Prelude: The Road to El Nido

El Nido is such a gem of rare beauty. The limestone karst formations of breathtaking proportions, the green lush vegetation covering the cliffs, the white sand beaches on the various islands, the variety of colorful fishes surrounding the corals, the enticing clear blue-green waters, and the clean fresh air that only means paradise- everything makes you want to stay in El Nido forever.

Touchdown at Puerto Princesa Airport

FACT

It was around 2 pm when our plane landed at the Puerto Princesa National Airport. Big problem though: we had a reservation for the 1:30pm last trip to El Nido from Fort Wally. We still would be able to catch the trip had our flight been a little bit early or on time as planned. But lady luck was on our side and a couple, who recently bought a van for Fort Wally as “franchisees” (I really don’t know the works), were going home to Taytay, Palawan on that day. So off we went with only four people on board the Grandia (including the driver). Taytay is the last major municipality before El Nido and can be reached from Puerto Princesa in 4 hours. From Taytay, the 2-hour travel to El Nido is a grueling roller coaster ride on very rough roads with little lighting.

To guarantee seats, travelers wanting to go to El Nido from PPC can book in advance through Fort Wally. Fare is 700pesos (one-way).

The secret to cheap backpacking: some easy fillers, canned goods, and instant coffee in sachets.

Two couples and a van. More leg room. Convenient baggage stowage.I knew it was going to be a long day.

It was 3pm when we hit the road and 9pm when we reached El Nido. I couldn’t help but open the windows and gaze upon the moonlit karst hills seemingly floating in the endless sea. Oh boy, Oh boy, I told myself to patiently wait till morning so I can see the true view and be in utter awe.

And the way to start the day is a healthy dose of nature’s beauty.

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