Capturing El Nido: I found Nemo!

Call it excitement. Call it thrill. Despite sleeping late, I woke up early. I couldn’t contain my excitement to see how El Nido looks like. I walked to the balcony of Tay Miloy’s Inn and saw greens draped over the limestone karst surrounding this simple town of El Nido. Wow!

This town captured my heart at first sight. J, Janet and I walked out of the inn to fill our hungry stomachs with breakfast.

The only restaurant that was open at 6:30 am was La Chupetta.

The friendly staff cooked the tapa in front of us. It smelled good. The Tapsilog meal without drink cost me Php 150.00. It may be expensive but it satisfied my taste buds. Meanwhile, J ordered banana pancakes for breakfast.

At around 8:30 am, we walked towards the office of Servant Tours, which is near the jump-off area of the boats. We were joined by a French couple, Johnalyn and her family, a Filipino couple and a Filipina who’s on a solo journey. All in all, there were 11 passengers on the 14-seater boat.

“My name is Niel and I’ll be your tour guide for today. Take nothing but pictures. Kill nothing but time. Don’t step on the corals,” said Niel who began his spiel and warned us not to take shells.

I smiled while I was hearing his spiel. Yes, the locals were learning to take care of their surroundings. I do hope that this message resounded as well with the passengers of the boat.

The owner of Servant Tours, Gerald suggested that we take Tour C because of the sunny weather. We agreed thinking that we can still experience the Secret Beach because of the good weather.

Hidden Beach was our first glimpse of El Nido. From afar, one would not think that there’s a beach hidden behind the limestone karst. Hence, it was named Hidden Beach.

Hidden Beach is a snorkeling site. I was excited to try my new mask. It has  graded lens that would allow me to wear it even without contact lenses. Thank you J :)

At first, I was just seeing the usual fish species that I used to see in other sites until J called my attention and pointed an anemone.

Oh there you are Nemo! Finally, I’ve seen a clown fish! The two of them were guarding their territory.

Even if they’re small, they were brave. They’re ready to attack anyone who come near. I felt something in my leg. I was attacked. haha.

I didn’t mind and continued taking shots until I was satisfied.

The corals underwater were not as colorful but there were different species of fish that swam by.

This was only the beginning of unraveling the wonders of El Nido.

RELATED: 

Ferry from Coron to El Nido cuts travel time

While browsing on Facebook last week, I saw a photo of Montenegro Lines saying that they’ll be starting their maiden voyage from Coron to El Nido and vice-versa this week.

This ferry trip from Coron to El Nido cuts the travel time to 4 hours. The Montenegro Lines trip would be daily according to their staff whom I spoke to.

Land trip from Puerto Princesa to El Nido as experienced by other travelers take 6-8 hours. I’ve yet to experience that come June this year. So if you want to experience the best of both worlds, you can opt to fly to Coron then take a ferry to El Nido.

However, do take note that waves may be rough according to past research that I’ve made. It’s really a matter of priorities. If your time’s short, then this option may be a good alternative for you. But if you have ample time to go to El Nido, then take the roadtrip from Puerto Princesa.

FARE: Php 1,760.00 one-way (Verified. Called up their sun number)\

HOW TO PAY the fare:

As of writing time (March 24, 2012), if you’re coming from Coron, you have to go to the Port and pay the fare there. But according to Montenegro staff MacMac whom I spoke to, they will set up an office in Coron Town.

Contact MacMac (Montenegro Staff in Coron)- 0915 307 7200 

Schedule:

Ferry leaves Coron at 12NN. / Expected time of Arrival in El Nido: 4:00 PM

Ferry leaves El Nido at 6:00 AM / Expected time of Arrival in Coron: 10:00 AM

Website: www.montenegrolines.com.ph

Contact numbers: 0915 307 7133 / 0908 920 2568 / 0922 889 7013 (this number is working)