El Nido in Palawan is not only one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines; it is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the world. If you enjoy island hopping to breath taking lagoons and white sandy beaches which you only imagined could be found in heaven, kayaking, snorkeling and diving; then El Nido is a place you can not miss. El Nido has 45 islands, over 100 white sandy beaches, there are 250 million year-old limestone and marble cliffs, 2645 hectares of mangrove, 888 different species of fish and 4 archaeological sites.
This has been one of the most favored destinations of Filipinos and after being exposed by National Geographic as one of the top travel destinations in the world in 2007, the rest of the world followed. You will find many Europeans on your excursions to the attractions with you.
Most of the forty five islands that make up El Nido have pockets and coves of fine white sand beaches, which are absolutely amazing for sunbathing and enjoying a picnic lunch on the beach. On your journey in this tropical paradise, you will see limestone caves which open up into lagoons and ancient caves with dripstone formations.
What To Do In El Nido
Island Hopping Excursions: These are usually arranged by the concierge in your hotel. They are absolute “can not misses”. There are about eight different points of interest. Some of them include the big lagoon, the little lagoon, the hidden lagoon (where you climb through a hole in the rock formation into a tranquil lagoon) and white sand beach (where tourists can lay in the sun and sip on coconut juice). During this, the boat crew will make you lunch and at some point, you will stop to feed the fish which will blow your mind as the beautiful fish swarm around your boat in the crystal clear water. You need to set aside at least one day, if not two, for island hopping around El Nido.
Water Activities: Snorkeling, Diving and Kayaking: You can bring snorkeling gear of your own with you or you can rent it from the hotel to bring on your Island hopping. Kayaks are usually for rent in most hotels which are great to take around the Big and Small Lagoons. If you are into diving, for under $50, you can usually get in two dives in some of the best dives sites around where you can see El Nidos amazing coral and that includes boat and equipment and going down with a fully trained dive master.
Nightlife and Restaurants: There are discos and many restaurants in El Nido where tourists go to enjoy themselves after a day out on the boat.
Getting To El Nido
You can fly to Puerto Princesa from Manila, Clark, Cebu and Davao (with new cities being added regularly I am sure). There is a modern airport and it’s relatively easy to navigate. Remember, there are no taxis in Palawan. Large pedicabs (also called tricycles) will you take you around.
To get to El Nido, you will need to have them take you to a van station. It’s best to arrive earlier in the day. Otherwise, you should consider staying the night in Puerto Princesa as it is a 6 hour journey by van to El Nido which is well worth it. The vans run about $20 per person round trip. You could consider renting a private van from the airport to take you straight to El Nido, but it could cost more.
Whenever you need to go somewhere, the hotel will usually call you a pedicab to take you there.