Swimming with whale sharks in Oslob, Cebu! I was a little nervous at first but after hearing how gentle these creatures were, I got super excited. The boat takes you out to sea where you can either snorkel with a life jacket and watch the sharks from above or take off your jacket and actually swim with them. Of course I took off my jacket for this once in a lifetime experience and swam with them. You're not allowed to touch the sharks but sometimes they do rub against you which was a pretty unique feeling. They swim so gracefully and effortlessly. It's really neat watching them eat because they open up their mouth (which is insanely huge) and everything just gets sucked in. It was a phenomenal experience and definitely something that should be on your bucket list.
Getting to Oslob: took a flight from Manila to Cebu which only lasts an hour. From Cebu, the drive to Oslob is about 4 hours. Cebu is a beautiful and fun city to explore but if you are looking to swim with the whale sharks, Oslob is the final destination. Now I'll be honest and say there isn't much to do in Oslob besides the whale sharks and Tumalong Falls, so I would not recommend staying longer than a day or two.
The island of Cebu and the city of Oslob
Taoist Temple located in Cebu City
Palawan was the last stop on my list of island hopping. I knew I would be seeing Pinterest looking places on my travels- but when you actually see these places in person, it's an unexplainable feeling. I'm usually having to pinch myself. The untouched beauty of this island is simply pure paradise. There's just something so magical about limestone cliffs surrounded by crystal clear water. I felt like I was in a national geographic travel magazine.
How do you get to El Nido? It's not quick or easy, but definitely worth it. I flew from Manila which was about an hour plane ride into Puerto Princesa Airport. After arriving at the airport, you need separate transportation to get you to El Nido. I took a van which took about 6 hours. You can take a bus, car, van, or boat. If you decide to take a local bus, make sure it is equipped with air conditioning (or aircon as they call it) before heading out for the long drive. Also be sure to stop at an ATM before getting into El Nido as there aren't many options for taking out money once you get there.
El Nido offers different tours of the islands including Tour A, B, C, & D. I did some researching and came to the conclusion Tour A was the most popular choice. Tour A includes the Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Shimizu Island, Secret Lagoon, and 7 Commando Beach.
The town of El Nido
Rent a motorcycle and head north on the main road for about 45 minutes until you hit Nacpan Beach. This beach was as if I was living in a postcard. The gorgeous, clean sand and perfectly blue water will have you reaching for your camera at every corner.
If you go to the Philippines, I highly recommend taking a trip to El Nido!
Spider House, Diniwid Beach (a hidden gem)
I stayed at the Red Coconut Beach Hotel located at Station 2. Perfect location and such a cute hotel! Boracay is the best location for watching golden sunsets light up the sky so be sure to have your camera ready.
Top Things to Do in Boracay:
• Spider House
• Water sports (parasailing, sailboat, banana boat, etc.)
• Shop around D'mall
• Ariel's Point
• White Beach
• Spa treatment along the beach
• Snorkel & Scuba-dive