A Travellerspoint blog

El Nido Tour A Focuses on Sights Above Water

On the beach at low tide before heading out on Island Hopping Tour A; the destinations on Tour A were much closer to El Nido than those on Tour C

On the beach at low tide before heading out on Island Hopping Tour A; the destinations on Tour A were much closer to El Nido than those on Tour C

Pair kayaking through the entrance to the Small Lagoon; I swam but given shallow waters over coral fields I was glad that excursions were encouraging people to enter via kayak

Pair kayaking through the entrance to the Small Lagoon; I swam but given shallow waters over coral fields I was glad that excursions were encouraging people to enter via kayak

The sea anemone protects the clownfish from predators, as well as providing food through the scraps left from the anemone's meals and occasional dead anemone tentacles, and functions as a safe nest site

The sea anemone protects the clownfish from predators, as well as providing food through the scraps left from the anemone's meals and occasional dead anemone tentacles, and functions as a safe nest site

Family of sea squirts; some scenes from the 2012 film The Bourne Legacy were filmed in El Nido

Family of sea squirts; some scenes from the 2012 film The Bourne Legacy were filmed in El Nido

There was virtually no trash in the water which was surprising given how many tourist boats visit the area each day

There was virtually no trash in the water which was surprising given how many tourist boats visit the area each day

Marigold Christmas tree worms; my camera has difficulty shooting small objects underwater so I was glad to see this photo in focus

Marigold Christmas tree worms; my camera has difficulty shooting small objects underwater so I was glad to see this photo in focus

Finally, a turtle sighting!; El Nido has been a turtle sanctuary since 1984 but sightings now are not very common

Finally, a turtle sighting!; El Nido has been a turtle sanctuary since 1984 but sightings now are not very common

Banded sea krait; while true sea snakes spend almost all of their time underwater, sea kraits return to land to digest their prey, rest and to reproduce

Banded sea krait; while true sea snakes spend almost all of their time underwater, sea kraits return to land to digest their prey, rest and to reproduce

Guidebooks and Wikipedia describe the area as having dugongs, manta rays and sometimes whale sharks; speaking to locals they say this is not true and none of these species have been seen in years

Guidebooks and Wikipedia describe the area as having dugongs, manta rays and sometimes whale sharks; speaking to locals they say this is not true and none of these species have been seen in years

Large Toadstool Leather Coral; when the polyps of this soft coral species are fully extended, toadstool leather corals have a fuzzy appearance

Large Toadstool Leather Coral; when the polyps of this soft coral species are fully extended, toadstool leather corals have a fuzzy appearance

Orange sea sponge (I think); historic gender roles hold true here with only young men working on excursion boats or in construction jobs

Orange sea sponge (I think); historic gender roles hold true here with only young men working on excursion boats or in construction jobs

Encrusting Montipora coral; El Nido, like much of the Philippines, has a terrible problem of stray dogs (they need Bob Barker here)

Encrusting Montipora coral; El Nido, like much of the Philippines, has a terrible problem of stray dogs (they need Bob Barker here)

The weather in El Nido in February is ideal; it's dry with sunny skies, mild temperatures and a steady tropical breeze

The weather in El Nido in February is ideal; it's dry with sunny skies, mild temperatures and a steady tropical breeze

In order to reach Secret Lagoon you had to crawl through this hole; there was a long line of tourists as a result

In order to reach Secret Lagoon you had to crawl through this hole; there was a long line of tourists as a result

I just love the bright colors of the clams; in El Nido hundreds of bangkas clog the harbor each morning with the tourists walking out to their respective boats

I just love the bright colors of the clams; in El Nido hundreds of bangkas clog the harbor each morning with the tourists walking out to their respective boats

These two women were on my excursion and I immediately pegged them as Russian; they had huge false eyelashes, were rude to others on the trip and were drinking beer when we began at 8:30 am

These two women were on my excursion and I immediately pegged them as Russian; they had huge false eyelashes, were rude to others on the trip and were drinking beer when we began at 8:30 am

I was surprised there weren't private boats anchoring at the many pristine, empty beaches; I thought any of them might have better snorkeling than the few places the tourists were taken

I was surprised there weren't private boats anchoring at the many pristine, empty beaches; I thought any of them might have better snorkeling than the few places the tourists were taken

Shoal of squid; El Nido is ranked 4 on Conde Nast Travelers' list of 20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World but I wouldn't put it on that list

Shoal of squid; El Nido is ranked 4 on Conde Nast Travelers' list of 20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World but I wouldn't put it on that list

Brain coral; the lifespan of the largest brain corals is 900 years and colonies can grow as large as 1.8 m (6 ft) or more in height

Brain coral; the lifespan of the largest brain corals is 900 years and colonies can grow as large as 1.8 m (6 ft) or more in height

This is the entrance to Big Lagoon; tour A used to visit both Big and Small Lagoons but crowds were overwhelming so now some boats do one and some boats do the other to cut the crowds in half

This is the entrance to Big Lagoon; tour A used to visit both Big and Small Lagoons but crowds were overwhelming so now some boats do one and some boats do the other to cut the crowds in half

Narrow-line pufferfish; I was surprised at the number of Europeans visiting El Nido since I had expected the majority of visitors to be from Asia

Narrow-line pufferfish; I was surprised at the number of Europeans visiting El Nido since I had expected the majority of visitors to be from Asia

The islands offshore from El Nido are full of nooks and crannies due to their geology; this view is inside the Small Lagoon

The islands offshore from El Nido are full of nooks and crannies due to their geology; this view is inside the Small Lagoon

I need lots of help with identification here!; I'm assuming they are animals, so could they be worms?

I need lots of help with identification here!; I'm assuming they are animals, so could they be worms?

Heart-shaped table coral; El Nido businesses seldom accept credit cards (and charge a hefty surcharge when they do) and there are just 2 ATMs in town which are frequently out of cash

Heart-shaped table coral; El Nido businesses seldom accept credit cards (and charge a hefty surcharge when they do) and there are just 2 ATMs in town which are frequently out of cash

Titan triggerfish; strangely, many of the nicer hotels are not built on the beach but along the main highway

Titan triggerfish; strangely, many of the nicer hotels are not built on the beach but along the main highway

Green bird wrasse; Palawan has been voted as the world’s best island two years in a row by Conde Nast Traveler

Green bird wrasse; Palawan has been voted as the world’s best island two years in a row by Conde Nast Traveler

Table Coral; locals said that the situation of electricity in El Nido is so much better now compared to previous years when electricity was only available from 6pm to 4am

Table Coral; locals said that the situation of electricity in El Nido is so much better now compared to previous years when electricity was only available from 6pm to 4am

Eastern triangular butterflyfish; given the vibrant seascape I expected to see more fish than I did

Eastern triangular butterflyfish; given the vibrant seascape I expected to see more fish than I did

I'm not sure what species this is but these small fish were very active so I suspect they may be juveniles; Google images is a big help but with primitive internet here it is very time-consuming

I'm not sure what species this is but these small fish were very active so I suspect they may be juveniles; Google images is a big help but with primitive internet here it is very time-consuming

7 Commandos Beach is located on the mainland of Palawan but is only accessible by boat/kayak; it is a popular stop on the island hopping tours

7 Commandos Beach is located on the mainland of Palawan but is only accessible by boat/kayak; it is a popular stop on the island hopping tours

I struggled through this book due to the British dialogue which I found confusing and hard to follow; I'll try another of his books later in the trip

I struggled through this book due to the British dialogue which I found confusing and hard to follow; I'll try another of his books later in the trip

The topography underwater mirrors that of above water so there is just a narrow reef to explore before underwater cliffs drop away

The topography underwater mirrors that of above water so there is just a narrow reef to explore before underwater cliffs drop away

Interesting to see several different species of these evil critters in the same waters; you don't want to visit during rainy season (May to November)

Interesting to see several different species of these evil critters in the same waters; you don't want to visit during rainy season (May to November)

The islands off El Nido resemble those of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam; both are part of the tectonically active Sunda Plate

The islands off El Nido resemble those of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam; both are part of the tectonically active Sunda Plate

Posted by VagabondCowboy 03:26

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Login