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El Nido is without a doubt one of my favourite places in the entire Philippines. I’ve been there twice and both times it felt like I was in paradise. Some of the things that make El Nido so special are its crystal clear waters, remote white beaches, secret lagoons, and beautiful golden sunsets.

I’ve put together this full guide with the best things to do in El Nido to help you plan your own trip. It has all the information you need including the best island hopping tours, the best beaches and also how to get there and where to stay.

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READ ALSO: The perfect 3-week Philippines itinerary

12 Awesome things to do in El Nido Philippines

Where is El Nido located?

El Nido is a popular tourist destination located in the province of Palawan in the Philippines, which is situated in the western part of the country. El Nido specifically sits on the northern tip of Palawan Island.

El Nido is known for its stunning limestone cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and diverse marine life. It’s a place where visitors can relax on beautiful beaches, go snorkelling or diving to see colourful fish and corals, and explore hidden lagoons and caves.

12 Awesome things to do in El Nido Philippines

How to get to El Nido?

  • By plane:
    From Manila or Cebu, you can book a flight to Lio Airport (El Nido) which is the easiest way to get to El Nido. There are multiple flights a day, the journey takes around 1 hour 30 minutes and prices of tickets are between $80-$150/one-way. As soon as you arrive in El Nido, many tuk-tuks or minivans are driving from the airport to El Nido Town. (around PHP 300/one-way)
  • Or you can fly to Puerto Princesa, which is the Capital city of Palawan, and take a shuttle to El Nido Town. This ride will take about 6 hours. You can pre-book your shuttle from Puerto Princesa to El Nido here for only $14
  • By ferry:
    If you’re coming from Coron, you could also go to El Nido by ferry. Ferries are going twice a day, the journey takes between 3-4 hours and prices are around $35/one-way.
  • With an expedition:
    Another option is to join a 4-day Coron to El Nido Expedition, which starts in Coron and takes you in 4 days to El Nido along the most beautiful islands in Palawan.

The best place to stay in El Nido

El Nido has a range of budget accommodations from hostels and beach cottages to luxury resorts and trendy hotels. I would recommend staying in Cuna Hotel or Frendz Hostel which are both located in El Nido Town and have excellent reviews. If you are looking for a more peaceful and unique accommodation, we can highly recommend staying at Cabanas Glamping Resort. (lovely comfy tents, free motorbike, yummy food and be sure to say hello to our friend Ryan and the sweet dogs)

Best things to do in El Nido

With its towering limestone cliffs, pristine beaches, and turquoise waters teeming with marine life, El Nido offers an unforgettable tropical paradise experience.

From island hopping adventures to exploring hidden lagoons and underwater caves, snorkelling or diving in vibrant coral reefs, to simply relaxing on white sandy beaches, El Nido has something for everyone.

Whether you’re seeking thrilling outdoor adventures or relaxing moments surrounded by stunning scenery, it will be an unforgettable and enchanting journey in the heart of the Philippines.

I’ve put together a list of all of the most popular things to do in El Nido which I personally enjoyed the most during my time here.


Island hopping in El Nido

Within the Bay of Bacuit, El Nido is located surrounded by more than 45 lovely, secluded islands. Some of these islands can be visited during one of the many fantastic island-hopping tours in El Nido.

Make sure to include this on your Philippines itinerary as the tours in this region are known as one of the most stunning and unique island hopping tours in the Philippines.

Those tours are mostly about swimming or kayaking in shallow water, on secluded islands, or in secret lagoons. In 2016, I did tours A and C when I came to El Nido, so this time it was obvious that I wanted to explore the other tours.

I was still surprised that after all those years, the tours were quite the same. Anyway, I decided to hop on tours B and D during this trip and am glad I did since these tours were absolutely amazing!

El Nido Tour A

On tour A, I visited Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, had lunch on Shimizu Island, discovered Secret Lagoon, and relaxed under the palm trees of 7th Commando Beach. One of the most popular island-hopping tours in the Philippines!

Group tours are around PHP 1300 + PHP 200 per person environmental fee (including buffet lunch + drinks)
Private tours are around PHP 4500 for a boat + guide + PHP 200 per person environmental fee (no lunch or drinks included)

If you like to book your tour in advance, I would highly recommend this Private El Nido Tour A


El Nido Tour B

On Tour B (which we did last time in 2019), we visited Snake Island which is a stunning photo spot, relaxed on Popolkan Island and visited the breathtaking Pinagbuyutan Island. One of our favourite tours!

Group tours are around PHP 1300 + PHP 200 per person environmental fee (including buffet lunch + drinks)
Private tours are around PHP 4500 for a boat + guide + PHP 200 per person environmental fee (no lunch or drinks included)

Tours in El Nido are easily booked out so I recommend to book your El Nido Tour B in advance

El Nido Tour C

We got to see beautiful views when we went to Matinloc Shrine on Tour C. After that, we snorkelled at Helicopter Island, went to Hidden Beach, and had a real “Expedition Robinson” experience on Talisay Beach.

Group tours are around PHP 1300 + PHP 200 per person environmental fee (including buffet lunch + drinks)
Private tours are around PHP 4500 for a boat + guide + PHP 200 per person environmental fee (no lunch or drinks included)

If you like to book your tour in advance, we can highly recommend this El Nido Tour C

El Nido Tour D

Tour D was amazing! We started at Cadlao Lagoon, which was stunning. The water was a beautiful green-blue colour. Then, we checked out the beaches near Pasandigan Beach. Each one was special in its own way. Finally, we had a delicious BBQ lunch on Paradise Beach with a great view of the sea. It was the best day!

Group tours are around PHP 1300 + PHP 200 per person environmental fee (including buffet lunch + drinks)
Private tours are around PHP 4500 for a boat + guide + PHP 200 per person environmental fee (no lunch or drinks included)

If you like to book your tour in advance, we can highly recommend this El Nido Tour D

Explore all the best beaches in El Nido

You will find a large number of beaches in El Nido where you can spend the day unwinding, swimming, or enjoying a cocktail at one of the many charming beach bars. When you rent a scooter, you will have the freedom to simply tour around and explore them at your own pace. On top of that, the roads have been significantly upgraded, making it safe to travel by yourself.

Prices are around PHP 500 for a full-day

If you book at Cabanas Glamping Resort you get a free motorbike for the length of your stay

Philippines El Nido-26- BLOGPOST HQ

Visit the peaceful Dulih Beach in El Nido

You can enjoy Dulih Beach if you want to find a beautiful beach that isn’t too busy with tourists. It is farther north of El Nido Town, about an hour’s ride on a bike. You can surf well at this beach, and there’s a nice spot to relax with a drink.

PHP 50 per person entrance fee

Visit the less touristy Corong Corong Beach

Corong Corong Beach is a long stretch of sand that is only 20 minutes away on foot from El Nido Town. It’s not as crowded with tourists as some other beaches, and there are some nice places to eat and watch the sunset. We didn’t like this place as much for swimming and resting because there are so many boats here.

No entrance fee

Spend the day at beautiful Nacpan Beach

We love all of the beaches, but Nacpan Beach is by far our favourite. The beach is long and beautiful, with lots of palm trees. It’s about a 45-minute drive from El Nido Town. It’s a great spot to have lunch or dinner and watch the sun go down because there are so many nice places to eat.

PHP 50 per person entrance fee

Enjoy the sunset at Las Cabanas Beach

As well as Nacpan Beach, Las Cabanas Beach is one of the best beaches in El Nido. To get here, you’ll have to walk through Vanilla Beach, a brand-new shopping area.

We love to spend the whole day at Las Cabanas Beach, where we can relax in the cosy bean bags at Beach Shack and sip a drink while watching the sun go down. Cheers!

No entrance fee

If you’re taking a tuk-tuk, tell the driver to drop you off at McDonald’s. There are lots of cute shops and restaurants on the way to the beach if you walk straight from here.

Go glamping for a night or two

We loved our two nights at the Cabanas Glamping Resort and can’t say enough good things about it. Lovely, comfortable tents, a free motorbike, tasty food and the nicest service ever! Say hello to our friend Ryan and all the nice dogs if you go. Nacpan Beach camping is another beautiful camping spot that is still on our list. It costs more to stay there, but the views and setting are too good to be true.

Cabanas Glamping Resort: a comfy double tent is around $68/night (including breakfast and a free motorbike)
Nacpan Beach Glamping: a luxury double tent is around $320/night (inluding breakfast and dinner)

Your stay at Cabanas Glamping Resort or at Nacpan Beach Glamping here


Get a massage at the Organic Spa

There is now a second location of The Organic Spa in El Nido. It is in The Shoppes at Vanilla Beach. A new shopping centre has opened at Las Cabanas Beach. Enjoy some peace after a day of exploring or getting some sun on the beach. They have a very friendly staff, treatments that aren’t too expensive, and they use items that are safe for vegans. We really liked it!

A pedicure costs around PHP 300 per person and a 1-hour full-body massage PHP 500 per person

The Organic Spa

Face your fear and hike up Taraw Cliff in El Nido

Want to do something more exciting? Get over your fear and walk up Taraw Cliff. You can see the most beautiful views of El Nido Town from this spot. Tip: Go in the morning or during sunset, bring trainers and a water bottle, and get a guide. The best thing to do in El Nido if you like some adventure!

Around PHP 300-500 per person for a guided hike

Hiking up Taraw Cliff is still on our list, but we highly recommend this guided Taraw Cliff Hike where also the Canopy Walk is included.


Wander around El Nido Town

Last but not least, take some time to explore El Nido, a charming little town. The beach has the most breathtaking scenery, and there are plenty of excellent restaurants and charming stores to wander.

El Nido is a fantastic place to completely relax, discover all the beautiful beaches and hidden islands, but also to experience some adventures and unique overnight stays.

Make the most of your trip with some beautiful trips in the Bacauit Archipelago since it is the best place to go island hopping in the Philippines.

I hope that my story has made you want to visit this unspoiled gem. Leave a question below or connect with me on Instagram. I’d love to tell you more about this beautiful place.

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12 Awesome things to do in El Nido Philippines
12 Awesome things to do in El Nido Philippines
12 Awesome things to do in El Nido Philippines

Discover the Balabac Islands in the Philippines with my favourite travel apps

To plan my adventures, I use these FREE websites and apps as they provide the best information, the best deals, and they are user-friendly. 


All the pictures on this page are made and owned by me. If you are interested in some pictures to use for your magazine, website, blog, or any other purpose, just send me an email and we’ll figure it out.

Do you like the edits? My Presets will be online soon so you can edit your pictures in just one click!

The camera gear I used for this trip

I never go out without my camera and many people ask me which gear I use. So to make it quite easy, I listed all the gear I used for this trip below.

Most of the time, I travel with the Sony A7III and the Sony 24-105mm/f4 as my primary lens but depending on the location, I change to another setup. However, I love the Tamron 17-28 to shoot in the big cities.


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