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10 Things To Do In El Nido, Palawan That'll Make You Want To Stay Forever

This is perfect for first-timers!
PHOTO: (lefrt) instagram/las_cabanas_beach, (RIGHT) instagram/ayenroluna
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El Nido has made a name for itself as one of the top beach destinations in the Philippines. And that should come as no surprise, thanks to the island’s clear blue seas and palm tree-lined beaches. The island is also home to a whopping 50 white sand beaches, most of which are set against a backdrop of stunning limestone formations.

There are plenty of activities that can be done on El Nido, from scuba diving to island hopping. So if it’s your first time on the island, we’ve rounded up some of the best things that you can do on this little piece of paradise.

  1. Explore El Nido’s most famous lagoons

    Being home to dozens of islands and islets, it should come as no surprise that island hopping is one of the most popular activities in El Nido. It’s pretty easy to find and book a tour as they’re divided into four main ones! The most popular one is Tour A, which takes you around the breathtaking lagoons, like the Big Lagoon and Secret Lagoon, that surround the island. You can chill on the beach, eat a nice seafood lunch, and then go snorkeling at Shimizu Island of Seven Commandos Beach to catch a glimpse of the diverse life that can be found under El Nido’s oceans.


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  2. Go kayaking

    If you’d prefer to go off the beaten path during your island hopping tour, consider renting a kayak to fully explore the lagoons that surround Bacuit Bay. Renting a kayak allows you to explore the Big Lagoon and Small Lagoon even further, as these smaller boats can enter crevices that big boats cannot. Take in the limestone formations and cerulean blue waters, all while paddling at your own pace.

  3. Spelunking at El Nido’s caves and coves

    Tour B, meanwhile, takes you on a tour of the caves and coves that are hidden within El Nido’s islands. You can marvel at the wonderful rock formations that make up the Cathedral and Cudugnon Caves and even breathe in some history as locals used these as hiding places during World War II. Then, you can almost walk on water at Snake Island, which is a long sandbar that connects Palawan to the neighboring Vigan Island. It’s a sight to behold during low tide, as you can catch a glimpse of starfishes and all kinds of seashells.

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  4. Beach bumming

    If you’d rather take it easy and just chill out by the beach, Tours C and D may be the best choices for you. Tour C lets you visit the famous islands like Dilumacad and Matinloc, which were both used as backdrops for a Hollywood movie. It also includes a visit to the Secret Beach, which is only accessible through a quick swim. Tour D, meanwhile, takes you to the beaches near the mainland, which are noticeably less crowded.


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  5. Ziplining at Las Cabanas Beach

    Adventurous types can have the time of their lives at Las Cabanas Beach. This beach features a zip line that goes from one end of the island to the other, which features breathtaking views along the way. And after getting your heart racing, you can treat yourself to a spectacular view of the sunset by the shore.


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  6. Catch beautiful views at El Nido’s Canopy Walk

    El Nido’s Taraw Cliff used to be an extremely popular tourist destination site before the notoriously dangerous trail was shut down due to way too many accidents. Nowadays though, you can experience the views that the cliff used to offer, thanks to El Nido’s Canopy Walk. You can make it to the top through the use of metal stairs, hanging bridges, and ropes, all while stopping for photos along the way.


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  7. Experience sustainability at Lio Beach

    Lio Beach is one of the newer areas being developed in El Nido and it stands out thanks to the premium it puts on sustainability. It’s home to all sorts of hotels and resorts, who promise to preserve the island’s natural resources. You can relax by splurging on spa treatments and yoga classes or get your heart pumping by kayaking around island and taking a bamboo bicycle tour.


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  8. Grab a bite at El Nido Boutique & Art Café

    This humble restaurant is one of El Nido’s most famous spots to grab a bite, especially after a long day of island hopping. Try out their famous pizzas and pastas or their salads, which are made using greens grown on their own organic farm. Just make sure to leave room for dessert; the pineapple upside-down cake and chocolate and mango tarts are hometown favorites.


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  9. Dance the night away at El Nido’s clubs

    Hoping to end your day with a nightcap? Look no further than the clubs that line El Nido’s famous beaches. There’s SAVA Beach Bar, which features cocktails made with high-quality liquors as well as highly addictive baked mussels. But for something a little bit more laid back, head on over to Happiness, which features a vegan-friendly menu, or Pukka Bar, which lets you dance to reggae-inspired beats.


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  10. Party all day at El Nido Party Boat

    Experience a new way to get around the island by booking a tour on the El Nido Party Boat. The boat features free-flowing cocktails, music, and barbecue, all while exploring the best sights El Nido has to offer. If you’re looking to make new friends, then this is the boat for you.

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