El Nido Palawan Travel Guide
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Palawan is known as The Philippines Last Frontier. It spans from the Province of Mindoro until the northeastern part of Borneo. It is home to diverse flora and fauna and still retains much of its forests. Palawan is also rich in history as it is believed that the first Filipinos lived in Palawan. The province boasts several world-class destinations. You can travel from Puerto Princesa To El Nido when you visit the province and enjoy myriad wonders of nature.
El Nido Palawan is often cited as one of the world’s best places. It is known for its majestic limestone cliffs, pristine white sands beaches, and clear blue waters. It used to be called Bacuit but was later changed to El Nido, Nido in Spanish means nest. There is an abundance of swiftlets (birds) in the area which nest is often used to create the famous, expensive Nido Soup.
How to get to El Nido Palawan
This El Nido Palawan travel guide will provide you with all the basic information as to how to reach this magnificent land.
You can access El Nido by air, land, and sea.
HOW TO GET TO EL NIDO BY AIR
The easiest (but expensive) way to get directly to El Nido is through AirSwift Philippines, the only airline that offers direct flights from Manila (MNL) to El Nido (ENI). Fare rates start at ₱5,000. It is wise to check and book your ticket ahead of time so you can avail yourself of cheaper flights. From El Nido airport, you can rent a tricycle to go to your hotel.
If you are on a tight budget, book a flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa and travel by land from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. This is the most popular route going to El Nido. If you decided to take this route, prepare at least one day for traveling. This will include the actual flight and the land travel which takes 7-9 hours.
- From Manila, book a flight to Puerto Princesa. Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have flights from Manila to Puerto Princesa daily. Travel time is 1.5 hours.
- Upon landing, you can opt to take a van, a bus, or rent a car to go to El Nido. The trip usually lasts about 5 to 6 hours and spans more than 230 kilometers.
- Bus Travel from Puerto Princesa to El Nido
Traveling by bus is the cheapest way to go from Puerto Princesa to El Nido, though the travel time will take a bit longer, roughly 6 to 8 hours depending on the number of stops the bus takes and the number of passengers. From the airport, you need to ride a tricycle going to San Jose Terminal which is around 7 kilometers from the airport. Cherry Bus is the known operator of buses from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. It offers an Economy Class trip that costs ₱430 and a Tourist Class trip costs ₱760. The bus passes through the towns of Roxas and Taytay along the way adding to the length of the ride.
- Van Travel from Puerto Princesa to El Nido
Traveling by van from Puerto Puerto Princesa to El Nido is the more popular option for tourists. Travel time is a bit shorter by an hour and there are several van operators you can book your tickets online in advance. The good thing about online booking is that you can cancel them for free. There are also vans going to El Nido from Puerto Princesa airport. The fare ranges from ₱50 to ₱800 depending on the operator. Please take note that, in most cases, the vans tend to fill up every available seat which means that if you happen to hop inside the van and it is still empty, you’ll have to wait until all seats are taken. The ride can be a bit uncomfortable as there’s no much legroom. You can choose to pay for an extra seat so you’ll have more wiggle room.
- Private car
If you are traveling by group, about 5 to 10 people, we recommended that you rent a van from Puerto Princesa to El Nido instead. The cost of renting a private van is ₱6,500. Aside from convenience, this option will also save you a lot of time since there are no stops between towns.
WHAT TO DO IN EL NIDO
El Nido tours, just like Puerto Princesa tours, are readily available. There are several group tour packages available which you can take advantage of depending on what you wanted to explore during your stay. The most common pre-packaged tours are as follows:
EL NIDO TOUR A
Tour A comprises visits to Miniloc Island, Shimizu Island, and Seven Commandos beach. This is the most popular tour as it covers the visit to the famous Big and Small Lagoon. Several years back, both Big and Small lagoons are included in one tour but a recent municipal ordinance separated the tours, so you can visit just one- either Big Lagoon Tour or Small Lagoon tour. This tour package mostly consists of visits to several beaches.
EL NIDO TOUR B
Tour B itinerary includes visits to Vigan Island also known as Snake Island which is a large sandbar strip. Entalula Beach, Pinagbuyutan Island also known as Ellis Island is one of the most famous landmarks in El Nido. Cathedral Cave and Cudugnon Cave are caves features where some of the archeological artifacts are found dating back to the Sung Dynasty and were used as a hiding place for the Japanese During World War II.
EL NIDO TOUR C
Tour C takes you to Helicopter Island, Matinloc Shrine, Secret Beach, Star Beach, and Hidden Beach. Secret Beach is known for being hidden in the limestone formations and you would have to swim in a small crevice to get there.
EL NIDO TOUR D
The itinerary for Tour D comprises Ipil Beach, Cadlao Lagoon, Paradise Island, Pasadingan Beach, and Bukal Beach. This tour package is for those who would like to go off the beaten path.
There are a lot of other things you can do in El Nido, always make sure that you plan your trip and coordinate with your tour agency to enjoy your stay in El Nido.
Due to Covid-19, there have been some restrictions in El Nido and Philippine tourism in general, please check the DOH guidelines for more information.
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