Our second getaway weekend out of Manila´s crazy traffic and hectic rumble on the streets was El Nido, Palawan.
Recommended by almost every fellow traveller or local we met in the Philippines we were more than excited to see for ourselves what the hype was all about. To make it short – our expectations were exceeded. Palawan has it all – dramatic skylines with sharp limestone cliffs, lagoons fluorescent shades of blues and greens, lonely white beaches with occasional monster lizards (yes, we have seen them and almost wet ourselves), kind people and amazing food.
What gave us the icing on the cake and made our trip even more enjoyable was our stay with Tapik Beach Park. We stayed 4 nights and 3 days in their Beach Cottage. Since we arrived in the middle of the night (see: “Getting there”) we could not comprehend the beauty of the Park at first and decided to go right to sleep instead. The tour the next morning revealed the amazing setup of this place and its facilities.
Getting there:Tapik Beach Park is nothing for the lazy and faint-hearted traveller. After arriving in Puerto Princesa, you can choose between bus companies or private van operators. Either way, the trip will take between 5-7hours. However, the Tapik Beach Park is not situated in the tourist center of El Nido, but in a small fishing village which is another 1h drive away from the Bus Terminal only accessible over bumpy roads. In the end it was all worth the trip and we would do it all over again just to stay at Tapik Beach Park.
Beach Cottage:We stayed in Tapik’s Beach Cottage, and it seemed as if it was newly renovated(which was great). Our bathroom was perfectly tailored with stone walls and a rainforest shower. We had a working fan to cool us down at night and a mosquito net to keep away the critters.
Features: Made of indigenous materials, Terrace with beach view, Double or Twin Bed, Private bath, breakfast, electric fan
All Year Rate : US$ 50.00* ǀ Php 2,300.00
Treetops Cottage:Room Features: Made of indigenous materials, overlooking ocean view, Double or Twin Bed, Private bath, breakfast, electric fan
All Year Rate : US$ 50.00* ǀ Php 2,300.00
Beach Hut:Room Features: Made of indigenous materials, Beach View, Double or Twin Bed, Shared Bath, electric fan
All Year Rate : US$ 21.75* ǀ Php 1,000.00
Amenities:The amenities at the Tapik Beach Park are rather simple, but if you have sunshine, hammocks right at the beach and oceanview from every angle, what more can you ask for? Maybe a nice cocktail and amazing food at a bar made from indigenous materials where you can walk in with your sandy feet? Tapik Beach Park has it all covered.
Food:The food is simply outstanding. When you enter the small restaurant and bar at first you might ask yourself, “where on earth do they hide the kitchen and the cook,” because the facilities seemed so small, yet it provided us with amazing local dishes. For example, we had Chicken Adobo, breaded prawns, fish fingers, and also a broad variety of sandwiches to satisfy every taste for a reasonable price.
Activities:Unique and I combined two of the typical tours to do starting from El Nido – Tour A and C. All the typical island tours that visit the lagoons and secret beaches start from El Nido, so we made our way there quite early around 7am. We also decided to rent one of the kayaks and paddled over to Tapik’s special Cast Away Island which holds its promise as it is a really small island with perfect white sand shores and amazing snorkeling – just pay attention to the strong currents occurring with low tide.We discovered that the low tide can make your way back quite a challenge due to the coral reefs that are just inches below the surface.
Locals are very friendly and the trip is very scenic and gives you a nice impression of the lifestyle in Palawan. Unique and I decided to mingle with the locals and stop at some of the stores and coffee shops. A quick coffee break can easily lead to a whole family gathering and a nice chit chat in half english, half tagalo, and half hands and feet language.
The staff at Tapik Beach Park are very helpful and always at your disposal to help you out with booking enquiries and suggestions. We really enjoyed our perfect island life with Tapik, and if we’re ever in Palawan we’ll make our way back to that 5-star resort. Please be sure to visit their website if you’re craving for a perfect rustic and island lifestyle while visiting Palawan.