One Day in El Nido Itinerary – Top things to do in El Nido, The Philippines

one-day-in-el-nido-philippines-itineraryEl 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 Philippino 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 only two ways to reach the city would be either 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.

El Nido Beach
El Nido Beach


One Day in El Nido Itinerary:

Top things to do in El Nido, The Philippines


Book your island tour early in the morning

Actually, booking a tour should be done a day in advance, but I assume it’s fine if you go early in the morning. The archipelago known for its stunning beaches and impressive cliffs can be explored taking one of the 4 island tours every travel agency in the city has on their list. Any of them is great, but if you can choose – pick one with the Secret Lagoon. The tour includes lunch at the beach.

El Nido Lagoons
El Nido Lagoons, Author: Eric Molina, Photo source: Flickr


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.

El Nido Secret Lagoon Beach
Secret Lagoon Beach


Have a dinner at Mezzanine restaurant

Even being more pricey than many other beach restaurants, it’s 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.

El Nido Mezzanine Restaurant
Mezzanine Restaurant


Try Baloot

This traditional Filipino dish is actually a 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 there would surely be 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 still it would be 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.


Some extra tips?

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 or an Iphone, buy a waterproof case. The archipelago of El Nido is just perfect for taking postcard-looking photos and you would surely want to take a camera with you on your boat trip.

El Nido Cliffs
Impressive Cliffs, Author: Tyler Nienhouse, Source: Flickr

Even being very popular among tourists, there’s no ATM in El Nido. Bring only cash when traveling there.


In case you have more than just one day in El Nido check out Tripadvisor for detailed list of all the top things to do in El Nido.


Find the Best Hotel Deals in El Nido


Don’t Miss These Last Minute Hotel Deals!

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If you have any other prepositions for this One Day in El Nido Itinerary feel free to share it in the comments below!












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  1. Hi, I need help. I’m planning to travel from Puerto to El Nido at night so we can just do the Tour A the next day. Possible ba n dumirecho na pabalik sa Puerto after the tour? I mean, is there any place near the area to shower or freshen up before doing a night trip back to Puerto? The thing is, we have a limited time to stay in Palawan so we can’t afford to book a hotel and stay for at least a night in El Nido. I’d appreciate any help 🙂

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