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Ultimate Guide to Discover El Nido, Palawan: What to Do, Tourist Spots to See & Itinerary

by Aryana Del Mar
Last updated on: February 17, 2024

El Nido Palawan

Located in the province of Palawan, Philippines, El Nido is a picturesque coastal town and a sought-after tourist destination.

Renowned for its unspoiled white sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, magnificent limestone cliffs, and abundant marine life, Palawan's El Nido is often regarded as one of the world's most beautiful places.

El Nido is encompassed by over 45 islands and islets, constituting the El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area, further adding to the region's allure.

On this El Nido Guide, I will discuss about the best time to travel to El Nido to enjoy most, ways of how to go to El Nido, things to do in El Nido, attractions in El Nido and food in El Nido.


Planning a trip to El Nido, Palawan? Discover the ideal times to visit in our Best Time to Visit El Nido blog post. This comprehensive guide offers a detailed monthly weather breakdown, ensuring you can make the most of your trip, whether it's sunbathing on pristine beaches, exploring lush rainforests, or diving into the rich cultural experiences Palawan offers. Don't miss out on the best experiences El Nido has to offer, regardless of the season.

Best Time to Visit El Nido Palawan


Embark on your journey to El Nido, Palawan with ease by exploring our comprehensive guide, "How to Go to El Nido". This essential resource offers detailed insights on various transportation options, including air travel, ferries, and land-based routes. Whether you're flying from Manila, hopping on a ferry from Coron, or taking a scenic drive from Puerto Princesa, this guide ensures a smooth and enjoyable travel experience to one of the Philippines' most stunning destinations. For a complete understanding of all your travel options, delve into the full guide at How to Get to El Nido.

How to Get to El Nido


Island Hopping in El Nido

Island hopping in El Nido is probably the number one activity in El Nido. There are two ways for El Nido Palawan island hopping.

Firstly, you may discover the hidden gems of Coron and El Nido as well as the popular tourist destinations. Big Dream Boatman offers a 4-days 3-nights island hopping tours in both directions. Big Dream Boatman's Expedition Tours have been named as the best outdoor activity in El Nido by TripAdvisor over 5 years. Check our El Nido to Coron Boat Expedition now. We are sure you are going to love it.

El Nido Island Hopping

The other option can be joining the daily Coron island hopping tours. Here is a comparison of Tour A, Tour B, Tour C and Tour D:

Tour Name Destinations
Tour A Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island, 7 Commando Beach
Tour B Pangulasian Island, Pinagbuyutan Island, Snake Island, Cudugnon Cave, Cathedral Cave
Tour C Hidden Beach, Helicopter Island, Secret Beach, Matinloc Shrine, Tapiutan Island
Tour D Bukal Island, Ipil Beach, Natnat Beach, Cadlao Lagoon, Pasandigan Beach

El Nido Snorkeling

El Nido is a snorkeling enthusiast's dream, offering a mosaic of underwater wonders that promise an unrivaled experience. Here, the crystal-clear waters serve as a gateway to a world teeming with vibrant marine life. Places like the Small Lagoon and Big Lagoon are perfect for both beginners and experienced snorkelers, where the calm, turquoise waters hold hidden treasures of colorful coral reefs and an array of fish species.

El Nido Small Lagoon

At Miniloc Island, the Secret and Hidden Lagoons offer a unique snorkeling adventure amidst stunning rock formations and rich aquatic fauna. Shimizu Island, with its abundant coral gardens, is a haven for those seeking a serene snorkeling experience, while the historic Matinloc Shrine provides a backdrop of tranquility and vibrant marine life.

El Nido Secret Lagoon

For those seeking a more adventurous snorkeling journey, Helicopter Island's unique shape and diverse sea creatures offer an exhilarating experience. The Secret Beach, a secluded paradise accessible only by swimming through a narrow opening, offers a sense of discovery and exclusivity that is rare and enchanting.

El Nido Secret Beach

Each of these snorkeling spots in El Nido unveils its own unique charm and beauty, creating an unforgettable experience that combines the thrill of exploration with the awe of nature's underwater artistry.

El Nido Palawan Kayaking

El Nido Palawan Kayaking presents an idyllic blend of tranquility and adventure, inviting you to immerse yourself in the island's mesmerizing seascape. As you paddle through the serene waters, you weave between grand limestone formations and glide into secluded lagoons, each stroke revealing more of El Nido's breathtaking beauty and hidden gems inaccessible to larger boats. It's a personal journey with nature, an opportunity to experience El Nido's peaceful charm at your own rhythm, narrated by the gentle splash of your kayak against the crystal-clear waters. This is not just a physical journey, but a spiritual one too, where you connect with the quiet majesty of El Nido in a way that's uniquely your own.

Kayaking in El Nido Palawan

 Spearfishing in El Nido

Embark on the thrilling adventure of Spearfishing in El Nido, where the excitement of the hunt meets the beauty of underwater exploration. This guide shines a light on the legal considerations and encourages joining local fishermen to venture into less-explored waters for a truly enriching experience. With proper preparation and respect for local customs, spearfishing in El Nido offers a unique opportunity to engage with the area's diverse marine life in a challenging yet rewarding way.

Spearfishing in El Nido Philippines

Romantic Things to Do in El Nido

Experience the enchanting beauty of El Nido through romantic adventures. Our guide on Romantic Things to Do in El Nido reveals intimate experiences, from stargazing on tranquil beaches to private dinners with a backdrop of the stars. Immerse yourself in the magic of El Nido's sunsets, creating unforgettable memories with your loved one, surrounded by the island's breathtaking natural splendor. Whether it's a peaceful boat ride through the lagoons or a quiet moment on a secluded beach, El Nido offers the perfect setting for romance to flourish.

Romantic Things to Do in El Nido

Top 5 Things to Do in El Nido

Explore the essence of El Nido with our Top 5 Things to Do in El Nido guide. This engaging article unveils the must-experience activities in this tropical paradise. From the exhilaration of zip-lining over Las Cabanas Beach to the freedom of motorbike adventures, the guide presents a curated selection of activities that truly capture the spirit of El Nido. It also encourages going off the beaten path to meet locals and explore hidden gems, ensuring a genuine and memorable Philippine experience.

Top Five Things to Do in El Nido Philippines


Top Beaches in El Nido

Discover the most stunning shores of El Nido with our Top Beaches in El Nido guide takes you on a journey through El Nido's most exquisite beaches. From the serene Las Cabanas to the secluded Duli Beach, each location is explored for its unique charm and beauty. Whether you seek solitude, adventure, or simply a picturesque setting for relaxation, this guide is your compass to the finest sandy retreats in El Nido.

Best Beaches in El Nido Palawan

Lagoons in El Nido

Embark on a journey through the enchanting lagoons of El Nido that captures the serene beauty of iconic destinations like the Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, and Cadlao Lagoon. It highlights the unique experiences each lagoon offers, from kayaking in emerald-clear waters to exploring hidden caves. This article is a must-read for anyone looking to delve into the mesmerizing lagoons of El Nido.

El Nido Lagoons


Best Accommodation in El Nido

Find your perfect stay in El Nido with our guide on "El Nido Best Accommodation". Oliver Canavan takes you through a range of options to suit every budget, from luxurious beachfront resorts to cozy hostels. Discover top picks like the eco-conscious El Nido Resorts, the family-run The Birdhouse, and popular hostels like Outpost and Mad Monkey, each offering unique experiences and exceptional hospitality. Whether you're seeking luxury or budget-friendly options, this guide has you covered.

Best Accommodation in El Nido Philippines

Top Low Budget Beachfront Accommodations in El Nido

Experience El Nido's beauty without breaking the bank with our "Top Low Budget Beachfront Accommodations in El Nido" guide. Authored by Aryana Del Mar, this blog highlights affordable yet charming beachfront stays like Maligaya Beach Bungalows and El Nido Mahogany Beach Resort. It offers insights into unique options such as Nacpan Beach Glamping and the conveniently located Sea Cocoon Hotel, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay in El Nido. For more details on these budget-friendly beachfront accommodations, visit Top Low Budget Beachfront Accommodations in El Nido.

Top Low Budget Beachfront Accommodations in El Nido

Top High-Budget Beachfront Accommodations in El Nido

Discover El Nido's luxury with our guide to the "Top High-Budget Beachfront Accommodations in El Nido, Palawan." showcases a selection of the most opulent beachfront resorts offering unparalleled comfort, amenities, and breathtaking views. Each accommodation, from Buko Beach Resort's sustainable charm to the exclusive allure of Seda Lio, promises a lavish and unforgettable stay. Immerse yourself in El Nido's elegance and tranquility by exploring these exceptional stays at Top High-Budget Beachfront Accommodations in El Nido, Palawan.

High Budget beachfront stay in El Nido

El Nido Midrange Budget Accommodations

For those seeking comfortable yet affordable stays in El Nido, our guide on "El Nido Midrange Budget Accommodations" is a treasure trove of information. Authored by Aryana Del Mar, the article highlights a selection of midrange accommodations like Coral Cliff Hotel and Sea Cocoon, offering a perfect balance of comfort and value. Each option is detailed with its unique features and amenities, ensuring travelers can find the ideal spot that caters to both their needs and budget.


Delight in the flavors of El Nido with our guide, "What to Eat in El Nido". This article explores the culinary delights of El Nido, from traditional Palawan specialties like Tamilok to the freshest seafood and local vegan options. It highlights how the island's cuisine reflects its rich cultural and natural heritage, offering a blend of Spanish influences and Asian flavors. For a taste of what El Nido has to offer, explore more at our El Nido Food blog post.

El Nido Food


Embark on a magical 14-day journey with our "14 Days Palawan Itinerary," meticulously designed for an unforgettable experience. This comprehensive guide leads you through the Philippines' most awe-inspiring destinations, from the tranquil shores of El Nido to Coron's magnificent lagoons. The itinerary is carefully crafted to offer a perfect balance of relaxation and adventure, ensuring you soak in the tropical paradise's full essence. Explore each day's unique adventures set against the stunning Philippine landscape, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Palawan Itinerary

Set off on a 7-day adventure from Coron to El Nido with our "Coron to El Nido 7 Days Itinerary". This journey is ideal for adventurous spirits and romantic duos, blending the mystical lagoons of Coron and the unspoiled beaches of El Nido. Immerse yourself in island life, savor fresh seafood, and explore vibrant local markets. This itinerary promises a harmonious mix of discovery and leisure, capturing the unique beauty of Palawan's landscapes. Prepare for an unforgettable island-hopping adventure that will fuel your wanderlust and create lasting memories.

El Nido to Coron Itinerary

Explore a comprehensive 10-day journey from Coron to El Nido with our guide, "Ten Day Itinerary from Coron to El Nido". This guide, crafted by Aryana Del Mar, offers a detailed exploration of both Coron and El Nido's highlights. From Coron's charming town and mesmerizing reefs to El Nido's breathtaking lagoons and beaches, this itinerary ensures a memorable blend of adventure and relaxation. For an in-depth look at this exciting 10-day adventure, visit Ten Day Itinerary from Coron to El Nido.

Ten Days Itinerary Coron to El Nido Palawan


Preparing for your El Nido adventure is key to a fantastic experience. Remember to pack essential documents, wear suitable tropical clothing, and bring items like insect repellent and a waterproof dry bag. For a comprehensive list of what to bring and additional tips to enhance your El Nido journey, check out our detailed What to Bring to El Nido guide. This will help ensure you're well-equipped for a memorable and hassle-free trip in the stunning landscapes of El Nido.

El Nido Palawan Travel Essentials

Make the most of your trip with our comprehensive guide. Avoid peak season price spikes, book tours during quieter periods, and be cautious of hidden fees. Using local transportation and diving into the local food scene can also help you save. Bringing your own snacks and shopping at local markets is another great way to reduce expenses. For more detailed advice on how to enjoy El Nido on a budget, refer to our Money Saving Tips in El Nido guide.


El Nido, located in the northern part of Palawan, Philippines, also boasts a rich history:

  1. Pre-colonial Era: Inhabited by indigenous groups like the Tagbanuas.
  2. Spanish Era: Spanish colonization and conversion efforts.
  3. American and Japanese Era: Changes during American occupation and WWII.
  4. Post-War and Modern Era: Transition from a fishing village to a tourist destination.
  5. Tourism and Conservation: Balancing tourism growth with environmental conservation.

This historical overview highlights El Nido's journey from a pre-colonial settlement to a modern-day tourist paradise, reflecting its cultural and historical evolution.


Here are some fun facts about El Nido:

  1. Name Origin: El Nido, meaning "The Nest" in Spanish, gets its name from the edible nests of swiftlets found in the area's caves.
  2. Geological Marvel: It's known for its limestone cliffs, which are part of a 250 million-year-old coral reef.
  3. Biodiversity Hotspot: El Nido is home to over 100 species of birds, numerous marine species, and five types of endangered sea turtles.
  4. Popular Filming Location: The area's stunning scenery has been featured in various international films, such as Bourne Legacy.
  5. Island Count: El Nido encompasses around 45 islands and islets, each with unique features.
  6. Cultural Melting Pot: It's a blend of various cultures, with influences from indigenous tribes, Spanish colonization, and modern tourism.
  7. Marine Reserve: El Nido is part of a protected marine reserve, emphasizing conservation and sustainable tourism.

El Nido Palawan Sunset


As the narrative of El Nido unfolds, it echoes the same allure and mystique as Coron, yet with its unique rhythm and soul. Here, where the azure waves embrace the dramatic cliffs, a story of peace intertwined with adventure is told. El Nido reveals a daily masterpiece of exploration, from its secret lagoons to the vibrant life on its shores. Each step in El Nido is not just travel; it's an immersion into a rich, natural saga, where every experience from culinary delights to snorkeling adventures weaves into your personal tale of discovery.

El Nido is more than a destination; it's a journey into a symphony of nature's wonders. Every moment, from serene kayaking to the intimate encounters under starlit skies, becomes a chapter in your El Nido story, capturing the essence of this enchanting paradise.

In El Nido, each path is a gateway to a captivating story, waiting to unfold its beauty and mystery. As you leave with memories etched in your heart, the spirit of El Nido continues to serenade your wanderlust, inviting you to return to this seamless blend of tranquility and adventure. The journey may end, but the tale of El Nido resonates forever, a timeless tribute to the harmony between nature's beauty and the spirit of exploration.

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