In the northernmost point of Palawan is a coastal town called El Nido, famous for its white sands, pristine beaches, limestone cliff formations, lagoons, and its many islets and islands.
It has been named as the Best Philippine Beach this year (2012) by CNNGo, and has attracted international movies and shows such as Bourne Legacy and the Amazing Race. The reason would be simple even to us: it’s paradise, and if you’re looking for a quiet, serene place to unwind and recharge, if you are in search of a private getaway or are perhaps looking for inspiration and just pure enjoyment of the beauty of the Philippine archipelago, there is no better place to go to than El Nido.
For more information on El Nido and other Palawan destinations, check this out.
How do I go to El Nido?
El Nido is traveled either by land or air from Puerto Princesa City in Palawan. To go to Palawan you will have to land in Manila first. The usual mode of transportation to El Nido however is by land. For your personal comfort, hiring a van or booking a seat with us is recommended. One, we pick you up where you are housed in El Nido or when you land at the airport. Two, there are fewer people. That’s good because, three, when there are stopovers, you only wait for this few. And with fewer people, it’s usually quieter. Vans are more ideal for families and friends who want a more intimate travel.
Okay, so I’m ready to wear my flip flops and head to the beach. What else should I pack with me to El Nido?
- Camera + ziploc bag to hold camera. When you want to take home with you the beautiful sceneries in El Nido.
- Dry bags. You will be on a boat for the island tours and would most likely swim to the shore, so if you can bring a dry bag with you (a plastic storage that’s waterproof), then all the better.
- Sunblock. Want a tan but not the sunburn? Bring your trusty sun block, caps and shades. But by all means, the sun is for your enjoyment!
- Flashlight. We suggest you keep a handy little flashlight with you. Just in case.
- Mosquito Repellent. If you’re a little sensitive with mosquitoes, you might want to bring some natural DEET-free mosquito repellant.
- Cash. There are no ATMs in El Nido so it’s best to have enough cash in your pocket.
- Snorkeling gear. Snorkeling is one of the activities you can do during the island tours. You can rent snorkeling gear or bring your own.
What island tours do you recommend I take?
Every single islet in El nido is worth seeing. A day tour usually consists of 5-6 islands that will take up the whole day! Now that’s how you maximize your stay in El Nido. Whether it be Tour A, B, C, or D, the islands are reflective of the collective beauty of El Nido, so we recommend you check them all out, if possible! You will discover secret beaches, big and small lagoons, even underwater caves! Tours cost Php 700 to 900 per person, with fresh food cooked in the island for you and your company.
If you want to rent a private boat for you and your company, you can arrange for this with your hotel or with any travel and tour agencies in El Nido. They usually cost Php2,500/day.
- Electricity. El Nido electricity is OFF from 6am – 2pm and ON from 2pm – 6am
- Wi-fi. There are several lodgings, cafes and restaurants offering free wi-fi when you dine in their places.
- Book your hotel early. November to May is the peak season in El Nido and most hotels are fully-booked around this time. We suggest at least a month or so prior to your trip to book your hotels so that you avoid the hassle of looking for a place to stay in during the peak season. The early bird gets the worm, right?
- Lodging choices. El Nido can accommodate different kinds of travelers with different kinds of budget – rates can go from Php 700/room to tens of thousands per night.
- Restaurants. Don’t be afraid to explore the restaurants, but also read reviews to help you make a decision. Vegetarians have their choices too. Check this out.
- Explore the town proper. Get in touch with the locals. The beauty of El Nido isn’t just in its islands but also in its people. They are friendly, accommodating, and warm – traits that Filipinos are known for.
- Weather. To get the most out of your vacation, try not to book during typhoon season in the Philippines (end part of August to early October). For other days, prepare for the occasional rain shower. Bring a good book to read, a journal to write on, or enjoy a hot cup of coffee or tea at any local café.