Airport). You can buy candies or breads at the nearby stores or use the restrooms.
Travel time to El Nido from Pueto Prinsesa was 5 to 6 hours. I would advise you to take Bonamin tablet because mind me, it’s going to be a roller coaster ride! The driver memorized all the left and right turns of the road, speed is like 120 kph. Oh don’t worry, they have a common stop point where you can stretch out your body, eat, rest, use the comfort room or just enjoy the view— and by view I mean a majestic one. (see photo)
We arrived at our destination around 7:30 PM. Exhausted? Yeah, but more like excited. We checked in at the Milan Grace Inn— 5 minutes walk from the beach. The room looks like the normal motel rooms without television. It’s just a bed for two, small table and a restroom inside. Don’t worry it’s air-conditioned.
We didn’t stay at the Hotel because we have a busy Itinerary, we just want somewhere we can sleep well. (sorry I wasn’t able to take a picture of the room.) Around 8:30 we walked our way to the beach front. A lot of restaurants offers grilled seafoods. You’ll see a lot of foreigners too! Someone told me that “In El NIdo there is 70% Foreigners and 30% Natives.” I think it’s true. Most of the tourists are Russians.
Since it’s really crowded and restaurants were in full house we waited beside a table by the beach. And while standing there we saw an old couple enjoying the night together. The man asked me, “how long have you been married?”. “Almost two, sir”. His wife said something I will never forget. She said, “Marriage makes 3! God, your husband and you! We’ve been married for 47 years now.” They are so sweet!
First thing I ordered was the “CROCODILE SISIG”. It’s so yummy!!!!!! Taste like Chicken. (see photo)
We stayed there for a while enjoying the breeze of the ocean under the stars.
“Each one of the El Nido Tours A, B, C, D will take you on a journey to explore a specific part of the islands surrounding El Nido. You will discover beautiful and preserved islands, clear water lagoons, white sand beaches, snorkeling sites and their hundred of fishes and coral species…
To put in a nutshell, the island hopping tours will introduce you to everything that makes El Nido such a tropical paradise. It definitely is a must-do while you spend your vacations here!”
This day, we were scheduled for Tour A, unfortunately the weather was not so good. The wind was strong so was the waves. But the Coast Guard didn’t cancel the Tours so we pushed through although we were told to come back at 2 PM (supposedly 4PM).
First stop was the Big Lagoon, 15-20 minutes boat ride. Upon arriving you have 2 choices, either you swim or kayak. You can rent a Kayak for P 300. Because boat are just outside the main entrance of the Big Lagoon. You have to go inside to see the Lagoon itself. Me and my husband decided to swim our way to the Big Lagoon. Bad decision at that time because the waves were so strong. Lucky for me my husband carried me through the entrance.
From the entrance you will be walking for about 5 minutes to the Lagoon. The water is so clear, you’ll see small fishes swimming around you. Water is about 3ft. Just be careful because there are corals and see urchins around.
Can you see the Urchins?
And TADAAAAA! The big Lagoon! You can go snorkeling around the area, or just swim and enjoy the paradise, or you can be like me. I was so mesmerized with the scenic view and ended up taking alot of pictures and videos.
Next stop, the Small Lagoon 5-10 minutes ride from where we were last. It’s obviously a smaller version of this paradise. You also have 2 options Kayak or swim. But they advised us to use Kayak this time. So we did! There were 2 types of Kayaks available— the big 1 good for 4-5 persons for P500 and the small one that is good for 2-3 persons for 300. We rented the small Kayak.
Off we go!
Since the wind was strong we had a bit of a hard time going into the Small Lagoon. There was a small entrance (sorry I wasn’t able to take picture of it), it’s an opening between two rocks.
We enjoyed the Small Lagoon better than the Big Lagoon. You can leave your kayaks on the side if you wish to do some snorkeling, or just paddle around since it is a wide area. Fishes can be territorials according to our tour guides and they tend to bite. My husband was bitten. He said it stung a little — there was also a visible red dot which lasted for quite a while. I have videos available— will post the link here once I uploaded it.
It’s a paradise indeed. The calmness of the water, fresh air and the vibes it can give is amazing. very relaxing indeed.
HEY! Lunch for the Tours are included so no worries! If you are a seafood lover, then voala! Enjoy the fresh seafoods and fruits! On our tour we had; Adobong Pusit, Grilled Tuna, Calamares, Roasted Chicken, Watermelon, Pineapple and Royal and Coke for drinks..
Sadly the weather didn’t get better until we were off to our last stop which was the 7 Commando Island. Unfortunately we didn’t stay too long because the place was too crowded. Instead we went to the Papaya Island just beside it 7 Commando. And we like I said, Palawan really doesn’t disappoint as this one too definitely a beauty! The sand was so fine you’d mistake it for baby powder.
There are also stores where you can buy Fresh buko Juice. Activities in Papaya were all but Picture taking, sunbathing and snorkeling.
Since the weather was bad, look what I’ve got. Coral kissed my legs. I have 5 wounds and 1 bruise.
I don’t care. Its nothing compared to what I just witnessed that day. GOD really is amazing. his creations are so beautiful.
Since Today is Valentine’s day we had dinner at Sea Jane Resto Bar and summed up the day with a bottle of beer and a walk at the beach under the stars.
HEY! I forgot to tell you, there were a lot of vendors too! They mostly sell pearls (bracelets, earrings etc.) If you wanna buy, just bargain they will give it to you at a very cheap price. Believe me, from 500 you can have it for 250 to 200.
That day we were scheduled for Tour C, but the weather didn’t really cooperate. All island tours were cancelled by the coast guard. We have 2 options— either go to Nacpan Beach or the falls (forgot the name sorry). Since were scheduled to go back to Puerto Prinsesa that night, we’ve decided to go back earlier at 1 PM. We were so tired of Yesterday’s tour so we’d rather go back early to PPS because we know that the long ride is also gonna be tiring! HAHA
So at 10 AM we were strolling around the beach already.
Vendors In El Nido are usually kids! Since El Nido is a small area I bumped into two of my friends, Nina and Hazel. 🙂
Even though I have a very Upset stomach Today I would never say no to FOOD.
This is one of my favorite besides the Crocodile Sisig, the Nutella Mango Crepe.
We bought T-shirts with El Nido slogans for us and our son— each cost P230 and you get to choose the Logo.
Bye for now, El Nido.
We arrived at Westville Tourist Inn around 8 PM. I was not feeling well because of my stomach but hey! I wanted to eat so we rode a tricycle going to “KINABUCH” — because according to the Manager of the Inn we are staying in, it’s where Tourists go, and it was really crowded! The ride costs P20, P10 each. In El Nido, tricycle rides are really expensive! The place is big but it was in full house so again, we’ve waited for about 30 minutes. I wasn’t able to take photos of the food because I really wasn’t feeling well. Food tasted good yes, but not as good as in El Nido.
That day we went to see the famous “Puerto Prinsesa Underground River”. We were picked up at around 8:00 AM. Because according to the Agency we have to get in the line first. I think it was a 2 hour drive from the City proper. there was a 1 stop for you to buy an off lotion (it’s a must be because of the timely Malaria) or use the comfort rooms.
When we arrived at the dock there were a lot of people already. We were on the 47th. You have to be grouped by 6— the maximum capacity the boat can accommodate — the one to take you to the island where the PPUR is located. We waited for about 2 hours before it was our turn.
The wind was strong and so was the waves— I’m getting sea sick already plus my very upset stomach is not cooperating. After almost half an hour boat ride we finally arrived! Yey!
At the entrance you will see a lot of Monkeys! you will also be given a Voice Recorder that you will use inside the Underground River.
Before entering the UR you will have to ride a boat, group of 10 per boat plus the Boatman.
It was amazing!!!! especially the “Cathedral” Imagine how it was shaped naturally without the help of human beings.. The formation of rocks, the amazing curves of the cave wall. The wonderful structure of the Underground River is really amazing! The cave stands so tall! Different species of bats can be found inside. You are not allowed to put your hands outside the boat even into the water because some say that there are ills underneath. No wonder it is one of the “Eight Wonders of the World”.
The tour took a total of 45 minutes. We got to go back to the dock after. Lunch is again included on the tour but this time I really wasn’t able to eat. I kept coming back to the comfort room for.. well you know what. HAHA
On our way back— we stopped at some famous places along the way and we had options to go to Ugong Rock
“One of the tourist attractions of Puerto Princesa in Palawan west of the Philippines is the Ugong Rock limestone formation tour. Ugong Rock can be reached from the city of Puerto Princesa within 2 hrs or less by van or any land vehicle. The limestone formation is just a few hundred meters away from the main road to Sabang.
Ugong Rock is community-based sustainable tourism project initiated by ABS-CBN Foundation-Bantay Kalikasan in partnership with the City of Puerto Princesa and the Department of Tourism with the support of Pasyar-PNNI, PCC, City Tourism Council, Barangay Council and IDEAS. It is managed by the Tagabinet Community Tourism Association, Inc.
Ugong Rock is a Seventy five-foot limestone formation in the midst of farmlands and karst forests or forests growing on limestone substrate in Barangay Tagabinet. A place once sleepy community of indigenous peoples. The word “ugong” stands for the reverberating sound (similar to a bell) that stalactites produce inside the cavernous structures of Ugong Rock when hit or pounded with the knuckles or the palm”-http://ugongrock.palawanshore.com/
Activities here are Zipline, Picture taking, Halo-halo food tripping and Caving.
with an upset stomach I still tried the Caving! Always wanted to try so let’s go.
Difficulty level? I think is 4/10, really, it’s not that hard specially if you are a sporty type of person it would be a piece of cake.
I had fun because our tour guide (can’t remember his name) was very funny! He was also the one who kept on insisting to take photos of us. Very accommodating too! You also have options on whether you will go back to the caves or just take zip line for a faster way.
Open Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Rates: Caving and spelunking – P200
Rappelling – P200
Rock climbing- P200
We arrived at our Inn around 6 PM. We had an hour to prepare for our next adventure. The Ihawig Firefly Watching. Dinner was also included in this tour. We were super excited!
We were picked up at 7:30 PM, we arrived at Ihawig at around 8:30 PM. As always there was a long line for the registration
Both can carry at least 3 person plus the boat man. In our case it just me my husband and the boat man/tour guide Fred.
It was scary at first, imagine you are riding a small boat in the middle of the river without any lights. The cold breeze of the wind, stars so beautiful shining right down on you, the fresh air from the trees, the inner peace the river brings, and the sound that the paddle makes as it shove into the water was overwhelming.
Boatmen are well trained individuals who offer to do the tours out of their passion for nature.
Fireflies live in abundance amongst the mangroves and trees, which are perfectly situated along the banks of the Sicsican and Iwahig Rivers. This location is ideal as it is away from the light pollution experienced in the city. Then the first set of fire flies lit up… They are so many, it was a natural Christmas tree on a February night. It was so beautiful, very romantic experience for couples.
Plus a side trip! The Iwahig river has clean brackish water (salt+fresh) and its continuously flowing making it viable for planktons.
(sorry I wasn’t able to take photos because I’m afraid I might drop my camera/cellphone into the river)
After the 30-45 minutes tour at the river we went to a restaurant where we were scheduled to eat. But because of my very upset stomach I stayed inside the van instead and slept, while waiting for others to finish their food.
That day we had an option to go to the Honda Bay in the morning because we are scheduled to do the City tour at 1 PM before heading back to Manila. But we’ve decided not to, aside from the reason that I am not feeling well we were already tired. (growing old problems).
We spent the morning at the rooftop of Westville Tourist Inn, it has a very nice atmosphere. You are surrounded with trees, the air is so refreshing, staffs are very friendly more of these on my next blog.
For lunch we rode a tricycle to A & A Plaza hotel to eat. Food are very cheap but the taste is so delicious!
At 1 PM we were picked up by our Tourist guide, first stop the Crocodile farm and Nature Park.
When we got to the reception area, there was this huge crocodile skin and skeleton but another thing that caught my eye was the skull of a the Crocodile. It was amazing to see the massive skeleton.
Then the tour guide started explaining what the skeleton was and what the Crocodile Farm is doing there, and we started to walk. First we went inside the Hatching House. We saw freshwater Crocodiles and the Saltwater Crocodiles.
Next we went up to a bridge walkway where we could see from atop different crocodiles.
They are so big and scary!
We were not able to explore the whole farm because we had very limited time, we stayed there for about 30 minutes and then went off to the next Mitra’s Ranch.
Mitra’s ranch is owned by the family of the late Senator Ramon Mitra, this is a popular tourist destination in Palawan. Located in Sta Monica Heights, this piece of paradise offers a stunning view of Puerto Princesa City. There is a view deck on top of the hill and it’s open to everyone who wants to have a relaxing time. Horses are everywhere, you can also do ziplining.
If you want to enter the house you will be asked to take your shoes off for the preservation of the place. And the entrance fee is P20.
There you will see Portraits of the Mitra’s family.
Mr & Mrs Mitra VS Mr & Mrs Dedel
Next stop the Baker’s Hill
Another popular destination in Sta Monica Heights is the Baker’s Hill. Although the site is actually a theme park, Baker’s Hill is most famous for the baked goodies they offer at a very reasonable price. A box of Hopia for P45.00 and it’s very delicious!
If you want to buy pasalubong, you might want to drop by. They offer all sorts of food products — cashew nuts, hopia, brownies, breads. There are also few restaurants in the area.
Next Stop is Souvenir Shop.
We were so excited to buy cashew nuts because believe me it’s very cheap. Unfortunately it’s sold out. So instead we just bought some Ref Magnets and keychains for pasalubong it cost P10 each. You can also buy Tshirts and Bags. Bought one for our baby boy that costs P230. Pearls are all over the area from P15 to a P1000. There are so many things you can buy in there.
We drove along the City Baywalk in Puerto Princesa which looked like the Baywalk here in Manila. You’ll see some fishing boats but no real water sport activities. This place offers are a lot of food stalls and said that gets really busy at night. This place also offers rent a bicycle so you can pedal around the area.
Next is the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, as much as I wanted to go inside, the tour guide suggested that we proceed directly to the Airport because it was already 5:00Pm and our flight was at 6:30 PM. We didn’t want to miss our flight so we agreed to it.
Bye Palawan! Till we see you again! 🙂
Hello Guys! As promised here is our Itinerary.fi-feb-13-17
We got our package at P8,490 pex par but because we didn’t get to have the Tour C it’s less P1,100. Our total Package was at P7,390/pax only. It’s a 5 day trip, 2 nights in El Nido and 2 nights in Puerto Prinsesa! Great deal right??
Plus almost all tours already includes Lunch! Firefly watching tour includes Dinner buffet as well. Van transfers in included!
Ms. Camille— the owner, is very accommodating, she kept on checking us out everyday. She reminds us of our pick up time. I think it was very kind of her. It’s our first time in the area and she is very responsive of our inquiries. Very very kind of her.
Thank you Local Escapes Travel and Tours!
in case you guys want to check it out here is their FB page https://www.facebook.com/localescapesph/?fref=ts
her mobile number is 0917-8882-925