We are truly blessed to have one of the greatest wonders of the world at the very heart of our beloved Philippines. El Nido or what is known in Spanish as “the nest”, is surrounded by enchanting marble cliffs and magical looking lagoons with their turquoise green waters, that give this place so much more character. It is also known for its white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters perfect for island hopping, snorkelling and scuba diving.
We took a flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa and took a 6 hour van ride to El Nido. For those looking into a side trip to explore Puerto Princesa, or have more time to spend in this island, or simply want the cheaper mode – then taking this route is advisable. However since we only had 4 days, we realized taking a direct flight from Manila to El Nido would’ve been more efficient for us. Hence we took the direct flight via ITI (Island Transvoyager, Inc.) from El Nido back to Manila to spare us more time to explore the island.
There are quite a number of hotels and resorts registered in Agoda or Booking.com, which you can choose from within El Nido Town Proper, Corong Corong, Dolarog Beach or Matinloc Island. Tour guides and boat tours are pretty much everywhere, which makes it accessible to see all the famous tourist spots. Just make sure to bring enough cash since there are no banks or ATMs around. There are a few places where you can do foreign exchange or where credit cards are accepted, but it would be best to have some cash with you.
We took one of the day tours that brought us to 10 breathtaking spots around El Nido. You can choose from different tour packages depending on what you want to see and how long you prefer to stay in each spot. We were lucky enough to have such a cool tour group composed of different nationalities just in awe of how gorgeous the Philippines is! We saw caves, hidden and secret beaches, big and small lagoons and the famous Matinloc Shrine built to honor the blessed Virgin Mary.
On the other days we didn’t take the tours, we rented out a scooter and just rode around the island. We went to Nacpan Beach, a good 45 minute scooter ride from town proper, and it did not disappoint. It was a private stretch of long beach all to ourselves. ?
If we were to decide on which place to go back to, may it be anywhere in the world, El Nido is definitely top of mind. Truly world class and a gem worth seeing! And as for me, it makes me even more proud of being a Filipino, to have such beauty in our country.