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El Nido: Heaven on Earth in the Philippines

El Nido: Heaven on Earth in the Philippines

Opps-Snow
10 May 20191,9300

In the western Philippines, there is an island archipelago with unique geology and majestic scenery. Known locally as “Heaven on Earth,” travelers who venture there cannot help but to agree. El Nido sits on the northern tip of Palawan Island, roughly 420 kilometers south-west of Manila. Owing to its location as part of the Sunda tectonic plate, the geology on El Nido is unlike anywhere else in the Philippines.

Table of Contents

1)Arrival and Accommodation
2)A Scenic Wonder
3)Karst Formations, Corals, and Coves
4)Life Under the Sea
5)Dining and Romance by Starlight
El Nido: Heaven on Earth in the Philippines

Towering limestone formations enclose great bays filled with emerald and sapphire waters. Schools of multicolored aquatic life swim in the pristine currents, which are largely protected against development. El Nido’s reputation has grown in recent years after ranking as one of the world’s top beaches, yet it is still relatively unknown to foreign tourists and retains its exquisite charm and local flavor.

El Nido: Heaven on Earth in the Philippines

1)Arrival and Accommodation

Getting to El Nido is best accomplished by air or land travel. El Nido Airport is a small, privately-run airport serving several destinations in the Philippines. Travelers will likely find the larger Puerto Princesa International Airport more accessible. From there it is possible to reach El Nido in a few hours by van or bus. Accommodations in El Nido are mostly clustered in El Nido town, with other options scattered around the larger municipality. Tourist numbers increase around major holidays such as Christmas, Easter, or Chinese New Year. During these times it is advisable to book well in advance of your planned travel date.

El Nido: Heaven on Earth in the Philippines

2)A Scenic Wonder

El Nido’s principle draw is its scenery. White sand beaches dot the countless inlets and coves around Bacuit Bay. Standing there, it is possible to imagine El Nido as a heaven on Earth. The beaches run and recede into the distance while rocky outcroppings and limestone pillars maintain solemn watch. Tropical vegetation glows a luscious green in the sun. Crystal clear Pacific waters lap against the rocks and roll gently onto the shores. Closing your eyes, it is possible to lose yourself in the warm embrace of this sonic symphony.

El Nido: Heaven on Earth in the Philippines

3)Karst Formations, Corals, and Coves

Travel by boat around the network of small islands. Navigate into a small cove and let rocky cliffs close around you. There, seemingly cutoff from the world, you can glimpse El Nido’s true majesty. The waters will call to you with their siren song, seducing you to gaze upon their displays of aquatic life, color, and brilliance. Corals and clownfish, manta rays and jellies, a veritable feast for your eyes. Sparkling in the sunlit waters, these creatures have evolved elaborate shapes and vibrant colors to conceal them from would be dangers. Fortunately for our human eyes, the colors pop with contrast, highlights, and shadows. Being but visitors to the underwater worlds, one cannot help but marvel at the ballet occurring below the surface.

El Nido: Heaven on Earth in the Philippines

4)Life Under the Sea

In El Nido town it is possible to find organized scuba diving or snorkeling tours. Join a group with a knowledgeable leader for a rewarding outing. The sheer diversity of creatures in the waters around El Nido can be overwhelming. Having a guide who knows what to look for means you’re less likely to miss the really special finds. Anemone fish, angel fish, lion fish, puffer, cuttlefish, blue spotted stingrays, green sea turtles, and on and on. El Nido truly teems with life. You will find great joy in afternoons spent casually peering below the surface. A wonderful thing about El Nido is the way different bays possess an individual character, meaning it’s possible to dive or snorkel over several days and feel continually amazed.

El Nido: Heaven on Earth in the Philippines

5)Dining and Romance by Starlight

Once you’ve had a fill in the water and indulged your inner explorer, find time to wander around the emerging bar and restaurant scene in El Nido town. Despite its small population, there are a number of establishments catering to various tastes. Local Filipino cuisine is on offer along with European and other international fares. Sunset in El Nido brings out a new character. Here the karst formations lining the bays create otherworldly canvases, glowing amber and red in the setting sun.

El Nido: Heaven on Earth in the Philippines

When day is finally exhausted and the last embers of twilight have faded, El Nido’s relative remoteness make for fantastic stargazing. A great tapestry of stars shine overhead, sparking like diamonds in the tranquil night. Using a long exposure camera, you can trace and capture the Milky Way as it stretches clear across the sky. The magnificence on display makes El Nido as much a nighttime paradise as a daytime one.

El Nido: Heaven on Earth in the Philippines

From a bird’s-eye view, El Nido is a near mythical land of limestone cliffs, verdant vegetation, white sands, and clear blue waters. There is a large forest area, lush and full of life. More than 100 species of bird nest in the wooded areas around El Nido. Seen from this vantage point, it is possible to understand how some might think this a heaven on Earth. The variation in form, the pureness in spirt, and the natural splendor combine to make El Nido a travel destination like few other.

El Nido: Heaven on Earth in the Philippines

Words pale in comparison to the serenity felt when standing there, gazing upon this wondrous land. Those who venture will find something straight out of the imagination. The colors, culture, and cuisine will remain with you for the rest of your life. Leaving will feel impossible as you hope to stretch your visit just a little longer. There is always another bay to visit, another beach to discover, more water to explore, and more relaxation to be had. El Nido is a jewel in any traveler’s belt. It is, indeed, nothing short of heavenly.

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