Despite The Cold and Rain, EL Nido Palawan’s Beauty Remains

Palawan has been named as the best island in the world by Conde Naste and Travel Magazine. It’s been chosen by travelers. I obviously am so proud on this, of course as a Filipino, we are more than delighted to achieve as such especially when it comes to natural spots.

This island has a total of 1,780 surrounding the province. As we all know, in 2012, one of the 7 wonders of nature in the world chosen was the underground river, located just 80 km from the center of Puerto Princesa City. So imagine the adorableness throughout the whole province knowing just one site has been named as such.

Recently, I came to visit El Nido Palawan again, but this time, it was a cold rainy month of August. Luckily, on the day we arrived, it was good weather, I even indulged the beauty of the sea water right after my arrival. Yet, when the dark night time came, the pressure started to fill in. It was raining heavily that it never showed signs of stopping, the rain coupled with the strong wind was a bit alarming. The next day, coast guards declared a “No Island Hopping Tour” for the day. Although in the middle of the day, the rain started to slow down, yet, island hopping tours were still canceled.

Also, throughout the day, I noticed how progressively the business is growing. From small stores, stalls, barbecue stands to huge business, newly constructed hotels, resorts, an uncontrolled kiosk for tour operators merging their services with van and tricycle rentals. It is increasing massively.

During my 5 days stay in this town, we’ve experienced the monsoon season where rain, cold and strong wind appeared or was noticeable most of the time. On my second day, the coast guard announced that only Tour D Island Hopping will be open, as the weather was still not good. Tours in El Nido are named alphabetically, these are the tours which tourists can get to choose from Tour A, B, C, D or combination of A and C for island hopping and an inland tour for Nacpan Beach. Listed below are the tours I got to choose from Northern Hope Tours, they took care very well my concerns and call anytime to make sure I am comfortable with the given schedule from the coast guards or to make changes with my tours.

Since Tour D was the only open for island hopping that day, I warmly joined the group. We were 21 of us, all Filipinos living from the different parts of the country. We started at 9 am, the good thing with Northern Hope Tours, they have their own waiting area for all their guests known as BSAI Canteen, located near the entrance gate of port and just beside the Port’s office. I am honestly impressed by how organized the team was, from assisting the guests for our needs, like aqua shoes or snorkeling kit, to checking our payment, our concerns, and our needs. The team works according to their destined task, and I love the way they managed to organized the trip especially for big tours like in my group. I commend Northern Hope Tours for the job well done on our very first day. Please be fully informed too, that the rest of the operators or boats, their waiting or pick up area is at the main El Nido beach. All boats should also visit that place for it is where Tourism personnel checked all departing boats, to make sure all boatmen followed the protocol of the coast guards and the tourism.

Tour D actually is the least visited tour among the 4 tours, Tour A and C are the famous and most recommended tour whereas Tour B can only be recommended by operators or local when tourists are done with Tour A and C. So Tour D usually unlikely to be picked and to be visited. Please, I beg you, DO NOT underestimate what lies behind the islands of Palawan regardless if it’s unpopular tour or not. My first visit to Tour D on a cold, rainy and gloomy day have proven more on why Palawan is entitled as the best island.

So, here’s a thing why I urged you to come over even during this gloomy days, it’s beauty with all honesty still remains, in fact, I was blown on our first stop in Cadlao lagoon, the color of the water was sky-blue! Imagine? Duh! I am serious, really! The seascape is just unimaginable, couldn’t get the picture why it was like that. (Not unless you are not a big fan of sea water, then, by all means, I’d understand)

After the orientation from Ryan, one of our tour guides from Northern Hope Tours, after about 30-40 minutes bumpy, wavy and adventure boat ride to the first stop which is Cadlao Lagoon, had made all of us speechless and forgot how uneasy it was to come to the place for we know it was more than worth it. (Weather was really bad) See for yourself with the picture here, obviously, this photo couldn’t justify how beautiful the site is in actual. We stayed for about 40 minutes on this lagoon, was able to swim, move our butts to the other site, took pictures from one another, played around, and mesmerize by the stunning color of the calm water. All I could remember is the color was sky blue and so crystal clear.

After which, we headed to Paradise Beach where we supposed to have our lunch, yet the place was overcrowded, full of boats lining in a small shoreline where ours cannot dock in. The guides asked permission from us if it will be ok for us to drive another 15 minutes to Tao Beach where the shore is wide and many things to do. Please note, we were only given 4 hours from the coast guard to do the island hopping, our time was limited due from the bad weather, that’s why guides asked permission from us. Went straight to Tao beach, it’s also beautiful but not as stunning as Paradise beach (personally for me, that’s just my opinion), yet, it has a vast area enough for us to be entertained by the charm of the nature within the vicinity, but what struck me most is the limestone hill which was beautifully covered by the fog and tiny cloud water droplets. It was unforgettable. While our guides and boatmen were busy preparing for our lunch, we were able to walk through inside quarter of Tao, because the weather still was gloomy and countless of boats docked in the area too, so we decided to do something else that is away from the crowd. Delighted by how the small huts were designed in the Tao quarter, I and 3 other tourists interviewed the caretaker, took many photos, and found out how amazing their expedition. I silently aim to do their tour in the future, I was really amazed by the stories I got from the caretaker. He must have good marketing tactics too huh? I’m sold and I loved it!

Our lunch prepared by the crew was extravagant and fresh! Couldn’t asked for more! They even arranged pretty well the table setting. We had so much food that made all of us full. In Tao beach, we stayed for more than an hour there, where I was able to swim, walked by the beach, the Tao quarter, and just rest. I bet when the weather is sunny and clear, the vibrant color of the water must have been awesome.

On our last destination, we went back to Paradise beach, but, on the side where the marine sanctuary is. This time, the weather was already really bad, there was non-stop rain, very cold that it got through our veins and a bit windy. But, the captain and guides still pushed to stop at the sanctuary for the water was calm in the sanctuary area. I did snorkel, saw the sea snake, different kind of fish, beautiful table corals too, but, there were some areas where I’ve seen dead corals. We aim to see turtles, unfortunately, I didn’t. On this marine sanctuary, even if you don’t swim, the clear water and the corals can be seen in the boat. We landed and stayed near on one of the limestone karsts as well, so, the magical feeling watching the view while waiting for others to come up after their snorkeling was for me extravagant!

We ended our Tour D excursion with an awe of El Nido, we actually want to see more, however, the rain and wind were unmanageable, and we also abide coast guard’s warning to go back to the mainland at 2 PM.

With the cold and rain, the experience was beautifully different. Indeed, Palawan is the best island.

This is only Part 1 of my 5 days stay in El Nido, the rest of the tour will be linked here soon.

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Have you been to the best Island in the world? Palawan? How was your experience? Were you able to do something even on a cold and rain season?

Disclosure: My trip for El Nido was made possible by Northern Hope Tours and Joonie’s Venture.

Author: Ferna Mae

Ferna is a spontaneous traveler from the Philippines who had a great experience traveling her own country first before she embarked to other countries. She thrives to be more independent in her own skin. Connect with her at

67 thoughts on “Despite The Cold and Rain, EL Nido Palawan’s Beauty Remains

  1. PALAWAN is so beautiful. Over a thousand islands, and that is literally more than ten thousand beaches scattered all over. I can see that even during monsoon rain, the beauty of Palawan remains evident. Alam mo, think about it, the least visited is already breathtaking, what more the others?

  2. I loved the post. The work done with the pictures is amazing. I saw the video and I seriously need to pack up and get going for a vacation soon 🙂

  3. Lovely Palawan, as always! I have been to the island in 2012, but only in Puerto Princesa, which captivated my heart as well! The island is undoubtedly a paradise, and it has lots to offer. Lovely photos you took, and thanks for sharing the tour agency details! Been looking for one which is reliable, so I’ll check their webpage later. Aaah! I see you also had a feast there! I’m super jealous! Miss Pinoy food so much! 😉

  4. Wow, what a beautiful place! Nature is stunning. I’d love to go there someday 🙂 Alsoo, that food looks so good!

  5. I have never been to Palawan. I’d like some sun. But I would still go even if it rained. I live in the Netherlands so I’m really used to rain. And it still looks so stunning in your pictures. I believe it always looks beautiful! Great videos.

    1. Thank you. Yes, it was raining only that in my video of the lagoon, the raindrops is not visible since the color of the water is really so light. 😀

  6. The rain is as beautiful as the sun and it’s part of nature. : )) I like your experience and the places you’ve been are amazing.

  7. Still haven’t visited Palawan yet but it’s in my destination/travel list. I have nothing against going there even if it rains. It doesn’t affect the beauty of the place, right? Those packages are really sulit! You can make the most out of it! Such a wonder. 🙂

  8. I was born and bred in Palawan. I went to El Nido in 2011 and hired a private boat for the Island Hopping Tour. I was overwhelmed with excitement. I wish I could go back.

  9. I haven’t been to El Nido but it’s in my local travel bucket list. I’m glad you had fun despite the cold and the rain. I loved the videos you have included too! I hope to visit El Nido in the near future.

  10. We have already added Palawan to our travels later this year after seeing how beautiful the island is. I love that even when it rains it is still just as beautiful!

  11. Callao Lagoon looks incredible! That would be my first stop I think! Even in the rain, Palawan looks like an incredible destination. It’s definitely on my list, I have heard many people talk about it.

  12. I was in Palawan last year and I’l be back again this year after visiting TBEX! Palawan was amazing and that lagoon is gorgeous. I can’t wait to get back!

    1. wow! glad to hear you are coming back and Palawan will be good by that time then, October-May are the best months to visit the place

  13. Filipina, too, so am very proud of Palawan. I took my husband there in 2011 and he loved it!

  14. I haven’t been there yet I remember I won a package tour good for 3 days and 2 nights way back 2012. Only if I am old enough then, I’d surely use it instead.

  15. What a nice photos and videos. I have been planning to visit EL Nido someday. I don’t really know but my friends said that it is better than boracay. I’ve never been also in boracay so I can’t really differentiate between the two. But this is a great post, I discover some good places to visit in Philippines.

    1. Boracay is also beautiful, small island, yet, different from Palawan. Boracay is a party beach, and adventure is also there, a bit expensive though. Puka beach is where I could recommend if you get to visit Boracay

  16. Hi Ferna, fellow PTB here. I just want to say I love your post! I will be in El Nido this October. Grabe dami na pala pinagbago! Last time I was here was 2009 pa. Your post will help me bunch. Sana hindi maulan Haha. Maulan na kasi Last punta ko Hehe.

  17. Hi Ferna!

    Did you stay at Joonie’s Venture?
    I stayed at northern hope inn last time but this time they provided Joonie’s venture as my accomodation.
    Do you have photos of the said accommodation if you have stayed there.

    Thanks in advance.

      1. Hi Ms Ferna,

        Can I also ask for the pictires of Joonie’s Venture?
        I also book a tour and accommodation in Northen Hope Tour and they booked my accommodation in Joonie’s Venture.

        Thank you very much.

        1. Hi Ms Ferna,

          Can I also ask for the pictires of Joonie’s Venture?
          I also book a tour and accommodation in Northen Hope Tour and they booked my accommodation in Joonie’s Venture.

          Thank you very much.

  18. El Nido is stunning! I’ll choose Palawan anytime over Boracay. My friends and I are planning a trip and we’re thinking of going to El Nido. It’s good to know that it’s cheap and mukhang sulit naman. So excited to see this place soon!

  19. WOOOOOOOW I wanna try all the tours! Is that even recommended? XD Ang gastos but if I were to splurge on a week at Palawan, why not try all the tours diba hahaha I’m bookmarking Northern Hope Tours!

  20. The reason for Palawan to be the most visited island by travelers local or foreign because of it’s stunning and natural beauty. Such a paradise!

  21. We absolutely loved El Nido when we visited a year ago & this is making me want to return again! Thanks for sharing and bringing back lovely memories 🙂

  22. I really want to book our travel to el nido in my birthmonth(september) but i searched many times and all the blogs and other weather websites tells that september is rainy days in el nido, we now ended up to choose oct or november.

    1. Yes Leslie, we have 5 months of rain in the Philippines from June-October actually. though November and December are too windy for Palawan side too, but that’s ok. Hope you have book the best dates. How many days are you going to stay in El Nido? best of luck

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