Things to do in El Nido, Palawan
El Nido is located at the northern tip of Palawan Island. Together with Coron, El Nido has become one of the most popular locations to visit in the Philippines. Plan to spend 3 to 5 days here.
1. El Nido Island Hopping Tour
A protected area called Bacuit Bay, hosting 45 paradise islands, has been named one of the most beautiful destinations in the entire world. Tour A, B, C & D are all visiting different islands, and all tours are stunning.
Stunning lagoons, movie-like islands, beautiful wildlife, it’s all in these island hopping tours in El Nido. This is a must-do in every Philippines Travel Guide.
Book a tour online or avoid the crowds and do a private tour at ArtCafe.
2. Rent a kayak and discover secret beaches
Rent a kayak and explore secret beaches around Cadlao island. The island across town has stunning wildlife like monkeys, big lizards, and hornbill birds. For a unique experience, rent a clear kayak in El Nido.
Please note: Taking plastic bottles to the islands is not allowed. Read more tips on how to reduce plastic while traveling.
3. Duli Beach – pristine white-sand beach
Duli Beach is an unknown 2-kilometer long white beach in the far northern tip of El Nido, Palawan. There is a 50 PHP (1 USD) entrance fee to the beach.
The waves are good for beginner surfers; lessons are offered at Duli Beach. There are a few little drinks & a food shack. However, we don’t recommend getting food here. We and many others got sick from a simple rice & veggies dish.
Tip: Love tropics? Travel to Siquijor Island.
To get to Duli Beach, rent a motorbike in El Nido and drive a beautiful one-hour route up north.
4. Zipline between islands
Fly from one island to the other via a 750-meter-long zip line. How cool is that?! At Nacpan Beach, they offer this experience for 500 – 1100 PHP (~ 16 USD). It’s a thrilling magical flight and a real must-do if you are into a bit of adventure. Take the flight around sunset for the best experience.
5. Hike Taraw Cliff
Climb up to the highest point of El Nido. For this tough 2-hour hike it is recommended to hire a guide and wear proper shoes before you climb up these sharp rocks. Once at the top you will have an incredible view over the entire area.
6. Nacpan Beach, El Nido Palawan
Nacpan Beach is one of the best beaches in El Nido. A great 45-minute motorbike ride from town takes you to Nacpan Beach, a 4-kilometer-long beach with coconut trees filling up the entire coastline. The tip of Nacpan splits into Calitang Beach. Small beach shacks sell fresh coconuts, seafood, and beach beds.
Nacpan can handle a lot of people, so it never feels too crowded. And if you don’t feel like joining the crowd, drive to Duli Beach instead. Sunsets on Nacpan are beautiful, but we don’t recommend you drive back to El Nido in complete darkness.
7. Corong-Corong Beach walk
One of our personal favorite things to do in El Nido is to walk on Corong-Corong Beach during sunset. It is the quietest beach in town. Start following the coastline from Corong-Corong bay all the way down to Boodle Fight Cafe to have a delicious Filipino dinner.
8. Watch the sunset at Las Cabanas
Las Cabanas Beach is one of the most popular and developed beaches in El Nido. It is great for sunbathing, swimming, and having drinks or food at one of the many beach bars, and it’s the best beach to watch the sunset.
The tricycle fare is 150 PHP for two persons from town. We recommend getting a motorbike for 500 PHP per day instead.
9. Visit the public market
Every (early) morning at 4 AM, the local market sells fresh fruits, veggies, fish, and meat. Before heading on any motorbike trip, like towards Nacpan Beach, go get some fresh uncut fruits there as a snack. Fresh uncut fruits have no risk of holding bacteria.
The market is located near Corong-Corong beach on the side of the main road.
El Nido Travel Tips
El Nido town is all about relaxing and exploring its surrounding with El Nido Island hopping tours. The town itself is not that exciting but has been developing rapidly over the last few years. It owns a handful of good restaurants, it is safe, and there is no risk of Malaria.
El Nido has one large ATM, the BPI Bank, in the center of town. A few smaller ones are pretty much always empty. Take enough cash.
The best way to explore El Nido is by motorbike. The tricycles overcharge big time so spending 350 – 500 PHP (6-9 USD) on a motorbike is a very good deal. We rented ours at Bella’s rental and can highly recommend them.
It’s always a good idea to get travel insurance in the Philippines, particularly if you’re renting a motorbike. Insurance will cover any unexpected incidents, theft, or accidents. Find insurance ahead of your trip here.
Posting Instagram Stories of your beautiful trip to El Nido is quite the task. There are some cafes and hotels that offer a steady WiFi connection but be prepared and get a sim card instead.
El Nido is trying its absolute best to reduce the impact on the environment. It is not allowed to smoke on the streets nor the island hopping tours and they completely banned single-use plastic.
Read more about it in their sustainable tourism magazine.
Water in El Nido
Good to notice is the area seems to have an ongoing freshwater problem. Numerous people have an upset stomach because food gets cooked in tap water, which is not clean enough. Please always check TripAdvisor reviews and avoid the risk.
Boodle fight ♥️♥️♥️♥️
Art Cafe ♥️♥️♥️♥️
Bella Vita ♥️♥️♥️
Happiness cafe ♥️♥️♥️
How to get to El Nido
El Nido is accessible via boat, minivan, or direct flight.
There are a lot of options that we made a separate article; all you need to know about getting to El Nido.
Where to stay
Choose a hostel or hotel on one of the beautiful beaches in El Nido.
Best time to visit El Nido Palawan
December to March are generally the best months weatherwise to visit El Nido. April and May are very hot but as well very good months to visit. Because the high season is a short period, prices will rise double during these months.
When you purchase something through our links we earn a small fee. However, you still pay the same. Win-win!
- Find Hotels via Booking.com
- Find a Rental Car via Sunny Cars
- Find Cheap Flights via Skyscanner
- Get a Travel Insurance via Heymondo
- Book Tours & Attractions via Viator
- Book a Bus/Train/Transfer via 12Go
Looking for more travel information? Plan a chat with us for personalised travel advice or get an answer from the Salt in our Hair Travel Community on Facebook.
Loving your blog! I’m planning on going to the Philippines for my honeymoon in October. Do you think it’s a good time to go? We would go around mid October. I’ve been getting mixed reviews online about the weather in October.
Thank you! October is right on the end of Typhoon season so you should expect a bit of mixed weather. End of October or early November would be a better if that’s an option for you. Have the best time!