El Nido is another breathtaking paradise situated in the west of the Philippines. Due to limited travel options, the place was not crowded when we went there last July 7.
So, here’s a full guide for travel enthusiasts who are planning to go to El Nido, Palawan.
Going to El Nido
1. Plane via Puerto Princesa
It is the cheapest but it is also the longest travel time. Oh, and did I mention that usually, the van ride from Puerto Princesa to El Nido might take 5 to 6 hours? And believe me, I prayed hard during our land trip because the driver drove too fast. Round trip van from Puerto Princesa to El Nido vv is 1,300/pax.
2. Plane via Lio Airport
It is the most expensive but the most recommended if you have kids or adult companions. You can book your ticket via www.airswift.com and it usually costs around P5000 one-way.
3. Busuanga Airport
If you are planning a side trip to Coron, then this is definitely the best option. The only thing is that you have to ride a boat going to El Nido.
There are many budget-friendly hotels and inns around the El Nido town proper. And you might think of booking a beach-front hotel room because you want to swim right ahead. The truth is you can’t swim in Bacuit Bay because this is the area where the boats dock. If you want a beach-front property, you may opt to stay in Los Cabanas, Nakpan beach, or other private beaches but the price is hefty.
Our home away from home is the Cuna El Nido, which is just a 5-minute walk away from the beach shore, restaurant and very near to establishments.
Here are the features of our room.
hot & cold shower
with mountain view
towels, toiletries with a blower
flat screen TV
complimentary water, coffee, and tea
breakfast buffet (depends on the occupancy rate)
the infinity pool on roof deck
Wifi is available in the lobby area.
The room has its own air purifier which is very essential nowadays. That is a big plus.
So if you have a kid, I suggest you go for Tour A which mostly encompasses the lagoon tour. We joined a group tour with El Nido Leatherback Tour and Cruise.
Tour A: 1,200
I. Big Lagoon
II. Seven Commando
III. Shimizu Island
IV. Secret Lagoon
V. Payong Payong Beach
Licensed tourist guide
Licensed boat captain and crew
Lagoon fee Php 200 per person
Environment fee Php 200 per person
Kayak rent Php300 (small kayak good for 3); 350 (big kayak good for 4)
1. Shimizu Island
It is a beautiful quaint island with a Japanese moniker.
The small island is a tribute to Mr. Shimizu who drowned while exploring an underwater cave in this place. His unwavering dedication to island exploration has cost him his life.
Anyways, tourists will be mesmerized with the island’s very clear turquoise water and powdery white sand. This is a part of Island hopping tour A where you can swim.
For more details about the tour, kindly visit and follow El Nido Leatherback Travel and Cruise. Their tour guides are all well-versed and very professional. We highly recommend their service.
2. Big Lagoon
It is part of Island Hopping Tour A which is the most breathtaking. Kayaking while being in awe of the bright turquoise water and skyscraper limestones is the very highlight of this trip.
Unfortunately, we could not see the Secret Lagoon due to a Gail warning brought by a Low-Pressure Area. The tour guide explained that it would be dangerous for tourists to enter the small opening and we might be swept to the open sea.
In exchange, they offered us to visit Entalula island.
3 A. Entalula Island
Originally, it is part of Tour B (beach). It is known for its iconic pyramid limestone on the beachfront.
It derived its name from a grandmother named Enta. She was the last lone inhabitant of this island.
We ate our buffet lunch here together with other tour joiners. What a wonderful experience to have been served with freshly cooked seafood, chicken, and pork along with a nicely decorated fruit platter. Kudos to our chef who cooked all our food afloat. Yes, right in our boat. Delicious!
After our lunch, we soaked in the clear water while others sunbathed in the white sand.
This is one of my favorite island hopping activities. Sogbu!
4. Seven Commandos Beach
This is the first stop of Tour A. And honestly, me, this is my least favorite but don’t get me wrong, the beach here is beautiful. It is just that the place was crowded and we were greeted with big waves.
5. South Miniloc
If you are into snorkeling, South Miniloc island offers a wonderful view and a magnificent under-the-sea activity.
Why you should have an alternative plan with Tour C?
Another unfortunate event is that our Tour C was canceled during our El Nido trip. Due to the LPA, the Philippine Coast Guard didn’t allow the tour agencies to do Tour C. Tour guides also explained that this tour was likely to get canceled during the rainy season because the beaches are situated near the open sea. So, they suggested visiting during the summer season.
Land Tour as an alternative when the weather is bad
So, we rented a private van via El Nido Leatherback and Cruise and here are the places that we visited.
Literally sunburned at Nakpan Beach.
I thought I was in Boracay because of their beautiful beach. And the waves, like in Pagudpud.
Therefore, I can say that the beauty of Nakpan beach is a combination of Boracay at Pagudpud.
It is a 30-minute van ride from the main El Nido town. Medyo bumpy at muddy ang road kasi ginagawa pa lang. So alam ninyo na, pag nagawa yan for sure mas marami pupunta.
This beach is near the Lio Airport. It is a private beach but tourists are allowed to enter the area and enjoy the long stretch of white beach.
Tips: put insect repellent lotion to avoid Niknik or those big insects on the shore.
Where to eat in El Nido
Sea Jane Resto Bar
If you want a sea view and fresh surroundings, we recommend this ihaw-ihaw restaurant right on the beachfront of Bacuit Bay.
For only 1000 pesos, we had grilled fish, liempo, squid, a rice platter and a pot of shrimp porridge. Their food is delicious. (*not sponsored)
They are open everyday from 3pm to 11pm. Always fill up so you have a little breakfast.