Exploring El Nido
We woke up to a beautiful day in El Nido, with the sun now shining. The Miniloc Resort glittered with life as the morning's activities were beginning. It started with feeding the jacks found on the resort's house reef. The jack's were huge, probably averaging at almost 2 feet long. It was an experience to be swimming with them as well. The feeding of the jacks happen only here in Miniloc, thus, making the resort again a better place for kids.
We were going to the spend the day with so many activities. We boarded our boat to Entalula Beach Club where we would have a picnic lunch as well.
I didn't know if the island is also called Entalula. The island was amazing, and the white sands from afar looked so inviting.
After a short boat ride from Miniloc, we docked in paradise. Beautiful limestone rocks made up the perimeter of the island, with this fine white sand beach stretching for about 300 meters from end to end.
We were told that Entalula is a great place to sunbathe, swim and snorkel. And it was, but once we settled in our cabanas, we rushed to do one thing: kayak.
We took off with our kayaks, without a camera at hand, and began paddling ourselves around the island. It was amazing. The waters were very clear, and the surrounding limestone rocks were quite dramatic. Now I know why kayaking in the Bacuit Bay is one of the things you must do before you die.
You may get the same experience in Caramoan, or even Coron, but it is in Bacuit Bay that you will get calm waters that are perfect for a safe kayak adventure. See, even my kid rode the kayak all by herself, and even jumped into the deep waters to transfer to the other kayak.
After kayaking for almost two hours (beach stopovers included), we arrived famished back in the beach club, where a generous buffet of grilled meats and seafood awaited us on banana leaves.
I must have finished three dozen shrimps! They also served pasta, salad and fresh fruits for dessert. It was a dream picnic under the coconut trees.
After lunch, we dozed off a bit until 2PM, when we were to move to our next destination: Vigan Island, or more commonly known as Snake Island. Well, as the name goes, there is a long s-shaped sandbar for around 200 meters that connects two islands. It was high tide, so the sandbar wasn't exposed that much. We were supposed to climb one of the island to have a better view of the surroundings, but we decided to just laze on the sand bar.
Afterwards, we were taken to the Cudugnon Cave, a popular stopover in a tour of El Nido. In order to enter the cave, one must crawl through a crevice that will fit one person only. It looked quite scary at first, claustrophobic, but our guide showed us how to enter safely.
The cave wasn't spectacular, but the guide told us about the significance of the cave as a hiding place during World War II. I hope I got my history right. In any case, people have been hiding in this cave, and the guide even showed us human bones on the ground.
We were also directed to the birds' nests, which is of course, the origin of the name El Nido. The delicate excretions of birds on the caves cracks and crevices are adventurously salvaged by courageous locals who sell them for a huge amount. I wasn't able to see a lot of them though, since it was quite dark.
In any case, the cave was a good stopover, adding more variety to the activities here in El Nido. We went back the same way, through that small opening leading to the beach.
After the pseudo-spelunking experience, we then motored off to another island that had another cave - Pinasil Island. The island has a cathedral-like cavern accessible by kayak. The water below was turquoise, although we weren't allowed to swim in it. We were told that this was another popular site for birds' nest gatherers.
It was already 4:30PM, so we headed back to Miniloc Island. We were then discussing with our tour mates what we would do for the rest of the night. We decided to take a Sunset Cruise to Lagen Island where we would have our dinner.
So after freshening and dressing up, we took a very quick tour of the surrounding islands of Miniloc, hoping to get a nice view of the sunset. However, we left the resort late already, so the sun has already set when we gazed out at the horizon. There were also a lot of clouds, so the sky wasn't as spectacular.
We ended the an activity packed day with a relaxing dinner at Lagen Resort. The tour won us great new friends, whom we bonded for the rest of our stay in the resort. After this day, I wasn't anymore thinking about how El Nido looked like Caramoan, or Coron, or the Phi Phi Islands. I was satisfied with all the activities that we did, all around El Nido, that made the trip already unforgettable. And we had one more day to go...