El Nido

El Nido is known all over the world! Photographs of the landscapes of Bacuit Bay have made it one of the most attractive destinations on any trip to the Philippines.

Bacuit Bay is located in El Nido, Palawan, and it is regarded as one of the most beautiful places in the country. It boasts beaches with white sand, cliffs for you to climb on, and plenty of fish and wildlife to see. There are also several islands that you can explore while you’re there—and if that weren’t enough, there are several resorts nearby where you can stay while you’re in town!

If you’re looking for a new vacation spot to explore, or a place where you can unwind after an exhausting day at work, Bacuit Bay may be just what you’re looking for!

Here we will try to give tips to help you make your unique journey to this fantastic place.

THINGS TO DO IN EL NIDO

  • Take Island hopping and swim with a mask. In no case should you miss the opportunity to get lost on a small boat between the substantial limestone walls of the islands of Bacuit Bay, stopping at some of them for snorkeling.
  • Beaches. Visit nearby beautiful beaches such as Las Cabanas Beach, Lio Beach, and Nacpan Beach.
  • Diving. Although it does not reach the level of Coron Island or Malapascua Island, in El Nido, you will find exciting dives among the reefs with a wide variety of marine life.
  • Kayaking. The best way to have a little fun is to rent a kayak on Coron Beach and visit nearby beaches, such as Papaya Beach.

Island tours in El Nido

To go to El Nido and not make at least a couple of tours of the nearby islands (Island hopping) would be unwise. The town of El Nido itself is not very attractive, and despite the good beaches surrounding it, there is no point in paying particular attention to it. Going to Bacuit Bay to its impressive islands is worth doing here, which you can visit during ready-made tours. So, no doubt, set aside a couple of days for this adventure.

There are four types of tours organized in El Nido: A, B, C, and D. They all include 4-5-6 stops on the islands, depending on the type of tour, which usually alternate with snorkeling spots, lagoons, and beaches. Each of them is about 8 hours, usually from 9:00 to 17:00.

All tours are charming, but the most beautiful are A and C. Their cost ranges from 1000-1400 pesos per person. It includes meals and scuba diving. You need to add two payments to this cost: the El Nido environmental fee, which is 200 pesos and is valid for ten days, and a fee for visiting a large or small lagoon. The latter is 200 pesos per person and is paid only if you see these places. Since December 2018, visits to the lagoons have been limited, so if you want to visit them, you must take care of the armor in advance.

El Nido is a popular tourist resort, and many people from all over the world come here. Therefore, to avoid large crowds of vacationers, we recommend taking private tours, despite being more expensive than usual. If you are traveling alone or in a couple, it can cost you a pretty penny, so cooperate with other travelers.

Advice to those who plan to take tours to the islands: take sunscreen and waterproof bags with you to put your valuables there. The weather can change quickly.

El Nido beaches

Unlike Busuanga, where there are several not very impressive beaches, in the vicinity of El Nido, there are some of the best beaches in the Philippines. Therefore, we advise you to devote at least one full day of your stay in El Nido to visiting beaches such as Nacpan Beach, Las Cabanas Beach, or Lio Beach. If you have more time, you can go to more remote places, such as Sibaltan or Duli Beach.

HOW TO GET TO EL NIDO

Getting to El Nido from anywhere in the Philippines gets easier every year. Basically, you can get here in one of four ways:

  • Several airlines currently fly to El Nido Airport (ENI). They operate flights from Manila (MNL), Cebu (CEB), Caticlan (Boracay, MPH), Coron (XCN) and Panglao, Bohol (TAG). This is the fastest way, but also the most expensive. If you decide to fly from Manila to El Nido, expect to spend from $100 to $130 for economy class. There are in fact seat sales on this route from time to time so it pays monitoring the best deals available.
    Here is the resource for searching for the cheapest flights to El Nido.
    Just select the desired date.
  • Arriving first at the airport in Puerto Princesa (PPS): All Philippine airlines fly to the Palawan capital (1h:25m), expect to spend from $50 to $110 for economy class, and from there you can take a bus or minibus to El Nido. Bus ride takes about 5 hours.
  • A minibus ride from Port Barton, which is 160 km from the international airport in Puerto Princesa. Some travelers first visit this charming village, and then follow to El Nido. The trip takes about 3 hours.
  • A fast-ferry ride from Coron (Busuanga Island). The journey takes 3.5-4 hours. This method is one of the most frequently used by travelers. You can book a ferry ticket in advance – book a seat online

WHERE TO STAY IN EL NIDO

Gone are the days when there were only a few hostels near the city’s El Nido Beach and Corong Corong Beach. Now there are many accommodation options: hostels for budget tourists, luxury hotels, and resorts for everyone else, which are distributed between these two areas, as well as in neighboring places such as Lio Beach, Las Cabanas, and even in the distant Nacpan Beach.

Choosing a hotel in El Nido is a matter of taste. We recommend staying in one of the hotels on Corong Corong Beach, from which you can see incredible sunsets. The value for money of housing in El Nido is not very high. Prices rise on days such as Christmas, Easter, and Chinese New Year. Therefore, the sooner you take care of booking a hotel, the more choice you will have.

WHERE TO EAT IN EL NIDO

With the expansion of tourism, more and more restaurants and bars are aimed at tourists. Here are some small recommendations:

  • Pizza: Bella vita El Nido, on Corong Corong beach and Trattoria Altrove, on the city beach.
  • Grilled food: There are many places on the city’s El Nido beach where you can enjoy freshly cooked food. Angel Wish is one of the best.
  • Vegan and vegetarian options: Taste El Nido, in the city, Shaka El Nido, on the beach Lio, Happiness Beach Bar, on the city beach.
  • International food: La Plage Restaurant & Beach Bar, slightly away from the city beach, Panorama Resort El Nido, Corong Corong beach, Republica Sunset Bar, Corong Corong Beach.

Cases of food poisoning due to contaminated water in El Nido are not uncommon. Drink bottled or filtered water, brush your teeth with bottled water and try to eat in restaurants that inspire confidence.

TIPS FOR VISITING EL NIDO

  • The best time to visit: is from November to May.
  • Exchange offices: There are several exchange offices in the village, although sometimes they run out of money or do not work. Remember that it is essential to always have cash in the local currency with you.
  • Transportation: If you travel from Coron, booking ferry tickets in advance via the Internet is better.
  • Health: El Nido has no hospitals, only small clinics. You should be transferred to Puerto Princesa, Manila, or Cebu if something serious happens. Don’t forget to buy good insurance in advance!
  • What to take with you: in addition to everything else (clothes, sunscreens, etc.), you must have a waterproof bag and equipment for island hopping.
  • Movement: In El Nido, most people move on tricycles. Usually, the fare is 50 pesos for the road from Corong Corong to the city of El Nido and back and 150 pesos between the town of El Nido and the cottages. Bicycles can be rented for about 500 pesos per day.
  • Print out all e-tickets for ferries, intercity buses, and other transport in advance.