Palawan Paradise

Every good vacation needs a balance between adventure and unwinding. El Nido, on Palawan Island in the Philippines, is a great place for finding that balance. While there are a lot of options for day trips and water sports and other activities, simply wandering up and down the beach can provide just as much entertainment.

Beach babes and travel buddies for CNY

Approaching our beach bungalow

Corong Corong beach was where my friends and I stayed recently for Chinese New Year holiday. It is about 10 minutes south of the actual El Nido town, or a 1 USD trike ride. This area is veerrryyy chilled out, and while it's not the most perfect white sand beach, the ruggedness felt more natural and undeveloped. Beach bungalows here were cheap and plentiful, although they are very local, which may not be for the weak of heart. My friends and I heard loud squeals one morning from our patio that went on for about ten minutes, only to stumble upon a pig roast that evening on the beach... Yes, the shrieks we heard were a slaughter. Good thing only one of us was a vegetarian!

Traveling with a ukulele attracts all sorts of types

Night disco on the beach at Le Plage

Any relaxing beach vacation needs proper island cuisine, right? Eating the fresh catch of the day with my toes in the sand is one of my favorite parts of an island getaway. Food in El Nido (and all other expenses, to be honest) is stupidly cheap, so you can feast like a queen even if you are on a tight budget. Every meal we had during our stay in El Nido was delicious, from Art Cafe to Republica Sunset.

Coconnuuuuttttsss on Papaya Beach

Seafood lunch on our boat tour of the nearby lagoons

For that picture perfect beach experience, hop in a trike and go 45 minutes north to Nacpan beach. This is THE place for beach lounging. The ride out there is not for the faint of heart, but this beach is worth the bumpy road and dust inhalation. For 3 or 4 bucks, you can rent an umbrella and lounge chairs directly on the beach, and spend the day alternating between crystal clear waters and soft fluffy sand. There are palm trees to sit under, juice stands, and long stretches of prime postcard real estate.

Jumping for joy at Nacpan Beach

Not a bad way to spend an afternoon, eh?


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