Monday, May 03, 2010

Day 3: Island hopping Tour A

Above: The tranquil beach of Corong-corong.

Tour A consists of a trip to Miniloc Island's Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Shimizu Island, Secret Lagoon and 7 Commandos beach. We paid Aling Pacing P500 per person for this group tour(Lunch and water provided). Also note that you also have to pay an environment fee(whatever that means) of P100 each, which is valid for 10 days. P200 each if you're a foreigner.

We met up at Skyline at 8am and were brought to Corong-corong where our boat and tour guide Mike, were waiting.

First stop, Small Lagoon. We were brought to Miniloc island where one of the expensive El Nido Resorts is located. (The other one is on Lagen island) We went through a small opening in the limestone to swim in the refreshingly cool turquoise water. You can also check out a small cave at one end where the swift make their nests, the famed el nido, which the Chinese pay big bucks for to put in their nido soup. Unfortunately, the nests had already been harvested.

Tip: Wear aqua shoes as there are sharp rocks or corals in some parts of the tour.

Next stop, Big Lagoon, also on Miniloc island. Great setting for taking pictures. We were mesmerized by the sight of this huge pool surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and green foliage.

El Nido resort put up a platform in the middle of Big Lagoon so that their rich guests could hold weddings or parties there.

Our boatman suggested we try hanging onto the boat's katig as we moved out of the lagoon. It was fun but hard to hold on especially when you're afraid your shorts might fall off! :D

Then it was time for lunch and we headed for Shimizu island. While our boatmen cooked our food, we went snorkelling and fish feeding as there were lots of corals a few steps from the shore.

Clown fish at Shimizu
Phil, our Canadian tour mate told us there were fine corals a bit further off shore. I hesitated because I wasn't very confident of my swimming skills but my sister and I tagged along and we surprised ourselves! We had never thought we could swim in very deep water without a life vest but the sea and the sights below were just so beautiful we forgot our fears! It is a tremendous boost to our confidence to find out we wouldn't drown! haha!

Pa now loves to snorkel! It was hard to get him out of the water!
For the longest time Pa couldn't figure out how to breath through the snorkel without water getting in. But he was able to do it here and we were so happy he could enjoy what we had been seeing under the sea! Tip: Do not forget to bring bread for fish feeding. It is such a thrill! We would find out later that fish prefer bread to the leftover siopao dough we tried to give them.

Bountiful lunch with our new tour mates at Shimizu island

Entrance to Secret Lagoon

After lunch we rested a bit before proceeding to Secret Lagoon (I know, the names can be confusing) which is a stagnant pool at low tide hidden behind a limestone wall. Nothing special compared to all the other sights. There is a small beach though and a coconut tree that leans to the right which the foreign tourists like to climb to have their picture taken.

Finally, we went to 7 Commandos beach. I don't know where they got the name but the beach was quite lovely. We would have loved to stay here for the sunset but our tourmates wanted to go home by 5pm.

Tip: Bring food for merienda for yourself and others so you can stay longer. :D

Pa buried Ma and Jon in the sand

Dinner at Marber's in El Nido town (Food posts coming soon)

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