With a running list of places I plan to visit one day, determining where we should honeymoon should have been easy right?
With flights, costs, timing, seasons and future plans, I found picking a place to be almost overwhelming.
We narrowed it down by determining what we wanted to do. A honeymoon to me has always looked like a beach, a lounge chair and a cocktail in hand. We wanted a region we probably would not visit for some time afterward.
The Philippines has always been on that running list and after seeing images of El Nido; I was on board.
El Nido is one of the most stunning places I’ve ever been. El Nido is in the province of Palawan. The white-sand beaches, coral reefs, and limestone cliffs are breathtaking.
After many google searches and trip reviews, we found and settled on El Nido Resorts for our stay. It doesn’t get more “honeymoon-esq” than Pangulasian Island Resort. With only 42 villas, at times we felt like the only guests at the resort. We always had more than enough space on the beach and at the pool. We rented kayaks and paddled our way around the island. Service was impeccable and I always felt so welcome. We were told the average stay here is more like 4 days; so by the time we left they were calling us the long timers. We actually met a family also from Minnesota at the resort. They’ve been coming for years and plan to continue to do so; 30 plus hours of travel be damned. If that doesn’t speak to the magic of this place, I don’t know what else will. The monkeys were the only ones not thrilled with our arrival 🙂 Make sure you lock your doors as they are known to enter your villa and make a mess of things! Or they will steal your bananas and cookies!
There are many stay options from airbnbs on the beach of El Nido, to hostels and bed and breakfasts and other resorts off of the mainland.
To get there we flew from Minneapolis to Chicago, Chicago to Seoul, Seoul to Manila and from Manila we took Air Swift to El Nido. The views over the islands are spectacular in flight. Try to grab a window seat 😉 Bonus if you are staying at an El Nido Resort Hotel; at the airport you have a private lounge with snacks, water and wifi; key! (Just a warning; Air Swift is prone to delays and cancellations. Hold your breath and hope for a smooth arrival!)
Once we got to the El Nido airport our hotel guide was waiting to take us on a golf cart to the docks and then a 30 minute boat ride to the resort.
The resort offered a lot of the island tours included with your stay; but if you are staying in town, get up early and negotiate a private boat tour. The lagoons will get crowded. I’m serious about the early part! Catching the sunrises are an extra perk.
The secret lagoon was my favorite; we kayaked through the hole and found ourselves the only visitors. It was serene and stunning. Again…. go early! There are so many island tour places to see; Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Helicopter Island, Snake Island, Commandos beach and more.
Besides island hopping, the diving and snorkeling are out of this world. The coral reefs are unbelievable. We only had to swim five feet from our hotel beach to see the beauty of the underwater world. We also took a boat tour that dropped us off in a few different spots; sharks, turtles, squid and jack fish were everywhere.
If you need a break from the sun and water, try some bar hopping. El Nido is hastily developing and every traveler and backpacker looking for a cold one has options.
You must eat grilled seafood on the beach; point and pick out what you’d like. Its grilled right there in all its glory.
We took full advantage of the “it’s our honeymoon so we are just going to relax mantra.” I mean, could you find a better spot to do so?
There are also private island day trips to be found. El Nido Resorts owns one of them: Entalula Island. We paid for a day trip to the island, which included lunch and an all-day stay. With cabanas, cocktails and that stunning view; what more could you want? There was a public side to the island where many of the boat tours dock for lunch as well.
Is El Nido on your list? If so, any other questions for me about El Nido? There is so much to say 🙂