Because of its overwhelming and exotic beauty, El Nido is one of the top tourist attractions in the Philippines for both local and international travelers. El Nido, a quaint little beach town located in the northernmost part of mainland Palawan, has developed into a travel destination, with more convenient access to more flights and a wide array of El Nido resorts and El Nido hotels that include Philippines luxury resorts, some of the best beach resorts in the Philippines, Philippines honeymoon resorts, and backpacker hostels that cater to everyone’s budget.
Imagine deserted pristine white sand beaches with clear and turquoise oceans, secret islands, stunning limestone cliffs, and dramatic sunsets – El Nido, with its untouched beaches, should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
HOW TO GET THERE
The main departure port from El Nido is Manila, the Philippines’ capital. You can either take a direct trip or fly to Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan, and then take a bus or van to your destination. El Nido can be reached by land or boat if you are already in other Palawan destinations such as Coron or San Vicente.
BY DIRECT FLIGHTS, FROM MANILA
The quickest method to go to El Nido is to fly directly from Manila to Lio Airport. Air Swift is now the only airline that serves the Manila-El Nido route. From Manila, Air Swift runs up to four direct flights per day. The journey takes 1 hour and 20 minutes. The Town Proper is only 30 minutes distant by land travel from the airport.
FROM PUERTO PRINCESA
When visiting El Nido, the most usual mode of transportation is to fly to Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan. Flights are less expensive than direct flights. The bulk of people prefers this route because it is less expensive, yet you will need to add extra days to your trip just to get to and from El Nido.
Flights to Puerto Princesa depart from Manila, 1 hour 25 minutes, Clark in Pampanga approximately 1 hour 30 minutes, and Cebu in the Visayas, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Book with Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, or Cebu Pacific. You will need to take a van or bus for 5 to 7 hours to El Nido, after you arrive at Puerto Princesa International Airport.
Vans are the most popular mode of transportation for land travel to El Nido because they are slightly faster than buses, with a travel time of 5-6 hours. The vans only leave when they are completely full. The sole rest stop is around the midway point for restroom and refreshment breaks. It is best to arrange these in advance so that they can pick you up directly from the airport. If you are travelling in a group, you can also take on a private van for a more convenient trip.
Now, let’s discuss some of the top tourist attractions in El Nido, Palawan.
1.BEAUTIFUL NACHPAN BEACH
Nachpan Beach has deserted golden sand, pure blue waves, and a dreamlike sight of the ocean. The mere thought of relaxing in the sun in this paradise makes you long for that romantic getaway. It’s for this reason that taking an inland tour in Nachpan Beach is worth the wait. After you step foot in this piece of heaven, the 45-minute to 1-hour drive from El Nido town main is well worth it. Take in the beauty of Nachpan Beach by reading a book, listening to music, or watching the waves lap the shoreline. Because of the laid-back atmosphere, both local and foreign tourists rave about El Nido’s 4-kilometer-long Nachpan Beach.
Nacpan Beach is one of the Twin Beaches, along with Calitang Beach. Climb to the highest peak for a panoramic view of the two beaches. If you’re taking Nacpan Beach excursions, stop by the beach bar for some beverages or refreshments while you work on your tan. The sunset at Nacpan Beach is also a must-see, completing a great tropical holiday in El Nido, Palawan.
2. BIG LAGOON
This magnificent lake on Miniloc Island appears to be a scene from a destination film. It’s as if you’ve been transported to another dimension, where towering cliffs line up to watch over you. This is one of the highlights of an El Nido Big Lagoon Private Tour. The crystal-clear blue water, the ray of sunshine peeking through the top of the cliffs, and the lush limestone structure are all sights to behold as you enter the Big Lagoon. Because of its splendor, it has been included in various movies and postcards, as seen from drone photos.
3. KAYAK IN A SMALL LAGOON
The well-known Small Lagoon is another Miniloc Island excursion. It is, as the name says, smaller than the Big Lagoon, but it cannot be overlooked due to the beauty and charm it radiates. The Small Lagoon has a smaller entry than the Big Lagoon, which has a larger opening. During your Small Lagoon trip, you can swim or ride a kayak through a crack in a limestone wall to reach inside. Once inside, you can take a swim or kayak around Small Lagoon’s tranquil waters, listening to the sounds of nature as your default soundtrack.
4. HIDDEN BEACH
To get to this Hidden Beach, you’ll need to board a kayak or swim from your boat, similar to the Big Lagoon. The picturesque Hidden Beach, a short stretch of white sand beach, is normally included on the Matinloc Island Premium Private Tour. Boats cannot fit through the entrance to Hidden Beach. Because the distance between the boat’s land and the beach itself is fairly long, the easiest method to get inside is to ride a kayak from your boat through high karst cliffs.
Swimming at the beach is an option, but it will take time. After your kayak journey (or long swim), you will arrive at a pristine beach with a breathtaking view of another opening leading to the open sea, framed by two walls of pointed limestone cliffs. A truly amazing sight. The crystal-clear water here is shallower than in the Big and Small Lagoons, making it ideal for a leisurely swim. If you have children, the white sand at Hidden Beach is bordered by lush flora and is ideal for sunbathing or making sandcastles.
5. SHIMIZU ISLAND
Shimizu Island, sometimes called Simizu Island, is the ideal place to unwind on its cool white sand beach or take out your snorkeling gear to discover the island’s colorful marine life. In reality, a Shimizu Island excursion will allow you to relax on one of El Nido’s best beaches and enjoy tasty food at the lunch stop. Diverse fish species of various forms, colors, and sizes can be found here. When you’re done exploring Shimizu Island’s underwater splendor or simply relaxing on its white sand beach, your boatmen will summon you to a colorful Filipino-style lunch.
El Nido is a little seaside town with a rustic rural feel. There are no towering luxury hotels like in Metro Manila’s large cities. For those prepared to spend time, there are El Nido Philippines honeymoon resorts and luxury resorts nestled on islands. There are also inns or backpacker hostels with modest amenities for budget visitors.
Prices start at 1,200 PHP per person, and you may book your El Nido Island Hopping Tours ahead of time. El Nido has several hotels on islands and beaches, including some of the top beach resorts in the Philippines. The most expensive resorts are on private islands, while the mid- to high-priced resorts are on the beachfront of El Nido’s main island or in the town center.
Below are some of the resorts for booking accommodations at El Nido.
Vellago Resort is a beautiful boutique hotel on Seven Commando Beach, just outside of El Nido town. With the turquoise ocean, white beach, and a plethora of coconut trees. The greatest sunsets can be seen from the beach bar or from your balcony. Guests can go island hopping by speed boat, playing beach volleyball, snorkeling, kayaking, or simply relaxing with a refreshing drink and admiring the scenery. Every day, they put up a romantic meal on the beach, which is one of the highlights of your stay here.
The Happiness hostel, located in the heart of town, provides a nice stay and relaxed vibes to all of its visitors. It is one of the town’s recommended budget-friendly hostels. The dorms provide semi-private lodging with a closed personal bed and a sliding door with a light and a fan within. If you like beer and cuisine, the Happiness beach bar serves delicious meals and inexpensive drink.
This seaside boutique hotel features a variety of services and facilities, including a private balcony with breathtaking views of El Nido’s Bacuit Bay. This one’s tropical-modern atmosphere will appeal to you. Frangipani, located near Corong-Corong beach, offers elegance, quiet, and a more intimate ambiance ideal for couples and friends.
Most resorts have full amenities, such as breakfast and a generator for 24-hour light, making them ideal for a honeymoon in the Philippines. If you want to wake up with the best views of El Nido, consider one of the aforementioned islands or coastal accommodations.