El Nido really is a magical place. From its ageless towering marble cliffs to its white sandy beaches with crystal clear water, many refer to it as paradise. There are over 50 beaches to discover, so many in fact that sometimes you feel as if you are on your own secluded private beach. You will also find enchanting lagoons with tranquil turquoise-green water, caves that can take you to hidden beaches, and a very diverse variety of wildlife.
El Nido is a top destination for island hopping, book your boat, take some food, some drinks in a cool box and disappear into the heavenly marine reserve that is Bacuit Bay. It is a truly relaxing and inspiring place; Alex Garland wrote “The Beach” while living here. Scuba diving is also a popular activity here with over 30 dive sites for varying levels and skills; from taking the plunge and learning to dive for the first time, to perfecting your expertise and advancing your qualifications.
Yet El Nido has so many different treasures to offer beyond the obvious. Further activities available include cliff climbing, waterfalls, kayaking, cave exploration, windsurfing, plus you can also hire a motorbike and discover the surrounding north of Palawan.
The dry season is from around November to May with temperatures above 30 degrees centigrade and rain is rare. The most popular tourist times in El Nido are Christmas and Easter. With the Philippines being 95% Catholic the celebration of these two events in the Catholic calendar bring out another side to El Nido. Especially in Easter where there is a week long festival including town parades and markets.
Seafood is a local speciality, in fact many fish are exported to Manila, and on to other South East Asian countries. There are restaurants scattered around the town offering various foods to suit most palates. From seafoods to meat dishes, salads, pastas, stews there is something for everyone. Particular restuarants also have foreign influence including French, German, Swiss and Australian.
A number of bars offer different entertainment including billiard, dancing, live music, karaoke, and of course along the beach front the chance to unwind and watch the beautiful view as the day comes to a close.
There are many eccentricities to El Nido, for example the electric power is 2pm to 6am. Also you will not find any banks here, although you can change foreign currency and travellers cheques at a couple of places albeit at an increased rate. Credit cards are accepted only in a few places. There are also no telephone lines so communication is mostly via mobile phones plus there are many internet cafe’s scattered around the townEl Nido has only a private airport that caters mainly for the El Nido Resorts guests. Island Transvoyager, Inc. (ITI) flies with a 50-seater ATR plane 3 times a day to El Nido from Manila. Guests not staying at El Nido Resort (namely Miniloc, Pangulasian and Lagen island resort), may book as well, as along as the availability is on certain flights.Arrival through Puerto Princesa with any of Philippines major airlines such as Cebu Pacific Air, Zestair, Pal Express, Philippines Airline and Tiger Airways has become the main entry point of Palawan and onward travel to El Nido can be done by shuttle van, private hired vans, air-con and non air-con busses throughout the day and some also during the night. The road is nearly completed and takes by van 5 hrs, by bus 7 hrs.
Palawan is frequently referred to as “The Final Frontier”. Once you have been here you realise why. Enchanting El Nido is truly breathtaking; many leave, their lives changed by this magical place.
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