there is a small hill at el rio named as hunter’s peak, it took me and tonton (my friendly guest activity officer) about twenty minutes going uphill to catch a breath-taking aerial view of maricaban bay and its neighboring islands.
it is surely worth the trek, and along the way you will be passing by some wild grasses and pitcher plants. i advise you wear rubber shoes though, and some parts of the rugged path are a little steep. being an inexperienced hiker, i had to stop and catch my breath for a while when we were on our way up. also be careful when going downhill, for you don’t want to end up with a bad fall and spraining your ankle.
use of snorkeling equipment is free of charge at el rio, they even offer water sports equipment such as water ski, rowing boat and hobiecat. i tried the sit-on kayak (@750 pesos/hour) and tonton and i paddled through the mangroves on the other side of el rio and he showed me a small fishing village too.
i was also able to visit for a few hours el rio’s sister resort, club paradise. you just have to inform the staff that you want to see the resort and there will be a boat to pick you up the next morning and send you back again at el rio by lunchtime on the same day.
to sum it up even though i was there alone, my stay at el rio was in fact all worth it.