The Best Things To Do In El Nido & How To Experience It
There are so many fun things to do in El Nido, Philippines. Personally I think it’s the best place to visit in Palawan, and it’s definitely one of the most beautiful places in the world. Hidden lagoons, limestone formations, white sand beaches, bright turquoise water, sandbanks, island hopping tours, and private beaches are all what make El Nido such a unique paradise. I spent a week here and would go back in a heartbeat. In this post I’m going to share all of the absolute best things to do in El Nido & how to experience it.
Three Coconut Beach
We stayed at Frangipani El Nido which is where you will leave from to go to Three Coconut Beach. (You have to book through them). This was my favorite beach is El Nido by far – it was such an epic experience. You leave at 9 AM and then return to the mainland at 2 PM. You have the whole day to relax, kayak, snorkel, eat lunch, lounge on the beach, and they even have a full bar there. One man has lived on the island by himself for 2 years! Talk about isolation haha. There are some monkeys though that might come visit around lunch time – we were lucky to see a few:) Besides them, you have the beach to yourself. Definitely recommend this experience.
Sunset at Corong-Corong Beach
El Nido has truly breathtaking sunsets. Frangipani El Nido is located on Corong-Corong beach and the sunsets here were just unreal. Take a walk down the beach and check out the other hotels, lounges, and restaurants too. A great place for a sunset cocktail is Rubra Lounge which is located on the second floor of Frangipani. Panorama also seemed like a cool spot but was at capacity when we walked by.
Zipline to Another Island
Hire a tricycle to take you to Las Cabanas zipline. They will drive you to the entrance and then you hike up about 10 minutes to the top. I suggest wearing sneakers or something comfortable. It’s an adventure. Once you get to the top you will have the option to zipline to the island sitting or head first (like Superman). You can also pay $10 for a drone video which I highly recommend because it’s a once in a lifetime experience and the footage is epic.
Las Cabanas Beach
Once you zipline to the other island, you will walk back along Las Cabanas Beach to get to the main road. The walk is about 20 minutes and it is BEAUTIFUL. Las Cabanas Beach is a great place to relax, eat, drink, and chill. This beach is more developed and clean compared to the other beaches so far. Definitely a great place for couples who are looking to relax.
Dinner at Birdhouse
A really unique and memorable restaurant to check out is The Nesting Table at Birdhouse El Nido where you will dine up high in the mountain overlooking El Nido. You will see the sign walking back from the zipline that says “Birdhouse this way” and then you follow the path and walk up about 150 stairs up to the restaurant. Make sure to get the mango margarita. Don’t drink too much at dinner though because you do have to go down the stairs later 🙂 Birdhouse also has a glamping experience and a yoga studio. Next time I’m in El Nido I definitely want to take a sunset yoga class here because the view is just unreal.
If you go to El Nido, you have to do at least one boat tour. We did a modified version of Tour A, which was nice but next time I want to do Tour B because we spent more time on the boat rather than the beach. But we made awesome Australian friends who we ended up going out with later that night so I’m glad we did this tour:) It just depends what you’re looking for but honestly they’re all great.
The main attractions are Big Lagoon,
For more info on the boat tours, you can check out this website.
El Nido Town
El Nido Town is where the majority of shops, bars, restaurants, hotels, and hostels are. It’s the happening place at night and you should definitely check it out. We stayed at a couple hotels in this area and it was really convenient being able to walk everywhere. My favorite restaurant is Happy Bar & Restaurant, favorite smoothie shop is Glow Bar, and favorite lounge/bar is Pukka Bar. They all have such a fun vibe. In this area we stayed at Cadlao Resort and Cuna Hotel. I liked Cadlao because it was relaxing and has a really nice pool, but it was a bit of a walk to get into town. Cuna Hotel was conveniently located in the middle of town but the rooms were really small and it needs a revamp. There’s so many places to stay, it just depends what you’re looking for.
Photos taken at Cadlao Resort
You’ll have the opportunity to kayak at almost every beach you go to and you should! Kayak out and snorkel away from all the people or kayak to a private beach. It’s a good workout and always a fun adventure.
I didn’t really love snorkeling until El Nido & Coron. The water is so clear and there are so many beautiful fish!
How To Get To El Nido
The best way to get to El Nido is by flying into Lio Airport. Please don’t fly into Puerto Princessa – I heard so many horror stories from people who did this. Fly into Lio Airport which is only a 15 minute ride from most hotels unlike Puerto Princessa which is a bumpy 6 hour ride.
Other Things About El Nido
- Get a SIM card as soon as you land. There is WiFi available at most restaurants, but the SIM card works everywhere and is definitely worth it. Better to be safe than lost:)
- The best way to get around is via tricycle which is their version of a cab or you can rent a scooter or motorbike if you feel comfortable and have a valid license.
The Best Things To Do In El Nido & How To Experience It – El Nido Guide
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