El Nido | Palawan | The Philippines

Updated: Mar 2


El Nido is one of Palawan's most popular destinations. However, there are a few important things you need to know before travelling there!


That is why I have prepared this blog post about El Nido for you, to avoid unnecessary mistakes so you can fully enjoy this magnificent place!




  1. Getting to El Nido and getting around

  2. Staying in El Nido

  3. Top places to visit in El Nido

  4. Best bars and food places

  5. Video


Getting to El Nido and getting around


There is an airport in El Nido, but it is small and flights to there are very expensive, so usually people travel to Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPS), which is the islands biggest and main airport and flights to there are much cheaper. If money is not a problem I suggest you fly to El Nido airport as the trip from PPS to El Nido is not the best. Why?


There is only one main road through the whole island and it is not great, so be prepared for a long, crazy ride.

One way to go is by the shuttle, which is the cheapest option. Takes from 5 to 6 hours and costs 735 PHP (around 12 euros). More info and timetable you can find in this link: https://www.travel-palawan.com/transfer-from-puerto-princesa-to-el-nido/


Another way, what I did with my friends, is to rent a car. For us, it turned out cheaper, because we were 3 people, 6 tickets (there and back) would cost us 4410 PHP, where the car we negotiated for 3000 PHP for 3 days, and we got the freedom to go everywhere anytime throughout those 3 days but this is where I am super honest and can tell you the ride will not be easy. Choose this option only if you have an experienced driver. The road is very windy and the surface is not great quality at some points so the driver will need to have his full concentration all of the time. At any time we had dogs, cows, cocks, even boulders on the road, people live literally 5 cm from the road and stand on the roadside along with sleeping dogs and through the whole 6-hour ride we maybe saw 5 road signs in total! So if you are 4 people and are ready for an adventurous ride then renting a car might be a better option, but just double check if your hotel has parking! If you book at the El Nido downtown then there is a possibility to park your car in the port for 150 PHP (2.50 euros). The El Nido downtown is quite small so if you park there, it should take no more than 10 mins to get to your hotel.


A place where we rented the car and I can recommend, as we had no issues, is ‘Rey Car Rental Palawan’ https://www.reycarrentalpalawan.com/


Once you are in El Nido, if you have a car you have complete freedom to go anywhere but if you got there by shuttle then very popular is to rent a motorbike or scooter. All the cool beaches and waterfalls are quite close so getting there by motorbike shouldn't be a problem. If you are not confident with riding a motorbike then a lot of places offer shuttles to all the main popular beaches and spots. You will find them easily available once you are there.

Prepare cash!
There are only a few ATMs in El Nido, and almost none on the way from the PPS airport to El Nido, the one we tried didn’t even work, so better to prepare cash before you fly to the island!

Staying in El Nido


In total you might find maybe a maximum of 10 good hotels around the area, others will be maximum 3-star hotel/hostels. So if you are used to travelling fancy you really need to research where to stay. There might be a few resorts away from the town where you can enjoy a more luxurious stay, one I can suggest is ‘Lio Beach’ https://www.lio.ph/.


If you are like me and it is all about the location and not the type of accommodation, then staying downtown by the beach is an amazing option as everything is within walking distance and you get amazing views of the famous El Nido fisherman bay. All snorkelling, boat rentals, etc offices are downtown.



The above are the main things you need to consider when travelling to El Nido!

Top places to visit in El Nido


Here is a list of places that we visited and was suggested by locals. Most popular activities you should try to put on your El Nido to-do list!


1. Visit and chill on of most popular beach of the North part of the island - ‘Nacpan’ beach, only 20 min ride from El Nido downtown.

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2. Check out Nagkalit-kalit Waterfall, it's on the way to the Nacpan beach and will take around 1,5 hr. It is a nice walk, through where you can see the local nature up close and once at the nice waterfall, you can go for a swim to refresh. You can only get there with a local guide though, it will cost you 270 PHP (4.50 euros). We personally checked out only this waterfall but there is one more nearby – Bulalacao Falls.


3. If you want a beach with proper bars and food places (a resort type of place) then you can go to ‘Lio Beach’, a beautiful beach with a pier for a nice evening walk and watch the sunset.


4. We didn’t manage to get there, but ‘Twin’ beach is highly recommended too.

5. A must do in El Nido is the island hopping tour, there are usually different offers for different tours, but again this is something you will easily find in the downtown and can negotiate on the spot.


6. If you love hiking then you can do the Canopy Walk. This is an amazing blog where you can read all the details about the hike and find out everything you need to know before going: https://www.lakas.com.ph/2016/07/el-nido-canopy-walk-palawan-philippines/


7. El Nido offers a zipline too: https://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/Attraction_Review-g294256-d10101730-Reviews-Las_Cabanas_Beach_Zipline-El_Nido_Palawan_Island_Palawan_Province_Mimaropa.html



Bars and food places I can recommend:

1. Happiness Bar, located in downtown, creates a really cool atmosphere by having swings by the bar.


2. Jarace Grill, they have the best calamari I ever had!! They use super fresh fish, straight from the sea. The food and atmosphere was very, very good.


3. Sunset bar 'Republica', the best place in El Nido to watch the sunset with a DJ set in the background.



I hope you found this article useful! Feel free to share it with your travel friends and for more videos from my South East Asia trip check out my YouTube channel ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️

More articles about South East Asia countries:

Coron: https://www.alikitravelblog.com/post/wild-coron-palawan-the-philippines

Singapore: https://www.alikitravelblog.com/post/singapore-travel-guide

Bali: https://www.alikitravelblog.com/post/bali-is-all-that-buzz-worth-it

Manila: https://www.alikitravelblog.com/post/metro-manila-travel-guide

Hong Kong: https://www.alikitravelblog.com/post/hong-kong-travel-guide

Sagada & Banaue Rice Terraces: https://www.alikitravelblog.com/post/sagada-banaue-rice-terraces

Taal Volcano: https://www.alikitravelblog.com/post/how-to-get-to-taal-volcano