Sea therapy in the Philippines

Extremely cold weather is not my cup of tea, and the last few freezing days here in Poland have made me dream of a tropical escape again. The island hopping tours that we did in El Nido, the Philippines, last year have been some of the best memories I’ve from traveling. I revisit the photos from the Philippines often and marvel at the incredible natural beauty the islands around El Nido have to offer.

The stunning limestone cliffs

On one of those days, we went on yet another island hopping tour, the highlight of which were lagoons. A small lagoon and a big lagoon. The lagoons were unforgettable but to me the entire experience was as well. The banca ride through the sea, the scenery of lush limestone cliffs meeting the clear blue sea, the most gorgeous deserted beaches we could see from the boat and sometimes even turtle spotting on the water! It was a dream.

Entrance to the small lagoon

‘The Beach’ by Alex Garland has been one of my favorite travel books, and I found out after the trip to Palawan island, that the writer was inspired by the scenery from the Bacuit archipelago although the story is set in Thailand. It’s easy for me to imagine why.

Floating shop

As we tried to swim to the small lagoon through a small entrance between rocks while most people used kayaks, we were bitten by territorial fish. That didn’t really matter and it was more of a funny experience than scary. Discounting the hordes of tourists, I imagined how relaxing it must be for the locals and fishermen alike to just dock the boat and take a rest in one of these incredible hidden spots. All for yourself.

Entrance to the big lagoon

The clarity of the water was so incredible that I stared into it for a long time in disbelief.


We stopped at a beach and had lunch. The lunch was prepared at the boat by the crew. With a dreamy view like this, anything would taste good to me.

Lunch/swim/photo stop

El Nido was once a playground for the rich, with its high-end resorts on multiple islands throughout the archipelago. In the last few years, it has been attracting backpacking crowd who stay in budget hotels scattered in El Nido town and go on island-hopping day tours. It wasn’t easy to get there all the way from Poland, but it was so worth all the miserable hours we spent at the airport, planes and the road.

Another beach stop



32 thoughts on “Sea therapy in the Philippines

  1. What a wonderful warming memory, especially at this cold time for you guys on the other side of the world. I have heard so many good things about the Philippine islands, especially El Nido. πŸ™‚

  2. El Nino is beautiful! I was in Coron a couple years ago, and it looks just like this. But there didn’t seem to be so many people. The lagoons and limestone cliffs in this part of the Philippines are gorgeous!

    1. I was considering splitting time between Coron and El Nido, but I ended up staying just in El Nido since I had only 10 days in total in that area. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about Coron! I agree the lagoons and limestone cliffs out there are out of this world πŸ™‚

  3. Greetings, Pooja. I’m sorry to be so late these days. If you were here and saw my work schedule, you would realise how it is. I love this blog, Pooja. I wish Palawan wasn’t so far away from Lisbon. I’ve been trying to get the time to reply to your PM. I’ll get there soon. Have a pleasant weekend my friend.

  4. What lovely pictures to look at while waiting for spring! It’s snowing here again… I really liked The Beach, too (the book – not so much the movie). Would love to write something like that myself, but who has the time??

  5. Amazing pictures. Glad you enjoyed your PH Palawan tour.

    Hopefully we can visit El Nido next year. Just finised our Coron honeymoon tour two weeks ago and it was amazing. Perhaps the most memorable one. Just compiling boatload of pictures and videos and will post soon on my page.

  6. The Beach really has sparked a new trend in searching for that perfect piece of sandy beach the world over, hasn’t it? A trend which has now become a big industry in countries like Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Pretty photos, Pooja! I’ve only been to Manila, but El Nido is among the places I want to visit the most should the chance to return to the Philippines arise.

      1. True. I’m really spoiled with the beaches in Indonesia, especially in the eastern part of the country. πŸ™‚

      2. I have to admit that I have never every tried scuba diving despite living in a country with some of the best places for scuba diving in the world!

    1. I went at the end of February and was there for 2 weeks. Just one cloudy day and the rest were full of sunshine πŸ™‚ I don’t know how northern hemisphere’s autumn is weather-wise in the Philippines hehe.

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