Just over 400 kilometers south of Manila, discover the true unspoiled tropical paradise — El Nido, Palawan. The small coastal town in Bacuit Bay boasts breathtaking natural beauty. It was this surreal landscape of white sandy beaches, cliffs, turquoise water and tropical forests inspired Alex Garland to write his famous novel “The Beach.”
Now, you can make the make the most out of your El Nido trip by taking a closer look at the top places and things to do in El Nido, Palawan.
If you want to see the whole beauty of Bacuit Bay from a bird’s-eye view, climb the Taraw Cliff (also known as Taraw Peak), a limestone karst rising over El Nido. It takes effort to go up, but it is totally worth it. The whole hike could take 2 to 2.5 hours round trip. Useful link #1: Climbing the Taraw Peak by Marcos.
Photo courtesy of Grigoriy Makarov
The Island in Bacuit Bay and the surrounding area are not only stunningly beautiful, but have a lot of attractions to offer. Select from 4 island hopping tours A, B, C and D or try combination tours! Enjoy the delicious lunch buffet prepared by your tour guide and boatmen.
Tour A covers the Small Lagoon and Big Lagoon of Miniloc Island. You should definitely kayak to enjoy the experience fully. Do not miss the opportunity to swim and snorkel in the Small Lagoon. Get bitten by a fish, but this is all part of the fun. No pain involved.
Tour B takes you to the caves and coves in the El Nido.
Tour C takes you to the most photographed place in El Nido, the Matinloc Shrine.
Tour D is perhaps the most underrated island hopping tour among the four. But if you’re not a fan of snorkeling and just want to beach bum, Tour D is perfect for you.
Explore the gorgeous beaches of Nacpan and Calitang Beaches (the Twin Beach) just 45-minutes away from the town proper. Meet friendly locals and check out the private island of Manny Pacquaio.
If you’re too lazy to visit the Twin Beach, bask in the sunshine of Marimegmeg Beach which is just 5-minutes away from Corong-Corong by tricycle. Useful link #2: Corong Corong Marimegmeg Beach by Bino.
Photo Courtesy of Edward Zac.
Although, you cannot have a natural spa treatment in this hot spring, you can boil eggs here as what locals do! Makinit Hot Springs is just 40 minutes away from El Nido town proper and the trek is both enjoyable and challenging.
This attraction is typically coupled with Makinit Hot Springs and Ille Cave.
Photo Courtesy of Matt Paish
Absolutely you read it right. You can surf in El Nido! Mike provides equipment and offers surfing lessons. He’ll take you to the best surfing spots in El Nido. For more information,check out Paula’s blog where she also shared the Facebook Page of Surfing in El Nido.
Photo Courtesy of Paula.
Pangulasian Island used to be one of the main attractions in El Nido Island Tours until it became private. This private island resort offers a variety of attraction. You can enjoy a set of relaxing spa treatments, scuba dive in the crystal clear waters to meet the local marine creatures, or climb a nature trail nearby.
Photo Courtesy of Phery Handog
Cadlao Resort is just few minutes walk from Makulay Lodge. Ask one of the staffs if you can take a stroll inside and explore their sandy beaches and beautiful garden.
Photo Courtesy of Aubrey
This is an ideal activity for romantic couples.
Snorkel to get up close and personal with different marine creatures. This is a great experience for both adults and kids.
Nido Soup is bird’s nest soup which is unique to El Nido. Obviously, it’s name was derived from El Nido town itself since the nests are harvested from the high cliffs of the region. Notable restaurant in El Nido that serves Nido Soup is the Skyline Inn. You should definitely try it.
Restaurant hopping is a popular activity among tourists as the restaurants are located close to one another. The Skyline Inn offers great local specialties like Nido Soup while Altrove is the best pizza place in town. Sea Slugs and El Nido Art Cafe have excellent Asian and Western cuisine with great acoustic nights.