Sailing from Coron to El Nido, Palawan
This was, and will remain, one of the best local experiences I've ever had and I feel so blessed to have celebrated it with Noah, Jake and Brad. I'm going to attempt to put into words one of the best 5 days I've ever had. Let me give it a try….
I found Tao Philippines looking for something to do on and in the water while we were in the Philippines. It looked amazing and grass roots enough for us to love it. You all know me, I'm an ocean girl, I love real food – fresh food, I will take the grass hut over the Hilton every day of the week. Tao looked like it could deliver exactly what we wanted and their “Apply Now” tag (assuming that every application wasn't successful) seemed to support that very ideal.
Luckily we were accepted and had the great fortune to be able to end our month long Philippines trip with the sailing. What a way to go out. So glad we did it that way. Nothing else would have ever compared and I will be forever grateful to Tao for closing out Jake and Noah's year 12 grad trip in such a special way.
Which Direction Should You Choose?
Tao does trips both ways Coron to El Nido and vice versa however while either way would be amazing, starting in Coron was for us, the best way to go.
Coron is small, there are little restaurants and bars and Brad could eat meat sticks on the road, so a great place to start. When I asked Tao if one way was better than the other their response was
- Starting in Coron and heading south, the snorkling is fantastic but lessens as you move south. However the beaches get better the closer you get to El Nido and obviously it works in reverse.
I would do the Southerly direction again. When you first get on the boat you are so excited and are rushing off to snorkel everywhere, and take part in every thing that is happening, however as you move on you relax and the beaches to finish is a nice touch.
Coron is supposed to be some of the best diving in the world however none of us are real divers. I've had a collapsed lung so can't dive any longer, Brad has his ticket but almost never uses it and Noah did his first ever dive when we were in Moalboal so I hadn't booked any real time in Coron. We arrived only the day before the trip started and that was enough for sure. Coron is a cool little town and while its there for the diving, it is only small still which was a great way to start the trip.
Which Tao Sailing trip to do?
Tao have a few options, most of which are on the traditional Bankas. We did the sailing expedition which is on the traditional sailing paraw (read about the boat on this journal post) which was 5 full days and 4 nights. Each night you spend at a different camp on one of the islands.
- Some camps have power, some don't.
- Some have monkeys you are convinced are going to get under your mozzie screen at night, some don't.
- Some have showers (or loose versions of a shower). Some don't.
- ALL enable you to go to sleep to the sound of gently beaching waves.
You get the idea. Think grass huts in spectacular locations. All you need really. You wind your way down the coast through the islands heading eventually to El Nido the northern most tip of mainland Palawan.
A Typical Day Sailing Northern Palawan
The days are spent pulling into beaches and coves for swimming and snorkeling. The food is absolutely magnificent, the crew are funny, lively, attentive, adventurous, knowledgeable and almost family to us by the end. There are so many things I could say about Tao sailing but you know what – as Nike says “Just Do It”.
After 5 days in the islands in the company of the amazing crew and having learnt of Tao's incredible philosophies and principles, we get to El Nido and you have to get off. No one wants to though. Literally – I'm not kidding. The boys unload the kayaks and bring the first one round to the outrigger and no-one moves. The crew yell out that we need 3 people on this one. Still no-one moves. That my friends is the sign that it wasn't just me that felt so moved by this trip. It was everyone on the boat. I know this is a short post and its short by design. I want to tell you all so much about this amazing experience but somehow I just can't quite manage to part with the info. It feels like if I ramble on about specifics it will lessen in my mind somehow. I know that's not true but for whatever reason I feel that the Tao sailing trip must be discovered not described.
Thank you Tao – we will be back. There is no doubt in my mind.
I've tried to keep this post about the actual sailing trip with Tao, however to read more about this incredible company and they amazing philosophies, check out this post which is more focused on the who, what's and why's.