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Philippines | Four Days in El Nido

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines



We spent one last quiet morning on Boracy before soaking in the last of white each before pick up by My Boracay Guide. Trike, boat, Taxi to the airport before our flight to our next stop EL NIDO!!

Read the rest of our Philippines Two Week Itinerary 
Layover | 9 Hours in Hong Kong
Philippines | Three Days in Cebu 
Philippines | A Day Trip to Bohol
Philippines | Three Days in Boracay


WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Arriving in El Nido

Our flight to El Nido was with Air Swift was great. It was a small plane, on time with good staff. I would highly recommend looking in to flying with them around the Philippines. They do not however show up on sky scanner, so go direct to their website. The flight from Boracay to El Nido was only 40 minutes.

From the Airport there are trikes waiting to take you to El Nido town. We caught one of these and they secured our suitcases on and off we went direct to our hotel.

Where we Stayed

All hotels around El Nido came up very expensive for what they were when we were looking. Hotels were either very low budget or very high end, there did not seem to be any middle ground between them.
In the end we booked the Cuna Hotel.

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

The Hotel is centrally located, a fair offering of breakfast service and the most incredible breakfast view. The best asset of the hotel,
Scape Skydeck El Nido offering a great happy hour offering great cocktails.

They offer a lot of services to be able to book to visit all the beaches around and day trips with reception. We actually just booked these ours ourselves whilst walking around exploring the town. 

Our room was small but suited us well, there is however only wifi in the lobby/reception area. Overall the hotel was ideal for the price we paid.

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

After a quick check in to the hotel, we took a short wander around the town before heading back to the hotel for sunset.

The cocktails on the roof were really reasonably priced and at buy one get one free even more so.

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

After quite a few Dissarano sours we ventured into El Nido to a bar called Sava. We came across it whilst walking down the beach, it seemed to have a cool vibe with good music with all bean bags around to sit on on the beach.
We had quite a few cocktails and beers plus ordered some food.


Day 2 – Nacpan Beach

In the morning we enjoyed our first breakfast on the roof. I could never get bored of that view it was truly incredible.

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines


Whist wandering more of EL Nido town we booked a tour around the island. There is so much to see around El Nido is known for white-sand beaches, coral reefs and as the gateway to the Bacuit archipelago, a group of islands with steep karst cliffs. There is so much to explore and see you will be spoilt for choice.



With El Nido you have four options of tours;
Tour A-Lagoons and Beaches
Tour B – Lagoons and Caves
Tour C – Hidden Beaches and Caves
Tour D – Cadlao Island

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines


They are all the same price mostly everywhere we found and all offer the same routes. Unless you pay for a private tour which come at a hefty price tag (compared to Coron), on top of the boat hire you also have to buy your own lunch and pay for fees to get in. We chose the cheaper option and went on a group tour for the next day. This included five stops, including lunch and fees

Tour A is the most popular tour so expect crowds. Also bottled water is not permitted and will be taken, the Philippines have more strict rules to do with being environmentally friendly that other places I have been to in Asia. We took our Chilly Bottles which are ideal or keeping drinks cool also and can be refilled on the boat.

Once our tour was booked we looked in a few stalls and shops. We stopped for a drink in The Happiness Beach Bar, which is literally the cutest place. Bright and colourful with swings at the bar very instagram worthy.

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Then for the afternoon we caught a trike to Nacpan beach 1200pesos return. About an hours drive from El Nido town, with mainly clear roads until you get to the beach. The beach is HUGE claimed to be One of the best beaches in Asia, Beautiful sand, beautiful water, had fun in the huge waves. The most important is not touched by human modernisation.

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines


As soon as l arrived l realised hardly any shade, other than WAY back on the beach and under a few palm trees.

Lots of options to rent chairs with umbrella for the day. Doesn’t feel crowded at all.

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines


This place is so good, we have spent the rest of the day on this beautiful beach. Restaurant is available there until 8 or 10 in the evening.
This was one of our favourite days in the Philippines.

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Once back in El Nido town we went for dinner at the Greek restaurant Cafe Athena along the water (opposite The Happiness Beach Bar). The food and cocktails were delicious, it was also happy hour too so lots of margaritas. Happy hour here is until 10pm so more the merrier.


Day 3 Day Tripping (Tour A)


Another incredible breakfast again on the roof, still not tired of the view. I would like to point out the the incredible did not come from the food its mainly the view.

Once back in El Nido town we went for dinner at the Greek restaurant Cafe Athena along the water (opposite The Happiness Beach Bar). The food and cocktails were delicious, it was also happy hour too so lots of margaritas. Happy hour here is until 10pm so more the merrier.


Pick up from the hotel was 9am. There was 15 of us on our tour, lined up ready to get on the boat.

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Seven Commandos Beach
This is a good beach on the Tour A island tour but it’s packed with a lot of people and boats. Swimming is in the designated area only. There’s a private beach around the corner if you can swim that far and back in the time you have for your stop on the tour. Food and drink available on the island. Try a mango and rum smoothie while here (200 peso aka $3.83 USD).
The beach would have been even more impressive had we not arrived as part of a tour. you are able to visit this privately also and have the beach to yourselves, even more blissful when everyone leaves.

Once back in El Nido town we went for dinner at the Greek restaurant Cafe Athena along the water (opposite The Happiness Beach Bar). The food and cocktails were delicious, it was also happy hour too so lots of margaritas. Happy hour here is until 10pm so more the merrier.

Big Lagoon
Yes, it’s touristy but you won’t regret visiting the Big Lagoon. Surprised how many people do not go all the way into the lagoon here. They travel the neck of it but keep going and it opens up into a very large area, like a small lake. They are building some diving platforms, which honestly detracts from the natural beauty, but it is still a beautiful and quiet place to relax on a kayak. Worth asking your boat operator for and paying the 250p for the kayak.

Like me many would be annoyed with the change in law meaning you can only visit either big or small Lagoon in one day, however, the tour operators have time slots which mean when you visit it is not overcrowded.

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Payong-Payong Beach
This was our stop for lunch during our tour. We ate at the beach and swam around . It is small and the place gives off a very deserted island feel. It can get busy here as lots of tours stop here for lunch. The lunch on the tours consists of rice, seafood, meat, fruits i.e. watermelon, bananas, and vegetables.
Lots of photo opportunities here. Leave only footprints behind.

Shimzu Island
We went there to do snorkelling our boat stopped in the middle where they said a good spot for snorkelling. The water is very clear you can even see what’s down there from the boat.

We came here after lunch, unfortunately it was in shade so many people did not get off the boat.

Secret Lagoon
Whilst this is pretty cool going through a hole in the rocks to reach a small pool of water, the water is dirty from the amount of visitors and there isn’t much to see. The amount of people make the whole thing a bit worthless really.
Although there is a beach next to it and that was beautiful compared the so called ‘secret lagoon’ and in m mind made this stop worth it.

The tour was great and we loved it. All the stops had been brilliant, the water was so clear and blue. For these day trips I would highly recommend bringing or buying water shoes. As there as there were lots of rocks and coral and getting to the beaches from the boat was tricky.

For the evening as we were early back from our day trip a quick change. Before heading to Altrove a chain shop in a couple of the Philippines islands. IT offers amazing pizzas and wine.

We had tried to come the night previous but always seems to have a huge queue outside if you don’t get there early. If there’s a big queue and you really it pizza there is always the Altrove take away around the corner.

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Whilst wandering the stalls we called at sticks and cones for the most amazing ice lollys. A must visit for a frozen treat, 100pesos each.
We went back daily.

Day 4 – Beach hopping

For breakfast we went to V&V Bagel for a bagel 250pesos each and ice coffees.
We decided instead of another day trip as El Nido’s boat trips are busy and expensive we decided to beach hop instead.

Catching a trike from El Nido town after our yummy breakfast to Las Cabanas and Mirameg Beach . An area known for perfect sunset viewing.
From El Nido town it only took about 10 minutes to the new complex being built next to the beach.

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines



Once on Marimegmeg Beach we wandered along it and stumbled across a zip line ( Palawan Zip line Adventure Inc), and decided to go for it for a fun morning activity.

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
The view to where we were going..

It was a long walk up to the zip line, like a vertical climb in flip flops and it was SO hot!!! but at the top it had an incredible view of Depeldet Island.
the zip line its self is a 750metre line from the mainland to Depeldet Island.

Prices vary depending how you want to fly:
Seated 500pesos (900 return)
Superman 700pesos (1100 return)

The View was incredible!
(in was too scared to keep my phone out whilst I flew)

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
The View of where we came from..

After a relax for a while following our exciting morning activity enjoying another beauty of El Nido.

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

we had lunch at Marimegmeg Beach Bar and it was amazing. Starting with a lychee mojitos and really nice food. I would recommend a visit here 100% another great day in El Nido.

We spent the afternoon relaxing on the beach loving the sunset.

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Then walked to Sunset republic bar (which was a lot further away than I expected), but we did see fantastic views on the walk.

The bar its self was pack and had an incredible view of the sunset. We also ordered some bits of food here and had happy hour cocktails.
The food was cheap and for what I remember so were the drinks we got too.
There is also another sunset bar nearby Panorama Resort El Nido, which personally I think looks better as its more spread out and on the beach.

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
The most incredible view

After this we just spent the evening wandering around the town and doing bits of shopping.

This was another amazing day in El nido we absolutely loved it.

WanderlustBee - El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Thoughts on El Nido

Overall we LOVED El Nido I think was one of my favourite stops on our whole Itinerary. We had a mixture of adventuring and relaxing and it was perfect. We loved our day trips and beach hopping we did here. I just loved the vibe of El Nido it really reminded me of Thailand. A chilled out place with friendly people, beautiful sights and perfect beached. A lot of people said to me that this amount of time was too long in El Nido but it was perfect for us. El Nido needs to be on your list.

Thankyou for reading

Bethan
xox

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