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Apulit Island via El Nido airport and road trip to Taytay to

View Nolan's Eleven Heaven meetups & Meet my TravBuddy friends - Rhea (rheagirl) & Myanmar 2014 on NT01's travel map.

large_1840343_14157500952218.jpgEdit as of July 2015: I've decided to open this blog to all registered TravBuddy members. Especially in the light of the April 2016 Philippines Meetup in Manila [Manila-travel-guide-885524] in Cebu where some participants would like to continue on to Palawan [Palawan-travel-guide-1294037] and El Nido [El-Nido-travel-guide-879955]. Details of the meetup here -http://www.travbuddy.com/meet-up/view.php?id=1503 and the discussion here -http://www.travbuddy.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=60673

Landing at El Nido is just part of the journey. In fact, not even half. There is a three hour van ride to Taytay [Taytay-travel-guide-892475] town, plus another hour ride on an outrigger to the island itself.large_1840343_14157500978568.jpg Which is why you should always choose the first flight out of Manila and the last flight in, otherwise you will spend only a full day at the resort.

Palawan is still a pristine province as many of the roads connecting the tourist towns in the north are under construction. Some portions are still old asphalt that need a lot of repair. So even a 100 km. trip could take three or more hours. Luckily not most of the passengers on the plane were going to Apulit but staying over at any of the three other high end resorts in El Nido - Pangulasian, Miniloc and Lagen. So only our van out of four vans used to pick up passengers from the airport went straight to Taytay town.

While the road may have tight turns at times, you could never really overspeed because of the rolling terrain. Some parts of the road were half concreted while the other side was paved and being prepared for more concrete to be poured.large_1840343_14157501008336.jpg Probably by 2015 the roads would have been complete already, thus cutting down travel time to 2 to 2.5 hours. And with the Ayala conglomerate through its resort division taking over management of the El Nido Resorts for more than three years now, it can only get better.

After a quick stopover for food in Taytay, we were ready to board the outrigger boat to Apulit Island. On our approach to the dock, it started raining and there were gusty winds. The resort was prepared - the boat itself had nice yellow raincoats and they had umbrellas waiting for us as soon as we got onto land.

Upon arrival at the reception, they served us welcome drinks and gave a briefing about the resort island. There were two general areas for accommodation - first were the water cottages, located on the southeast side, and the other was the loft water cottages on the southwest side.large_1840343_14157501038180.jpg There are 50 cottages in total - 30 water cottages (built on stilts) and the rest loft water cottages (built duplex style but with steps leading to the water). The loft water cottages are more spacious and suited to families. The dining area is located in between the areas for both cottage types. Further on the side near the water cottages is the spa area and the jump off point for the rappel up the rocky face cliff.

As this is an all inclusive resort, the total price for a 3 day/2 night stay (about 40,000 PHP or 850-900 USD depending on the prevailing exchange rate) per person covers almost everything including the airfare and transfers, accommodation and meals. Not to mention activities like island hopping, rappeling, snorkeling and non-motorized watersports (you obviously have to pay for the spa separately).

This is absolutely a nice place to stay if you have money to burn, it is quite relaxing although the biggest gripe I have is the travel time from El Nido airport to Taytay town plus the outrigger ride, since the old route which had the plane landing in Taytay airport was scrapped some time ago. If that option were still operational, we would have easily saved 2 hours each direction to and from the resort and airport.


Posted by NT01 17:00 Archived in Philippines

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