Things to do in El Nido, Palawan
El Nido is located at the northern tip of Palawan Island. Together with Coron, it’s 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. Tours A, B, C & D all visit different islands, and all tours are stunning.
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.
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 the tropics? Don’t miss traveling to Siquijor Island.
To get to Duli Beach, rent a motorbike in El Nido and drive a beautiful one-hour route up north.
Picture yourself gliding over crystal clear waters between El Nido and Coron (or vice versa) along some of the untouched beauty of the Philippines.
Embark on a 4-day expedition with Big Dream Boatman to explore crystal-clear waters, hidden lagoons, and abundant marine life. As you traverse the archipelago, you’ll find opportunities for adventure, moments of quiet reflection, and glimpses into the vibrant local culture. With Big Dream Boatman, you’re not just a tourist but a curious explorer. Be sure to book this journey in advance, as it’s a popular way to travel to El Nido.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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 the 4-kilometer-long beach with coconut trees along the entire coastline. The tip of Nacpan splits into Calitang Beach, where small beach shacks sell fresh coconuts, seafood, and beach beds.
Nacpan can handle a lot of people, so it never feels too crowded. But 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.
8. 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.
9. 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 (2.60 USD) for two persons from town. We recommend getting a motorbike for 500 PHP (8.80 USD) per day instead.
10. 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 surroundings 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.
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 on the island hopping tours, and they completely banned single-use plastic.
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.
Amidst the island’s lush scenery, you’ll find an array of fresh seafood and delicious Filipino classics. Some of our favorite restaurants were:
- 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 different options that we wrote out for you in a separate article. Read all you need to know about getting to El Nido here.
Best Time to Visit
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.