24 Hours in El Nido with the Sony Xperia XZs

Palawan is not the world’s most beautiful island for nothing.

I don’t know why it took me 25 years to visit the Philippines’ best kept not-so-secret island, but I’m glad I finally did.

While an action cam is perfect for adventures like island hopping, snorkeling, and kayaking, I try to keep the amount of devices I bring to the beach at a minimum.

The Ice Blue Sony Xperia XZs won me over the moment I laid my eyes on it at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year. It’s not completely waterproof, but it has better chances of surviving the windy beach or rain. For safekeeping, I still brought a waterproof pouch since it’s not advisable to take the phone directly into the ocean.

You need to rent one of these boats to fully experience what El Nido has to offer. Rates start at US$ 24 per head for a tour around the lagoons that lasts around four to six hours.

Taraw Cliff is also a must and should be done in the early morning to minimize sunburn.

But first, coffee. El Nido’s town center has rows after rows of cafes and restaurants — a lot of them owned by foreigners who fell in love with the island and decided to move there.

Island hopping time! Instagram photos don’t lie — the water is as clear as day and the lagoons are as gorgeous as everything I’ve seen on my feed, filtered or #unfiltered.

One can’t help but snap a selfie in the Big Lagoon and take advantage of the clouds diffusing the harsh sunlight.

My favorite part of El Nido is called Small Lagoon, where you can rent a kayak and row your way inside every opening. The water is calm and clean, making it perfect for snorkeling, too!

After the tour you can rent a scooter or tricycle and make your way to the twin beach of Nacpan and Calitang. This tree archway will greet you, but you have to be prepared for a bumpy ride along the dirt roads.

Calitang Beach Resort serves great Filipino food, has friendly owners and staff, and has the best rooftop view overlooking the serene ocean.

That silhouette of a nipa hut is actually the Harmony Floating Bar at Nacpan beach that you can get to by swimming or kayaking. What better way to end the day than by watching the sunset?



24 Hours is a series on GadgetMatch.com where we showcase our travels through a smartphone camera’s perspective. It’s also a documented guide on things to see and do in a city in case you happen to plan a trip there.

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