Located on the Southwest of the Philippines, in the Northern part of Palawan Island, lies a majestic municipality that highlights the contrast between mundane and sublime known as, El Nido. El Nido has a very pleasant climate that is protected from typhoons, as well as very friendly people who make every visit enjoyable and safe. Coconut palms, White sand beaches, scenere – El Nido have it all!
To be able to experience the beauty of El Nido, Palawan has evolved into a travel destination with easier access to more flights, and diverse range of El Nido resorts and hotels. Tourists are provided with options that cater to their various desires and financial means. Excited to travel and explore El Nido? Let me walk you through it.
HOW TO GET TO EL NIDO, PALAWAN:
El Nido can be reached by air, ferry or land. We’ve taken all three.
From outside the Philippines: The first stop on your way to El Nido, Palawan is to find a flight to Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
Direct flight from Manila to El Nido, Palawan: Flight time: 80 minutes; prices start from ₱3,500 – ₱5,000
Flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Flight time: 75 minutes; price starts at ₱2,788. Upon arrival, hop on a van from Puerto Princesa to El Nido for ₱500/person. It will take you a day, but it is the cheapest option.
Coron – El Nido via Ferry: If you’re coming from Coron, Palawan, you can take a fast ferry to El Nido. Depending on the weather and sea conditions, travel time is 3-4 hours.
Eco-Tourism Development Fee: This is required for all tourists visiting any tourist attraction in El Nido. This one-time payment is valid for ten days. You can either pay for it and obtain an official receipt at the tourism office, or you can pay for it in conjunction with your island-hopping tour. Always bring your receipt with you when visiting El Nido.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO:
1. Experience the Thrill in Apulit Island Resort
An eco-adventure island resort located in Taytay, El Nido, Palawan that offers thrilling and exhilarating activities such as rappelling, cliff diving, and deep diving. To get a birds-eye-view of the entire island, climb your way up to the top of a 60-meter limestone cliff. Put your headlights and explore Apulit’s various caves through spelunking, dive into the deep to discover sunken treasures and plethora of marine species, or hop on a boat and go island hopping and snorkeling.
Apulit Island features 50 water cottages that blend traditional Filipino architecture with modern design. Water Cottages are built around the island’s main cove and can accommodate up to two people, and price ranges from ₱21,000 – ₱25,000 per night with full board meals. Loft Water Cottages are located on the western cove and accommodate four people and has direct access to the sea from its private veranda; price ranges between ₱23,000 – ₱26,000 per night with full board meals. Van transfers are available at the El Nido Resorts’ Central Office for guests staying in El Nido Town; guests will be charged ₱500 (per person, per way) going to Apulit Island Resort.You may contact the following mobile numbers for resort reservations: +63 (02) 902 5994 / +63 (02) 902 5995 or +63 (917) 843 7903. For thrill-seekers, Aliput Island is the place to be.
2. Unwind at Nacpan Beach
One of the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines, having a 4 kilometer of soft cream-colored sand, swaying coconut trees, and a crystal-clear water. The soothing sound of the waves, a turtle passing occasionally, and the oh-so-beautiful secluded beach – a sanctuary to enjoy, indeed. Nacpan Beach is free of entrance fee, and is one half of El Nido’s famous Twin Beaches, the other half being Calitang Beach, where rustic palm-thatched huts are lined with local restaurants, serving fresh seafood. Aside from the beach, you can also have the ultimate luxurious glamping experience provided by Nacpan Beach Glamping Resort. They have a pool in addition to the amazing glamping tents, where price begins at ₱8,000 per night. Nacpan Beach is a 45-minute drive from El Nido’s main town, and it is accessible in three ways: by shuttle service for ₱600/person, by renting a tricycle for ₱1,000, or by renting a motorcycle for ₱600/day.
3. Admire the Tranquility of Big Lagoon
Picturesque for snorkeling and kayaking in crystal clear water, surrounded by dark limestone cliffs in Miniloc Island. The Big Lagoon’s entrance has shallow water, but the emerald color of the water indicates deeper areas. The lagoon is only accessible by boat, so to fully appreciate its beauty, El Nido Island Hopping Tour A, which starts at ₱1,200, includes a boat, lunch, life vest, snorkeling gear, and tour guide fee. However, to get inside the lagoon, a kayak can be rented for an additional ₱300 per hour to paddle your way through the lagoon’s entrance to explore the deep blue waters within.
4. Do a Kayak Stroll in Small Lagoon
The well-known Small Lagoon is another Miniloc Island destination. The entrance to Small Lagoon is smaller. To get inside, you can swim or kayak through a crack in a limestone wall. Traversing the small space between the rocks gives the impression of discovering a mystical hidden paradise. A kayak may also be rented for ₱300 per hour. Given the smaller entrance of the lagoon, fewer tourists come around, allowing you to find privacy, where it’s just you and the nature. Small Lagoon, with its grand and fascinating rock formations and crystal-clear blue water allows you to see the enthralling sight of El Nido’s corals, and a wide variety of fish.
5. Walk Across the Sandbar of Snake Island
The stunning scenery and contrasting landscapes of this tropical island will entice you from the moment you arrive. Despite its name, there are no snakes on the island, I assure you. This island’s name is based on its S-shaped sandbar that “snakes” across the water, which connects the island to mainland Palawan and is made of fine white sand. It is ideal to visit the island during low tide, to walk along the sandbar and appreciate the view. Snake Island is located in Bacuit Bay and can be reached by boat if you start in El Nido, taking approximately 40 minutes to reach. To visit Snake Island, you can either rent a private boat or take the island-hopping tour.
6. Pamper Yourself in Pangulasain Island
An Eco- Luxury Island resort situated in Bacuit Bay, with a pristine beach and tropical forest backdrop is also referred to as “Island of the Sun,” which offers breathtaking views of both sunrise and sunset. Enjoy the 750-meter stretch of white sand beach while being amazed by the marine sanctuary right outside your door. The resort has deluxe rooms: Canopy Villas on stilts above the forest, Beach Villas, and Pool Villas near the water that can accommodate 3 people; price ranges between ₱38,000 – ₱43,000. Each villa has a floor area of 65 square meters plus a 15 sqm private balcony, Wi-Fi access, satellite TV, an iPod dock, a mini-bar, and coffee and tea making facilities. Pangulasian Island caters to the discerning traveler seeking exclusivity and personalized pampering. For inquires, you may contact +63 (02) 902 5990 or +63 (917) 843 7906. Enjoy a private sunset cruise, a romantic dinner on the beach, or unwind at the spa as their luxurious treatments.
7. Please the Palate in Taste El Nido – The Vegan Cafe PH
Well-known for its plant-based dishes and healthy fruit shakes. This is El Nido’s only all-vegan restaurant; they have a well-curated breakfast menu, including a large selection of visually appealing and flavorful smoothie bowls. The Antioxidant Orange, which contains mango, banana, soy milk, turmeric, cinnamon, coconut shavings, granola, chia seeds, and pine nuts, is one of their best-sellers. The café is located in Barangay Buena Suerte, El Nido, Palawan and is open for dine-in and takeout, for inquiries you may call +63 915 317 6724. Sooth your thirst with their healthy smoothie bowls.
8. Sip Some Coffee at The Nesting Table
A bayside restaurant with the best hilltop views of Bacuit Bay, serving a fusion of Filipino and Western dishes. 200 steps up a bamboo-made stairway is all it takes to get there, but the views from the top are worth it. This hillside jungle restaurant has a rustic charm and serene ambiance, ideal for those who want to read a book while eating delicious food, but nothing beats the view from the cushioned seats and hammocks on the oceanfront balcony. The Nesting Table serves coffee and refreshments alongside breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals. For inquiries, they can be reached at [email protected] and +639206061186. Tired of Island hopping? Take a break and make your way to the hillside jungle, Nesting Table.
9. Let Loose in Mad Monkey Kitchen and Bar
A beachfront restaurant serving Western and Thai cuisine, is one of the most popular. It is hidden within the Mad Monkey Hostel, where most backpackers stay in El Nido. They provide inexpensive food and service without sacrificing value, quality, or comfort. You can eat on the beach while sitting on comfortable couches under the cool shade of sun umbrellas. If you want to unwind and have fun in Nacpan Beach, head to Mad Monkey Kitchen & Bar. As the evening progresses, the DJ starts playing lively and hip music to kick off the beach party at the resto. The open bar begins at 9 PM!
10. Savor the Seafood Goodness in Angel Wish
A visit to El Nido is not complete without trying their freshly-caught seafood. Located in Calle Hama, El Nido, Palawan Island Philippines is Angel Wish, a well-known for its stunning beachfront views and delectable Filipino cuisine. This is the place to go if you’re looking for a seafood restaurant in El Nido! Fresh seafood that you choose on the spot and has it cooked to your specifications.
Discover El Nido’s Natural Beauty
Once you explore El Nido yourself, it will surely have a special place in your heart. Its effortless natural beauty, charming tropical island vibe, and breathtaking scenery, and the warmth of people, will undoubtedly capture your heart. In this time of pandemic, be sure to secure the requirements needed before travelling to El Nido, Palawan. Non-essential and leisure travel are currently permitted in El Nido, but subject to the travel requirements set by the LGU of your destination in the Province of Palawan. Begin planning your El Nido Island getaway and cross it off your travel bucket list.