When I was a little girl growing up in Nepal, I remember dreaming about turquoise sea and endless beaches, wondering how visiting countries like Cyprus and Greece felt like, with their desert-like landscapes and bright blue sea. Today I have visited many sea destinations and realized those childhood fantasies, and I must say that El Nido in the Philippines came closest to my tropical paradise dreams. Tour B in particular (read about Tour C here) in El Nido completely blew me away and left me wanting more sun and sea!
The tour started from El Nido main beach like all other tours. On the boat with us were Filipino tourists that had come to visit from another island as well as a group of American-Filipinos. Chatting with them along the way made the journey even more enjoyable. I found them to be very friendly and chatty. The first stop was for snorkeling and as usual in El Nido, it was great. We didn’t see anything out of the ordinary but the reefs were beautiful!
It was a sunny glorious day and El Nido’s beauty really came alive on a day like that. I enjoyed the boat ride to our next destination and couldn’t believe my eyes as we approached closer and closer to dock on the beach. It was a place called snake island and it was surrounded by shallow turquoise water where I could swim my heart out. The shallow water extended far out until the color of the water turned dark blue. It was like the Maldives, for fraction of the price! And on that day in particular, it was like my personal Maldives, because there were no more than three tour boats docked there.
There was a small viewpoint on the island, which was just a short 10 minutes hike uphill. The views were magical! The long sandbar that gave the island its name was visible from the top and it looked spectacular. I checked out the views on all sides and everywhere I looked, I was awestruck by the beauty of this small island!
There was also a little floating shop (it was named ‘The Floating Shop’) on the sea where we bought some fresh coconuts and enjoyed them with out feet dangling on the warm sea (sooo dreamy!). I enjoyed walking on the sandbar and swimming and lazing on the sea until it was time for the complimentary lunch. We ate on the boat and it was a satisfying lunch of fresh seafood, grilled chicken and pork, tropical fruits, rice and Filipino sauce (standard for all El Nido tour boats.) It was sadly time to leave this mesmerizing place and move on to our next stop.
The highlight of next stop was a cave where we went through a small opening that led to a huge sheltered space, almost as big as a hall! Someone could seriously live there. I could picture local fishermen taking a nap inside the cave, smoking and chatting. The beach where we stopped at was equally gorgeous too! There was no stopping to being stoked by El Nido’s natural beauty while I was there.
Next we were whisked away to another beautiful spot that looked like this:
The water was deep and we did some snorkeling. I saw a leopard pattered fish for the first time here! 😀 We also walked to the other side of the island. There appeared to be a resort there, it was peaceful, very beautiful and had no people on it!
With a final stop at a more developed beach called 7 Commando where I took a relaxing nap and boyfriend said he spotted a lion fish (scary), our tour came to an end. I thought Tour B was a good all-in-one package considering it consisted of beautiful beaches, a snorkeling stop and two interesting caves.