TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN EL NIDO in Palawan
Heyo! In this article I take you to the incredible and famous island of El Nido, north of Palawan!
To be transparent, you will hear everything about this island, between criticisms “too touristy”, “no wifi”, “the food is bad” and wonders –
but… believe me: the landscapes of Palawan leave no one indifferent.
That’s why I’m going to show you the TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN EL NIDO and how to avoid the crowds to make the most of it! LESGO!! or Tara Na!
How to get to El Nido?
You should know that El Nido is located at the northern end of the island of Palawan in the Philippines, 238 km from Puerto Princesa, the capital.
I warn you right away… it’s far and it’s not the most comfortable journey! Yes you have to make an effort to discover the rare pearls in this world 😌 So here are the different options to go to El Nido
- FROM MANILA By air:
A new airport has been built just 15 minutes outside of El Nido town (airport code: ENI). Only one company currently serves this airport from Manila, Cebu or Caticlan: Air Swift. Fares are the result of this monopoly, planes are often late, and so on. This is an interesting possibility in terms of saving time (and comfort).
- FROM CORON: By sea
The daily fast ferry from Coron to El Nido which is a 3-4 hour boat ride. The ferry costs 1760pHP/person (around €30) and leaves at 12 noon. It is also possible to cross from Manila (personally never done I would not dare…)
- FROM Puerto Princesa:
This is the solution I had taken for an economic reason Take a plane to Puerto Princesa airport then take a van to El Nido. The trip takes about 5h and costs 500php/person (8-9€) I warn, the trip shakes well! The adventure begin … !
Top 10 things to do in El Nido
The 2-3 times I went to El Nido were on group excursions. And in 3 days we were able to explore the essentials that the island has to offer, thanks to the ISLAND HOPPING tours – it’s the famous boat tour from island to island over 1 or half a day!
So depending on the tour you choose, you will discover several places that I list below! Choose well so you don’t miss a thing!
1. TARAW CLIFF
In top 1, I strongly recommend the Taraw Cliff hike and that in the morning to watch the sunrise!
It is imperative to go there with a guide because there have been many accidents in previous years… Because for the record, The Taraw Cliffs are dark rock cliffs that overlook the town of El Nido.. . so don’t be clever!
For adventurers, you will not regret this activity! Go for it and you will live an ICONIC and unforgettable adventure.
2. TOUR ISLAND HOPPING
This is THE MUST activity to do in the Philippines and especially in El Nido! The “bangka” tour (name of the boat) on the paradise islands of El Nido.
Meeting in the morning at the port of El Nido and there you will have the choice between 4 different boat tours: A, B, C and D
There are many ways to go on a boat tour The question is
- Public group boat tour with 25 people: affordable price and a fun experience to meet either international or local tourists
- Speed boat: a more expensive option that allows you to do 2 tours in 1 day
- Private Boat Tour
The choice is up to you! If you want to avoid other tourists, choose your route, go around in the opposite direction, find spots on a private beach for lunch, find yourself alone in places usually full of tourists… the private boat is preferable!
If you are not staying long, I recommend that you choose tour A for its paradisiacal lagoons and beaches and tour C for other islands and its snorkeling spots and D for the Small Lagoon – To help you choose, I will write another article to come: Which boat tour to choose in El Nido?
3. NACPAN BEACH
After a few days of Island Hopping, I think you’ll need a break by the beach. This is why I advise you to take an afternoon on the land of Nacpan Beach. arguably the most famous beach on the island!
It is 1 hour drive from the city of El Nido, the place is perfect for relaxing, sunbathing, listening to music, resting.
There are coconut trees everywhere, fine sand and the water is pleasant for swimming. For the “merienda” snack you will find locals who offer local specialties: exotic fruits, Banana Q (barbecue of caramelized bananas) or Kamote Q (caramelized sweet potatoes) I strongly recommend you!
If you want to explore the surroundings, know that Nacpan Beach is one of the twin beaches with the adjacent Calitang Beach. So you can climb to the highest point and see the view of both beaches.
Finally, the sunset at Nacpan Beach is also a must, the icing on the cake for a perfect tropical getaway in El Nido, Palawan.
Snorkeling is a must in El Nido! and it’s one of my favorite activities among the TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN EL NIDO 🙂
Normally, all tours offer spots to stop and snorkel – of course it will not equal scuba diving, but at this level you can still discover corals of all colors and meet tropical fish like Nemo and sometimes even turtles! Watch out for jellyfish but it’s rare 😉
Moreover, the crew of the boat and the guide will lend you all the necessary snorkeling equipment to be able to explore the waters! If you have a Go Pro now is the time to take it out! Enjoy!
5. KAYAK at SMALL LAGOON
It is a beautiful and unique place to discover! It is the neighbor of the Big Lagon, but this one is more intimate. To explore this lagoon, you will need to use kayaks to navigate the entrance. Once inside, you can admire the black rocks and the water! You can only stay there for 1 hour so make the most of it!
6. BIG LAGOON
This is the most popular place! So you expect it to be crowded and noisy – but if you arrive before all the other boats you will be able to contemplate this magical place! As for the Small lagoon, you will have to use kayaks to explore the lagoon and the caves around it.
7. SECRET LAGOON
I won’t say anything.. it’s a secret! You will have to find out for yourself!
8. HIDDEN BEACH
This beach is original because it is hidden behind the huge black and sharp rocks, one of the characteristics of El Nido! You can get there by taking the C tour. To get there, you will have to dive into the water and swim! And around, you will discover transparent water and breathtaking landscapes. If you are a nature lover, I think you will enjoy being there so enjoy!
9. Seven Commandos Beach
It is often the first stop of the tours! a fairly secluded beach accessible by boat. So there are always boats anchored in the bay and a constant flow of visitors. But the beach is large enough to give a first glimpse of the landscape of El Nido: rocks, caves, reefs and crystal clear water.
10. Sandbar of Snake Island
NO! There are no snakes on this stretch of beach at Pinagbuyutan Island haha This beautiful island turns into a sandbar that connects to the mainland at low tide. The island used to be called Vigan Island, but due to the shape of the tail and “commerciality” it was given a new name. It is now one of the popular attractions in El Nido and one of the reasons people choose Tour B.
And here it is friends! I hope you enjoyed this mini guide “TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN EL NIDO” to prepare your next trip to El Nido Island, Palwan!