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Discovering the Wonders of Puerto Princesa and El Nido: My 8-Day Adventure

Are you dreaming of an affordable beach getaway filled with breathtaking natural wonders? Look no further than Puerto Princesa and El Nido in the Philippines

Over the course of eight days, I explored underground rivers, lounged on sun-kissed beaches, and snorkeled in vibrant underwater paradises. Join me as I recount this unforgettable journey, highlighting the best of what these beautiful destinations have to offer.

Day 1: Arrival in Puerto Princesa

I touched down at Puerto Princesa Airport, greeted by warm, tropical air and a friendly driver who whisked me away to my cozy accommodation. The rest of the day was spent settling in and acclimating to my new surroundings. Puerto Princesa, with its laid-back vibe and welcoming locals, was the perfect introduction to Palawan’s charm.

Day 2: Exploring Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

puerto princesa vacation philippines

After a hearty breakfast at the hostel, I embarked on a day of adventure. A van picked us up early for the journey to Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its impressive karst landscape and extensive cave system. 

The underground river tour was nothing short of magical, featuring dramatic stalactites, stalagmites, and even a 20-million-year-old fossil. This natural wonder, where the river meets the sea, left me in awe. After a day of exploration, I returned to my hotel, exhausted but exhilarated.

Day 3: Journey to El Nido

el nido palawan

The next morning, I boarded a transfer to El Nido, a destination known for its pristine natural beauty. Upon arrival, I checked into my new accommodation and spent the evening soaking in the serene ambiance. El Nido’s lack of 24-hour electricity added a rustic charm, making it feel like a true escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Day 5: Snorkeling and Exploring Darocotan

darocotan island

Waking up to the sound of the ocean, I enjoyed an early breakfast before heading out for a morning of snorkeling. The reefs around Darocotan are teeming with marine life, including clownfish, turtles, and even manta rays. 

The afternoon was spent exploring secluded beaches around the island, each more picturesque than the last. Watching the sunset from the beach with our local travel expert was the perfect end to a perfect day.

Day 6: Nacpan Beach and Ziplining at Las Cabanas

nacpan beach palawan overhead

From Darocotan, I made my way to Nacpan Beach, often hailed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The expansive shoreline, crystal-clear waters, and golden sands lived up to the hype. 

After a day of swimming and relaxing, I headed to Las Cabanas for an adrenaline-pumping zipline ride over the ocean at sunset. Flying like Superman while watching the sun dip below the horizon was an unforgettable experience.

Day 7: Island Hopping and Farewell to Nacpan

nacpan el nido palawan

On my final full day, I embarked on another island-hopping adventure. This time, we explored secret beaches and islands like Helicopter Island and Matinloc Shrine. 

The crystal-clear waters and untouched beauty of these spots were incredible. Returning to Nacpan Beach in the late afternoon, I celebrated my last night with new friends at Mad Monkey Nacpan, enjoying drinks and reminiscing about the adventures of the past week.

Day 8: Return to Puerto Princesa and Departure

puerto princesa palawan

The journey concluded with a transfer back to Puerto Princesa. As we drove through the scenic landscapes, I reflected on the breathtaking beauty and warm hospitality I experienced throughout the trip. 

Arriving in Puerto Princesa in the early afternoon, I had just enough time to grab a quick bite before heading to the airport for my onward flight, my heart full of memories and a promise to return.

Final Word

This 8-day adventure in Puerto Princesa and El Nido was a perfect blend of exploration, relaxation, and adventure. From the underground river to pristine beaches and vibrant marine life, every day offered something new and exciting. If you’re looking for an affordable yet unforgettable beach vacation, Palawan should definitely be on your list.

Check out the free itinerary to Puerto Princesa and El Nido, Palawan, Philippines from Bamba Travel.

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Guest post written by Gary Linedecker

Gary is a dedicated park ranger with an insatiable passion for the great outdoors. His love for nature and adventure has taken him to some of the most breathtaking landscapes around the globe.