Adventures Philippines Travel Diaries

Island Hopping in Palawan

March 21, 2016
El Nido Siniciliya Northernhopetours Veronica Pototska Вероника Потоцкая

Having spent the first day exploring islands surrounding El Nido, my husband and I decided to travel inland on the island the next day. We knew that there were many natural treasures hidden in it – rarely visited underground caves in the lush evergreen jungles, mountains showing their verdant peaks and waterfalls. We rented vintage Honda Scoopy mopeds and left the town towards the new adventure that was waiting for us. Behind every turn of the serpentine road, cutting through the carpet of exotic plants, we were granted breathtaking views, that existed only for the two of us.

Our first destination was the Nagkalit-Kalit Falls located a few miles away from the main road, that can be reached by a beaten trail through a small village and the tropical forest beyond. In the distance, there was a river to ford nine times before we would reach its source, the beautiful Nagkalit-Kalit waterfall.

We chose not to hire a local guide and I followed my husband, as the trail was leading us in many different directions. The day was hot, and everything seemed to be exhausted from the burning sun with no breeze to lighten its fiery breath. Having reached the next river ford I saw a cow enjoying the freshness of the mountain river.

–           “Oh, how I’d love to swim in the river now”, I said to a stranger who was also looking at the cow

–           “You may, I am sure the cow wouldn’t mind your companionship”, he replied

After a 40 minute trek through the tropical forest, finally, I heard water splashing onto the rocks. As I walked further the noise increased steadily and I saw the beautiful Nagkalit-Kalit Falls and a welcoming natural pool filled with crystal clear water that was a real reward after a long walk. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay any longer as we wanted to enjoy the beauty of the last       rays at the Napcan Beach.

This beach is famous for its charming beauty, long-lasting waves that become golden at the sunset, and embrace the wide seashore with melted gold. We sat down on the warm sand and enjoyed peace and serenity of the moment, watching the last rays of the sun hide behind the mountain.

The next morning we went to the open sea again. This time, it was unfriendly and hostile, showing its temper, challenging and testing us. The waves were rising, but the captain assured us that our wooden Banca boat has been through storms and we were safe. We accepted the challenge as we felt like we were experienced sea dogs as the waves grew increasingly large. As we reached the first lagoon, the voyage once again became peaceful and pleasant.

We were able to visit the Big Lagoon, the Small Lagoon, the Secret Lagoon, Simizu Island and the Seven Commandos Beach.

El Nido Siniciliya Northernhopetours Veronica Pototska Вероника Потоцкая El Nido Siniciliya Northernhopetours Veronica Pototska Вероника ПотоцкаяEl Nido Siniciliya Northernhopetours Veronica Pototska Вероника ПотоцкаяEl Nido Siniciliya Northernhopetours Veronica Pototska Вероника ПотоцкаяEl Nido Siniciliya Northernhopetours Veronica Pototska Вероника ПотоцкаяEl Nido Siniciliya Northernhopetours Veronica Pototska Вероника ПотоцкаяEl Nido Siniciliya Northernhopetours Veronica Pototska Вероника Потоцкая El Nido Siniciliya Northernhopetours Veronica Pototska Вероника Потоцкая El Nido Siniciliya Northernhopetours Veronica Pototska Вероника Потоцкая El Nido Siniciliya Northernhopetours Veronica Pototska Вероника Потоцкая El Nido Siniciliya Northernhopetours Veronica Pototska Вероника Потоцкая El Nido Siniciliya Northernhopetours Veronica Pototska Вероника Потоцкая El Nido Siniciliya Northernhopetours Veronica Pototska Вероника Потоцкая El Nido Siniciliya Northernhopetours Veronica Pototska Вероника Потоцкая El Nido Siniciliya Northernhopetours Veronica Pototska Вероника Потоцкая El Nido Siniciliya Northernhopetours Veronica Pototska Вероника Потоцкая El Nido Siniciliya Northernhopetours Veronica Pototska Вероника Потоцкая

This was the last day we spent in the Philippines and I am very grateful to Northern Hope Tours for their boutique-like concierge service while I stayed in El Nido. They were true professionals in delivering all travel services I have booked through them, including land transfers, accommodation, motorbikes rental, tours A & C.

Location: El Nido, Philippines

Photographers: Vitaliy Pototskiy, Veronica Pototska



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  • Reply Amanda Love March 21, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Your photos are breathtaking! I have a few friends in the Philippines and I would love to visit one day. Maybe in a year or two I’ll make it.

  • Reply Robin Rue (@massholemommy) March 21, 2016 at 10:56 am

    That sounds beyond amazing. What an awesome adventure you got to go on. I love all your photos.

  • Reply Ivanna March 21, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Fantastic photos so beautiful there. Thanks so much for sharing a piece of the adventure with us 🙂

    • Siniciliya
      Reply Siniciliya March 21, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Thank you for reading

  • Reply Greta Hollar (@greta_hollar) March 21, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    This makes me want to pack my bags and leave right now! So gorgeous!

    Greta |

  • Reply alannaandcompany March 21, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Great photos! looks like an amazing trip.

  • Reply Chel March 21, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    You photos are amazing! what camera do you use for these? I have the canon rebel t5i but i’m looking for something else soon!

    • Siniciliya
      Reply Siniciliya March 21, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Thank you, Chel!
      I use Canon Mark II and I do Lightroom editing from RAW files.

  • Reply Kristin Cook March 21, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Wow! So beautiful! That looks like an amazing trip!

  • Reply RACHEL March 21, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Such beauty in these pictures! It’s easy to forget how beautiful our Earth is. Thank you for the reminders!

  • Reply brittanyputman15 March 21, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Beautiful! I spent a summer in the Philippines once and I miss it often.

  • Reply Brandee March 21, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous photos! My dad grew up in the Phillipines and I got to visit with him and most of my aunts and uncles in 2000, but we didn’t get a chance to travel to that area. I hope to go back one day. Looks like you had an incredible visit to an amazing country,

  • Reply blythea (Prime Beauty Blog) March 21, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    The scenery is so beautiful there. Just looking at your photos inspires tranquility.

  • Reply Skye March 21, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Gorgeous photos! I would have loved to swim with the cow too! 🙂

  • Reply Kait Hanson (@ByKaitHanson) March 21, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Island hopping is my favorite! I love your photos so much 🙂

  • Reply Sequins in the South (@CarlsonLaci) March 21, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    Wow really I could definitely daydream about this place I am so intrigued

  • Reply Debra Hawkins (@wifeeclectic) March 22, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Oh my word! I have all sorts of jealousy for your travels! They all look amazing!

  • Reply Brittany March 22, 2016 at 12:11 am

    Your photos are so beautiful! You’ve made me want to go back to the Philippines so bad! My mother is Filipino, so I have a whole side of the family from there.

  • Reply Michele March 22, 2016 at 12:41 am

    Every time you post pics I think they are the most beautiful Ive seen…. they are just gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply Amber NElson March 22, 2016 at 1:22 am

    That looks so relaxing. I would love to go to that place!

  • Reply dacounsel March 22, 2016 at 1:25 am

    I get lost in your pictures! Your husband takes amazing shots!

  • Reply kancell724 March 22, 2016 at 2:24 am

    Wow these photos are giving me major envy! They are fantastic.

  • Reply Crystal // Dreams, etc. March 22, 2016 at 2:25 am

    Your pictures are beautiful! They make me feel like I was there. 🙂

  • Reply Roxanne March 22, 2016 at 2:30 am

    Stunning photos as always!! I love reading about all the fabulos places you travel to!

  • Reply Bri DePauw (@ATGlittered) March 22, 2016 at 2:34 am

    Seriously amazing photos!! So beautiful!

  • Reply The Southern Thing March 22, 2016 at 2:41 am

    What gorgeous views! I definitely wouldn’t mind island hopping right about now!

  • Reply artfulattempt March 22, 2016 at 3:04 am

    Beautiful photos! I haven’t been to the Philippines yet, but my husband has family there, so I’ll get there one day!

  • Reply atlasheart March 22, 2016 at 3:22 am

    It sounds like you had such an adventure in El Nido and your pictures are gorgeous as always. I’m looking forward to my own travels through the Philippines soon!

  • Reply keatingbartlett March 22, 2016 at 5:30 am

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I’ve literally gone nowhere in my lifetime. I haven’t even left the east coast of the U.S. So I’m in desperate need of some new adventures.

  • Reply jillconyers March 22, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Such beautiful photos capturing the memories of a wonderful trip. I’m ready to travel!

  • Reply Ana De-Jesus March 22, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    This is exactly what the doctor ordered . Im so down in the dumps at the moment and something like this would really cheer me up.

  • Reply tp keane March 22, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    oh my gosh, these photos are just amazing. I’m so envious of your travels but excited to see where you go next.

  • Reply Krystle Chaney Cook March 22, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    I love all of the adventures you have. Going to a place like Nagkalit-Kalit Falls would be amazing. Although my husband would probably have to drag me up the mountain if it was too far. I get so tired.

  • Reply Chels (@Inspire_Indulge) March 22, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Your photos are seriously to die for!!! Another lovely post xo

  • Reply Sheena Tatum March 22, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    The caves sound super exciting! Are there any restrictions to the caves? I love exploring them and know that there are only certain months were I live that you can enter them.

  • Reply Toni Williams March 22, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Your adventures are amazing! This has now been added to the travel bucket list!

  • Reply Heather (@TownsendHouse1) March 22, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    What a wonderful excursion for you guys! I think that sometimes not getting a guide is the best way to experience an area, just finding your own way!

  • Reply Ashlie Langston March 22, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Oh man! You are really making me want a tropical vacation with these gorgeous photos! That looks like an incredible place to visit!

  • Reply Koninika March 23, 2016 at 1:42 am

    Absolutely spectacular! Serene and peaceful and absolutely breathtaking! Makes me want to jump into the pictures! Thanks for letting us be a part of your adventures!

  • Reply laura londergan March 23, 2016 at 3:13 am

    so many times i have to do a double take when i am looking at your photos as they don’t even look like photographs – they look like pieces of art. – your photography is INSANE!!!! =)

  • Reply Jena Golden March 23, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Forever in love with your posts.

  • Reply Vicky March 23, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Oh my gosh, I love your swimwear that you are wearing while out canoeing. So pretty and looks like it offers some sun protection too.

  • Reply Shannon Graham March 23, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    I love exploring especially when there’s not a lot of people and it’s just me, the hubs, and nature. There’s something majestic about it.

  • Reply Chelsea Damon March 23, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Your photos are gorgeous!! Kayaking is one of my all time FAVORITE things to do!

  • Reply Yona Williams March 24, 2016 at 12:31 am

    Well, if that isn’t the most relaxing-looking photo up top – I don’t know what is. I also love the fish and wildlife images.

  • Reply whisktangofox March 24, 2016 at 12:51 am

    Your photos look straight out of a magazine. so beautiful! And I love your site design. I am a new follower for sure!

  • Reply onceuponadollhouse March 24, 2016 at 1:13 am

    your vacation looks amazing! photos ON-POINT.

  • Reply Amber NElson March 24, 2016 at 1:52 am

    Those photos are breathtaking. It looks like you had a relaxing time.

  • Reply alexandria March 24, 2016 at 2:26 am

    Your pictures are always amazing. I am jealous of all your vacations. I can imagine how relaxed you must feel.

  • Reply Michele March 24, 2016 at 2:33 am

    Do you ever miss just being at home? You have so many beautiful adventures…. thanks for sharing!

  • Reply livelifewellblog5 March 24, 2016 at 2:35 am

    Gorgeous photos! This looks like a really lovely place.


  • Reply ruthieridley March 24, 2016 at 4:42 am

    I get lost in your photos! What an experience! I would love to do this some day!!

  • Reply Leah Herring March 24, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Wow, just WOW! Those views are just breathtaking. Makes me want to go on a tropical vacation immediately.

  • Reply Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories March 24, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Oh my word, your photos as always are stunning! The water is so crystal clear and beautiful. You’re making me want to head to the Phillipines! Looks like an amazing experience.

  • Reply Debra Hawkins (@wifeeclectic) March 24, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    What a gorgeous place to visit! That water is so clear and amazing! What beautiful photos too!

  • Reply Rose Sahetapy March 24, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Gosh! Those houses remind me of my origin land. Your photos as always are stunnig! They help your readers experience the adventure you were in.

  • Reply Eileen xo March 24, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Just beautiful photography! This looks like such an amazing trip. I would be so relaxed after this visit

  • Reply Positively Stacey (@PositivelyStace) March 24, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    What a beautiful adventure you are living! The photograph is absolutely stunning.

  • Reply Kelly March 25, 2016 at 2:01 am

    Absolutely stunning photographs you’ve got here! Definitely stirring up my travelin’ jones 🙂

  • Reply Mimi B March 25, 2016 at 2:33 am

    Absolutely stunning photos. I’ve never even heard of this place. I could only dream of going to a location like this. Thank you for sharing your trip!

  • Reply Heather (@TownsendHouse1) March 25, 2016 at 9:55 am

    That beach looks absolutely breathtaking! What a wonderful vacation to be on. I am glad you had fun!

  • Reply Monica Benavidez March 25, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Your photos are stunning! The Philippines look like a gorgeous place to visit. All those gorgeous waters. Wow!

  • Reply Julie @ Girl on the Move March 25, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Oh my goodness, I just want to go now! The beach and water looks absolutely beautiful and so relaxing!

  • Reply Annie (@anniedemm) March 25, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Gorgeous photography!

  • Reply Chloe March 25, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Beautiful photographs! I have to admit, it blew me away. The Philippines is definitely on my list for my gap year travels! 🙂

    Chloe | | @hayitschloeblog

  • Reply Amanda | Maple Alps March 25, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Gorgeous Gorgeous Gorgeous!!!!!!!!
    This makes me want to get on a plane RIGHT NOW and never come back.
    Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Reply adriana March 26, 2016 at 1:40 am

    These pictures are insane!!! I would love to visit Palawan, dying to travel the world!

  • Reply thesearchforimperfection March 26, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Looks amazing… someday!!!

  • Reply Simply Save March 26, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Stunning photos! I can’t believe how clear the water is…looks like a postcard!

  • Reply sveeteskapes March 26, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Lovely post, stunning photos and you look gorgeous! My favorite though is the one with you in the canoe with your back to the camera, its surreal!
    xx, Kusum |

  • Reply birdhousebooks March 26, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    I really enjoyed reading about your trip, and these photos are AMAZING. Absolutely beautiful! – Trish

  • Reply mollymaureen72 March 26, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Lovely trip! Lovely photos! <3

  • Reply anniebobs85 March 27, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    These photos are so stunning! I love how clear the water is.

    • Siniciliya
      Reply Siniciliya March 29, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Thank you! I miss that water a lot!

  • Reply Hannah Stein March 28, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Oh my gosh these photos are BEAUTIFUL!! I’ve never been to the Philippines but it’s definitely on my list and even more so after reading this post. That kayaking trip looks like such an amazing time.

  • Reply lynsire March 28, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    These are stunning photos! I really like all of them and it makes me want to go :))

  • Reply Dana Peller (@Pellerini) March 28, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    As usual, these are beautiful photos!! I love the water in some of the photos – it is so crystal clear!

  • Reply Courtney Connolly March 29, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Oh wow, your photos are absolutely incredible!! Palawan looks like such a breathtaking place!

    La Belle Sirene 

  • Reply Joanna April 3, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    This is so beautiful! Please, may I dive with you?


  • Reply jendialouise April 15, 2016 at 7:27 am

    You’ve been to El Nido too!! Me and my husband went there last September 2015. We didn’t had a chance to go to Nagkalit-Kalit Falls because of time. We don’t have any tour arrangement or whatsoever, we only do DIY most of the time hihi. I knew we should’ve availed of the tour packages to maximize our stay there. I’m glad that you enjoyed your trip to Palawan! We actually had the same tour (Tour A and C). We’re planning to go back there. Such a wonderful island indeed.

  • Reply Marge Gavan April 15, 2016 at 8:46 am

    I was in El Nido last year for my first solo travel and I didn’t know about that falls you went too. That photo of there is gorgeous!

    Actually all of your photos here look beautiful. It did justice to the beauty of El Nido. Which one is your favorite by the way?

  • Reply Kat April 15, 2016 at 8:49 am

    First of all, I love that photo of you floating! Just gorgeous. We’ll be in El Nido sometime this year as well, and we’re also planning to book a packaged tour in Northern Hope Tours. It’s one of the most recommended travel agencies in local forums, plus I computed the expenses of getting a packaged tour against a DIY trip and the difference is not that significant anyway.

    You know, I’ve been looking at El Nido photos and blogs and this is the first time I’ve come across the Nagkalit-kalit falls. Might be worth a look once we’re there. 🙂

    • Siniciliya
      Reply Siniciliya April 15, 2016 at 9:12 am

      Kat, Nagkalit-Kalit falls are worth visiting if you haven’t seen any waterfalls in the Philippines before or you have a lot of spare time. Otherwise, there are more amazing things to do in Palawan.

  • Reply A Busy Bees Life April 15, 2016 at 8:57 am

    I must say the pictures you take are so wonderfully breathtaking that they make me just want to be in the scene in the picture. El Nido looks like a great place to be, and sounds also very romantic. I had not heard about this place but those crystal clear waters are so inviting and gorgeous. What a great way to spend time away. The cow is so cute, LOL.

  • Reply Nicole Paler April 15, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Very breathtaking photos! I am now very sad though, because my family and me had already booked a trip to visit Palawan, and we had to cancel at the last minute due to work reasons. Also, what made me sad is that even if I live in the country, I haven’t begun to explore more of my own homeland.. I am very thankful that you let me tour with you through your photos!

  • Reply amiladananjaya April 16, 2016 at 4:58 am

    amazing photos! and hoping to visit there one day


    […] recently returned from the Philippines where I spent a weekend in a very unique place on Bohol Island. The resort was called Tarsier […]

  • Reply Jojo May 8, 2016 at 5:10 am

    Haha, yes, I don’t think the cow would mind!

  • Reply Victoria May 18, 2016 at 5:54 am

    Wow, Veronica these pictures are beyond description. You must of had an amazing time there. Thank you for sharing such a great content!

  • Reply TheOneThatTravels May 19, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Amazing photos

  • Reply Tamz June 4, 2016 at 8:21 am

    I’m surely gonna need some tips from you when I visit this place later this year. I love the pictures on this post

  • Reply Liana June 5, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Oh my, I’m so in love with your space and your photos! I definitely will go back to check onto those amazing tips you’re giving! x

  • Reply Miranda August 13, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    What a beautiful destination to experience! The photos you included made me feel like I was with you on your journey. The water looks so beautiful. I only hope to be able to explore the world one day! Your post is perfectly timed to remind me that there is a time for everything. The right destination vacation will be upon me soon enough. Thanks for sharing your beautiful trip with us!

  • Reply Bernadette Angelie Pangilinan August 13, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Oh, you’ve been in Palawan! I’m a Filipina and our country takes pride in the beauty of Palawan! I’m so glad you had a great time in there 🙂

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