Exploring El Nido's Lagoons

January 1, 1970

by Isabella

Palawan Boat Ride

Palawan Boat Ride while on Tour

We all know how much of a paradise the Philippines is, there’s no question on how beautiful the country is once you step outside of the bustling city of Metro Manila and start exploring the less crowded streets and provinces. With the Philippines having three islands, there’s no question about how many beaches the country has. There’s tons of undiscovered places to see that I have yet to explore.

My luck had finally struck when I got the chance to go the beautiful province of Palawan. MetroDeal somehow offered a really low cost package to go lagoon hopping for 2 days and 3 nights which included the lodging. All I had to pay for was the airfare which, in turn, ended up cheap thanks to promotions. My adventure started on the first week of August. I didn’t opt to get the direct flights to El Nido, those were quite pricey, instead I headed for Puerto Princessa and from there, took a long drive via van arrangements with my lodging and made way for El Nido.

Now, all that’s left is to explore!

Must-See Places to See in El Nido

There’s a ton of packages out there that will offer you a great options for island hopping.  With my short stay and vacation here, it was apparent to go on these tours that will take up an entire day because you don’t just come to El Nido and not see these sights. I went with Tour Package A which included the following sights:

  • Small Lagoon
  • Big Lagoon
  • 7 Commando Beach
  • Secret Lagoon

7 Commando Beach

7 Commandos Beach

My first stop, as dictated by the trained tour guides, was the 7 Commando beach. This was named this way because 7 soldiers were said to have lived here. The beach was laden with white sand and blue waters, and it was breath taking. If the boat ride here already left me stumped in awe, then this one just left me surprised. It was surrounded by other islands that were owned privately for corporations, or just really rich dudes. There was no other way to get in and out of this place but by boat.

One of the best things to do here? You’ll find a small beer shack near the beach. Purchase a nice cold bottle and sit in the sand and lounge about. It’s relaxing.

Small Lagoon

small lagoon

This is where you get the most activity out of the entire tour. When you reach the small lagoon you’ll find vendors in kayaks who provides rental for snorkeling and kayaking. With the pristine waters of the lagoon, it’s a must to go snorkeling. The only means to explore this wonderful lagoon is by renting a kayak and paddling on. You’ll be surrounded with nothing but nature. Don’t forget to slip in between the tiny hole with your kayak and open an entirely new area to explore!

It definitely is a work out, but it’s well worth it.

Big Lagoon

big lagoon

My next stop was the Big Lagoon.  The boat ride wasn’t that far off but it’s easy to get lost in the sights as you see towering rocks seemingly planted strategically in the ocean to produce this scenery. The water was nice and blue. You wouldn’t really realize that you’re in the Lagoon unless the guide starts to slow down the boat and you find yourself in the middle of towering rocks and a wonderful view welcoming you as you proceed on your journey. It’s called the big lagoon for a reason, there’s no use exploring this on your own!

Once you pass those wonderful rocks the tour boat stopped by a small island where we were brought food. A small banquet or seafood and meat to fill our bellies after all that wonderful exploring.

Secret Lagoon

secret lagoon

This lagoon can be both dangerous and not. While exploring this part of the tour, please make sure that you have rented or you’re well equipped with water shoes that can protect your feet from jagged rocks and corals on the ocean floor. If your luck has run out and you’ve come into this section with bad weather it can be borderline terrifying. You’ll have to rely solely on your lifevest as you’re guided into the small crevice to slip into in the midst of the pounding waves in order to get into the middle of untouched holy waters. It’s a small lagoon in the middle of a towering rocks and mountains. The amount of water in this area depends on the tides. If, like I just described above, it’s stormy and high tide, you’ll have lots of water inside. If you come by with calm waters or low tide, you can simple walk with no life vest and slip into the hole and relax in the calm and low tide waters inside the secret lagoon. It’s different and you’ll find a calming presence while staying there. Of course, caution must be exercised. The waters can get rough and deep and you wouldn’t want to be swept away unknowingly.

Was it Worth it?

Sunset Palawan

It definitely was. There’s no question about that. In fact, 3 days and 2 nights isn’t even enough to fully appreciate the beauty of Palawan. You need at the very least a week’s worth of vacation to go through all the tour packages and see exactly what you’ve been missing out while you find yourself stuck in the bustling city of Manila. By the last night of the trip, I found myself walking along the town and finding a good bar by the beach and just enjoying the sunset. The Philippines is beautiful and there’s really no comparison to other countries when it comes to our natural beaches. With El Nido, for now, crossed off my list of places to go, I have yet to plan for another adventure and explore another part of Palawan called Coron and along with that, explore Puerto Princessa.

Might I just leave you with a small reminder though, let’s be sure to protect these wonderful places and keep it clean. Respect nature and everything surrounding it so we can see it flourish for a longer time.

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