• This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Big Lagoon

This postcard-worthy lagoon is in the heart of Miniloc Island and boasts crystal-clear blue waters and towering karst cliffs 

Small Lagoon

Small Lagoon's peaceful turquoise waters in the middle of picturesque cliffs offer an ideal place for swimming or kayak rides. 

Simizu Beach

Simizu Island's crystal waters and coral reefs make it a great site for swimming and snorkeling.  

Secret Lagoon

Concealed behind huge limestone cliffs, the Secret Lagoon is like a masterpiece. Here you need to swim through a small hole for you to be able to get to the lagoon.  

7 Commandos Beach

This is a developed beach where you'll see tree swings, hammocks, a couple of drink shacks, and enjoy coconut, beer, cocktails, shakes, and snacks. Seven Commandos Beach is a great place to relax after a full day of island hopping, and also one of the perfect spots to watch the sunset.

Snake Island

Don't worry there are no snakes here. One of El Nido's most unique spots, the island got its slithery nickname because of the long strip of sand forming an 'S' shape that connects to the mainland at low tide.

El Nido in the Philippines - A Practical Guide

Located north of Palawan, 238 km from its capital, Puerto Princesa, El Nido is today one of the most touristic places in the Philippines. Here you feel like in another world - dreamlike lagoons, lush vegetations, and countless small islands waiting to be explored. Stunning limestone cliffs rise out of the turquoise water like huge walls, enthroned around the islands as if they want to protect this paradise. If you want to explore El Nido and this spectacular tourist destination in Palawan, we have the ultimate guide right here.

Arrival - how to get to El Nido?

There are two main options to get to El Nido, the fastest is to do it by plane through Airswift, which is the only company that operates in El Nido, or the cheapest one is to make the journey through Puerto Princesa. 

You can fly directly from Manila, Cebu, Boracay. You can also book flights to Puerto Princesa instead, which are much cheaper. If you are from Corón, you can take the journey by boat to El Nido. The coastal town is located about 230 kilometers from El Nido. After arriving in Puerto Princesa you can take a bus or hire a van and start the 5 to 6 hour trip to El Nido.

Getting around El Nido and Palawan 

The best option is to rent a motorcycle. It gives you a lot of freedom. In addition, it is a lot of fun to explore and get lost around riding a motorcycle. Otherwise, there are lots of tricycles available for hire. The price of trips within the surroundings of El Nido is usually 50 to 200 pesos, depending on the distance.

Accommodations in El Nido - Where to Stay?

Once you arrive in El Nido, it is best to take the next tricycle to Corong Corong (or ask the bus driver to let you get off there already). El Nido Town is a vibrant little village that you can reach in just five minutes from Corong Corong. From shared rooms to the most incredible resorts you can imagine, there is no shortage of choices of accommodation for every budget in El Nido.

Most tourists stay in El Nido where you will have a host of offers from accommodations, restaurants, and travel agencies, which means you can negotiate more compared to other areas. Additionally, most of the island hopping tours depart from here.

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle, however, the most popular area to stay is in Corong Corong. Other recommended places are the area of Las Cabañas and Caalan Beach.
  • If you prefer to stay in a hostel, one of the premier and top-rated hostels in El Nido is Spin Designer Hostel (breakfast included and friendly staff). Another popular and inexpensive hostel with comfortable beds in the very center of El Nido is the Big Mike hostel.
  • Hotels around € 50 with excellent value for money: Bulskamp Inn (located in the center of El Nido, good service, with wifi, and a garden) and Amakan Bed Bunk Breakfast ( tropical and traditionally inspired accommodation, breakfast included, located in the heart of El Nido). Cuna Hotel, which is one of the most frequented hotel accommodations in El Nido has clean and spacious rooms and features a rooftop terrace with a pool, and offers a spectacular view of Bacuit Bay.
  • If you have a higher budget, don't miss The Nest El Nido Beach Resort located in Caalan. Other luxury hotels in El Nido include the El Nido Resorts Lagen Island, Matinloc Resort, Nacpan Beach Glamping, Cadlao Resort, and Panorama Resort.

Why not rent an entire Island!

If you are looking for a very special experience, you can rent a whole island in the north of Palawan. At Brother Island, for $100/night per person, up to 16 people can stay with you, and once booked, you are the only guests here.

Other typical Filipino accommodations in the area can be found on Airbnb. Many travelers today look for accommodations from Airbnb because the prices are cheaper, offer great location and access to the beautiful beaches, and they often come with a kitchen so you can save money by preparing your own meals.

Photo Credits: Brother Island

What to See and Do in El Nido

El Nido is one of the jewels of the Philippines, and together with the island of Boracay, is the most famous tourist destination in the Philippines today.

Tip: Organize well what you are going to do each day. This is something we would recommend in any destination, but especially in El Nido. Plan in advance how many days you will be island hopping and what days you will spend exploring the surroundings of El Nido in Palawan.

Below are some of the best attractions on the paradise island of El Nido:

Island hopping in the Bacuit Archipelago

The most popular activity to do in El Nido is island hopping which takes you through islands, beaches, snorkeling areas, caves, and lagoons in the islands of Bacuit Bay. There are usually four standard tours (A, B, C, and D) to the offshore islands. Tour A and C are the most popular, so you will meet most people here. This is especially because the Small and Big Lagoon are the most famous lagoons in El Nido.

If you can, it is recommended that you do every tour. You will not regret it, because every island is a little jewel in itself, which you should not miss. Otherwise, in our opinion, you should not miss Pinagbuyutan Island, and in Cadlao Lagoon is the clearest water you will ever see. Star Beach seems unimpressive, at first glance but once you go snorkeling here and see the blue starfish underwater, you will not believe your eyes.
To give you an overview, below are the stops of each tour that can be done in El Nido, Palawan:
Tour A: Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Simizu Beach, Secret Lagoon, 7 Commandos Beach
Tour B: Pangulasian Island, Snake Island, Cudognon Cave, Cathedral Cave, Pinagbuyutan Island
Tour C: Helicopter Island, Hidden Beach, Matinloc Shrine, Star Beach, Secret Beach
Tour D: Cadlao Lagoon, Pasandigan Beach, Paradise Beach, Natnat Beach, Bukal Beach

The cost of Island hopping tours in El Nido (Palawan) ranges from Php 1200 to 1600 (25 Usd to 33.30 Usd). They leave from El Nido around 9 a.m. and usually last up to 7 hours. Lunch is included in every tour - fresh fish is grilled right on the beach and some companies make snorkeling equipment available.

Surf at Duli Beach

Duli beach is found on the northern tip of mainland Palawan, 30 minutes north of Nacpan. Although it is not as famous as Cloud 9 in Siargao, it is the center of the surfing community in El Nido. The sand has such a striking golden color with a very fine texture and from the shore to the water, it stretches to at least 30 to 40 meters. The ideal wave season coincides with the dry season or Amihan, between September and October to May or June, but it can vary from year to year.

Here you can find several places to rent a board for about Php 500 per hour, including the idyllic Duli Beach Resort. If you are unlucky enough to come on a day without waves, you can always rent a kayak or paddle surf. In the rocky corner, you have very good snorkeling where you can even see turtles. You can ask a local and they will indicate the exact point. There is also a restaurant for your food cravings.

Nacpan Beach

Arguably the best beach in El Nido and one of the most spectacular in the entire Philippines, the only drawback is that there is between 45 and 60 minutes of travel from El Nido town, which is not a good option if you want to do tours. However, if what you are looking for is a stunning beach, this is the place! You can even walk to see Calitang Beach, which together with Nacpan form the Twin Beaches.

Kayaking in El Nido

Another of the best activities to practice in El Nido is a Kayak route through the different beaches, you can choose to leave from El Nido town or from Corong Corong and stop at the different beaches. If you want to splurge, you can rent a clear kayak at Boutique and Art Cafe. Otherwise, regular kayaks are available for rent at Php 500 for a full day and at Php 300 for a half-day experience.

Nagkalit-Kalit waterfalls

These waterfalls are following the road north towards Nacpan. To get there you have to do a small trek of about 45 minutes. You can hire a guide although it is not necessary. The waterfall is 10 meters and we don’t think that they are the best waterfalls in the Philippines. For this, we only recommend visiting them if you have time to spare.

Sunsets in El Nido

After an epic day to remember in El Nido in which you will have enjoyed impressive island hopping or relaxing nearby beaches, what better way to put the icing on your day than enjoying a sunset in bold hues?

For this, the best place is the terrace of Las Cabanas Beach Resort! If you like a relaxed atmosphere, you can stay in this area. Go grab some drinks before the sun begins to set. You can order some fresh juices or a San Miguel in any of its bars, listen to some music, and enjoy the sunset!

Tips for El Nido

Buy a waterproof bag for your camera or smartphone to protect them while you are exploring between lagoons and islands in El Nido.

You can rent a kayak almost anywhere if the tours are too touristy for you and explore the islands yourself - but be careful to find your way back home - the islands and beaches all look very similar from a distance.

If you want to do some footwork, you should climb Taraw Peak. The ascent can be challenging, but high up you will be rewarded with a spectacular view over the archipelago. Hire a guide so that you don't get lost in the jungle of Palawan.

El Nido boasts some of the best beaches in the entire Philippines. We recommend that you dedicate at least one day of your stay in El Nido to visit beaches such as Nacpan, Las Cabañas, or Lio Beach. If you have more time, you will not be short of plans, because you can also venture to more distant places such as Sibaltan or Duli Beach.

Fancy a Philippine Vacation?

As you can see El Nido has a lot to offer. If you plan your stay smartly and take our tips to heart, you can find a unique paradise here. Truly, the place is not called "the Last Frontier" for nothing!

Photos of El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

See Photos of the Best Destinations and Attractions in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines.
  • Duli Beach on El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
  • 7 Commando Beach in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
  • Secret Lagoon in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
  • Secret Lagoon in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
  • Small Lagoon in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
  • Hidden Beach in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
  • Big Lagoon and majestic rocks discover in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Other Travel Destination Guides in the Philippines

El Nido, Palawan

El Nido, Palawan Travel Guide

Baguio & Benguet

Baguio & Benguet Travel Guide


Bohol Travel Guide

Banaue, Ifugao

Baguio & Benguet Travel Guide

Boracay Island & Aklan

Boracay Island & Aklan Travel Guide

Metro Manila

Metro Manila Travel Guide

Batanes Islands

Batanes Islands Travel Guide

Camiguin Island

Camiguin Island Travel Guide

Coron, Palawan

Coron, Palawan Travel Guide


Situated in Southeast Asia in the Western Pacific Ocean, with its topography consisting of mountainous terrains, dense forests, plains, and coastal areas, the Philippines is endowed with rich biodiversity. The

Check Philippines | Search Our Site

About Us

There is no doubt that the Philippines is the place for spontaneous adventures, relaxing getaways, and interesting cultural experiences. With over 7,107 islands, the country surely has something to offer for every kind of traveler. Check Philippines aims to be your ultimate source for practical information, guides, and tips to help you plan your travel to the Philippines and make the most of your stay in this tropical paradise.

We hope to inspire you to go on a journey to travel and explore the Philippines and experience its natural beauty and charm. Join us as we check the Philippines, and discover the country's beautiful destinations, rich heritage, and warm people, and we love sharing your ideas, too! Experience more fun in the Philippines. Check Philippines NOW!

Connect with Us

Contact Us