Everything in El Nido is really majestic; the rocky views, the clear water, fine sand, as well as the diverse marine life. Like what you’ve seen on various blogs online, this place is a must visit province in the Philippines. Thank God that I’ve got a chance to be on this blissful paradise.
El Nido is situated in Bacuit Bay, northern part of Palawan. It is also known as “The Last Frontier”. The lovely view of this province has a lot to offer. This is also a top destination for everyone who loves to experience paradise in a real life.
From Manila, ride an airplane bound to Puerto Princesa. Get lucky to score some seat sale from Cebu Pacific or Air Asia. They offer discounted tickets all-year round. We got our own tix for only P1,600 back and forth.
From Puerto Princesa, the travel time to El Nido is approximately 6 hours. We rented a van from the resort that we booked in. It was a bit tiring but everything was worth it! Just sleep and relax, bring music with you so you won’t get bored.
There is also available bus bound to El Nido. To check the schedule and details, visit this site: http://www.phbus.com/cherry-bus/.
WHERE TO STAY:
We planned our trip to El Nido for almost 2 months. That’s why, we had discounts from the room accommodation as well as our island hopping tours. We stayed in Nido Bay Inn. The place is clean and the staffs are accommodating. The rates also include free breakfast, private toilet and bathroom, double size beds, hot/cold shower, and cable TV. It is reasonable for its price, I guess. We contacted them and reserved the room by giving 50% down payment.
There are lots of places to stay in El Nido. I think most of the houses also offer transient or per daily rate. It is just more convenient to reserve ahead of time to avoid the hassle. You can visit Tripadvisor, Agoda, or this site http://www.elnidopalawan.com/sleep.html for references.
Our activity includes:
- Island Hopping Tour A and C (This is why you should visit El Nido!)
- Beach Bumming
- Snorkeling in Small Lagoon
- Picture Taking
- Sight Seeing
- Sunset Watching in Corong Corong Beach
There are also other activities such as scuba diving, cliff jumping, climbing, cave exploring, going inland tours, and so much more! Check out this blog I found while browsing: http://www.travelinboots.com/philippines/palawan/best-places-things-el-nido-palawan/.
Our flight to Puerto Princesa Airport was 7:25 am and arrived at 8:50 am. We wanted to check out places near the airport but our van transfers to El Nido will be leaving at 9:00am. That moment, I couldn’t contain my excitement to see El Nido in my own eyes.
Finally, we arrived at 3:00 in the afternoon, checked-in at Nido Bay Inn, refreshed ourselves, hired a tricycle and went straight to Las Cabanas to experience zip line. Unfortunately, zip line was already closed.
Dinner Time! There are several restaurants in El Nido that offer wide variety of choices for meals. You can even make ‘paluto’ like sinigang na isda, inihaw na isda (grilled fish), and so much more! It reminded me of D’ Talipapa in Boracay, almost same price and everything is fresh.
After eating our meals, we opted to buy alcoholic drinks in a local grocery since it was our first night and tomorrow we wanted to wake up early for the tour and sobrang pagoda kami from the land transfers.
We woke up early in the morning to have breakfast and to witness the sunrise. Nido Bay Inn served a simple meal, just enough for us. If you want fancy food, there are also restaurants that serve breakfast early in the morning.
Our island tour started at 9:00 in the morning. Yey! I was really excited! This is the best thing about El Nido, they have 45 islands to explore. Imagine 45 islands! But apparently, we got Tour A and Tour C because according to blogs that I have read online, they are most beautiful and most visited islands among all. We got our tour package at Discover El Nido. Their rate is P2,200 but only paid P2,000. Luckily, we got discount! Plus, they even permitted us to separate our tours in 2 days.
Our first tour was Tour C: Hidden Beaches and Shrines. Click here to read more about our adventure in Tour C.
This tour was a bit challenging because we need to go through some sharp stones, deep water, and small hole just to witness the beauty of the beaches. But I can prove to you that, it’s all worth it! Just one tip: wear an aqua shoes for protection.
Our tour ended at 4:00 in the afternoon. We went back to the inn and refreshed ourselves, took some rest, browsed our photos, and got ready for the dinner.
We strolled along the beach for possible restaurants which offer nice food but almost all of them were fully occupied. I just observed that there were huge numbers of foreigners in El Nido than any other beaches that I’ve been with.
After eating, we decided to got some couple of drinks because it was my birthday the next day! Yey! I was so happy to celebrate my birthday again at the beach. We went to Art Cafe near our inn and they offered wide variety of cocktail drinks to choose from. We just got one glass each because we’re all tired and sleepy! We went back to Nido Bay Inn to catch some sleep because tomorrow we would have the Tour A.
We woke up again early to catch the sunrise. Nido Bay Inn served us breakfast again. The staffs were really accommodating on what we needed. We never had a bad experience staying with our accommodation.
We started our Tour A: Lagoons and Beaches at 9 in the morning, same time with Tour C. Thank God that the weather was sunny and perfect!
Click here to read more about our adventure in Tour A.
This tour was the most enjoyable and beautiful! Lagoons were really amazing, as well as the laid-back beaches of Seven Commandos and Helicopter Island. We finished off our tour at 4:00 pm and headed back to our inn to take a bath and grab some snacks.
It was our last night in El Nido, and tomorrow we needed to wake up early to catch our flight back in Puerto Princesa. We had our sumptuous dinner again but we just opted to sleep early because we were really exhausted.
We woke up 4:00am and got to the van transfers. It was another 6-hour ride again, back to the airport. We fell asleep and just woke up when we were in Puerto Princesa. Good thing, our flight was a bit delayed so had time to eat lunch and fix our things. And after hours of flying, we were back Manila again!
Our trip to El Nido was amazing! Some people said that it is expensive to go there, since they just saw prestigious hotels and high-end resorts online. But, I could say that El Nido is totally do-able! I had experienced that myself. You don’t need to be super rich to have a vacation in El Nido. All you need to do is save money and plan everything ahead.
Thank you El Nido for being so beautiful. I would definitely come back to explore maybe Tour B and D, Nacpan and Calitang, and the Taraw Cliff! Our 4-day vacation was really not enough. See you again maybe next summer!
For your reference, here’s the itinerary I made as well as the expenses of the whole trip! Enjoy and leave me message for questions!
- Plan everything ahead. Book your tickets early because it’s cheaper!
- Don’t be shy to haggle with prices. You can save a lot of cash by asking for discounts.
- Don’t forget to bring sunblock because El Nido Tours are all about exploring islands and beaches!
- Wear aqua shoes. This is really helpful especially on Tour A.
- Be friendly with people in El Nido. They are friendly, too.
- Take nothing but pictures. You are not allowed to get sand or shells, they are really strict with that.
- Ask the boatman to bring your trash back to the town after the tour.
- Wear life vest if you don’t know how to swim. Don’t forget to go snorkeling. It’s really fun!
- Take a lot of pictures! It’s FREE!
CONTACT + GUIDE
Discover El Nido
Calle Amboy, El Nido Zone 1, Palawan, Philippines
Contact No.: +63 (0) 910 2020 494 (Smart) / +63 (0) 917 7733 404 (Globe)