Ready to dive into the turquoise blue waters, walk along the white beaches, see the impressive limestone karst cliffs, explore the caves and different lagoons? If that fascinates you, then this place is definitely a must-visit. El Nido is one of the most magnificent sights in Asia. Known for its white-sand beaches, dive sites, El Nido is a perfect place to relax, explore, and reconnect with nature especially when you’re on a budget. Here are the top 15 things that you can do in El Nido, Palawan!
Island hopping El Nido Palawan
Island hopping is the MOST popular activity in El Nido, Palawan. There are four different island hopping packages available, depending on your preferences. The available packages are Tour A, Tour B, Tour C, and Tour D and the tour starts at usually 9 am to 4 pm. All these tours include lunch where the local boatmen will drop by an island and prepare your food as you explore a certain island. The food includes local seafood dishes and fruits that will be cut in an artistic way. It’s not just about the destinations and the food, but the company too, because the staff is friendly. The price is totally worth it!
- Tour A (Lagoons): Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, 7 Commando Beach and Shimizu Island (Php 1,200 /pax)
- Tour B (Caves): Snake Island, Pinagbuyutan Island, Cudugnon Cave, Entalula Island, and Cathedral Cave. (Php 1,300 /pax)
- Tour C (Beaches): Helicopter Island, Matinloc Shrine, Secret Beach, Star Beach and Hidden Beach (Php 1,400 /pax)
- Tour D (Cadlao Islands): Pasandigan Beach, Nat Nat Beach, Bucal Beach, Cadlao Lagoon, and Paradise Beach (Php 1,200 /pax)
- Zipline between islands
- Aside from the natural beach, Las Cabanas Beach offers another feature: a zipline. From the top, the locals would strap you in and send you down a 750-meter long zip line, and that’ll give you the opportunity to see the gorgeous, Instagram-worthy scenery from above. Zipline costs around Php 500-1,100. There are several choices to choose from:
- Sitting position – one way – Php 500
- Sitting position – return – Php 900
- Superman position – one way – Php 700
- Superman position – return – Php 1,100
- Combination of both positions – return – Php 1,000
- Zipline is open from 9 am to 5:30 pm.
Happiness Beach Bar El Nido Palawan
Some tourists may be looking for a place where they can eat and drink. They serve authentic Middle Eastern Food with a Mediterranean twist using the freshest local ingredients. They also serve a delicious variety of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options with fast-food speed service. Breakfast is served from 7 am to 11 am, and Happy hour costs Php 180, 2-4-1 Margaritas & Daiquiris from 2 pm to 6 pm.
Visit the Cathedral Caves El Nido Palawan
Yes, there’s a cathedral within a cave! This place has a narrow opening between jagged rocks and cliffs. The opening is a cathedral-like cave with tall ceilings. Tourists will swim through the luminescent water. The roof was high up with sharp stalactites pointing down as if it’s going to fall.
Kayaking El Nido Palawan
You’ll obviously need to rest a kayak for this one. Kayaking is perfect because it’ll enable you to explore the secret beaches around Cadlao Island. The island across town has stunning wildlife just like some monkeys and birds. The kayak rental costs Php 1,995, and the kayak package are the following:
- Cadlao Kayak tour (Cliff’s wall kayaking): Cadlao Lagoon, Helicopter Island, Pasandigan beach, Paradise beach, and Bucal beach
- Miniloc Kayak Tour (Lagoon kayaking): Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Shimizu Island, Secret Lagoon, 7-commandos beach
It is highly recommended to bring a waterproof bag, slippers or water shoes, swimwear, towel, sunblock lotion, sunglasses, and water.
Hike at Taraw Peak El Nido Palawan
Fan of hiking? Then this is highly recommended. El Nido does not simply offer beaches, but hiking too. It’ll be a 30-minute journey to the summit but is a tough adventure with extreme humidity. It is highly recommended to wear the right shoes because some rocks are sharp. Guides are highly recommended to be hired because the hike is quite dangerous especially if you’re not familiar with how stable the rocks are.
Corong-corong beach walk El Nido Palawan
There is a relaxing feeling whenever we watch the sunset. This place offers one of the nicest sunset views and is one of the quietest beaches around the town. It is a good place to reflect on different things, just like the things that we’re thankful for and how good life is. There are few local homes built on tall, wooden stilts.
Visit the public market El Nido Palawan
Who hates shopping? As early as 4 am, the local market sells fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and meat. This market is located near Corong-corong beach on the side of the main road.
Rent a motorbike
- Aside from the island hopping, exploring EL Nido via land is also a good pick. Local tricycles overcharge sometimes so a motorbike is a better choice. The cost of renting the motorbike is around Php 300-500 for an entire day. The following units that are available for rental are the following:
- Scooters: Honda Beat 125 & Yamaha Mio 125
- Semi-automatics: Honda XRM 125
- Manuals: Honda XR 125, Honda XR 150, Yamaha XTZ 125 and Kawasaki 150 KLX.
Duli Beach Pristine white-sand beach El Nido Palawan
Duli beach is an unpopular 2-kilometer long beach that is picture-perfect that comes with clear blue water and white sands found in the northern part of El Nido, Palawan. The beach is good for beginners in surfing and lessons are offered. There are some available local foods to choose from, too. This secluded beach has 7 months per year of nice waves.
Dive the Dilumacad underwater tunnel El Nido Palawan
Located about a mile and a half from the shorts of Helicopter Island, there is a dive site that is 12 meters under the surface and a 40-meter tunnel to view the fish and other sea creatures. The entrance is wide enough for two divers that will lead to a cavern at the center. This is for advanced divers only.
Nagkalit-kalit waterfalls El Nido Palawan
The falls are a 10-meter tall trough of water that slides down the rocks. There are two falls between them and a pool to take a swim. This, however, is only recommended during the wet season, because during the dry season, the water dries up.
Day trip to twin beaches El Nido Palawan
The hill is where Nacpan and Calitang beach meet. The two beaches merge in a narrow powdery sandbar that snakes into a verdant hill that lies adjacent to it. The twin beach can be visited via van or tricycle. It is not included in the island hopping tours, but travel agencies offer trips to visit this area.
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Eat the local foods El Nido Palawan
Of course, there’s the food! Who hates food-tripping? There are different places to visit to try the local foods and there are a variety of foods to try. We all have our own preferences in food and trying different ones would be a great experience.
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Makinit Hot Springs El Nido Palawan
Makinit Hot Springs is located 20 kilometers away from El Nido town and is an interesting stop on an in-land tour. To get here, you can take a tricycle ride at Php 350 (2 pax) that’ll take around 20-30 minutes, rent a motorbike and visit this yourself and the motorbike rental costs Php 600 or a scooter that costs Php 500. It would be unwise, however, to take a dip because the water is too hot and the locals use it to boil eggs. It is interesting to see, nonetheless.