TAO EXPEDITION Day 5: Bacuit Bay, Small and Big Lagoon, El Nido Town (A Photo Essay) @TaoPhilippines

01/04/2017 Updated Blog Post: TAO Philippines: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at What Makes @TAOPhilippines Successful?

Tao Expedition - Day 5-166.jpg
We explored the islands around Bacuit Bay, El Nido on the last day of the Tao Expedition…

Here’s the Day 5 photo essay of our experience…
Tao Expedition Series:

Tao Expedition - Day 5-16.jpg
The beach in El Nido is the best–very fine sand that gradually slopes to the deep water. 
 Tao Expedition - Day 5-5.jpg
Started the day with a good morning walk to the other end of the cove with the dogs…

Tao Expedition - Day 5-10.jpg
Romy, our expedition leader, showed us how to create animals from the leaves of the coconut.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-25.jpg
He created a special coconut hat from scratch for the ladies in our expedition team.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-38.jpg
Here’s the Coconut Hat Souvenir for the Arts & Crafts activity at the Tao Village basecamp.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-33.jpg
This was the best breakfast we had throughout the expedition…

Tao Expedition - Day 5-36.jpg
…oatmeal with banana jam and honey, served in a coconut bowl with coconut juice. 


Cadlao Lagoon

Tao Expedition - Day 5-48.jpg
Our first stop of the day was the Cadlao Lagoon at the back of the Tao Village base camp.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-64.jpg
It’s better to kayak because there are no corals to see if you swim.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-73.jpg
There’s a small beach area to rest and hang out before going back to your boat.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-86.jpg
There’s a secret opening in the rocks that you can pass through like little kids.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-94.jpg
Once we got back to the boat, we saw native chickens on board for our lunch. 🙂 


Helicopter Island Beach

Tao Expedition - Day 5-109.jpg
Second stop for the day was beach bumming and playing frisbee on Helicopter Island.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-115.jpg
We got to practice our jump shots into the water.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-129.jpg
Merienda was Banana Pizza with tomato and coconut. Quite unique but I’m not a fan. 


Small Lagoon

Tao Expedition - Day 5-132.jpg
3rd stop: Kayaking around the Small Lagoon.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-136.jpg
You can’t see the lagoon from the outside because it’s hidden by the limestone cliffs. 

Tao Expedition - Day 5-146.jpg
You have to pass through a small opening to get to the lagoon. 

Tao Expedition - Day 5-153.jpg
Inside, the beauty unfolds before you. It’s better to explore it via kayak. 

Tao Expedition - Day 5-165.jpg
There’s a small entrance at the far end of the lagoon.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-169.jpg
I’ve been here a number of times already, but the charm of the place never fails to mesmerize me.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-163.jpg
The water is so clear that you can see the limestone rocks below.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-197.jpg
It also takes 30 minutes to explore the small lagoon. Better to go early while there’s no crowd yet.


Tao Philippines Lunch

Tao Expedition - Day 5-217.jpg
Our farewell Tao Expedition lunch!

Tao Expedition - Day 5-199.jpg
Chicken Curry–first time we had chicken in this trip. 🙂

Tao Expedition - Day 5-203.jpg
Sweet and sour fresh catch of the day…

Tao Expedition - Day 5-201.jpg
…cucumber and tomato salad… 

Tao Expedition - Day 5-209.jpg
…and ginataang monggo! 

Tao Expedition - Day 5-218.jpg
All the guests were raving about the Filipino Food throughout our trip! 


Big Lagoon

Tao Expedition - Day 5-224.jpg
After lunch, we explored the Big Lagoon in Miniloc Island for our 4th stop, as we wound down our Tao Philippines expedition.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-235.jpg
Don’t even attempt to explore this without a kayak.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-231.jpg
It’s quite big and the surroundings are very serene and relaxing.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-243.jpg
There’s a secret passage that you can enter in between the limestone rocks.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-248.jpg
It’s like a mini-cave–an up close and personal encounter with the limestone rock formation.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-258.jpg
The limestone cliffs are marvelous with clear turquoise waters!

Tao Expedition - Day 5-261.jpg
You can see the sea urchins with their black spikes attached to the rocks under the water.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-275.jpg
There’s a sandy area at the entrance of the big lagoon where you can swim and enjoy the water.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-276.jpg
We passed by Miniloc Island and I remembered my early adventures here with my wife Rache and our first son Aidan back in 2006.

[ElNido Palawan#1] El Nido–The Best Beach in the Philippines!
[ElNido Palawan#2] Shimizu Island, El Nido
[ElNido Palawan#3] Entalula Island, Your own private Boracay Island

I hope to go back and bring all the boys for another El Nido adventure. 🙂


Pinagpuyutan Island

Tao Expedition - Day 5-283.jpg
Our final stop for the day was snorkeling in Pinagpuyutan Island.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-286.jpg
We don’t get tired of seeing the underwater beauty of the Palawan Isles.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-296.jpg
For our final cocktail drink for the trip–Piña Colada–to celebrate the success of the expedition!

The Piña Colada recipe = 1 liter pineapple, 1 bottle Tanduay rum, 2 pcs coconut milk, 2 glasses water, and 10 pcs kalamansi. 

Tao Expedition - Day 5-298.jpg
We could see El Nido town from the distance, marking the end of our memorable trip.Tao Expedition - Day 5-305.jpg
The quaint El Nido town with limestone cliffs as the backdrop.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-315.jpg
My vote for the best merienda for the trip is this Suman with Latik!

Tao Expedition - Day 5-316.jpg
The recommended tip is P500-P1,500 for the entire trip, which is shared among the entire crew.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-311.jpg
The El Nido Port is quite busy, and you usually have to pass through the other boats. 

Tao Expedition - Day 5-322.jpg
Thanks to the Tao Philippines Expedition Crew led by Romy for the awesome 5 days and 4 nights from Coron to El Nido! 

Tao Expedition - Day 5-327.jpg
Touchdown, El Nido Town, where tricycles are waiting to bring you to your lodging for P20 special trip.

Sea Slug Tao Reunion-1.jpg
Our Melting Pot or OMP is the highly recommended backpackers place at P500/night for a shared room, and P600/night for a private room. It was fully booked.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-333.jpg
I stayed at Biolina’s Guest House upon Romy’s recommendation.

Tao Expedition - Day 5-329.jpg
P1,000/night for twin sharing beds with air-condition…

Tao Expedition - Day 5-335.jpg
…and a nice, decent shower and toilet with hot water. 🙂

El Nido Sunday Mass-1.jpg
I was able to freshen up and make it just in time for the 5.00pm English Sunday mass at the St. Francis Assisi Parish in El Nido down.

Sea Slug Tao Reunion-2.jpg
After dinner, we all agreed to have an 8.00pm reunion at Sea Slugs.

Sea Slug Tao Reunion-24.jpg
The food was a bit expensive and not that good in comparison to what we had on our expedition.

Sea Slug Tao Reunion-21.jpg
Thank you to my travel buddies Dallas and Miranda from Wisconsin, Adrian and Raqui from New York, Rich from the UK, and Alex from Germany for an awesome Tao Expedition experience! 

Tao Expedition - Day 5-198.jpg

Tao Expeditions has been described as ‘One of the most pioneering cultural eco-tourism projects in the Philippines’. It is a journey to the most remote region in Palawan to discover a tropical archipelago of hundreds of paradise islands, inaccessible to independent travelers through its remoteness and lack of tourist infrastructure.

Email: info@taophilippines.com
Emergency Contact Numbers: +63 908 874 9075 or +63 998 411 3576 
FacebookTao Philippines
Twitter: @TaoPhilippines

Coron Tao Office: Don Pedro St. Coron town (in front of Sea Dive resort). 
El Nido Tao Office: Serena St. El Nido town. 

Tao Expedition Fee (2015 Season): P25,000 for regular 5 days/4 nights per person 

50% Deposit due to secure booking : 12,500PHP

What’s included?

  • The journey with us onboard.
  • All meals, snacks, and refreshments.
  • Your overnight accommodation at Tao base-camps or in the islands.
  • Fees and environmental tax in islands and nature reserve.
  • Equipment: Mask and Snorkel (no Fins).
  • Local fishing gears (drop line and line trawling).
  • Kayaks. 

Not included: 

  • Accommodation before or after the trip with us.
  • Transportation to and from the meeting point.
  • Towels.
  • Alcoholic drinks.
  • Fins for snorkeling.
  • El Nido Tourism Development Tax (P200) in your stay in El Nido.

Click here to check the ‘Open Group Expedition’ schedule.


Here’s the map of the expedition: Tao Expedition Map

Related Blog Posts:
Tao Philippines Expedition Series (2014):

Apulit Island Resort Experience (2011):

Coron, Busuanga Experience (2008):

El Nido Palawan Adventure (2006):

Live an Awesome Life,

Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

Disclosure: I paid for my Tao Philippines Expedition and I’m not connected in any way with Tao Philippines. I wrote this article with my own biases, opinions, and insights. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.  

P.S. I woke up at 4.00am to catch the van for the 5-hour road trip to Puerto Princesa.

El Nido to Puerto Princesa-2.jpg
Biolina was able to arrange a 4.30am tricycle pickup for P20 to the van terminal.

El Nido to Puerto Princesa-4.jpg
The guest house also booked Fortwally that leaves 5.00am for Puerto Princesa at P500/head. The vans are not new, seat belts are not working, and the drivers drive fast.

(Tip: Make sure to ask them to reserve the front seat–even for an extra fee–for a more comfortable trip.)

El Nido to Puerto Princesa-9.jpg
We arrived at around 6.30am at Taytay for a breakfast/pasalubong stopover.

El Nido to Puerto Princesa-12.jpg
We had a gas stop at around 8.00am in Roxas, Palawan.

El Nido to Puerto Princesa-13.jpg
We arrived around 9.15 at the Sabang junction going to the Underground River.

El Nido to Puerto Princesa-16.jpg
I arrived at around 10.30am in Puerto Princesa Airport despite the city traffic. It would be safe to book a 12.00noon flight back to Manila. 

6 thoughts on “TAO EXPEDITION Day 5: Bacuit Bay, Small and Big Lagoon, El Nido Town (A Photo Essay) @TaoPhilippines

  1. Dear Anton,
    We just came from El Nido and took Daytripper Palawan (google them!). I’m quite surprised you didn’t know about them 😉 Best choice for transport to Puerto Princesa. Our Puerto Princesa – El Nido ride was horrific (same van company you took – Fort Wally). NEVER AGAIN. Thanks for sharing your TAO Trip! Maybe my wife and I will consider taking this next time we plan to visit Palawan again.

  2. Hi! I have been thinking of joining one of the Tao Expeditions when I come home. Would it be a problem if I don’t know how to swim?
    I enjoy reading your blog. And what kind of camera do you use?
    Thank you!

  3. Hello, i enjoyed reading every word, it is extremely helpful. I just have a question i know you took the van and bus to leave from el nido. but if i want to take the internal flight to manila, do you know if its far the accommodation places you recommended from the airport??
    And also do you recommend for me to buy/rent the fins, dry bag and water shoes?do you remember how much they cost?
    many Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *