So this is paradise.
This is it I thought, leaning back against the wooden support beam of the small island hopping boat. My feet dangled over the edge and water splashed by legs. Large limestone cliffs spattered with green bushy foliage towered on either side of the sparkling aquamarine lagoon. Unreal, this couldn’t be real life! Ah – but it was, and if you are thinking about going to The Philippines, El Nido is an absolute must!
Nestled about five hours north of Puerto Princesa is the majestic dreamscape of El Nido. Relatively undeveloped compared to other beach cities in the Philippines, El Nido offers a more secret paradise vibe.
Named home to the worlds best beaches for now a couple years in a row, El Nido should be at the tip top of your bucket list!! As it is getting more notoriety this hidden gem wont stay hidden for long.
If you are traveling from Puerto Princesa you will have to survive the five hour minivan ride up to El Nido! Its not the end of the world but it is a trek so plan accordingly with your time! If you want to shell out some big bucks you can fly direct, otherwise minivans and buses make the journey throughout the day.
When you get to El Nido, you will have to find a place to stay or book ahead of time! I stayed at Spin Designer Hostel and it was unreal. Definitely the coolest hostel I have stayed in for a while! There are loads of guest houses and hostel type accommodations throughout the town, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a place to stay.
You will have a choice of four different island tours, A, B, C, and D! Due to weather we were not able to go on any more tours then just one which was tour A, it was absolutely amazing though.
Tour A takes you to all of the mega popular spots and picture perfect locations. You will go to picturesque beaches you can lounge on, as well as fun snorkeling spots and if the tide is low you can explore secret lagoons. I was bummed that the weather didn’t allow us to go on more tours but even though it was raining we found lots to do!
Apart from the amazing off shore islands El Nido has a number of fun beaches to explore. You can rent a scooter and easily ride to most of them! The scenery on the way is spectacular too. Rice fields and farm land is a nice juxtaposition from the beaches and cliffs you will see on the island hopping tours.
We explored Duli Beach which is about an hour north from El Nido. Its a little bit off the main road but worth it when you get there!
There is only one restaurant on Duli Beach and owners also own a couple little bungalows on the beach which you can stay in. Otherwise the beach is empty, a few people were taking surfing lessons which are offered through the restaurant, otherwise it was quiet. The waves were choppy which made it perfect conditions for body surfing!
Another fun beach was Las Cabanas beach, this beach is much more touristy – many bars and restaurants line the shore. There is a small island off the coast that is connected by a rocky sand bar. From the mainland you can zip line across to the other island.
All in all El Nido is the perfect mix of amazing views paired with a laid back local vibe. So what do you think?? Time to book a ticket?