Town Proper, El Nido |
Shaded in high limestone cliffs, El Nido’s town proper is always humming with activity. Motorbikes and tricycles ply tight streets. Vendors and tour-mongers hang around like walking adverts. Restaurants and cafes are abuzz with never-ending orders. Accommodations, cigarettes, drybags, your quick fix for a hungry belly—everything you need is here in the town proper.
Its 600m white cove El Nido Beach curves like a safe harbor for speedboats, pump boats, and barges. This beach, though not suitable for swimming, serves as the starting point to various island hopping tours in the magnificent Bacuit Bay. Along the beach too are some seafood and international restaurants as well as lounges and bars offering sunset happy hours.
Right in front of El Nido Beach is the postcard-perfect Cadlao Island, the largest island in Bacuit Bay. Shaped like a sleeping dinosaur, Cadlao is a fun adventure, reachable by kayak. The island features quiet white-sand beaches, a secret lagoon, and a snorkelling site. Also accessible by kayak are Ipil-Ipil Beach 1 and 2, Seven Commandos Beach, and Papaya Beach.
The town proper itself follows a grid network of streets lined with establishments from budget accommodations and mid-range hotels to restaurants, cafes, and travel and tours offices. Serena and Hama Streets, which run parallel to the main beach, are home to some top-rated restaurants and snack bars. At the end of Serena Street is El Nido Ferry Terminal, where you can get direct boat transfers to Coron and Manila.
One activity that should not be missed in the town proper is climbing Taraw Cliff. The difficult trail to Taraw is regulated, however. This guided tour should be booked beforehand as it starts at 4:30 am for a kickass morning view of the bay. An easier and safer trail is accessible the whole day round via the Ferrata Canopy Walk, which features a giant spiderweb hammock. From the town proper, you can also rent a motorbike or scooter to explore other destinations in El Nido.
7 Things To Do
7. Ride the pinoy version of tuk-tuk, the tricycle. This small vehicle can accommodate up to four people!
6. Shop for souvenirs! Some of the best shops include The Little Corner and Art Cafe.
5. Go on a food trip and try a variety of local and international cuisines! There are so many to choose from, from street food to beachfront dining!
4. For nightlife, beachfront bars offer cold drinks, dampa-style seafood, and music mixes by DJs.
3. Brave the Taraw Cliffs via the Ferrata Canopy Walk and get an awesome view of the town and the bay!
2. Rent a kayak and paddle your way to the pristine Cadlao Island. This is just across the town proper but the island is usually empty.
1. Of course, never miss at least a day of island hopping in the 45-island Bacuit Bay. One of the protected areas in Palawan, it features skyscraper karst limestones, secret blue lagoons, and castaway white-sand beaches.
Are you ready to make your island dream a reality? Experience this paradise for yourself!
On the Map
How To Get There
If you’re coming from Manila, Cebu, or Boracay, you can book a direct flight to El Nido via AirSwift. Travel time is around an hour, with plane fares ranging from P2,000 to P5,000 during low season (June to November) and from P4,000 to P9,000 during high season (December to May). A cheaper alternative is to book a flight with Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, or Philippine Airlines to Puerto Princesa City, Palawan’s capital. Travel time is around an hour, with plane fares ranging between P1,000 to P7,000.
From Puerto Princesa International Airport, you can book your van transfer going to El Nido. Travel time is about 5.5 hours for P600. If you’re coming as a group, you may opt to rent a private van. We do not recommend taking the bus as the price is pretty much the same (P480 with AC), plus you’d have to go to San Jose Bus Terminal (P100 to P150) and spend more waiting time and travel time.
Once in El Nido, the best way to get around is by renting a motorcycle or van if you’re a group. You can also rent a private boat or yacht when you go island hopping. If you’re just staying in the Town Proper, you can go from one point to another by tricycle for P10 per person.
Tours & Adventures
Book your tours and adventures in El Nido. We offer local rates that are affordable for everyone! See all tours here >>
Hotels & Resorts
With over 300 hotels and resorts in El Nido, choosing the right place to stay can be tricky. Here are our recommendations in the Town Proper:
Spin Designer Hostel
This artsy hostel has private rooms as well as dorm rooms. It can be a great place to hangout and meet new people, what with its library, board games, and movies. Price starts at P1,100. More details >>
MaryGold Beachfront Inn
Located right at El Nido Beach, this inn offers colorful and comfortable cottages and rooms. Some cottages also have play areas for kids. Price starts at P2,550. More details >>
Conveniently located near El Nido Beach, this hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, a great view of the bay, and plenty of rooms for groups and families. Price starts at P3,900. More details >>
Surrounded by bay views and limestone cliffs, this hotel is quite secluded, offering premium suites and deluxe lofts. It also has this chic infinity pool with nature views. Price starts at P6,365. More details >>