If you’re thinking of going to The Philippines, El Nido is a must do. This small beach front town has a lot to offer. The town is nested in a small cove, and just around the corner it opens up in to some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever laid eyes on. This article will cover getting to El Nido, and all the things you will want to know upon arrival. The five days I spent here were my favorite of my time in The Philippines.
The view of the town proper on the way back from an island tour.
Sunset from the beach that night.
This town has personality. You won’t find many five star resorts here. You won’t find chain stores. This town is the opposite of Manila. The atmosphere is very laid back, no one is trying to hustle anyone. There’s no grind. It’s an amazingly simple lifestyle. One that I think we can all learn from. The people are honest and friendly. One thing to remember is that time is, for the most part, relative. If you hear you’re leaving at 9am for a tour, don’t be surprised if they decide to wait 30 minutes for someone who is running late. At the same time if you hear your tour ends at 3pm, don’t be surprised if you get back at 4pm. In true Filipino fashion, “It’ll get done…eventually.”
– Getting There -
El Nido really only has three routes to arrive from. You can take the fastest route via Island Transvoyager (ITI) for $135 USD straight in to El Nido. It’s a private company and you are treated very well. The terminal is a little hard to find. They have their own terminal which looks like it’s in an alley, but the waiting area is great. They have a seat with your name on them, complementary breakfast, and a red carpet for your walk to the plane to top it off! You can’t go wrong with ITI Air. Option two would be to get to Puerto Princesa and then take a van to El Nido, about five hours transit time. I took the reverse route on the way to Puerto Princesa, and word to the wise, the van’s not comfortable. Lastly, you could come by way of Coron via boat. However you do it, you won’t regret it once you get there.
- Need To Know -
1. There are no ATMs in the entire town. You will need to draw out the amount you need, and then break down your big bills to small bills as much as possible. A lot of places can’t break 1000 pesos or even 500. Very few places take cards, and if they do they charge upwards of 5 – 10 percent to run it.
2. You will most likely do some island hopping. If you can, get water shoes ( I prefer the ones scuba divers use). I neglected to do this and my feet were tore up by the end of my few days there.
3. Electricity is off from 6am to 2pm. So, if you plan on charging your devices before you head out….do it at night.
- The Town Proper -
There are plenty of places to stay here. Personally, I stayed at Marikit Pension ($25 per night)(Pictured right), or if you are wanting to live it up celebrity style, you can stay at this resort (pictured left) on Miniloc Island, in a stilt supported cabin over the water, for a few hundred per night.
Lucky Alofa – Huge burgers that are pretty good. However, the pasta should be avoided.
Atmosphere – Chicken Sandwhich with fries.
The Art Cafe – This is the nicest restaurant in El Nido. Great style, live music, and there’s a shop downstairs that carries a lot of the items you might be in need of.
Habibi – Great place to have breakfast. The jam here tastes like Captain Crunch! Delicious. It’s also a nice hookah bar at night. Great view too:
For bars, I would recommend Sea Slugs or Pukka Bar. Live music, good drinks and atmosphere.
I’ll get in to the Island tours next, if you want more pictures in the mean time, check out the photo gallery. Don’t forget to rate and share! It helps me out a lot! Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, comment below!