My travel bucket-list: El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

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Photo credit: Popsicle Society – Google map

El Nido it is about 420 kilometres (260 mi) south-west of Manila, and about 238 kilometres (148 mi) north-east of Puerto Princesa, Palawan’s capital, in Philippines.

It is ranked currently as # 4 in Condé Nast Traveler’s list of “20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World” and it is knows for its white-sand beaches, coral reefs, limestone cliffs and as the gateway to the stunning Bacuit archipelago.

El Nido which means nest in Spanish, comes from the fact that tiny swiftlets build edible nests out of saliva in the immense limestone cliffs.

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Photo credit: Cris John

Nothing like you’ve ever seen before, El Nido is considered to be a world of its own and has some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes and scenery in the Philippines and perhaps, in the world.

To gain the full perspective of how paradisaical this place really is, take the islands tour on a classic catamaran. El Nido Palawan Philippines are comprised of spiky grey cliffs sporadically covered in lush green overgrowth next to bright white sand beaches and turquoise water. An awe-inspiring and genuinely breathtaking scenery from which you’ll never want to leave.

There are many things to do in El Nido so better if you can spend at least one week. You may choose from staring into the turquoise waters of the large lagoon surrounded by tall rock formations, swimming through the hole to Secret Lagoon, one of the best places in the Philippines, diving into Bacuit Bay, home to a wide range of beautiful sea life and interesting structural formations, visiting Secret Beach, a pristine piece of sand hidden from sight by large limestone cliffs on all sides, visiting Snake Island, a special island because of the strip of sand leading up to it or you can hike up to Taraw Peak, that rises about 230 meters above sea level.

It’s nothing short of breathtaking. It’s paradise!

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Photo credit: Getting Stamped

There are 3 ways to travel to El Nido: by air, boat, or land.

The easiest and fastest way to El Nido is by air. There are daily direct flights from Manila and Cebu, flights that land at the Lio Airport, which is a 20-minute tricycle ride from El Nido Town.

There are ferry boats from Coron to El Nido, scheduled 4-5 times a week and take 7 to 10 hours to reach El Nido. Since the trip is very dependent on the weather, it is very common for the boat to be canceled for days. Seas can be really rough and definitely not suited if you suffer of seasickness.

Or you may take the bus from Puerto Princesa to El Nido, 137 miles distance and takes around 6 hours.

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Photo credit: Lonely Planet

The Philippines have a tropical marine climate with two monsoon seasons, one in winter and one in summer. Unlike the rest of the archipelago, El Nido does not experience typhoons, but is marked by two very distinct seasons: the dry season from December to May, and the rainy season from June to November.

El Nido enjoys a very pleasant climate throughout the year, with a minimum temperature of 22°C on average, a maximum temperature of 33°C on average, and mostly sunny weather. The lowest temperatures fall in January, while the hottest months are April and May.

The best time to travel to El Nido, to enjoy a pleasant climate and avoid the rainy and cyclonic season, is between November and May.

If you are not afraid of the hot weather, the driest and hottest months are March, April, and May, with temperatures reaching up to 41°C during the hottest days.

The average temperature of the water varies between 24°C and 26°C between December and March, and between 26°C and 29°C from April to November. Divers will enjoy underwater visibility between 10 and 30 meters from March to May, making this season the ideal time to practice this kind of aquatic activity.

With no typhoons, a rainy season with not much rain, a pleasant water temperature and lots of sun, El Nido is really ideal for a nice and relaxing holiday.

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Photo credit:

There are tons of hotels in El Nido, range from gorgeous over the water beach huts, budget-friendly rooms, or you can even rent an entire beachfront home on Airbnb, something for everyone’s budget. 

El Nido, I would say the ideal place for a relaxing holiday! 

70 thoughts

  1. Wow wow wow! Now that really looks like paradise. Philipines is high on my bucket list and it is only a 2.5 hour flight for me to Manila so I need to make it happen!

  2. Paradise indeed 👌 but lot of water 😁 better learn how to swim so I don’t spend my time only starring at water 😂 which is perfect of course because the water color is more than amazing 😌
    And then we go to swimming, diving🧐🙄🙄 here I will take the Classic catamaran 😁
    Liked the story of the island name as well, the only Nido we know here is a milk from Nestle 😂
    Let’s hope you can visit this lovely place in Philippine, I believe it’s also perfect for your cottage by sea right?? 😁
    Thank you for sharing and sorry but when you read this it will be Monday and we will start the countdown 🙄🙄🙄
    But all will pass so have a great day 🤗🤗🤗💕💕💕💕

    1. Yes, I think I should start learning how to swim too 🙂 the water is too inviting 🙂
      But even so, I do snorkeling 🙂
      Catamaran I think should be great too 🙂
      Nido a milk from Nestle? Oh well, not bad 😂😂
      Yes, I think is a great place for my cottage by the sea 🙂 I hope I’ll visit it one day 🙂
      Thank you always for reading Huguette and yes, countdown started already 🙂 almost 1 gone and 4 to go 😂😂
      Wish you a wonderful week my dear! 🤗🤗🤗💕💕💕💕

      1. Countdown started for you 😊😊
        Snorkeling is great of course but swimming will be great as well, let’s hope we will learn 😊
        hahaah YES Nido 😊 they used to make the most emotional ads as well haahha
        Hope your day is great and the week will fly I’m sure 😊 mine will be 4 days and then I’ll be away for one week (sent you an email)

  3. I feel so proud right now haha 😀 Although I did not grew up in EL Nido, I spend my childhood all the way to my preteen years in Palawan. There are more places to visit in the island but yes, this is one of the must visit in the Philippines. Even local tourist have it as destination for vacation.

    1. Oh wow, a childhood in paradise 🙂 Well done Jess 🙂
      Wonderful place! I hope I’ll be able to see it one day 🙂
      Wish you a wonderful week Jess 🙂

      1. Hmm… yep. The places felt like a paradise. Sadly the childhood isn’t 😂 but it did made me who I am.
        I wish you the same Ribby <3

  4. Look great. I used to travel so much in my younger days, however life got in the way – but things change, people change, attitudes change, futures change – the future is bright – great post Ribana 🙂

  5. It’s on the top of my list to visit. I’ve heard from friends how beautiful El Nido is and I’ve been wanting to experience it myself. Thanks for sharing more info about this beautiful island.

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