Over the last decade, the beautiful Republic of The Philippines has become one the main destinations to visit for travelers in the search of the ultimate paradise experience. Located in the Western Pacific Ocean, it consists of 7,641 islands, Manila being the capital and one of the most populated cities of the country.
This breathtaking lil’ gem finds itself in the Pacific Ring of Fire, which makes it prone to earthquakes and typhoons, but also makes it the home of some of the best secluded white sand beaches on the planet.
Being made up of thousands of islands means that the possibilities to explore are endless. Swim with whale sharks in Cebu, admire breathtaking landscapes in Bohol, party in Borocay, enjoy catching waves in Siargao or simply relax in your own lil’ slice of heaven in El Nido, Palawan.
When traveling to The Philippines you will be landing in Manila, and unless you like places that are overcrowded, noisy and dirty, you will be flying out to your next destination straight away. For us, it was El Nido.
How to get there
Grab a flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan. Upon arrival you can choose to hop in the mini vans waiting outside the airport or get the Cherry bus. The main difference, vans will get you to El Nido in 5 to 6 hours, the ride is a bit bumpy and there is not much space to get comfy; the bus will take a lil’ longer, around 7 to 8 hours, still bumpy but you’ll have more room to relax.
El Nido owes its popularity to the breathtaking views everywhere you go, its crystal clear water and coral reefs, the incredible limestone islands and its waterfalls as well.
There so many things to do that it’ll be impossible to stop! Enjoy kayaking in turquoise waters; explore the little islets, caves and coves; if you are into sports you can do some rock climbing and mountain biking while being amused by the surrounding landscape and views.
Top things to do in El Nido
Island hopping, the most popular activity to explore Bacuit Bay is island hopping costing from P1200 a day including lunch and snorkel gear. There are 4 basic day trips to choose from named Tour A, B, C or D. We did A and C which are the ones that include the top places, but all if them are amazing.
Rent a moped and venture yourself to Nacpan Beach, only 45 minutes away from El Nido, this beach will absolutely steal your heart, it’s literally paradise within paradise. The ride will be bumpy but well worth it, you will forget about it as soon as you spot the palm trees.
Visit Las Cabanas Beach, a closer option from El Nido, only 20 minutes away from town. You can spend the whole day there, there’s kayaks for rent if you want to visit the lil’ islets around, there’s a zip line that takes you to a few neighbor islands and there’s plenty of cool bars where you can chill and watch sunset.
Spend at least a night in the beautiful tree house located between Las Cabanas and Dolarog Beach. We promise you it’ll be an unforgettable experience.
Useful tips before going
Be patient in terms of Wifi, it’s not great. Most places have no to little signal.
Best time to go will be between December to March, where you will avoid tropical storms and typhoons. In saying that, we went in late October to avoid the crowds and although we had some rainy days it was still breathtaking.
Food wise you will be able to enjoy both amazing Filipino cuisine and great European food, most of it very healthy as there are lots of vegan and vegetarian places.
Electricity blackouts are frequent, especially in rainy season.
So if palm trees and warm crystal clear water are your thing... book you flights to The Philippines right now!