If El Nido’s Tour A is all beaches and lagoons, Tour B is about coves and caves. We got off late from the mainland for a thousand human reasons, I’d rather not say. I also spent less on swimming and more on picture taking. Epic fail. I barely got a decent shot. It’s midday and I’m jousting for photography space with other tourists almost everytime. So please understand the amputated hand, foot, head or digits in some of the photos below. Believe me I tried scare tactics and patience to match my creativity. But when you’re sun burnt, dead tired, and in a sea of people, I, an aspiring landscape photographer, could not just switch to street photography, when there is no street. So better savour these photos my friends. These cost me my fun in Tour B!
If all beaches in El Nido is public, island hopping tours would be up to "Tour Z".
We headed straight to Snake and Vigan Island and stayed there for up to after lunch.
Vigan and Snake Islands are adjacent islands connected by a snakelike sandbar visible during low tides. We started treking the sandbar from the Vigan Island side. There’s a mangrove forest on Vigan island side but our guide warned us not to never venture further than the beach because of “naughty” monkeys beneath the mangroves. I couldn’t believe myself believing such crappy reason. Have you heard of monkeys on mangroves?
We went up Snake Island’s hill to get a better view the snakelike sandbar and Bacuit Bay. You also jousts with others for that magnificent view.
We ate our lunch in this island.
Then I tried faux pulling a boat with my archimedes strength. The boat bulged. I’m right as usual.:)
We stopped next at Cadugnon Point and Cave. Squeezing through Cadugnon cave entrance is all that I can remember. Apart from the skylit chambers, there’s not much to see inside. It’s a dead cave.
Historically though, this cave was once a shelter for Japanese stragglers. This place got it’s name from the term- Kudog, a local dialect for shaking. Legend has it that Japanese would feel the island “shake” when Americans bomb the island. Thus, it was called Cadugnon Island.
Our next stop, Pinagbuyutan Island is most interesting to me. The island was a set for TV’s Survivor Series. The famed postcard of a bent coconut tree is also shot in this island. The island have all the allure of a perfect paradise- long soft, powdery white sand beach, a rocky cliff on the other end, limestone karst walls and a decent snorkeling area. If you noticed from pictures below, the coconut palm trees grow quite unlike most coconuts.
I went as far as the other end of the island where there are rock formations to take photos. Of course, couples who went into this secluded place was annoyed by my intrusion. Get a room people!
After Pinagbuyutan our tour group went to our last stop, Papaya Island. Papaya Island is near Seven Commandoes Island we visited in Tour A. In fact I find the same human structures popping out of Papaya Islands and nearby Seven Commandoes, alarming. Im just a guest here so, I’d concentrate on enjoying my last swim on a glistening white sand resort!
All in all and despite the touristy tourists bugging my patience, this island hop and caving is superb. It’s just that these islands and caves were lumped into just a day of hopping, I would have loved a longer, less crowded “time slot”. But there’s no night island hop here, so maybe I’ll just keep on dreaming.
Lastly if ever you’re thinking of bringing an adult who can barely walk his or her way to an island on a group tour, please don’t. Hire you’re own private tour instead!
There you have it. El Nido Palawan’s Tour B: Coves and Caves, in photos.