El Nido city and the surrounding archipelago is a place of a stunning nature, divine beaches and relaxed atmosphere. Visiting El Nido mostly includes exploring the remote islands around, snorkeling, kayaking and getting to know more about the Filipino culture. Even if you’re short on time during your Palawan trip, visiting El Nido is a must. One day in El Nido will pass very quickly, but you’ll happen to explore a very big part of its mind blowing beauty.
What’s the best time to visit El Nido?
The perfect time would be from late November to March. May to October is not ideal due to the rainy season. On the other hand, March to May is known as a jellyfish season. At that time sea is packed with jellyfish so it requires a lot of caution. Otherwise, getting burned can really ruin your day.
What’s good to know about El Nido?
The city of El Nido is located on Palawan island in the very west part of the Philippines and it differs in its nature and the landscape from the rest of the country. The easiest way to reach the city is by plane, landing at the super small El Nido airport. Other that that you can either reach it by bus/car from Porto Princessa or by taking a boat ride from the Batangas to Coron and then another one from Coron to El Nido.
One Day in El Nido Itinerary
Top things to do in El Nido, The Philippines
Follow this guide and make the best of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do on your one day in El Nido.
Book your island tour early in the morning
Actually, booking a tour should be done a day in advance, but even early in the morning could work out as well. The archipelago, known for its stunning beaches and impressive cliffs, can be explored by taking one of the 4 island tours every travel agency in the city has on their list. All of them are exciting, but if you can choose – pick one with the Secret Lagoon. The tour includes lunch at the beach.
Rent a kayak
If you’re not into organized tours, but you still don’t want to miss the beautiful archipelago of El Nido, try renting a kayak. The great thing about it is that you can look for remote islands, and have a whole beach for yourself. It requires being in a good shape, as the trip itself takes hours.
Swim in the Secret Lagoon
The Secret Lagoon and a sandy beach around the corner are nothing less but the paradise on Earth. The Lagoon is quite small, but illuminated with a divine light than shines through the cliffs. It’s the best just to float on the sea surface and admire the serenity and the beauty of nature.
Have a dinner at Mezzanine restaurant
Even being more pricey than many other beach restaurants, Mezzanine restaurant is still the best value you can get. The European owners made sure the restaurant is nicely decorated and the food super tasty. It’s also a great place for an afternoon chill. The terrace view at the sunset is spectacular.
Baloot is a traditional Filipino dish, half-hatched chicken egg. Even though eating a chicken fetus doesn’t seem like something yummy, it actually has a nice taste. It’s not common to be served in a restaurant, but you can find kids at the beach selling them for a cheap price.
Try your luck at The El Nido Night Market
The El Nido Market is not like other SE Asian night markets. It’s less known for selling food or merchandise, but it’s still packed with locals any night. The street gambling games are what attracts people of any age. Try your luck at the market and play one of the many games they offer. You’re gonna love it.
Where to stay in El Nido?
Cuna Hotel is a modern style hotel only a minute walk from the beach. Sky deck restaurant offers spectacular views of the lush nature and the archipelago. The rooms provide stylish and comfortable stay.
Casa Kalaw is modern and stylish resort located close to a beautiful white sand beach. The restort is a nice escape from a busy downtown area, still very close to the Lio airport. The resort features an outdoor pool and the nice lounge areas with the lush tropical gardens surrounding it.
Sei Nazioni Cottages
Sei Nazioni Cottages offers a peaceful retreat in rustic cottages with the sweeping views of the mountains. The units combine traditional designs and the use of the local materials, and they all come with the private balcony.
Extra tips for visiting El Nido
– If you’re into snorkeling, bring your own snorkeling equipment. The one that you rent at the agency can really be a bad one.
– If you don’t have a waterproof camera, buy a waterproof case. The archipelago of El Nido is a perfect place for taking postcard-looking photos and you’ll surely want to take a camera with you on your boat trip.
– Even being very popular among tourists, there’s no ATM in El Nido. Bring only cash when traveling there.
– Make your trip to El Nido even more exciting! Check out Tripadvisor for all the activities and organized tours in El Nido or around the area. Make sure to purchase your tickets to all the attractions right away to skip the queues.
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