This is now my fourth visit to the motherland, my last trip here was only 3 years ago. Although I have been to the Philippines numerous time already, I’ve only really visited Manila and Boracay. The Philippines consists of many small islands, I believe there are over 7,600 islands, so knowing I’ve only seen maybe 0.01% of this country is pretty jarring to me. This time around I was determined to change that and check off a few islands.
Now, determining which islands to visit wasn’t easy. You’ll need to do some research – currently the most popular islands to visit El Nido, Coron and Cebu.
Side note: for those of you that don’t know Boracay (the MOST popular tourist destination in the Philippines) has been closed off to travellers for the next 6 months. Why? The excessive tourism was destroying the natural environment. It’s so sad to hear but I’m glad they are taking steps to preserve its beauty.
Anyways after reading a few blogs posts and a few Google searches I decided that I wanted to see El Nido and Bohol. From photos El Nido looked absolutely breathtaking (one of the main reasons why I had to visit – needed to see it with my own eyes).
Below is my complete travel guide to El Nido – enjoy!
Absolutely beautiful resort! The resort is essentially compiled of two villas, each villa has two bedrooms on the first floor, both with private bathrooms. The upper level is a common terrace with a breathtaking view of the sea and lush scenery.
There is a pool but it didn’t appear to be appropriate to swim in. This didn’t bother me as I prefer the beach.
The resort isn’t beach front and is about a 10 minute walk away from Corong Corong Beach, while the “town” is about a 6 minute tricycle ride away (about 100 pesos = $2.45 CAD per ride). From El Nido Aiport, the resort was a 30 minute tricycle (about 450 pesos = $11 CAD) and from Puerto Princesa Airport, its about a 5 hour bus ride (about 500 pesos = $12 CAD) – my recommendation is to fly into El Nido Airport (it is a bit pricier because only Swift Airlines fly into that airport but it’s worth it!)
The resort can also help you arrange your excursions for diving, snorkeling, canoeing, island hopping and massages.
Our rate also included daily breakfast – you can choose from an ‘American style’ breakfast, which is just bacon and eggs, or you can try the ‘Filipino style’ breakfast, which is longganisa (sweet Filipino-sauasge made with ground pork, pork fat, sugar and spices) and garlic fried rice – YUM!
There is a ton of restaurants in the town with a variety of cuisine choices such as Filipino food, Italian and Chinese food. The typical price for each meal with a drink is about 150-300 pesos ($4 – $8 CAD).
There is one restaurant to try and it was called “Boodle Fight”, a military style of eating which food is piled on top of banana leaves and laid out on a table. A Boodle Fight meal consists of many different food options. A typical meal would include rice, variety of seafood and a variety of meats. The meal I had included:
- Grilled bangus (milkfish)
- Grilled squid
- Fried pork
- Garlic, calamansi, soy and spicy sauce – typical sauce for a big Filipino feast
Also here are some of the basic yet important rules of Boodle Fight:
- No utensils. No spoons. No forks. No chopsticks.
- Can only use your bare hands to eat
- Must finish all food presented at the table
If you haven’t tried to Boodle Fight, you should!
El Nido has the most beautiful scenery that I ever did see. There are so many little islands around Palawan and is full of dramatic rock formations and bright blue waters. With that being said, there are so many different activities that you can do on the island, from snorkeling to canoeing to chasing waterfalls, El Nido has it all!
My number one suggestion is to take a day to Island hop. El Nido has a bunch of day tours that range from 1200-1400 pesos per person ($30 – $35 CAD). I did Tour C, which included island hopping to:
- Big Lagoon
- Helicopter Island
- Hidden Beach
- Star Beach
- Culasa Beach
The sites I saw on this tour was amazing – it was absolutely breathtaking!
Are you travelling to El Nido soon? Let me know in the comments below if this was helpful or if you have any questions when travelling to El Nido.
Stay tuned for my travel guide to Bohol!