Petra | Jordan. A rose-red city half as old as time
San Vicente | Palawan. Counting solitary strides.
Taj Mahal | India. A teardrop on the cheek of time
Catanduanes Island. Postcard-pretty slideshow.
Keep Kalm (at Kalanggaman Island | Leyte).
Nikko | Japan. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil in this UNESCO heritage town.
Counting temples in Bagan | Myanmar.
Chasing UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka.
Where to Stay? | Luxury, Backpacking & Glamping
Inaul Festival | Maguindanao. In homage of a weaving tradition
Rishikesh | India. a morning walk inside the Beatle's Ashram
Cairo | Egypt. a surreal moment at the great pyramids of giza

A Morning Rock Scramble to Taraw Cliff in El Nido | Palawan



After a couple of days of island hopping exploring the many white sandy beaches and hidden lagoons of the Bacuit archipelago, another adventure awaited us the next day. The previous night’s rain worried me a bit, as I expect the jagged trail to Taraw Cliff to be extra slippery. Despite being my second time in El Nido, It’ll be my first time to scale Taraw Cliff. Making the short but arduous scramble to the top extra special is the company of my girlfriend Monnette.

Climbing Taraw Cliff in El Nido Palawan

We woke up just before sunrise still hearing the faint drops of rain. “Are we going, are we still going?” we both asked ourselves as we fuel up with fruits and coffee. It wasn’t a debate as we both agreed to pursue our plan of seeing the town of El Nido from the acclaimed viewpoint of Taraw Cliff.

Monnette Santillan

We met our guide–the amiable–Reckniel, a 22-year old student who moonlights as a tour guide on the side, at the town of El Nido. He pointed to us the tip that is visible from the boat coming in from the mouth of the bay. During my first visit to El Nido, I remember wondering about climbing it each time I would see it as our boat approaches the town after a day of island hopping.

Taraw Cliff

After making our way through the back houses of a small community, we reached the jump-off part. Immediately, we had to use both our hands and feet to start our ascent. There were no relaxed hiking, its mad scramble from the get-go. I worried about Monnette knowing she’s got no prior rock climbing experience, but as I see her gain elevation with such ease like Spiderwoman, I could only remind her to take her time and not hurry.

Panorama view of Taraw Cliff

One careless move can cause a slippage that will catapult you at the mercy of the sharp tips of the limestone. I can already imagine a dreaded scene if one actually suffers an accident while climbing Taraw Cliff. A huge ghastly wound would be the best outcome otherwise, the worst case would be broken bones and even death.

Marky Ramone Go with Monnette Santillan

The more we advance vertically, the more concerned I become. I see the smile on Monnette’s face disappearing into a look of unrest. “My hands hurt” she tells me. It’s from the amount of holding into the sharp edges of the cliff and even my left knee were scraped opening a small wound.

our guide Reckniel the great

Our guide Reckniel would assure us that if we take slowly but surely we will be fine. We did just that and soon as we start to see the apex of the peak, smiles returned to our faces. Well, mainly on Monnette’s.

Monnette Santillan

Echoes of jubilant screams of “Yahoo” filled the air as we high-fived each other after almost 40 minutes of laborious free rock scrambling. The picturesque view of El Nido town and Bacuit Bay opened up to ours. Sitting on protruding spikes of the limestone peak, we sat like we are on the front-row watching a spellbinding musical show. The curtain dropping revealing a splendid scene of crystalline waters and the far-away movements of boats appearing like choreographed dances.

Marky Ramone Go with Desa Tayting

The weather came to cooperate with us as well. As if sensing our difficulties during the ascent, it paved the way for us to fully embrace and enjoy the quite moment we had atop Taraw Cliff.

Splendid view from Taraw Cliff

After the initial burst of excitement, we were rendered speechless by the view laid out in front of us. Even Reckniel, who have been here dozens of times, is still left astonished by the scenery from Taraw Cliff. “I will never get tired of this view” Reckniel told us in Tagalog.

I held Monnette’s hands and without speaking to each other, the glimmer in our eyes tells us that we couldn’t be bothered of being someplace else that moment.

Check out the rest of my El Nido, Palawan post here