If El Nido, Palawan is ever in your bucket list, make sure you do it! Don’t just dream or think about it. Because I am sure you will be amazed every single moment in the The Last Ecological Frontier, hands down, the most natural, well preserved beauty and one of the best beaches in the world.
El Nido is not just a place that filled with sky high limestone cliffs and powdery white beaches, but it is like a grand showcase of world class biodiversity marine life, an enchanting world with vast opportunities to learn and observe nature over land and underwater paradise. The entire province of Palawan itself is protected as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Judging from its earned title, you will know your trip will not be a disappointing one but rather MAGICAL! 🙂
El Nido is for sure a more ideal beach destination for island hoppers than Boracay. It is truly a relaxing and inspiring place. From its sky high marble cliffs to its beautiful white fine sand beaches with crystal blue, turquoise green clear water, many refer to it as a paradise on earth. El Nido consists of over 50 beaches to discover, and because it is not as crowded with tourist yet (as compared to Boracay), you will feel you own these secluded private beaches most of the time. Isn’t that great, especially for photographers. 🙂 Okay, private beach but still have tourist, so don’t ever think of doing some funny! LOL
El Nido Town
El Nido is a friendly unique little town at the north tip of Palawan, in the southwestern Philippines. It is surrounded by the rugged limestone cliffs that house the bird nests where El Nido is famous. At times, I felt I was part of the bird in the nest due to the “protection” for the sky high limestone mountains. LOL El Nido town is an ideal base for tourist who are here for land or island hopping tours to the many remote beaches and hidden lagoons of Bacuit bay.
El Nido is a popular destination for the locals during the long holidays of Holy Week but, until recently, it has been relatively unknown to foreign tourists. El Nido is more than just a stereotypical tropical paradise. The beautiful fine sand beaches, clear turquoise or blue waters, green jungles, steep grayish white limestone cliffs and stunning inlets that made up one of the world’s most beautiful seascapes ever. El Nido is also known for water sports such as diving, snorkeling and kayaking. Not really a place for you to get smashed at the beach. 🙂
Before El Nido became a popular tourist destination, fishing and harvesting bird nests (“Nido”) were the main source of income for the locals. Currently, tourism has overtake the industry and become the main source of revenue; however, for some reason, the authorities are trying to keep it sustainable hence the big hotels or resorts chain are absent. The number of tourist in El Nido is relatively low. Perhaps, a smart move because more tourist will disturbed the peacefulness of this paradise. More tourist, more rubbish and pollution, as in noise, water and environment pollution. haha
Getting to El Nido
In a separate article, I have shared the easiest and luxurious way of getting to El Nido. You can check it out from here:
Getting Around El Nido
Getting around El Nido town is pretty straight forward, the town is not big to begin with. You can either check out the town by foot, or simply hire a tricycle taxi if you are staying somewhere further than the El Nido main beach area. Alternatively, you can rent a motorbike and go around explore the countryside. The roads are well maintained and you will find it rewarding to find secluded waterfalls and beaches. I heard from some of the locals that they are good secluded places or beaches, but I personally didn’t check them out. So, for adventure junkie, just be safe! 🙂
Local Life in El Nido
I would say the El Nido town is like a sparrow, though small, but it has everything. There are many local shops that you can get your daily necessity, of course many of these shops are according to local standard. These are definitely not some high end supermarkets with air conditioning that you find in your own city, but is more than sufficient. Note: Some of the items (i.e. sunscreen, bottled water) I bought were full of dust, but they are definitely genuine products and is safe to consume.
The Filipinos are very into sports especially basketball. I happen to chance upon one of their local match in the evening. The match looked pretty intense and the players played professionally. For gatecrasher, you may try to challenge the locals in a basketball match. 🙂 Alert: Before you do that, do check out wikipedia for South East Asia Games past winner team for men basketball. LOL
Electricity in El Nido
The electricity supply in El Nido is interesting. In El Nido, the electricity supply runs from 2pm to 6am daily. Some of the hotels or resort will have generators that covers 24/7 electricity supply. I was pretty fortunate as I traveled during November period, and the resort manager was happy to informed me that the resort will provide 24/7 electricity for last 3 months till Christmas. Yay! Immediately reminded me of the awesome long celebration of Christmas in the Philippines. Wish we have a long celebration festive mood as well. haha
Restaurants and Vegetarian Options
For fellow vegetarian mates, unfortunately, this is not a place for you to feast like anywhere else. Almost 90% of the restaurants in El Nido are seafood restaurants. That being said, it doesn’t mean you can only survive with fruits. Many of these restaurant do have some options for vegetarians i.e. pizza, curries, or vegetables dishes. Fret not, If you are not used to the food, the beauty of El Nido can fill your stomach with pleasingness fulfillment. haha
For non vegetarian or seafood lovers, hands down, this may be your paradise.
Nightlife of El Nido
El Nido is a more ideal beach destination for island hopping than Boracay. It is a truly relaxing and inspiring place. However, if nightlife is what you are aiming for, then Boracay offers more activities than El Nido. In my opinion, El Nido is more relaxing, romantic and accompanied with many beautiful islands than Boracay, whereas Boracay is more crowded, loads of water sports and nightlife than El Nido.
Even though this is not a party town like Boracay, you can still enjoy some live band music and dance in some of the bars along the El Nido beach. They are definitely more scale down as compared to Boracay. 🙂
Day Tours & Activities At El Nido
Of course, if you ever visit El Nido, the island hopping tours should be your main purpose of visiting this magical paradise. You may refer to these separate articles on El Nido Island Hopping Tours. It contains a coverage and information about the tours that I did.
- Revel In The Tranquil Turquoise Waters of El Nido’s Lagoons (El Nido Tour A)
- Discover The Hidden Secrets & Wonders of El Nido’s Beaches (El Nido Tour C)
“When overseas you learn more about your own country, than you do the place you’re visiting.” – Clint Borgen