We arrived in El Nido, near the northern tip of Palawan island in the Philippines. We found a reasonably priced hotel right next to the beach which offers us good views of the phenomenal sunsets which this part of the world is famous for. El Nido is a small town situated around a small bay. There is a wonderful view of the surrounding rocky cliffs and islands, and outrigger pump boats bob around in the calm waters.
The town is nice, but the real attractions here are a bit away. The surrounding waters are dotted with fantastic rocky islands. Each island hides a little beach paradise nestled amongst cliffs and palm trees. We’ve spent three days on island hopping tours where we went from island to island to cave to snorkeling area and it was simply wonderful. These are the best beachscapes we have ever seen in our travels so far.
Another highlight of the area is the underwater life. On our island hopping trips we have gone snorkeling numerous times. The coral is sometimes better and sometimes worse when snorkeling, as the dynamite happy and fish-hungry Philippinos have done a good deal of damage to the reefs. However, conservation efforts have been put in place and in many places you can see the underwater life coming back to normal.
One time we were snorkeling and I noticed a little Nemo-like anemone fish carrying something round and black in its mouth. It was a strange shape to be found under water so I dove down to have a closer look. Little Nemo hid the object in its anemone patch, but I was able to get it out. It was a rubber hair band, just like one Weronika has recently bought. I put it around my wrist and continued snorkeling. When we got back to the boat Weronika realized she has lost her hair band and asked me if I would go look for it. This was a strange request considering how close to impossible it is to find anything lost under water. However, luck had it that the band was around my wrist. We concluded that the anemone fish stole Weronika’s hair band and tried to hide it in its nest, but I was there to save the day.