Oh, El Nido!

By Sarah Aterrado - May 03, 2017

I wonder how many pieces of my heart have I got left because I keep on leaving them everywhere I go.

This time, I left my heart in El Nido.

El Nido, Palawan

El Nido wasn't really part of our travel plans this year. Yes, we've always wanted to go to El Nido but not anytime soon. I guess, luck was on our side and the impulse to explore something new was so strong, we unexpectedly made El Nido happen, not to mention sooner than expected.

El Nido, Palawan

Island Hopping in El Nido
El Nido offers a wide range of activities. But a trip to El Nido wouldn't be complete without island hopping. Well, this is what El Nido is famous for. And as much as we wanted to do the 4 main island hopping tours, our time is unfortunately not enough.

To give you an idea, here's a bit of information about each island hopping tour:
Tour A (Lagoons and Beaches):
• Small Lagoon
• Big Lagoon
• Secret Lagoon
• Shimizu Island
• 7 Commandos Beach

Tour B (Caves and Coves):
• Snake Island
• Cudungon Cave
• Cathedral Cave
• Inabuyutan Island
• Pangulasian Island

Tour C (Hidden Beaches and Shrines):
• Helicopter Island
• Hidden Beach
• Star Beach
• Matinloc Srhine
• Secret Beach

Tour D (Island Beaches):
• Ipil Beach
• Cadlao Lagoon
• Paradise Beach
• Pasandigan Beach
• Natnat Beach
• Bukal Beach
Included in each tour package would be: Mask & Snorkel Set, Lunch Meal, and Drinking Water.
Each tour have standard rates. But you can get discounted rates when you book online or sometimes tour operators can give you discounts on the spot.
El Nido, Palawan
Boats for island hopping
Since we didn't have time to tour everything, we chose Tour A package - which is popular for a reason.

Everything - from the white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and limestone formations - is so spectacular! Amazing. Picturesque. Stunning. Breathtaking. Of course, everything I said is an understatement.

I don't know how else to describe El Nido, but please allow me to spoil you with these photos that just might convince you to book your tickets and experience one of Philippines' finest. (I know, I know. The photos don't do it justice.)
El Nido, Palawan
Big Lagoon
El Nido, Palawan
Stopped over at Secret Lagoon to have lunch.
El Nido, Palawan
Shimizu Island
El Nido, Palawan
Snorkeling at Shimizu Island
El Nido, Palawan
Last stop at Papaya Beach. It was supposed to be at 7 Commandos beach, but since it is full of tourist, our boat guide took us the the beach just beside it. And it did not disappoint. :)
Should you decide to visit El Nido, here are some tips that you may find useful:

1.  If you are coming from Puerto Princesa, it is better to book a round trip 5-hour van ride. Fare from Puerto Princesa to El Nido is around Php 550 per way. A round trip ticket costs only Php 900. A 7-hour bus ride is also a cheaper alternative for less than Php 400 per way.

2. Tour Operators are pretty much everywhere in town. Island tours have standard rates but operators can give discounts. So choose wisely. As for us, we decided to book our tours with El Mundo, which is just located right outside Puerto Princesa airport. For a Php 1,200 Tour A package, we only got it for Php 900/head.

3. When you arrive at El Nido terminal, do not ride the tricycles that are parked there. They charge you Php 50 per ride. Just head on to the main highway - which is just a few meters away from the terminal - ride a tricycle from there and pay only Php 10/head.

4. When island hopping, bring dry bags or waterproof cases to keep your gadgets and other valuables dry.
El Nido, Palawan

5. Aqua shoes really helps. Protect your feet from jagged rocks - they can be everywhere.

6. Kayaking is the best way to navigate the lagoons. You can rent kayaks for Php 200-300 per use or Php 700 per day.

7. If you do not have an underwater camera with you, you can rent for approximately Php 700/day. Just provide your own memory card.

8. Make sure to bring enough cash since there are no banks or ATMs around, and not every establishment accepts credit cards.

9. And last but not the least, ENJOY!
El Nido, Palawan
Sunset at Corong-corong.
El Nido is so beautiful, I don't think we will get over it so easily. If I were to decide on which place I would want to go back to, I'd be in El Nido in a heartbeat.

  • Share:

You Might Also Like


  1. My mom and her bff were there last week and saw her travel photos too. GRABE KA GANDA LAGI DAW NG EL NIDO HUHUHU. Next summer. Humanda! Bahala na solo trip lang ko. And oh, mag rent nalang kog underwater cam oi. Haha.

    1. Sooooobra! As in! Gusto ko bumalik doon. As in now na. Di mo kailangan magrent ng underwater cam ui. Unless gusto mo mag underwater selfie or picturan mga corals and fishies, then go. Haha

  2. WOW! So beautiful! I wish I can go there!

  3. One of Philippine's pride talaga ang El Nido! Haven't been there (or anywhere in Palawan) pero I am convincing my husband for us to visit Coron next year :)