El Nido, Palawan is an Island about 420 kms southwest of the capital of the Philippines Manila and 238 kms northeast of Puerto Princesa, Palawan’s capital. El Nido is named after the edible nests of Swiftlets (Collocalia Fuciphaga) found in the crevices of its limestone cliffs. These nests, “nido” in Spanish, are the main ingredient for the gourmet nido soup otherwise known as birds nest soups a highly sort after dish in Asia with supposed remedies.
El Nido has majestic limestone cliffs stand guard over pristine tropical waters, with an abundance of species of tropical fishes and coral life. El Nido’s forests are host to more than 100 species of birds only found in this region.
Due to it’s natural beauty, El Nidohas become a favorite destination for Island hopping, water activities and just enjoying the sheer magnificence of one of the most beautiful regions of South East Asia.
El Nido Philippines has over 50 beaches to discover and spotted through out the region are the most beautiful lagoons with tranquil turquoise-green water, caves that can take you to hidden beaches, and a very diverse variety of wildlife.
Scuba diving is also a very popular activity with tourists who visit. With over 30 dive sites for varying levels and skills, from beginners dive sites where you can qualify for your open water certificate to more challenging dive sites for the experienced divers.
Island hopping is one of the main attractions of El Nido. It is a great way to see some of the hidden beauty of El Nido with many hidden beaches to find and explore, you will enjoy every moment of your trip. It is also a great way to see the underwater marine life and most day trips include snorkeling as an activity.
Other Things to Do
Sea Kayaking – hire a Kayak and explore for yourself and I am sure you will have no difficulties finding your own slice of heaven on your own secluded beach.
Wind Surfing – is another water activity you can partake in. From learners classes to the more experienced, all skill levels are catered for.
Rental Motor Bike or Car- There are many areas outside of El Nido town to explore and either a 4×4 car or motorbike is a great way to venture inland and explore the hot springs, waterfalls and tropical forests which abound with wildlife. A fun planned day activity.
Mountain Biking – A healthy way to discover El nido is by renting a mountain bike to explore out of town and around the island at your own pace.
Restaurants and Places to Eat
There are many different restaurants which cater for the tourist’s stomach. You will find that the best food is eating the local specialty, seafood You will find restaurants which are influenced by cuisines from all over the world such as, French and Italian so in general you will not have a problem finding what you are after, a small diner next to the sea shore to have a bite to eat.
Accommodation is plenty in El Nido. In most cases you will not have any issues finding a room to stay though if you are expecting to visit in the peak seasons between DEC-FEB and the traditional Easter Holiday then I would advise that you book ahead via the internet or phone ahead as you may struggle to find a room to bed for the evening.
The dry season is from around November to May with temperatures above 30 degrees centigrade and rain is rare. The most popular tourist times in El Nido are Christmas and Easter.
The average water temperature ranges from 24ºC to 26ºC during the months of December to March and 26ºC to 29ºC during the months of April to November.
Water visibility ranges from 3 meters to 10 meters from December to February, 10 meters to 30 meters from March to May, and 10 meters to 15 meters from June to November. The best time for diving at El Nido is during the months of March to May, as surface conditions are good.
A number of bars offer different entertainment including billiard, dancing, live music, karaoke, and of course along the beach front the chance to unwind and watch the beautiful view as the day comes to a close.
There are many eccentricities to El Nido, for example the electric power is 2pm to 6am. Also you will not find any banks here, although you can change foreign currency and travellers cheques at a couple of places albeit at an increased rate. Credit cards are accepted only in a few places. There are also no telephone lines so communication is mostly via mobile phones plus there are many internet cafe’s scattered around the town.
TO GET THERE
Two airlines offer direct flights to El Nido; there are at least 2 flights every day. The road out of the town is serviced by 4 buses a day going to the capital of the Palawan, Puerto Princesa City. There are also jeepneys catering for shorter trips. One can also travel by boat direct to Manila from the Port situated in the bay.