Located within the stunning and lush mountains of Palawan’s main island, El Nido has been rated one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines. Forget crowded resorts in tourist cities, and escape to tranquil and awe-inspiring El Nido instead. With 45 islands and islets that harbor some of the country’s best white sand beaches, hidden lagoons, picturesque cliffs and rich marine life underneath its Earth, El Nido is indeed a piece of paradise. El Nido Palawan can be explored on a budget. With plenty of budget accommodations lined up on the streets of the town and lots of tour groups offering cheap packages, El Nido is another backpacker’s haven.
Why You Should visit El Nido Palawan Philippines
What makes El Nido so great is its natural beauty and the fact that it is largely untouched. A protected area, the beauty of the area is visible the moment you arrive. It is definitely one of the hidden gems of Southeast Asia! Large limestone cliffs tower above you, a fact I did not fully realise until late on our first night when I glanced out the window and saw what looked like a massive wall in the distance. Even at night and only partially visible it was an incredible sight.
El Nido Weather (When to Visit)
El Nido is best seen during the months of November to May. In the first half of this period, cool northeast winds complement the sunny skies, allowing you to explore the islands in comfort. As the summer months of March and May set in, the heat turns up as well; bring enough sunscreen to protect yourself. All throughout these months (El Nido’s high tourist season), the sea is relatively calm, and underwater visibility is good, about ten to thirty feet. The southwest monsoon from June to November brings the rainy season and reduced travel traffic. While prices for all resorts and facilities are lower during the rainy season, the weather is less cooperative: seas are choppy and the unpaved roads become muddier and more difficult to travel on.
Best El Nido Beaches
Nacpan Beach is a 4-km strip of powdery paradise north of El Nido town proper. The coconut lined beach faces a small cove next to Base Bay. The stretch runs southward to meet its twin — Calitang Beach. Together, they form a cape that sticks out to the sea that can get rough without warning. A small, palm crowned, grass-covered hill marks the spot where the two ivory beaches meet. Small islands dotting the bay can also be seen clearly from the beach.
Dolarog Beach is a secluded paradise with an outstanding view of the limestone islands of the Bacuit Archipelago. Famous for its breath-taking sunsets, Dolarog Beach is the ideal place for those who wish nothing more than to relax and spend their time laying on a hammock and enjoying the view of the sea. Dolarog Beach is also suitable for families with small children because the sea in the area is very shallow.
Seven Commandos Beach
It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in El Nido, thanks to its crystal-clear waters, and its unique limestone rock formations. From afar, you can immediately notice Seven Commando Beach’s white sand and the coconut trees lined along it that are swaying along with every blow of the wind. On the beach, there is a tiny store that serves snacks, halo-halo, beer and fresh coconut.
Marimegmeg Beach or Las Cabanas Beach
It is mostly known for having creamy white sand along with the fact that it is fringed with coconut palm trees. Compared to Nacpan, it is more developed with a line of resorts and other kinds of establishments that can be found along the beach. However, despite being developed, Las Cabans Beach still remain clean and much quieter than the beach in El Nido town.
This remote beach in El Nido, might not be the easiest attraction to get to, but visiting this huge uninhabited paradise-on-Earth beach is, undoubtedly, a great experience. The secluded Duli Beach has white sands with palm trees on it. Its clear waters roll onto the stretch of sandy beach. Duli whose name means ‘female turtle” is a nesting place for sea turtles in the area. Duli Beach is s ‘surfer’s paradise’ especially during the rainy season when there are a lot of big waves.
El Nido Palawan Tours & Activities
Full Day Premium Catamaran Island Group Tour D
Hop on board, meet new friends, and discover marine treasures under the crystal-clear blue waters and the secret lagoons behind those towering limestone cliffs – aboard The Seacret, our 50ft sailing catamaran. Learn more about the Full Day Premiumm Catamaran Island Group Tour D.
Full Day Highlights of El Nido Speedboat Island Group Tour C
Explore El Nido and island hop Tour C without the crowds
-Hangout on beach and have a sumptuous freshly prepared lunch – in ENYC’s –PRIVATE ISLAND -Go swimming and snorkeling in the pristine blue waters. Learn more about the Full Day Highlights of El Nido Speedboat Island Group Tour C.
El Nido Island Hopping Tour B: Caves and Coves with Buffet Lunch
Discover hidden beaches and secret lagoons that are only accessible by boat on an island hopping tour of El Nido. Enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and sightseeing, and relish the convenience of hotel pickup and drop-off. Plus, the rising popularity of Palawan as a vacation destination means that El Nido boat tours sell out fast, so avoid disappointment by booking in advance. Learn more about the El Nido Island Hopping Tour B.
Private El Nido Tour A Island Hopping
El Nido, Palawan is known for its amazing landscapes and crystal-white beaches. El Nido Tour A Island Hopping is just one-day tour offering a varied destinations famous at the town. Learn more about the Private El Nido Tour A Island Hopping.
Full Day El Nido Island Frontier Group Tour B
Set out to Sea…and Frontier into the lesser-known side of El Nido, away from the tourist crowds. Explore virgin islands, set foot on the jungle isles of Pinagbuyutan Island, and have the day’s freshest catch on board before casting away into another adventure. Learn more about the Full Day El Nido Island Frontier Group Tour B.
Island Hopping Tour C
A beautiful tour with very nice snorkel spots, hidden beaches and a beautiful scenery. You have a very good chance to see one of the 3 species of turtle of El Nido. Learn more about the Island Hopping Tour C.
Best El Nido Restaurants
Trattoria Altrove $11 – 30
This upstairs Slovenian–owned place does the best pizza in El Nido, made with imported mozzarella in the street-level brick oven. There are a dozen types of pasta from Italy, plus T-bone steak and other meat dishes on the menu. It’s very popular, so get here early (or late) during the high season to avoid a long wait. Telephone: +63 917 822 9871 Web: Trattoria Altrove.
El Nido Boutique & Art Café $11 – 30
The large 2nd-story dining room is a warm and relaxed place to eat, drink and get your bearings. Especially good are the salads (using lettuce and arugula from its own organic farm), home-made bread, seafood curry, pizza, pineapple upside-down cake, and chocolate and mango tarts. It has a bar and live music four nights a week. Telephone: +63 920 902 6317 Web: El Nido Boutique & Art Cafe.
Bulalo Plaza $11 – 30
In-the-know travelers flock to this nondescript open-air eatery on the road to Corong Corong for the best fresh-cooked Pinoy eats in town. It’s all sarap (delicious), but the black squid adobo, sizzling pork bulgogiand seafood curry stand out. Cheap breakfasts and lots of vegetarian choices. Telephone: +63 948 127 1935 Web: Bulalo Plaza.
La Plage $11 – 30
Besides having the best food in El Nido and sterling sunset views, this beachfront French restaurant has its own plunge pool open for guests. It’s known for exciting specials and the heavenly fish steamed in banana leaf. You can eat upstairs, downstairs or on the beach. Telephone: +63 947 068 5272 Web: La Plage.
Agape has a great spot right on the beach and is one of the few restaurants that are open for lunch. Their popular souvlaki wraps are quite filling but were a bit dry for our liking. For a little bit of fun, try their melt-in-your-mouth flaming saganaki cheese. Telephone: +63 917 822 9871 Web: Agape
Best El Nido Bars
Sava Beach Bar
A contemporary cocktail bar/club worthy of El Nido’s status as a rising international starlet. Cocktails are expertly made with top-notch booze, and the bar menu features some of the best food in town. Try the chimichanga or baked mussels. Top DJs set the beachfront dance floor alight as the evening wears on. Telephone: +63 928 694 6743 Web: Sava Beach Bar.
Happiness Beach Bar
The cool kid on El Nido’s main drag, diminutive Happiness features contemporary beats, top-class cocktails and hipster swings at the street-side bar. By day its vegan-friendly Middle Eastern menu (mains P200 to P350), with delicious hummus and other small plates as well as pita sandwiches, draws healthy eaters. Telephone: +63 905 216 7363 Web: Happiness Beach Bar.
Quite simply the best sunset bar. It has dangerous mojitos, groovy tunes and two-for-one San Miguel during happy hour (3pm to 5pm), plus superb pizza and fresh-baked bread. But most importantly it has that elusive sunset view, unlike many places in El Nido. Telephone: +63 905 364 8534 Web: Bella Vita.
The Beach Shack
The ubercool beach bar that makes Maremegmeg Beach (aka Las Cabanas Beach) tick. In the high season it assumes a Miami Beach vibe around sunset as it turns up the tunes and the pretty people flock to it. Telephone: +63 917 577 7513 Web: The Beach Shack.
Long the most happening place in El Nido, this reggae bar suddenly has a lot more competition and has responded by expanding. It now has two entrances – one on Hama St, one on the beach. Live reggae music and buckets of beer are what make it tick. Telephone: +63 955 956 8178 Web: Pukka Bar.
Best El Nido Hotels
With only seven rooms situated between a pristine beach and virgin forest in an undiscovered and unexploited part of North-eastern Palawan, Qi Palawan offers a unique experience. As the only development in the immediate area, you can enjoy your own beach or explore the many nearby un-populated beaches…or if you like, venture into one of local fishing communities. This is the place to really get away and experience the real Palawan.
El Nido Resorts Lagen Island
Lagen Island has a total of 51 rooms that incorporate timber recycled from old Filipino homes for floors and furnishings to evoke charm and quiet luxury. Designed for maximum tranquility and calm, all rooms feature full-height sliding glass doors that open to a private veranda. There are 20 Forest Rooms located at the fringe of the forest; 4 Forest Suites are located at the upper level of the Forest Room Complex. There are 18 Water Cottages built on stilts above the water, and nine Beachfront Cottages with a panoramic view of the cove.
Cauayan Island Resort
Set amid lush greenery, Cauayan Island Resort offers luxurious and peaceful accommodations in El Nido. The resort features an outdoor infinity pool, a well-equipped fitness center and a restaurant on site. Guests can enjoy island-hopping or kayaking around the islands of El Nido. Diving activities at 15 different dove sites can be arranged at the Cauayan Diving Center. Guests may also rejuvenate with a pampering massage at Cauayan Spa. Local and international cuisines are served at Cauayan Restaurant.
El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island
Pangulasian Island has 42 deluxe accommodations built in contemporary Filipino architecture. There are eight Canopy Villas perched on stilts above the forest, and 24 Beach Villas and six Pool Villas close to the water. Each villa has a floor area of 65 sqm plus a 15 sqm private balcony, and can accommodate up to three persons. Villa features and amenities include Wi-Fi access, satellite TV, iPod dock, mini-bar, and coffee and tea- making facilities.
El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island
Miniloc Island is a rustic and charming hideaway reminiscent of a coastal village. Miniloc Island is located in El Nido, in northwestern Palawan. It takes a 75-minute direct flight from Manila to get to El Nido or a 6-hour travel by land from Puerto Princesa City (Palawan’s Capital City).Miniloc Island Resort is tucked within a beautiful cove surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and a vibrant coral reef. It is a gateway to popular activity sites in a breath-taking location known for its high biodiversity. The resort has 50 cottages and rooms built in traditional Filipino design over the water, beside the beach, or surrounded by garden and limestone cliffs.
Nacpan Beach Glamping
Nacpan Glamping is located on one of the top rated beaches in Asia, ‘Nacpan Beach’, El Nido, Palawan. Stretching 4.2km, this white sand beach is fast becoming a World renowned must see destination in the Philippines. Nacpan Glamping offers the unique, one and only experience of staying in a state of the art 6m wide glamping tent metres from the beach.
This is such a great post. I would’ve never imagined visiting the Philippines you always think about the most common places like Las Vegas or something. The beaches are absolutely breathtaking and you educating us on hotels and eateries over there that is a plus. There is so much information here I will be bookmarking your site for reference 🙂
Great Viviana. Yes, I like to travel to the places where you don’t find the huge crowds. El Nido is considered one of the most beautiful places in the world, has gorgeous beaches, history, beauty, and plenty to do besides just relaxing on the beach. Thanks for visiting!
El Nido sounds like an awesome place. I would love to go over
Christmas with my family. I have always wanted to visit the Phillipines.
I’d love to stay at the Cuna Hotel with the mountain views and close to the beach. I’m saving this post for future reference. Thank you!
You are welcome Holly, and I am glad you enjoyed visiting Beach Travel Destinations. El Nido is a beautiful beach destination, and you would have a wonderful time here. Thanks for stopping by.
Another gorgeous location for me to put on our bucket list. It is growing by the day thanks to your wonderful website. I love it. Keep it up.
Thank you Maryann and I am glad you enjoy visiting Beach Travel Destinations.
I love your website..you give me such great ideas for vacation destinations! And I gave my mom all of your advice for her upcoming Alaska cruise. Thank you again.
What is the best way to dress for the Philippines and are there ever issues with water or island food? Also, is there any benefit to going there during the monsoon season or is it really monsoons all the time?
You will love it in El Nido. You will need to make sure and bring sunblock, as well as a good comfortable pair of shoes. Then of course, you will just want light summery clothes and a light windbreaker. The dry season is from December to May, and the rainy season from June to November. If you go during the rainy season, you will find the hotel and airfare to be a bit cheaper. You will just need to make sure and take a light rain jacket, which I would take anyway. Thanks for visiting Nacpan Beach El Nido Philippines.
My husband and I want to go to the Philippines as our dream vacation. My father-in-law has been many times and told us about it. El Nido looks awesome. I know what we’ll be talking about over dinner tonight! 🙂
It’s a beautiful place Donna and El Nido is amazing. You will have a wonderful when you can make it here. Thanks for visiting Nacpan Beach El Nido Philippines
Gorgeous photos! I would love to visit the Phillipines! My dad was born there, but I have never been there. Nacpan Beach looks so tranquil and relaxing! Thank you for this informative post. You make me want to pack my bags and go! 🙂
I am glad you enjoyed visiting my Nacpan Beach El Nido Philippines post. You do have to visit this wonderful slice of paradise for sure. I am sure your dad has told you how wonderful and beautiful it is here. Thanks for stopping by.
I have no words to describe the beauty of these photos and how I want to go to Southeast Asia. I would definitely take one of the tours, and that seems like the best way to see the beautiful islands, beaches and limestone cliffs. Gorgeous! Good to know that El Nido can be explored on a budget — this paradise is on my list, and a perfect place to celebrate my special upcoming anniversary!
Oh I do hope you can make here for your special anniversary. What a wonderful place to celebrate and just enjoy! The tours are the only way to go here in El Nido. Thanks for visiting Nacpan Beach El Nido Philippines.
As usual, beautiful photos and valuable information. Thanks so much! Nacpan Beach looks incredible and I hope to get there some day soon! Keep up the great work!
Thank you Donna, and I am glad you enjoyed reading about Nacpan Beach El Nido Philippines! A truly wonderful beach destination. Thanks for visiting!
This looks amazing. I’d never have thought of going to the Philippines for a holiday, but that scenery is quickly changing my mind. I’m sure there is a lot of history there, too.
Yes Brid! Beautiful and packed with history. You will not get bored in this wonderful beach destination. There is so much to offer besides just enjoyed the view. Thanks for stopping by and reading about Nacpan Beach El Nido Philippines.
I’ve always wanted to visit Asia, El Nido in the Philippines place looks absolutely incredible. I do know a friend who was born and raised in the Philippines, sadly I’ve only been abroad once. It was to my brothers wedding in Poland, pretty cool place though.
You do need to get out more Nate! A lot of people would not consider the Philippines as such a beautiful destination. They are missing out! El Nido has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world!
The Philippines is a great place. My brother-in-law is from there. Beautiful islands. The people are great too. I would like to take the island hopping tour one day. What an adventure! Serene and beautiful.
Oh yes, any of the island hopping tours would be a blast here for sure Robert. You are right, the Philippines are beautiful and the people are wonderful. Great place for a beach vacation for sure!
I have never heard of El Nido before. You have provided some great pictures of the beaches there. The video was awesome. I don’t think I would want to climb onto the rocks and cliffs there but the beach scene is hot! This is a great vacation spot! Difficult to get to but it will be free of crowds which is good. The location is not too well known which is good for a lot of tourist that don’t want the crowds.
I agree with every thing you have said! I like a beautiful beach that is not crowded. And if it is a little difficult to get to, well makes it all the more worth it once there. Nacpan Beach El Nido Phillipines is beautiful and well worth the visit for sure. Thanks for stopping by!
Thank you so much for this article. I’ve never heard of El Nido. But when I go on a vacation, I definitely don’t want to go to a place filled with tourists, so this seems like the perfect place. I tend to travel alone. Do you think I’d get a better bargain if I went with a group? And thanks for letting me know the best seasons to go. I really hate the sun and heat. I like when temperatures that are around 70 degrees, breezy and sunny. Again, thanks for a well-written, thought out article.
You are very welcome Shalisha. Yes, you will definitely get a better deal as a group, since you will be splitting the hotel expenses. Assuming that you all share and split the room costs. That would be the only place I could see a savings. I am glad you enjoyed reading about Nacpan Beach El Nido Philippines.
Nacpan Beach El Nido Philippines sounds like a fun destination if you like motorbikes. Of course, that is definitely something I do enjoy quite a bit. You mention it’s cheaper to fly in via another airline and then drive a long distance to get there. What is the cost difference roughly and do you think it’s worth making a special trip just to save a few bucks?
Personally, I am going to fly. I am not going to do the 5 hour bus ride. Prices for airline tickets really depend on time of year and where you are flying from. It is quite substantial though, as flying in is expensive. So you do save more than a couple bucks. It is a great place with a heavenly beach, and if you like motorbikes, well then it’s a dream!
My husband wants to travel for our wedding anniversary to a romantic destination, but he still hesitates between the Philippines and Venice. Now that I see these beautiful pictures, the video, and all these useful information, I will definitely choose the Philipines! The video makes me want to jump right away in the water. Elnido resort looks fantastic and romantic. We will take a look at this resort so we can plan our trip. Do you think there are still some places left in August? I wonder when it would be the best time of the year to travel there?
November to May is the best time for a visit. You won’t have trouble getting a room, as this is there slow (rainy) season. There will be good bargains, and it will not be crowded. You will, however, still have enjoyable weather. The rain comes and goes 🙂 It is a wonderful choice for an anniversary vacation! You will have an absolute wonderful time! Thanks for visiting Nacpan Beach El Nido Philippines.