Best things to do in El Nido, Palawan

El Nido is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It is a town in the North of Palawan and it’s most popular activity is an island hopping tour exploring the beaches and islands straight out of paradise. It is frequented by many tourists, but if you do it right, you can still find ways to avoid the crowds. Island hopping is not the only thing to enjoy in El Nido though. Let me tell you all about my favorite things to do in El Nido.

Things to do in El Nido, Palawan

Island hopping tour

Like in Coron, the favorite activity here is island hopping. There are 4 different boat tours to explore the island around El Nido. The price for the tour is basically the same at all the different tour companies and they take the same routes. Everyone in El Nido at some point does one of the Island hopping tours, so it usually gets quite busy. You can also choose to do a private tour if you’d like to avoid the crowds. Then you can choose to time things differently to avoid docking with 20 other boats. Just make sure to discuss a route to avoid the crowds when booking.

A private tour will cost around 8000 php per boat (€140). If you join one of the group tours you will spend between 1200 and 1400 PHP (€20-€25). The tours take 6-7 hours and lunch is included. Walk into any tour office in El Nido to book.

  • El Nido Tour A: Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island en Seven Commando Beach. 
  • El Nido Tour B: Snake Island, Pinagbuyutan Island, Entalula Beach, the Cudugnon Cave en een snorkel stop.
  • El Nido Tour C: Helicopter Island, Matinloc Shrine, Secret Beach, Star beach en Hidden Beach.
  • El Nido Tour D: Ipil Beach, Cadlao Lagoon, Paradise Beach, Pasandigan Beach, Natnat Beach en Bukal Beach.

Go here to find my guide for Coron

Marimegmeg Beach/Las Cabañas Beach for sunset

Take the scooter down to Las Cabañas beach to enjoy a drink and a walk on the beach during the sunset. This is a very popular beach with lots of beach bars and restaurant so it’s never quiet.
Las Cabañas Beach el nidoLas Cabañas Beach el nido Las Cabañas Beach el nido

Zipline from Las Cabañas to another island

If you visit the previously mentioned beach and like adventure, you may consider taking the zipline between islands. The zipline is 750 meters long. At Las Cabañas Beach, they offer this experience for 500 – 1100 PHP (~ 16 USD/€15). This experience is most beautiful around sunset.

Climb Taraw Peak

Although El Nido is knows for the beaches, this was one of my favorite activities. Be aware however that Taraw Peak is not an official hike. It’s not a long hike, but to reach the top of the viewpoint you need to climb sharp rocks and it’s incredibly humid. The hike is more of climb than a hike actually. Don’t attempt to do this without a guide! Since there is no official trail, there is no way to know which rocks are safe to step on. Me and some travel friends wanted to go up and luckily a local guy offered to be our guide. He also provided gloves, which you definitely need to hold on to the sharp rocks. There’s a few parts where you are basically climbing straight up. So only do this hike if you are comfortable climbing. Once you reach the top, you are treated to some incredible views of the bay of El Nido. You can contact Bryan Hamora if you need a guide. He can take you himself or you’ll go with one of his other guides. Taraw peak el nido
tarraw peak el lido

Nacpan Beach

Nacpan Beach is one of El Nido most famous beaches. Its a 45-minute motorbike ride from town, but worth the drive. The beach is 4 kilometers long with coconut trees lining the coast. If you’re looking for a nice place to relax for the day, this is a great spot.

nacpan beach nacpan beach

How to get around in El Nido?

Motorbike Rental
The town of El Nido is quite small, but you’ll want to visit the surroundings. The easiest way to explore is by motorbike. You’ll spend way more if you get a taxi or tricycle to go places so spending 350 – 500 PHP (6-9 USD) on a scooter/motorbike is your best option. I rented mine at Bella’s rental and can highly recommend them.

Where to stay in El Nido?

Best Restaurants in El Nido

Ver De: Wonderful vegan food! It’s a little more upscale, but if you’re looking for some more vegan options this place is it.

Taste, 100% Plant-Based Cafe: Great for a healthy breakfast

Food Truck: This place is called ‘food truck’ on google so its easy to find. This yellow bus serves great asian dishes and also has a veggie option.

Extra tip! make sure to take enough cash with you. There is one big atm in the center and the other ones are usually empty.