El Nido: A Traveler’s Paradise

asia, El Nido, Island Hopping, Philippines, Travel, Backpacker, blog, black, blogger, snorkel, snorkelingAfter traveling in China, I needed a place where I could relax, be able to get around using English, and bask in the sun. With cheap flights from Beijing, I found that the Philippines was my best bet. However, choosing an island in the Philippines was the next thing I had to consider. I didn’t want spend my days on beaches overrun with tourists and Starbucks, so Boracay was out of the picture. On the other hand, I didn’t want to travel to an island that was too remote because I was traveling during the rainy season (rainy season is from June to October).  I decided on El Nido, and I have no regrets.

Don’t fret if you are traveling to El Nido during rainy season. The rain typically lasts for a few hours in the morning or early afternoon. The rest of the day will either be a bit cloudy or crystal clear. I would recommend staying at least 4 or 5 days in case you have a day of complete rain. During my seven days on El Nido, I had one day of complete downpour. I passed the time by getting a massage, hanging in cafés, and trying out different Filipino foods.

Here are just a few of my favorite things to do in El Nido:

Catch the Sunset on Las Cabanas Beach

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Las Cabanas is home to my favorite beach restaurant on the island!

If you don’t rent a motorbike, the next best way to get around El Nido is by tricycle. A one-way journey to Las Cabanas from the El Nido city center should be no more than 100 pesos.

Nacpan Beach

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If you remember nothing else from this post, make sure you walk towards the end of Nacpan beach to see the fantastic view of the twin beach!

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I even got a sneak peak of what was on my lunch menu at one of Nacpan’s beach restaurants

Nacpan beach is a bit further from the city center, but it is well worth the trip. The ride to get here is verryyyy bumpy. Trust me, as soon as you step foot on the beach you will forget all about the trouble. A trike ride to Nacpan should cost no more than 500 pesos one way.

Duli Beach (Secret Beach)

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Alone on a beautiful beach? No restaurants. No advertisements. No hagglers. Duli beach is the definition of getting of the beaten trail.

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You’ll pass through a few farms on the way to this secret beach

Most trikes won’t make the 40-60 minute journey to Duli Beach. Therefore the best way to get here is by motorbike or private transport. The road isn’t friendly, so you have to park your bike or car and walk about 10 minutes before arriving to the beach.

Island Hopping tours

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I am usually not a fan of guided tours, but El Nido’s island hopping tours were a breath of fresh air. Please don’t miss them! I’d recommend tour A and C. If you only have time for one, choose tour C. (Don’t forget protective shoes for snorkeling!)

It’s typically cheaper to walk along the beach and purchase tickets directly from the boat operators. Tour C ranges from 900-1400 pesos and Tour A ranges from 400-800 pesos. All operators travel to the same destinations, however the quality in the boat fluctuates.

Getting to El Nido

The most cost efficient way to El Nido is to fly into Puerto Princesa and take ground transport to El Nido.

From the Puerto Princesa Airport
A van is 500 pesos one way and will take about 6-7 hours. Although the van is marginally faster, it is also a very cramped and uncomfortable journey.
Another option is to take the bus. The Roro bus is 295 pesos one way no aircon and 390 pesos with aircon. The bus takes about 7 hours and has a lot of leg room.

I hope you fall in love with El Nido. Happy Traveling!

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