El Nido proofed to be what I expected of the Philippines. An amazing landscape consisting of small, green islands that pop out of the pristine blue water like small hills. If you want to see the most beautiful places in this gem, here is what to do in El Nido.
What to do in El Nido
Do an island hopping tours and discover the lagoons
We did tour A which includes the biggest “must-sees” like big and small lagoon and some nice beaches and once more an amazing lunch. The rest of the tours will bring you to islands a little further from El Nido. Prices are all between 1000 and 1400 pesos (ask if the environmental fee of 200 is already included. That fee will be valid for 10 days once you paid it).
Go Scuba Diving
Although there are regions in the Philippines that are more well known than El Nido for scuba diving I was very happy with the two dives we did. We saw two turtles, a nice eagle ray, some cool slugs and corals and the usual fish. A guy who also dived on Bohol said that the coral life was better in El Nido.
Enjoy a sunset drink at Outpost Bar
Outpost Bar and hostel has a cool vibe with a beautiful view across the bay. You access the bar over a woodden stairway and then have to walk along the beach for 30 meters. I had a delicious Piñacolada there which was served in a coconut (for 200 pesos).
Watch a sunset at Las Cabañas Beach and take a swim there
Las Cabañas was the most beautiful beach to us in El Nido. It was lovely to swim in the water that gets deep quickly unlike at most Asian beaches. The landscape for the sunset is stunning. If that is too boring for you you could do the zip-lining tour at the end of the beach. You will take a zipline to the neighboring Snake Island (500 PHP for 750m). Then, you can swim back or walk back at low tide or take the zipline for another 450 pesos.
Enjoy a drink or dinner at El Nido town beach
El Nido town beach is lovely as well. It’s possible to swim there and the sunset is nice. Therefore, you should have at least three nights in El Nido to enjoy the sunsets at the three beaches. If you can afford it, a hotel at the beachfront of El Nido town is probably the best place to be based at. There is not much going on along Corong Corong. You can find some restaurants but the big variety (going from nice healthy bowls, to seafood bbq, falafel and ice cream) are in town.
We had a very delicious dinner in a restaurant on the beach that had a big display of seafood and lots of ladyboys. My crab curry was absolutely mouth-watering and the fish of my friend as well. We also had some very nice cocktails at the Greek restaurant on the beach.
Drive a scooter to Nacpan beach
If you have an extra day, rent a scooter (400 PHP) or hire a trycicle (1000 PHP) to bring you to Nacpan beach. It’s nice for swimming as it actually becomes deep a few meters in and there are some waves for bodyboarding. However, beware that the last two kilometers of road to reach the beach are non-existent. Since it rained a lot the days before we arrived, the road was now a muddy river. I couldn’t believe that the trycicles all made it to the parking lot. Our scooter made it as well but it took some driving skills and our feet and shoes weren’t recognizable below the mud once we reached the other end. So, perhaps a trycicle is easier? The ride from El Nido to Nacpan is nice either way as you drive along green hills, rice fields and local farm animals.
Surf at Duli Beach
This beach is a little further than Nacpan and if you like surfing you could give the waves here a try. Then, you should probably also stay in this area.
How to get to El Nido
El Nido is absolutely worth a trip since it’s so beautiful. You can either fly there from Cebu or take a van from Puerto Princesa (500 PHP one way, 5hrs). It’s a bendy road but nobody in our van got sick. There was one toilet/food stop and a nice scenery outside the window. Somewhere we even passed a big inlet of the ocean with a mountain that looked like a volcano. Very neat!
Which place is your jewel on earth? Please let me know in a comment or write me an email 🙂