The central town on Palawan Island in the Philippines, El Nido draws travellers from around the world for island hopping in the Bacuit archipelago. Crystal clear turquoise waters make this a prime spot for snorkelling and diving, where you’ll find hidden lagoons and pristine coral reef surrounded by sandy white beaches. El Nido rests in a nook between towering limestone karst cliffs and the Bacuit Bay, hosting a string of resorts, eateries and bars along the beachfront.
Things to do in El Nido
El Nido is understandably water-centric, with most activity happening on or near the coastline. Waterfront bars are in abundance, with the popular beaches of Nacpan, Calitang, Secret Lagoon and Hidden Beach serving as gathering spots. The beach of Corong Corong is tucked into a bay about a 10-minute drive from El Nido and is a popular spot for those seeking a quiet hideaway from the main tourist strip.
You can rent a kayak and paddle on your own to the offshore Cadlao Island, or join scuba diving expeditions to dive sites such as the underwater cavern at Dilumacad Island. Snorkel tours include the Small Lagoon and Big Lagoon of Miniloc Island and the nearby Shimizu Island teeming with colourful reef fish.
Feeling adventurous? Take a hike to Nagkalit-kalit Falls where you can swim in a cosy cove beneath a cascading waterfall. When you have worked up a hearty appetite, head back to El Nido and walk down Corong Corong or Marimegmeg to find lively beach bars serving casual fare as the sun sets over the bay.
Getting around El Nido
If you’re staying at one of the El Nido resorts, you can use tricycle taxis, known as tuk-tuks, for getting around the island and beaches. For a more extensive exploration, rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle.