Best Things To Do In El Nido Palawan

The Ultimate Travel Guide

tropical island

Best Things To Do In El Nido Palawan

{The Ultimate Travel Guide}

As one of the Philippines crowd favorited destinations, El Nido Palawan features an abundance of white sand beaches, secret lagoons and hidden treasures truly fit for a fairytale.

While it lacks modern conveniences such as reliable power and wifi that can only be described as mediocre at best, El Nido gives travelers an opportunity finally look up from their phones and truly experience the raw and untouched natural beauty that is the Philippines. 

El Nido Palawan is definitely a tropical island lovers paradise to say the least.

There is an abundance of things to do in El Nido, so whether you simply rent a motorbike and go explore the magnificent scenery of the El Nido coastline or go El Nido island hopping on one the four various boat tours, finding what to do in El Nido will never be a problem.

best things to do in el nido palawan

While it’s not known for its party scene like the other Philippines crowd favorite Boracay, El Nido does a respectable job at following up on all of those daytime adventures with some pretty decent nightlife.

Not to be confused as a destination with a crazy party scene that dares travelers to run wild, but if you’re simply looking for chilled beach vibes with some decent bars to go dancing than El Nido has got you covered.

Where Is El Nido Palawan

El Nido is located in the province of Palawan in the Philippines. It’s accessible and so incredibly gorgeous. With multiple sights to explore within El Nido Palawan, you could never get bored of this tropical island adventure.

Other popular destinations in Palawan include Coron and Puerto Princesa.

How To Get To El Nido Palawan

Coron to El Nido

You will have to take a ferry to transport to and from El Nino from Coron. There are two options, a fast ferry, and a slow ferry.

The fast ferry departs only once per day at 12 noon, takes 3-4 hours and costs around 1700 PHP.

The slow ferry departs once a day at 8am, take 6-7 hours and costs 1200 PHP.

Pro Tip
The ferries sell out fast especially during the high season, so be sure to book them several days in advance.

Puerto Princesa to El Nido

Lots of companies offer a shared minivan service that leaves almost every hour every day and only costs around 500 – 600 PHP per person.

The ride takes 5-6 hours but the van is equipped with an A/C so it’ll be a comfortable ride.

Fly To El Nido

There is an El Nido Airport called Lio Airport, so if you can find a flight there then that would be pretty convenient!

You might find cheaper and more frequent flights landing in Puerto Princesa as it is an international airport, and the closest airport to El Nido and takes 5-6 hours to drive from Puerto Princesa to El Nido.

Getting Around El Nido

It’s really easy and affordable to get around El Nido. There are no taxis or uber, but there are tricycles to get you from A to B.

You can barter for a better price with the driver, however, most standard rides around town are about 20-50 PHP. Anything outside of town might cost a little more so it’s better to rent your own motorbike for the days you want to explore the island.

Best Things To Do In El Nido Palawan

El Nido Island Hopping Boat Tour

By now we know that all good things are only accessible by boat, which means you can’t go to El Nido without doing some El Nido Island Hopping while you’re there!

This is the main reason travelers even come to El Nido in the first place, as there are so many incredibly beautiful places surrounding El Nido (that are only accessible by boat) so definitely book an El Nido Tour when you get there.

El Nido tour companies run individual boat tours A through D all showcasing 5 or so different islands. When figuring out what to do in El Nido, don’t hesitate to jump on these El Nido island hopping tours. You can read about El Nido island hopping tours here.

best things to do in el nido palawan

The most popular tours are by far A and C, however unannounced to most travellers some companies combine tours A & B or C & D so you only do the highlights of each tour. 

This allows you to see the best of each in a shorter amount of time and most importantly for a cheaper price! 

Outpost Beach Hostel alternates days where they combine tours A & B together, and tours C & D with a buffet lunch included. More importantly, they serve beer on board for 80 PHP a pop, while featuring on board music making it feel like a party boat. The tour costs 1700 PHP including the environmental fee.

Whichever El Nido tour package you choose to do, make sure you go to these locations:

Small Lagoon 

The Philippines is notorious for having alluring lagoons, and this one is nothing short of beautiful! Take a kayak from your tour boat into Small Lagoon and experience this serene beauty you can’t experience anywhere else! Definitely a stop worth taking when doing some El Nido island hopping!

best things to do in el nido palawan

Big Lagoon

Part of El Nido tour A is yet another glorious lagoon, but bigger and even more amazing! You can choose to either kayak through Big Lagoon or swim, but beware because the water is 30 meters deep. This was one of our favorite stops during our El Nido tour.

best things to do in el nido palawan

7 Commandos

If you closed your eyes and imagined the world’s most perfect beach, 7 Commandos Beach is what you’ll picture. With its endless palm trees, perfect white sand, and turquoise blue water it’s no wonder why this beach is a popular destination in El Nido and an unmissable stop during your El Nido tour.

best things to do in el nido palawan

Snake Island

This stop is usually part of El Nido Tour B and it’s unlike any other island in the Philippines! The best part about snake island is the sand bar connecting it to the next island, which forms a snake-like shape giving Snake Island its name. Make sure your El Nido tour package takes you here!

Rent a Motorbike

Rent a motorbike for only 500 PHP per day and explore the island for yourself.

Nacpan Beach

best things to do in el nido palawan

This is hands down El Nido’s hidden treasure. Unlike other overly crowded and touristy beaches, Nacpan Beach still offers unparalleled beauty whilst maintaining its tranquility.

Come here for a relaxing day at one of the best beaches in El Nido.

Las Cabanas Beach

best things to do in el nido palawan

To get to this little slice of paradise, you must hike to the top of a really steep mountain (it’s worth it), zip line to another near by island, and walk across a sandbar to Las Cabanas Beach. (Or you could just drive a couple hundred meters further and take the boring, easy route and walk down to the beach like those regular folk. Whatever.)

There’s even a restaurant with hammocks to rest, relax and refuel before your hike back up the mountain to get to the main road.

Las Cabanas beach is definitely one of the best beaches in El Nido to relax!

Mountain Hike

You can hike up a mountain with a guide to see a breathtaking overview of El Nido.

It only costs 400 PHP per person, and the hike up itself takes a short 15 minutes.

Although it sounds daunting to hike up a mountain in the heat, we promise the view is totally worth it!

Where To Party in El Nido Palawan

best things to do in el nido palawan

El Nido Day Parties

There isn’t much going on during the day in terms of partying, however, we recommend getting on an El Nido Tour Boat run by Outpost Hostel where they serve beer, lunch, and music all day long on the boat!

You will be on the El Nido tour with other backpackers who also want to get lit while exploring all the best things to do in El Nido Palawan.

For more information on El Nido Tours, check out El Nido Island Tour Guide 101: Island Hopping in Paradise

El Nido Nightlife

Pukka Bar

The busiest and most lit bar on the beach (and our personal favorite)! This place is good if you want to get drunk and dance all night, music is good and vibes are crazy!

Coco Bar

Similar to Pukka Bar, but a little smaller. Again, it’s located on the beach right in between Pukka Bar and Sava Bar.

Sava Bar

The most chilled out and luxe bar on the beach in El Nido. Your night will consist of sitting in bean bags on the beach, sipping your favorite cocktail while stargazing. The vibes here are very relaxed so don’t expect anything too crazy like Coco Bar or Pukka Bar. The good news is you can just go next door if you feel like having a boogie on the dance floor!

Rooftop Bar

The only bar that isn’t located on the beach in El Nido, but just as good as the rest! Here you can overlook the town while taking in the hippy vibes at this barefoot bar! If you feel like a change of scenery, the beach is conveniently on the next street.

Where To Stay in El Nido Palawan

El Nido Town or Corong-Corong Beach is where to stay in El Nido. El Nido town is where a majority of the tour boats depart from and where most of the bars are located. 

However, Outpost Beach Hostel is only a short tricycle ride away and offers the best social scene in El Nido, so even though the location might not seem ideal this would be our first choice when it comes to El Nido accommodation.

Pro Tip
Finding where to stay in El Nido can be difficult if you book last minute during the high season, so be sure to book in advance!

Best Budget El Nido Accommodation

best things to do in el nido palawan hotel 1

Outpost Beach Hostel

Cororng-Corong, El Nido, 5313 Palawan, Philippines

Outpost Beach Hostel as our first port of call when looking for El Nido accommodation. The vibes are chill, it’s located directly on the beach, they host parties every night, it’s always pretty much booked out, and it’s an affordable and clean hostel.



Best mid-range El Nido Accommodation

best things to do in el nido palawan hotel 2

Last Frontier Beach Resort

Barangay Corong Corong, El Nido, 5313 Palawan, Philippines

For those who don’t categorize themselves as backpackers, but aren’t able to throw hundreds towards a resort, this hotel is where to stay in El Nido. It’s got the comfort and luxuries you need to feel like you’re on a holiday and you won’t be sorry when you look at your bank statement afterward.


Best luxury El Nido Accommodation

best things to do in el nido palawan hotel 3

Buko Beach Resort

Lot 10, Sitio Lugadia, Barangay Corong Corong, El Nido, Palawan, El Nido, 5313, Philippines

This is where to stay in El Nido for those who want to indulge in luxury! If you’ve got the cash, spend it at a beachside resort where your only worry will be remembering to flip every 30 minutes to get that perfectly even suntan!


El Nido Palawan FAQs

Is there an El Nido airport?

Yes, there is an El Nido airport called Lio Airport, however, it’s not the most popular way to get to El Nido and most flights to Palawan land at Puerto Princesa International Airport.

How to get from Puerto Princesa to El Nido?

Once you land in Puerto Princesa, you can get a minivan service that leaves almost every hour every day and only costs around 500 – 600 PHP per person. The ride takes 5-6 hours but the van is equipped with an A/C so it’ll be a comfortable ride.

What are the best beaches in El Nido Palawan?

Our favorite beaches in El Nido are hands down Nacpan Beach and Las Cabanas Beach. Also, 7 Commandos Beach which is part of El Nido Tour A.

Click here to read more information about El Nido Tours.

What is the best El Nido tour?

We love the combined El Nido tours run by Outpost Hostel. They serve cold beer all day, a delicious lunch and other backpackers on board make it a fun day. After the El Nido island hopping tour ends, you all go back to Outpost Hostel for more partying!

They host combined tours of A & B and also of C & D.

Is there WiFi in El Nido Palawan?

There is, but it is not reliable in the slightest. There are often power outages in El Nido and it is still quite undeveloped, however that is the beauty of El Nido Palawan. I would recommend letting your family know you’ll most likely be unreachable while in El Nido just so they don’t freak out from not hearing from you!

The WiFi at Outpost Hostel was working but still not too reliable if you’re trying to do something important.

Are there ATMs in El Nido Palawan?

There are only 2 ATMs in El Nido town, and the power is always going out so I wouldn’t fully rely on these ATMs and recommend pulling out a bunch of money and stashing it in your luggage before you arrive.


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