Tag Archives: Stunning Vistas Beach Resort

El Nido-Island Hopping Tour B

Today we went on Island Hopping Tour B. There were 5 other people with us.

The first stop they just let us jump off the boat and snorkel around. I believe it was Pangulasian Island. There were a lot of jellyfish here, but it was a good snorkeling site. There were a lot of fish and coral. I did feel like I was getting stung though but I didn’t think I got near a jellyfish, maybe it was all in my head.

The second location was Snake Island; this is also where we had lunch. There was a little trail you could take up to the top of Snake Island. It took about 5 minutes to get to the top. The view was so pretty.

Then we walked back down and got in the water. There wasn’t much to see, it was very clear but mostly grass and rocks. After swimming around for awhile we had our lunch. The island was really beautiful.

The next stop was Cudognon Cave. This was very cool. We started out by going through a small opening into the cave.

Once inside there were some really cool rock formations. I think there were bats but we didn’t actually see them…

After we came out of the cave we were able to snorkel. We saw a lot of fish here.

The 3rd stop on the tour was Cathedral Cave. We didn’t actually stop here we just floated by in it the boat very slowly. Unfortunately I didn’t get very good pictures of the interior of the cave. You could see it open up into a big room from the boat, but the pictures did not turn out.

We were able to see the the Lagen Resort on the way to the last stop. It is very expensive to stay here…maybe someday. We are more budget travelers right now…haha.

The last stop was Pinagbuyutan Island. This was probably one of the most beautiful islands/beaches I have ever seen. There were palm trees every where and some of the softest white sand I have ever seen and felt.
The island looked very cool. We were able to do some snorkeling here and there were some pretty cool fish. The snorkeling was pretty good and maybe my favorite spot in El Nido. It was a great way to end the trip to El Nido.

This fish was very aggressive. I followed it around for awhile. If I got too close to whatever it was protecting it would come at me. It was funny.
I loved this island….

I got a good photo of our resort, Stunning Vistas, on our way back.

They left us a nice design on our bed…

Tonight we decided to watch the sunset. I don’t know what it is about watching sunsets…I’ve never really done it or had an interest in it, but we did it in Santorini and Mykonos and it is quite relaxing. I think the sunset at El Nido was probably the most beautiful one we have seen…

While we were watching the sunset we talked with Alex and Yan. We talked about all the things we had done. They had rented a kayak one day and kayaked to one of the near islands. Yan snorkeled while Alex laid out on the beach. Later there was a man pointing a gun at her telling her the island was private. She got Yan’s attention and they told the guy the didn’t want any trouble. He said it was fine they just had to leave…they got a picture with him and left! hahaha crazy. They did recommend a place in El Nido town for dinner. It was a pizza place. Yan said it was some of the best pizza he ever had. Now we had ate pizza in the  Philippines and it had been absolutely disgusting so I was skeptical. Although it sounded really good by the way they were describing it.

So Don and I walked along the beach looking for a place to eat. After no success we decided to go into town and give this pizza place a try. We had some idea where it was so it wasn’t too hard to find. You could see them making the pizza dough right in front and you had to take off your shoes in the restaurant. We left our shoes downstairs and went up to the restaurant. It was awesome looking. Nice wooden floors, a good looking bar. A great atmosphere, unlike anything we had experienced in the Philippines. The food around us looked amazing. People were just ordering whole pizzas for themselves so that’s what we did. I ordered a Margarita Pizza. Don ordered the Prosciutto Pizza because Yan raved about it. We also got a calamari salad for an appetizer. It was so good! The pizzas were amazing. I think it was probably the best Italian style pizza I have ever had. Amazing…great way to end our stay in El Nido. The place was called Altrov’e. If you are in El Nido and craving pizza this is the place.

Travels to El Nido, Palawan.

Today we woke up very early like 3 am to catch our flight to Palawan. Luckily we also went to bed very early last night so it really didn’t effect us. Our flight left Manila at 630 am.

When we got to the airport it was so crowded! The line wasn’t moving at all. I was sure we were going to miss our flight. But all of the sudden the line started moving pretty fast and of course our flight was a little delayed. I’ve never had a flight going or coming from the Philippine Islands be on time. For this trip we took Philippine Airlines. We usually take Cebu Airlines. I don’t remember much of Cebu…but I think they might be a little better than Philippine Airlines. For one, the seats are super small on Philippine Airlines. There was hardly any room between the seats!

Once we landed in Puerto Princesa, Palawan we looked for our shuttle with Day Tripper to take us to Stunning Vistas Beach Resort. We couldn’t find them anywhere! I was concerned because our flight was a little late so maybe we had missed them. So we went to the travel office and they contacted Stunnning Vistas and they said our van had broken down so they had arranged for someone else to pick us up.

Fort Wally was the company that picked us up. When we got in the van we were the only ones and I thought that was how it was going to be….I was wrong. They took us to their office and told us that the next shuttle was around 9. It was about 8 so that was okay. But then it turned into 10 then 11. They kept telling us they wanted to find more people. It was very annoying. Around 1030 another couple came up. Later we would learn their names, Yan and Alex, a couple from Germany. They were also staying at Stunning Vistas. So then it was around 1120 and finally they started loading up the van. We had acquired a filipino man and woman also. So it looked good, looked like it would be six of us. They loaded our luggage in the back of the van and we were all sitting pretty comfortably. There was still one row that was empty. Then another couple came up and joined the van. So now me, Don, Yan, Alex, 2 filipinos, a French woman and a man from Denmark. We all got in the van and were still sitting pretty comfortably and we had started on our 5 hour journey to El Nido.

Suddenly the van pulled over. We were at another van company’s office. There were people standing outside the van and they did not look happy. We could see 4 people clearly. Then we were told that they were moving all of our luggage to the roof and putting a waterproof cover over so we could make room for 4 new passengers! I was not happy and neither were these 4 other passengers. The van was going to packed! The 4 passengers and the drivers argued for awhile. We then learned there were about 15 of these people looking for a van and they were splitting up. One of the girls said she didn’t want to be cramped like
that. So the guy that had started unloading all the luggage so he could put it on the roof started putting it back in the van. One of the drivers told the girls they wouldn’t be able to make it to El Nido today. So then somehow it worked out we acquired 3 of these new passengers and the rest (like a group of 7) got in the other van.

So up on the roof our luggage went! It did not seem safe. But off we went. The 3 new passengers were from Uruguay  They were on a college graduation trip.  They were all accountants. The guy told us it was tradition in his school for the graduates to take a trip.  He said some people go for about 3-4 months but he is probably doing 7 months. 7 months vacation! I couldn’t believe it! They had already been traveling for some time! We learned Yan and Alex from Germany had booked with Stunning Vistas about a week ago; they had about 3-4 weeks left of travel and hadn’t really planned it out they were just booking as they went. Denmark and France seemed very spontaneous since they had just up and decided they would come to El Nido. They had been in Manila the past few days and they were headed to El Nido with us and they hadn’t booked a room yet. I couldn’t believe it! These people were just living and not by a schedule. I feel like in America we only have so long for vacation and everything is pretty much planned out. I want a 7 month vacation!

So we thought we were pretty much on our way when the van pulled over again. The driver got and talked to someone at a store. Then we he tried to turn around so he backed up and we heard a loud noise. The back tire had gotten stuck in a rut alongside the road. We had to get out and help push the van out! What kind of road trip was this going to be?! What else could happen!?

The driver drove like a maniac. The road was so curvy and he would take it top speed. He would pass other cars with no regard if an oncoming car was in the way. It was scary. And my stomach was not handling it either. I started feeling carsick. Sometimes on the ride I felt we might not make it out alive. I had really never experienced such a crazy driver. About 2 hours into the ride we pulled over at a restaurant. It was kind of like a buffet. We got some adobo and rice. I took some Dramamine for the carsickness.
Here’s a picture of the pitstop.

The rest of the ride was really no better. I would try to look out the window but I felt like my head was spinning. The driver was always tailgating someone or passing someone with another car coming right at us. Finally around 6 we made it to El Nido. We should have been there around 2. The driver went into town though and didn’t drop us off at our hotel. When we got there we told him he was supposed to take us to Stunning Vistas. Yan and Alex also needed to be dropped off there. So eventually he did.

When we arrived at Stunning Vistas all I wanted to do was go in the room and relax. They made us welcoming drinks and we sat by the beach for a few minutes. We made it in time just as it was getting dark. Here’s our first glimpse of El Nido, Palawan.

Then we went to get our room key. We had booked a standard room but were told due to construction they had upgraded us to a deluxe room for tonight and we would be moved to the standard the next day. The deluxe room was okay. It looked kind of old. The TV didn’t work,but the bathroom was better than what we had at the airport hotel. The room also had a fridge. I am a little scared to see what a downgrade will look like tomorrow!

After we got settled in a bit we went to get some food at the hotel’s restaurant. Yan and Alex were there and they asked if we wanted to eat together. They were very nice and we had some good conversation. Good thing because the food took well over an hour! It was amazingly slow. So we vowed not to eat at our hotel for dinner again.