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Sailing in El Nido - A first-time experience
The Philippines

Sailing in El Nido, Palawan

Chris and I had been hoping for the longest time to try something new in our travels. So during our 15-day vacation, we tried sailing in El Nido, Palawan, and it was amazing! The sailing adventure was also part of our first anniversary.

Sailing in El Nido- how did we start

Anyone who will try this activity is required to take a course. There are different options. We took the 1.5-hour course that explained the basics of sailing.

A guide taught us every little thing we needed to know. Before he began, he asked us five things that we knew about sailing. Well, the truth is, I didn’t have any single idea about sailing, let alone in El Nido. But for instance, Kuya asked us how we would know where the wind was coming from.

Chris got all the answers. He got the water motion, the small color-coded flags tied on the boat, signifying wind directions that tied on the boat, and three more things I have already forgotten. (I wasn’t actively listening, sorry. Oops.)

Furthermore, the guide explained every tiny detail. He made sure that we learned and was informed about the things we needed to know before embarking onsea tripsea. Finally, he also explained what to do if the sailboat capsized.

As a result, te enjoyed learning many things about sailing. The course took almost 2 hours because of the wind that day. In sailing, all your actions depend on the wind.

But what if there’s no wind to keep the boat moving? Well, that’s what the paddle is for. That will be tiring, though.

After the course, we went back to our hotel room at El Mahogany Beach Front Resort to pack and prepare our stuff. 

Things to bring for the sailing

  • Food
  • Water
  • Sunscreen

The following items are already on the boat:

  • Life vest
  • Emergency phone (in case something unfortunate happens)
  • A map showing us the points where we’re allowed to sail in, dock, and do some activities like snorkeling
  • A paddle

And then we were off to some adventures of sailing in El Nido. We couldn’t be more thrilled!

Chris was mostly in charge of the sailing, but we worked as a team. He was the captain, and I was his crew. We worked together to sail in the middle of the ocean. It’s indeed fascinating.

Chris and I had been hoping for the longest time to try something new in our travels. So during our 15-day vacation, we tried sailing in El Nido, Palawan, and it was amazing! The sailing adventure was also part of our first anniversary.

El Nido sailing – what’s interesting about it

Well, the fact that we alone were in charge of our boat. There was no guide to help us, so it was total freedom. We were free to choose the islands we’d go to (but of course, only those on the map). Also, we stopped by Pinagbuntayan Island, a private island that is an ideal place for snorkeling.

It was wonderful to have sailed across the sea and docked on the island considering that we were first timers.

Hence, we kept on sailing through the wide blue ocean, waited and hoped for good winds, and enjoyed the time sailing together even though Chris wasn’t feeling well at that time. Nevertheless, our sailing made our vacation more fun in El Nido.

On the other hand, as the guide advised, we had to be back before 5 pm. Otherwise, they would come and rescue us, especially if they didn’t receive a message from us. 

That being said, in late evenings, the wind is scarce, so it would not be easy to go back to the shore. It’s important to listen and follow the guide’s rules for your own safety. 

Total Price

In total, we paid P3,500 for our sailing adventure in El Nido. We started off at around 130pm and finished sailing at around 530pm. We got a special discount from Uzband that specializes in this water adventure. They also design other water activities such as water camping.

Special thanks to Uzband for this incredible sailing experience.  To know more, you may inquire through their official Facebook or Instagram pages.

Born, raised, and forever loyal to the Philippines. Catherine is a teacher who writes and a writer who teaches. She writes every day. She's in love with Africa, beaches, and books. Her favorite books are " There Is No Me Without you, One woman's Odyssey to Rescue African's children, and "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace. One School at a Time". And her ultimate dream destinations are Madagascar and Hawaii. Check out more of her stories on her blog.

47 Comments

  • Lisa

    I’ve never done sailing, but been on many boat trips in Italy. I think it’s great you took the opportunity to be the captain of your own ship. I love your photos of the place, and missing the sea right now! Oh, and many congratulations on your anniversary too.

  • Amar singh

    What a great way to spend some quality time in the sea by sailing yourself. Great idea and looks like so much fun. Surprised that only a 1.5 hrs training and pointers and you can go off sail by yourself. The best part is like you said you are in charge and do as you please. Thanks fir sharing a great idea.

  • Hendrik

    That looks and sounds like a perfect adventure and way to explore new places. Sailing was so far never really an option for me, but now after reading your article I am absolutely curious about it. It sounds great that it just takes such a short course to already start your own tour. Thank you for this inspiration, this is something i will keep in mind for my next adventures.

  • Ada

    Ive never tried sailing but it seems like so much fun! I am not sure if I would trust myself after 1,5h course so bravo for you! 🙂 It must feel amazing being in charge on that boat, just you, your partner and nothing besides water around 🙂 I must look into it next time I am travelling to some place where I can try it 🙂 Thanks for sharing

  • Layla

    I go sailing all the time in California but this is another level! its actually really reasonably priced and such a great freedom to get it on your own without others complaining if you want to stop and jump in the water!

  • Blair Villanueva

    I haven’t tried sailing and now I want to ask my boyfriend that we try it as well. What’s your favorite place in El Nido? We will going to have a long weekend there soon!

  • Indrani

    How exciting! You people do things I haven’t even dreamed about. Absolute freedom in the big vast ocean! Super thrilling! Definitely something I am planning to do next.

  • Marvi

    Wow.. This is such an interesting way to island hop in El Nido, one that I haven’t heard that much of! Kudos to Chris for being a trooper despite not feeling well. Sounds like you both had a wonderful time!.. and happy anniversary to you both too! 🙂

  • Jitaditya

    Being a sailor must be the childhood dream for many. Glad that you experienced it at least once. I wonder when I will get to do it some day!

  • Nicole Anderson | Camping for Women

    What an absolute thrilling activity! I’m not sure if I would have the confidence to take this on after such a short instruction time. I think I would be worried about my lack of practice/skill and something I might have forgotten in the training. But I’m sure the experts know what they are doing in their training and it really does look like you had such a wonderful day with good sailing conditions. Lovely photos and congratulations on your anniversary! A great way to spend the day for sure – something quite unforgettable.

  • Vasu Devan

    Looks like you had an awesome adventurous day sailing. Thanks for all the tips and prices and so on. I hope the things you forgot weren’t the important parts hahaha. Happy first anniversary and Good luck to you and Chris!

  • Suma

    What a lovely way to celebrate your anniversary, I must also include adventurous as well. I have been sailing couple of times but with a professional handling everything. This sounds exhilarating and so much fun, I would love to try it myself someday.

  • Bhusha

    That reminds me again. I have to plan a trip to Indonesia and Philippines!
    It would be awesome to try out sailing and somehow I’ve never though much about it.
    Good to know that there’s a phone in the sail. I’m a bit paranoid!!!

  • Marlies

    I have never gone sailing but this experience looks really nice! I would be scared to go by myself though. haha. Such a nice way to celebrate your anniversary as well 🙂

  • Kavita Favelle

    This sounds like a great experience, and good that they take the training seriously since you will sail quite far and be out of their sight. I did a brief sailing experience on our honeymoon but fell off the tiny sailboat twice, so it’s fortunate we didn’t go very far out from our resort’s dock!!

  • Anne

    My husband and I learned to cat sailing in Tanzania last year and loved it. We were only able to stay in the bay though so I love the fact that you got to island hop and had an emergency phone to help

  • Samantha Sparrow

    I’ve never been sailing as I am a little scared of the water, but it looks like you had a fabulous time and what a way to celebrate an anniversary! What makes me feel better about it is that you had really good training, so safety was high up on the agenda!

  • Medha Verma

    Wow what a beautiful experience to be able to sail your own boat and visit private islands. I would love to have a boat and the flexibility to choose where to stop, be it for snorkelling or a beach to enjoy a nice meal. I am not sure how good I’d be with the sailing bit though. And for sure, I’d need someone along with me for it, it’s not something I can do by myself! A very cool experience I’m going to put on my bucket list though.

  • Shaily

    Wow! This sounds like an incredible adventure to pump up your adrenaline. It really takes a lot of courage to sail alone in the open sea with no guide, especially as first timers. I’ve never tried sailing but after reading your post, I think I must give it a try. Thanks for sharing this amazing experience.

  • Ami Bhat

    Wow… This is a novel experience. The whole use of wind and the steering in water… Challenging indeed. I would be keen to give it a shot for sure. Loved this virtual journey

  • Lisa

    I’ve never done sailing, but been on many boat trips in Italy. I think it’s great you took the opportunity to be the captain of your own ship. I love your photos of the place, and missing the sea right now! Oh, and many congratulations on your anniversary too.

  • Hendrik

    That looks and sounds like a perfect adventure and way to explore new places. Sailing was so far never really an option for me, but now after reading your article I am absolutely curious about it. It sounds great that it just takes such a short course to already start your own tour. Thank you for this inspiration, this is something i will keep in mind for my next adventures.

  • Amar singh

    What a great way to spend some quality time in the sea by sailing yourself. Great idea and looks like so much fun. Surprised that only a 1.5 hrs training and pointers and you can go off sail by yourself. The best part is like you said you are in charge and do as you please. Thanks fir sharing a great idea.

  • Blair Villanueva

    I haven’t tried sailing and now I want to ask my boyfriend that we try it as well. What’s your favorite place in El Nido? We will going to have a long weekend there soon!

  • Layla

    I go sailing all the time in California but this is another level! its actually really reasonably priced and such a great freedom to get it on your own without others complaining if you want to stop and jump in the water!

  • Ada

    Ive never tried sailing but it seems like so much fun! I am not sure if I would trust myself after 1,5h course so bravo for you! 🙂 It must feel amazing being in charge on that boat, just you, your partner and nothing besides water around 🙂 I must look into it next time I am travelling to some place where I can try it 🙂 Thanks for sharing

  • Indrani

    How exciting! You people do things I haven’t even dreamed about. Absolute freedom in the big vast ocean! Super thrilling! Definitely something I am planning to do next.

  • Marvi

    Wow.. This is such an interesting way to island hop in El Nido, one that I haven’t heard that much of! Kudos to Chris for being a trooper despite not feeling well. Sounds like you both had a wonderful time!.. and happy anniversary to you both too! 🙂

  • Jitaditya

    Being a sailor must be the childhood dream for many. Glad that you experienced it at least once. I wonder when I will get to do it some day!

  • Nicole Anderson | Camping for

    What an absolute thrilling activity! I’m not sure if I would have the confidence to take this on after such a short instruction time. I think I would be worried about my lack of practice/skill and something I might have forgotten in the training. But I’m sure the experts know what they are doing in their training and it really does look like you had such a wonderful day with good sailing conditions. Lovely photos and congratulations on your anniversary! A great way to spend the day for sure – something quite unforgettable.

  • Vasu Devan

    Looks like you had an awesome adventurous day sailing. Thanks for all the tips and prices and so on. I hope the things you forgot weren’t the important parts hahaha. Happy first anniversary and Good luck to you and Chris!

  • Bhusha

    That reminds me again. I have to plan a trip to Indonesia and Philippines!
    It would be awesome to try out sailing and somehow I’ve never though much about it.
    Good to know that there’s a phone in the sail. I’m a bit paranoid!!!

  • Marlies

    I have never gone sailing but this experience looks really nice! I would be scared to go by myself though. haha. Such a nice way to celebrate your anniversary as well 🙂

  • Kavita Favelle

    This sounds like a great experience, and good that they take the training seriously since you will sail quite far and be out of their sight. I did a brief sailing experience on our honeymoon but fell off the tiny sailboat twice, so it’s fortunate we didn’t go very far out from our resort’s dock!!

  • Anne

    My husband and I learned to cat sailing in Tanzania last year and loved it. We were only able to stay in the bay though so I love the fact that you got to island hop and had an emergency phone to help

  • Suma

    What a lovely way to celebrate your anniversary, I must also include adventurous as well. I have been sailing couple of times but with a professional handling everything. This sounds exhilarating and so much fun, I would love to try it myself someday.

  • Samantha Sparrow

    I’ve never been sailing as I am a little scared of the water, but it looks like you had a fabulous time and what a way to celebrate an anniversary! What makes me feel better about it is that you had really good training, so safety was high up on the agenda!

  • Medha Verma

    Wow what a beautiful experience to be able to sail your own boat and visit private islands. I would love to have a boat and the flexibility to choose where to stop, be it for snorkelling or a beach to enjoy a nice meal. I am not sure how good I’d be with the sailing bit though. And for sure, I’d need someone along with me for it, it’s not something I can do by myself! A very cool experience I’m going to put on my bucket list though.

  • Shaily

    Wow! This sounds like an incredible adventure to pump up your adrenaline. It really takes a lot of courage to sail alone in the open sea with no guide, especially as first timers. I’ve never tried sailing but after reading your post, I think I must give it a try. Thanks for sharing this amazing experience.

  • Ami Bhat

    Wow… This is a novel experience. The whole use of wind and the steering in water… Challenging indeed. I would be keen to give it a shot for sure. Loved this virtual journey

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